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Looking for the top things to do in Corfu Town? We’re sharing all you need to know in this guide.
If you’re planning a trip to Corfu, you’re going to be passing through Corfu Town. We highly recommend spending a day or two exploring this wonderful city. There is a surprising amount of things to see here!
Corfu Town is the capital of the island of Corfu and has been inhabited for centuries. It boasts a UNESCO listed old town as well as architectural and cultural influences from a variety of world powers throughout the centuries.
We recently spent a couple of days in Corfu Town and loved the unique Italian influence, relaxed vibe, and amazing food scene.
Here are 15 things to do in Corfu Town, plus our top tips to make your stay as stress-free as possible.
Brief history of Corfu Town
While Corfu Town has only officially been known as such since the 8th century BC, the land it sits on has actually been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era.
But the city really prospered — slowly heading in the direction of the city we know it to be today — under Venetian rule. That lasted from the 14th through the 18th centuries. In the 19th century there was a short period of British rule before Corfu was handed back to Greece.
The area was conquered many times throughout history. That’s because Corfu Town has always been a very important place due to its strategic position at the mouth of the Adriatic Sea.
This led to its somewhat turbulent history of many different peoples coming through attempting (and often succeeding) to take it over.
15 Things to do in Corfu Town
1. New Venetian Fortress
The New Venetian Fortress sits atop the hill of St. Mark overlooking Old Town Corfu and the port. The fortress affords one of the best panoramic views in town. Construction on the massive structure started in 1572, but didn’t finish for several decades. Today it remains one of the most well-preserved fortresses in Greece.
It’s very easy to get to the fortress from Corfu Town — it is only a few minutes walk. When you arrive, make sure not to miss the small details which have been preserved over the years. For example, look out for the Venetian lions which still stand protecting the fortress gates.
Practical info: The fortress is open from Wednesday through Monday 8:30am – 3:30pm. It is closed on Tuesday. Entry is free.
2. Check out the Old Fortress
The Old Fortress is a must see in Corfu Greece. It took several centuries to build in its entirety, with the first part going up in the early 15th century. Since it was later replaced with the new fortress, today it acts as a cultural center in Corfu and houses the Public library.
Sitting out on a spit of land, you’ll also get exceptional views across the sea and the city from here. You can walk the fortress grounds, but be mindful that the floor can be uneven and slippery at times, so you should wear good walking shoes and it may not be a good activity for those with accessibility restrictions.
The Church of Saint George
Make sure to check out the amazing views of the church of Saint George, which was built during the British rule in the 19th century. Initially, the church was built for the British military officers that were stationed at the Old Fortress, so they could have a place of worship.
It was damaged during WWII and was altered to its current state after the war. Currently, the church is used for services twice a year; otherwise, there are often exhibitions or musical concerts held here throughout the year.
Practical info: The fortress is open throughout the summer months of April through October form 8:00am – 8:00pm. In the winter the hours are 8:30am – 3:30pm. Tickets are €6 for adults; children under five are free.
3. Wander through the old town
The UNESCO-listed old town of Corfu is just begging for you to come in, wander, and let yourself get a little lost. Getting lost in the winding, pedestrianized roads and alleys is one of the top things to do in corfu.
These streets hide treasures around every corner. Discover bakeries, restaurants, shops, and cafes and make your way slowly from one indulgent spot to the next.
As you go, keep an eye out for kumquats — something it will be nearly impossible to miss as it’s a local favorite which you can find used in all sort of products.
While seeing the old town in the day is a must, it takes on a different atmosphere at night. So make sure too not to miss the buzz of Corfu’s old town after dark.
4. Saint Spyridon Church
The red bell tower of the Greek Orthodox Saint Spyridon Church is unmissable. The church is dedicated to Spyridon — the patron saint of the island of Corfu and has been standing in this same spot since 1590.
The inside of the church is small but it is beautifully ornate and very peaceful. To avoid big crowds, try to visit outside of any times when a cruise ship is in the port. During these periods the small space will fill up quickly with large groups.
Practical info: The church is open daily from 7:00am – 8:00pm. Entry is free for all.
5. Central Market
Central Market sits beneath the New Venetian Fortress and houses dozens of stalls, each selling some sort of local food. While this market is a great attraction for visitors to Corfu Town, it is also buzzing with locals just going about their own daily shopping.
You’ll find fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood, and more traditional Corfiot food. Much of the produce sold in the market is grown locally on small farms in the area.
There are two cafes inside where you can stop for a coffee, a small snack, and to take a quick sit down from your sightseeing.
Practical info: The market is closed on Sundays.
6. Eat traditional cuisine
Corfu has a unique cuisine thanks to its many influences throughout history. The strongest of those influences, however, remains the Venetians. You’ll see a lot of seafood on the menus, which makes sense, considering all the easy ocean access. Plus, there’s a lot of other fresh ingredients and a definite strong spice selection.
Here are some of the best regional dishes you should try while visiting Corfu:
Pastitsada is a traditional Corfu speciality which is believed to have derived from a Venetian dish made out of horse meat. This modern day variation utilizes beef, or sometimes chicken, which is braised in a tomato-based sauce. That is then served over a plate of pasta. While you might see a variety of pastas being used, the most traditional is bucatini, which is shaped like spaghetti but is thicker around.
Bourdetto is a fish dish. While it can be made with a variety of different fish, scorpion fish (also commonly known as rockfish) is a favorite. Bourdetto is a classic fisherman’s dish and you can find it in restaurants all around Corfu. The fish is cooked in a lot of red pepper, both sweet and spicy. Note that if you see this on the menu on other Greek islands it may be made with meat in place of the fish.
Sofrito is a favorite in Corfu because, when done right, the meat is cooked to perfection and comes out melt-in-your-mouth perfect. While veal filets are most commonly used, beef is also sometimes substituted. The meat is lightly floured and then pan fried in a very garlicky white wine sauce.
Fish bianco is made with a white fish. That could be a cod, john dory, or something similar. The fish is cooked in a garlic-lemon sauce and then served in a soupy dish that includes onions and potatoes.
Sikomaida (a dessert)
Sikomaida is a traditional Corfiot cake made with figs and grape must. If you’re not quite sure what grape must is, it’s when grapes are freshly crushed and still have all of their parts — skin, seeds, juice. There may be other spices added as well. For example you might find cakes with cinnamon or fennel seed. If you want to try a very classic version of this dessert, pick one up at the central market in Corfu Town.
7. Spianada Square
Since its creation by the Venetians in 1516, Spianada Square has been a very important central meeting place for the citizens of Corfu Town, and that has remained true to this day. The public square is the largest in all of Greece at 42,000 square meters — about 45,000 square feet.
The square sits just under the old fortress and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants. It also doubles as a park with a lot of lovely, well-maintained green spaces. Be on the lookout for any concerts, events, or even cricket games being held in the square while you’re visiting Corfu Town.
8. Walk along the Liston
The Liston is a long, straight pedestrianized street in Corfu Town which connects old town with Spianada Square. The architecture lining the sides of the street has elements of the Venetian, British, and French influences — all of them converging to create a gorgeous mish-mash along the street.
The arcades which run along the side are full of cafes and also provide shelter from any type of weather — rain or shine.
The street used to be home to the silversmiths of long ago and today there are still quite a few jewelry shops which uphold that tradition.
If you happen to be in Corfu Town for Easter, go and join the big Easter celebrations along Liston street.
9. Boschetto garden
The Boschetto Garden (officially renamed in 2006 to The Durrell Gardens after the author Lawrence Durrell) is located near the old fortress, and once you enter the gardens you’ll actually have amazing views of the fortress itself.
The garden is public and the wide, flat paths make it very accessible. While there are multiple entrances, only one of them is step free, which is the one closest to the old fortress.
The flowers, shrubs, trees, and fountains within the garden are all arranged in a symmetry which mimics that of a Renaissance Italian garden.
If you want to visit the Boschetto Garden before you even arrive in Corfu, watch The Durrells on Disney+ which shows the story of the men the garden is named after, and features the garden itself.
10. Corfu Museum of Asian Art
The Corfu Museum of Asian Art is housed inside the beautiful neoclassical Palace of St. Michael and St. George. The palace was originally used as the summer residence of the British Lord High Commissioner and only officially transformed into a museum in 1928.
Today the museum has 15 separate rooms, across its three floors, boasting a collection of at least 15,000 pieces of art. Private collections and individual donations have allowed displays of art from China, Tibet, Japan, Nepal, and other countries across Asia.
Practical info: The museum is open from Monday through Sunday from 8am – 8pm. Regularly priced adult tickets are €6 each.
11. Faliraki beach
One of the best things to do in Corfu Town on a hot summer day is to relax at Faliraki beach. This is one of the oldest public beaches in Corfu, and it remains open to all.
You shouldn’t expect sand, or even pebbles or rocks, as the beach is entirely paved. But to be able to stroll from old town, in less than ten minutes, for a dip in the crystal clear waters is pretty unbeatable!
There are a few small spots for a drink or a bite to eat close to the water, and facilities at the beach include showers and toilets, plus dogs are also allowed.
12. Vlacherna Monastery
This beautiful little 17th century monastery is so picture-perfect that it’s not only been featured on travel brochures, but it was also the filming location for James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only.
The monastery sits out on a small island which is connected to the mainland by a short pedestrian bridge. The bridge is also the launching point for boats out to Pontikonisi, a small rocky island which you can see from the shores.
There are places for a drink nearby and it’s the perfect spot to hang out and watch a gorgeous sunset.
Vlacherna Monastery is on the edge of Corfu Town. If you wanted to walk it would take you about an hour each way, but if you have a car you can easily park at the monastery. The bus is also an option — both the 2a and 6 buses will drop you off nearby.
Practical info: It is free to enter the monastery.
13. Patounis’ Soap Factory
The Patounis’ Soap Factory is a family-run business which started in 1850 and today is run by the first generation of the family. Since its opening day it has been running continuously, and still today uses not only the same recipe as almost two centuries ago, but it uses the same hand processing techniques as well.
The main ingredients of all the soaps are olives and olive oil.
You can visit the factory in Corfu Town which doubles as both a shop and a museum offering free guided tours daily. All of the soap you can take home is natural, vegan, and good for your skin and your health.
Practical info: The shop and museum are open from Monday through Friday from 09:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday from 09:30am – 2:30pm. Free guided tours run each day at noon.
14. Shop for local goods
While you can find the classic key chain, magnet, or shot glass all around Corfu Town, there are several local goods which will make even more memorable souvenirs to take home. Here are a few of them:
While not native to the island, kumquats were first brought over in 1924 and have been producing hearty yields ever since. This fruit has many health benefits including a whole array of vitamins and nutrients. You’ll likely spot kumquats being sold all over old town. Look out for kumquat liqueur, marmalade, extract, candied fruits, and of course the raw fruit itself.
Native to the region, olive wood is the dense wood that comes from the olive tree. There are a number of workshops which hand carve the wood into beautiful, strong pieces. Look for bowls, vases, statues, jewelry, and a whole host of different homewares.
Corfu is a great place to reup your spice drawer, or to introduce some new flavors. You can get a huge variety of dried herbs in shops like Sweet ‘N Spicy Bahar Shop in old town, but if you really want to get adventurous you could also go out foraging. Just a few of the herbs which grow well on the island are: basil, bay leaves, chamomile, sea fennel, red saffron, thyme, and anise.
15. Taste loukoumades in Dimarchiou Square from Stazei Meli
Loukoumadesa is a traditional Greek dessert which is more or less a fried dough. Classic recipes would flavor the bite-sized balls with honey and almond, but now you might get them with milk or white chocolate, strawberry cream, pistachio, or a whole host of other flavors.
For an authentic tasting experience, pop in to Stazei Meli in Corfu old town.
Map of Things to Do in Corfu Town
To help you best navigate your way around Corfu Town, here is a map of all of the sights and restaurants listed in this itinerary.
To save the map to Google Maps on your phone or computer, click on the star next to the title. You’ll be able to find the map in your “saved maps” list on your phone. To see a list of all the items on the map, click the box with arrow on the left. To enlarge the map, click the box on the right.
How to get to Corfu Town?
Located centrally along the east coast of Corfu island, it’s pretty straightforward to get to Corfu Town. Since you’ll have to cross the water somehow, the two ways to get there are by ferry or by plane.
From Greece: You can get to Corfu from Igoumenitsa in mainland Greece, the trip takes a little over an hour and runs all year round with multiple crossings each day.
From Italy: If you happen to be in Italy, you can also get a ferry from Ancona, Brindisi, or Bari. These trips are of course much longer than the one from Igoumenitsa.
From Albania: We visited Corfu on a weekend trip from Albania, since it is only located 30-minutes away by ferry. There are multiple ferry crossings daily between Albania and Corfu Town.
The airport in Corfu is international. And while some of its routes only operate seasonally, in the high season you can easily get to Corfu from a number of international destinations across Europe such as London, Berlin, Milan, and Barcelona as well as from Israel. There are also internal connections within Greece from Athens, Thessaloniki, Skiathos, Preveza, and Zakynthos.
If you are staying in Corfu Town for a few days, we recommend taking a ferry to Albania for the day. Check out our Corfu to Albania day trip itinerary with a complete guide on what to do and see.
Where to eat in Corfu Town?
There are so many options of restaurants to eat at in Corfu Town and picking the right one can be overwhelming. We’ve chosen a few favorites to recommend:
Taverna Ninos is the perfect place to go for a cheap and cheerful quick bite. The intimate space serves up a small menu of traditional Greek food such as gyros, pastitsada, and souvlaki. The taverna is usually fairly bustling, but grab a seat if you can, and enjoy your food along with a cold beer, some house wine, or a glass of cordial.
Diporto is a traditional family-run restaurant in Corfu’s old town which, while small, has both indoor and outdoor seating. There is a lot on the menu but a few standouts are the eggplant starter, the greek salad, and the moussaka. This is also a treat for vegans as there are a few suitable options available.
Fishalida serves — you guessed it — fish. The restaurant is located right next to its own fishmonger. So you can go over, pick out the exact fish you want, and have them cook it up fresh for you. There’s a huge variety of fish including lobster, prawns, octopus, and bourdeto. There are also a good few vegetarian dishes on the menu. The restaurant is brightly decorated with classic Greek blue and white decor.
Marina’s Taverna is a family-run restaurant in the heart of old town Corfu. The menu offers a load of Greek classics like greek salad, eggplant, and calamari, plus a great selection of wines. The barbecued octopus is also an exceptional dish. As great as the menu is, the friendly service here is also very much worth noting.
The Venetian Well is hidden away in a secluded courtyard with a romantic, picture-perfect set-up. The three set menu options are prepared with fresh, local ingredients and paired with a global wine list that is a great opportunity to try some Greek wines. A set menu is also available for vegetarians. The whole experience is topped off by amazing servers who make sure you are totally taken care of.
If you’re looking for a spot to have breakfast or brunch in Corfu Town, Starenio Bakery is a great option. Their menu includes a number of omelets as well as an assortment of savory pies. This is also a great place for vegetarians as well as vegans to enjoy a nice meal out.
Periklis – Alexis
We stumbled upon Periklis – Alexis during our walk around town and vowed to go back on our last day in Corfu Town to try their specialty – homemade custard. With two custard flavors to choose from, vanilla or chocolate, you really can’t go wrong either. We got the vanilla with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top – highly recommend!
How much time do you need in Corfu Town?
One day in Corfu Town is enough to see the highlights and main sights. If you have the space in your itinerary, spending a second day will give you more time to take it easy and explore at a slower pace.
Of course, if you do have more time, there is always another restaurant to discover or another sunny day to enjoy!
When is the best time to visit Corfu Town?
The best time to visit Corfu Town is shoulder season. Throughout Greece, shoulder season is the spring and autumn months. That means the best time to visit Corfu Town is in April and May as well as September through November.
That being said, even in the middle of winter the weather can be really pleasant and enjoyable. December and January can deliver sunny days with temperatures as high as about 15C or around 60F.
Where to stay in Corfu Town?
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming deciding where to stay on your trip to Corfu Town. We highly suggest booking a hotel in the center or within walking distance to the old town.
During our trip to Corfu Town, we stayed at Hotel Bella Venezia. This is a charming boutique hotel with lovely rooms and a wonderful breakfast in the garden. We can’t stop talking about our stay here and agree that this might be one of our favorite hotel stays ever.
Siora Vittoria Boutique Hotel is another fantastic option located in old town.
A word of advice – book your hotels at least a couple of months in advance. Corfu is popular and hotels sell out quickly.
Tours of Corfu Town
We always try to sign up for a tour wherever we are traveling to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the place we are visiting. More often than not we opt for the food tour because we are foodies at heart. Whether its a food tour or a history tour, here are a couple of recommendations fo your trip to Corfu Town.
Easily one of the best ways to make the most of your time in Corfu Town is on this walking food tour where you’ll hit the main sights of the city while also filling up on local delicacies.
Your tour guide will bring you through the town, stopping at monuments like the Church of St. Spyridon, the Old Fortress, and the Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Those stops are of course in addition to all of the food you’ll eat. You can expect the opportunity to try a lot of Corfiot foods including pastitsada and sofrito and a lot of classic Greek foods. You’ll be absolutely stuffed by the end with the cheese pies, fruits, donuts, nuts, and more.
If you’re curious to learn more about the many layers of history present in Corfu Town, this history & culture tour will guide you through them.
Your expert tour guide will bring you through the years of Venetian, French, and British rule, and how they each affected the city differently. You’ll also see and learn more about their influences on the architecture and public spaces around you.
You’ll visit the Old Fortress and have a guided tour there, you’ll learn more about the architecture in old town, and finally visit St. Spyridon Church.
Olive oil is an integral part of life on Corfu island. If you’re interested in learning about the way olive oil is made and want to taste some of the finest oil on the island, then we recommend this oil olive tasting experience from Corfu Town.
You’ll be picked up from Corfu Town city center and will be taken to the Governor’s Olive Mill. Your guide will lead you through the olive grove to learn about the ancient techniques of producing olive oil. After, you’ll enjoy a tasting.
Corfu Town Frequently Asked Questions
Is Corfu Town worth visiting?
Yes, Corfu Town is worth visiting. The town is a natural starting point on any visit to Corfu island. And as a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site it’s worth seeing in its own right. There is so much history in such a small space and plenty to fill up a day or two.
Can you walk around Corfu Town?
Yes, you can walk around Corfu Town — the central parts of Corfu Town, like old town, are compact and very walkable. A walk from one end of old town to the other would take about 20 minutes at a fairly leisurely pace. There are other spots around Corfu Town, such as the Vlacherna Monastery, which are a much longer walk and are better suited to a drive or a bus ride.
Can you walk from Corfu Port to Old Town?
While it is possible to walk from Corfu Port to Old Town, you are likely better off driving or taking the bus. This is especially true if you are arriving with any amount of luggage that you’ll need to carry. While there is a route you can take, the total walk will likely be at least 30 minutes, parts of which are on fairly busy, main roads.