Heraklion is Crete's biggest city , whose emblem is the Venetian fortress of Koules and it harmoniously combines a multilingual past as Byzantine churches standing next to the Venetian mansions and Turkish fountains and a thriving present with many restauarants, coffee shops and bars that cater to every taste.
Heraklion or Iraklion has undergone a significant makeover in recent years - this is a result of being chosen as an Olympic city ...partly bu mostly because of the city's increasing prosperity. Infrastructure works have included redevelopment of the waterfront ( have a nice walk there ), improved roads and a city bypass to ease traffic congestion and maybe the most important much of the historic centre has been turned into pleasant pedestrian strips. Let's see how you could spent one or two days in Heraklion.
You have a day or two to spend in Heraklion, the main city and key business centre of Crete. The city is also a major cruise destination. Beyond the crazed progress of moped riders, noisy scooters and a battered, out-of-control look to the city, there is much to do and plenty of things worth seeing.
Apart from shopping and the designer clothes on Daedalou Street ("DaydAloo"), there are many small shops off all the main streets which sell those local products which normally are used when you live in Crete. Just have a look along 1866 Street and more so its side streets - you may find a curio distinctly different from more typical "gifts" offered to visitors in gift shops.
The famous tourist attraction, the Saturday market that was by the port, an almost kilometre long display of fruit and vegetables and sundry items - has now sadly moved to an obscure suburb.This is a brief guide to some of the well known and some less well known enjoyments and rewards of Heraklion:
The enormous Archaeological Museum (converted from an old power station well before the idea of using the old Battersea power station in London as an art gallery) on one corner of the central Eleftherias Square, collects together many of the finds from Knossos, Archanes, Phaestos, Zakros and many other archeological sites in Crete.
The museum spans a period starting several thousand years ago, through the Minoan, post-Minoan and later periods. Popular highlights include the Phaestos disc, classic Hellenic and Roman sculptures, frescoes, jewelery, wall-paintings and pottery. A selection of guide books is available at the museum shop - best to buy one to gain some insight into the items that make up this substantial collection.
It's a good idea to start early in the morning or late in the day during the summer months to avoid a rush-hour style of viewing - this is a very popular destination.