The Capital Heraklion
The Capital City of Crete Heraklion, the fourth largest city in Greece with 140,000 inhabitants, is a vibrant mixture of "small Athens", Crete's business and administrative centre, historic site highlights, chaos and lively hustle and bustle. The holiday mood merges into the bustle of the city. The city has a long history. Minoans, Saracens, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks have all left their mark. Heraklion was made Crete's capital city in 1972.
The tourist sights are in the city centre. Here you can get your bearings, unlike in the districts outside. The large Freedom Plaza, Platia Eleftherias, is the hub of the city. The Archaeological Museum is located here. The Dikeossinis Street is one of the most important shopping streets. The Odos Delalou runs parallel to this and is a pedestrian zone with cafes, restaurants and many souvenir shops leading to the most beautiful plaza in the city - Platia Venizelo. Here tourists rub shoulders with the locals. Small streets lead off the plaza where one can find many places to linger and while away the time.
Parking is difficult and there are many ways to use public transport and avoid the hassle. There are souvenir shops and jewellers in the streets named above. Odos 1866 is the interesting market street in the city dealing in fruit, vegetables, meat, herbs and spices and cheese.The Archaeological Museum is one of the most important archaeological Museums of Europe. There you can admire exhibits from the excavations of Knossos, Malia, Phaestos and Zakros.
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