Things to know and ideas for your own excursion on the largest Greek Dodecanese island
Excursion Offers and Tickets for Rhodes
- Regular berth: Cruise Pier in Emborio Port
- Harbour shuttle: not necessary/available
- Taxis: usually available at the jetty
- Buses: well-developed bus network
- Rental car*: Sixt, at the port
- Rental car*: Hertz, at the port
- Rental car*: at the airport
- Rental car*: at the airport
- Rental car*: at the airport
- Post office: Pl. Eleftherias
- Tourist info: at the southern end of the cruise port
- Banks and ATMs: occasionally found in the New Town
- Berths of the Cruise Ships
Rhodes is the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands and the fourth largest island in Greece. The route destination on the popular Mediterranean cruises is usually the north-eastern point. Today, Rhodes Town has a population of around 50,000 and, in addition to the old Mandraki harbour, which is now mainly used by smaller boats and yachts, it also has large piers for ferries and cruise ships. These are located next door in the newer Port of Emborio. A rather long breakwater with the three frequently photographed windmills separates the two harbours.
The central pier in Emborio harbour has souvenir shops, a small café, ATMs and space for a maximum of three cruise ships. If everything is occupied, the ferry port outside is also used as an alternative berth. From the berths, the historic old town is only about a five-minute walk away. At the harbour exit, there is a tourist information centre where you can get a lot of information about the island and also free city maps.
On the island of Rhodes, official taxis are recognisable by their black colour with a white roof, on which a "Taxi" sign is also mounted. Free vehicles can easily be made to stop on the way by raising their arm. Otherwise, there are also some taxi stands, for example in the south of Mandraki harbour, where large boards with price information on the most important tourist destinations are always displayed. These are fixed prices. For other journeys, a taximeter adds up the costs. It is generally advisable to discuss the expected costs with the driver before starting the journey. Surcharges apply for journeys to and from the port, to and from the airport, for luggage weighing more than 10 kg and for night journeys between 00:00-05:00.
On Rhodes, the buses of the two operators RODA and KTEL are on the road on several routes. On the west coast of the island, as well as in the city itself, the modern and blue-white buses of RODA are used. A total of 5 lines operate purely in the city. KTEL, on the other hand, connects the villages on the east coast with each other, sending its orange-white buses on the road. In Rhodes Town, the street Averof, along the "New Market", is used as a central meeting point, where almost all lines come together.
The quite numerous bus stops are easily recognisable and have signs with the inscription "Stassi". Often, the more internationally understandable "Bus Stop" can also be read. Tickets required for a journey are available from the bus driver. The prices are staggered depending on the destination and start at 1.10 euros. During the high season in summer, the buses can get quite full. If no one wants to get off, the bus driver may skip stops and drive past.
- Sightseeing Tour
In Rhodes Town and the surrounding area, the sightseeing buses of two providers make their rounds, differing only slightly from each other. The Sais Travel & Tourism Agency organises a red bus with Rodos City Tour. The yellow vehicle, on the other hand, is operated by Rhodes City Tour, whose name can also be seen in large letters on the sides. In Hop On Hop Off mode, you can get on and off at any stop after purchasing the ticket.
The ticket prices are identical for both providers, at 12 euros per person. The routes are very similar and so are the locations of the stops. In terms of the number of stops, the red bus leads with 12 to 11. Boarding is always possible directly at the cruise port, a complete round takes 60 minutes, and the bus also passes the respective stops every 60 minutes. Headphones can be used to listen to explanations of the sights in 10 different languages, including German and English. There is barrier-free access to the bus and the lower area is also air-conditioned.
- Tourist Train
A small, typical tourist train also runs in the streets of the city. The Rhodes Train City Tours vehicle makes a 45-minute round trip without stops, passing the most important sights of the city. The starting and finishing point is at the Mandraki marina in front of the Aktaion café, whose name is plastered in unmistakable letters on the building. During the summer season, the train departs from there daily and hourly between 10:00-17:00 (last ride). Children up to 3 years of age travel free of charge. Children aged 4 to 10 pay 4 euros each and older people 7 euros each.
In the narrow streets of the old town, you will find numerous cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops and various small shops off the main shopping street Odos Sokratous (Socrates Street), which are also lined up along the New Market (Néa Agorá) to the north. Mainly in the morning hours, you will find all kinds of market stalls with fresh fruit and vegetables there from Monday to Saturday. In earlier times, freshly caught fish was sold under the roof of the massive pavilion.
A variety of larger shops, shops and boutiques have settled in the streets of the New Town, next to Mandraki Harbour. Shops of well-known brands can be found mostly in Grigoriou Lampraki and Amerikis streets. The streets Theodoraki and Nik. Plastira are not far from the New Market and are pure pedestrian zones, inviting you to stroll around and offering some nice places to stop for a bite to eat.
- Colossus of Rhodes
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world is the Colossus of Rhodes, which no longer exists today. Completed around 292 BC, the 30-metre-high statue made of bronze was an image of the sun god Helios. As a result of a severe earthquake, the construction was destroyed around 65 years later and not rebuilt. The former location is disputed.
Possibilities include part of the area of today's Grand Master's Palace, a site at the temple of Apollo Pythios near the Acropolis of Rhodes, and the rather unlikely location in the harbour entrance of Mandraki Harbour. At the harbour, the Colossus of Rhodes is said to have stood at the ends of the piers, exactly where the deer statues "Elafos" and "Elafina" are enthroned on their pedestals today.
- Old Town of Rhodes
Surrounded by the thick and four-kilometre-long wall, the old town alone is a sight in itself. Founded in 408 BC, the place was temporarily under Byzantine, Turkish and Italian rule, all of which left their mark here. While strolling through the historic, narrow and partly winding old town, you will find an interesting mix of different architectural styles, which are clearly dominated by buildings from the Middle Ages.
The greatest influence from 1309 to 1523 was exerted by the Order of St. John, which fortified the city and is responsible for the construction of the Grand Master's Palace. This is located at the highest point of Rhodes and can be reached from the port, via the ancient 200 meter long and absolutely worth seeing Knight’s Road Odos Ippoton.
While strolling you will find numerous localities and small shops. Most of them are located on the parallel street Odos Sokratous. In general, it is also advisable to explore the small branching and winding alleys. The old town, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, is a car-free zone. Residents are only allowed to drive on the roads with the scooter.
- Grand Master's Palace
At the western end of the Knights' Street Ippoton you will meet the imposing Grand Master'sPalace. It was built in the 14th century from a Byzantine castle and was used for years as a seat of government, and later also as a prison. Severe damage to the building occurred as early as 1856 when a powder magazine exploded. After a long period of inactivity, an extensive reconstruction took place at the end of the 1930s and under Italian leadership with many innovations and extensions. The original state was largely neglected.
In the adjoining rooms of the 200 square meter courtyard, 18 of the almost 300 rooms are presented today for exhibition purposes with historical furnishings. In addition, an archaeological exhibition with finds from Greece and temporary special exhibitions can also be visited. The Grand Master's Palace is open daily from 08:00-19:30. Admission is subject to a fee of 6 euros per person. A combined ticket for 10 euros is also valid for the Archaeological Museum and persons under the age of 25 receive free access. The ascent of the city wall is possible Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 15:00 and comes with a surcharge of 2 euros.
- Clock Tower with a View
Just a few metres south of the Grand Master's Palace, the Roloi Clock Tower rises into the air. It was built on the remains of a Byzantine tower from the 7th century and also fell victim to the explosion of the powder magazine in 1856. After the collapse, it was rebuilt quite quickly. Access to the interior is possible Monday to Saturday from 09:00-22:00. The entrance fee is 5 euros per person and includes a drink of your choice, which is available at the adjacent Roloi Café. Behind the entrance door of the tower is a narrow staircase with 53 steps, which is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea and leads to a room that is not really that big. Through the windows installed there, you get a great view of the city's rooftops and harbour. This way, even your own cruise ship is clearly visible.
- Archaeological Museum
At the eastern end of Ippoton Street, you will find the former hospital of the Order of St John. It was built between 1440 and 1489 and has housed the Rhodes Archaeological Museum since 1916. In the rooms, which are up to five metres high, a wide variety of archaeological finds from local and other nearby Greek excavation sites can be seen. One of the most valuable pieces is the sculpture "Crouching Aphrodite" from the 1st century BC.
Admission to the historic building with its well-tended garden is possible after paying a fee of 6 euros per person. A combination ticket available for 10 euros is additionally valid for the Grand Master's Palace and people under 25 are free of charge. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 08:30-15:00. During the summer season, the doors are also open on Monday and longer until 19:00.
- Elli Beach
At the northern tip of the city and island, the approximately 700-metre-long and up to 35-metre-wide city beach Elli Beach spreads out. It is popular with tourists and locals alike and is usually quite crowded during the peak summer season. The subsoil slopes down quite quickly in the water and consists mostly of pebbles, which also become larger towards the sea and are partly located in sandy areas there. For painless locomotion, suitable beach/bathing shoes* are not the worst choice.
If not belonging to a hotel, the numerous and beautifully lined up sunbathing possibilities can be used for a fee. As a rule, two loungers with an umbrella cost 10 euros. Free freshwater showers, changing rooms, as well as numerous restaurants and bars are spread along the beach. In addition, lifeguards and at the southern end, near the Ronda Bar, a 5-meter-high diving tower can be found. Elli Beach is about 1.6 kilometres away from the cruise port and can be reached in 20 to 25 minutes on foot.
- Sea Aquarium
On the northern part of Elli Beach there is a building that cannot be overlooked and stands quite alone. It was built between 1934 and 1936, is a listed building and today houses the Rhodes Hydrobiological Station, which is part of the Greek Centre for Marine Research. Open to the public and also located in the building is the Rhodes Aquarium, which presents the underwater world of the Aegean in 40 aquariums in the basement and a nice museum exhibition above. Admission is 5.50 euros at the entrance. The reduced rate is 3.50 euros and applies to people aged 5 to 18 and over 65. Children up to 4 years of age are admitted free of charge. Open daily from 09:00-16:30 and extended until 20:30 during the summer months.
- Monte Smith with Acropolis
In the southwest of Rhodes Town rises the approximately 110-metre-high hill of Monte Smith, also known as Agios Stefanos. In addition to an excellent panoramic view of the island, there is also an extensive archaeological excavation site here, which covers an area of 12,500 square metres. There is hardly anything left to discover of the original ancient buildings, only a few foundation walls have been preserved.
However, the 210-metre-long and partially restored Stadium, along with the adjacent Odeon with its 800 seats, are worth seeing. Above the Odeon, the remaining four mighty columns of the Temple of the Pythian Apollo can also be visited. The Acropolis of Rhodes is about 2.6 kilometres away from the cruise port and can be reached on foot in about 35 to 40 minutes. There are plenty of shady spots on Monte Smith, but no shopping facilities. So, especially for longer excursions on your own, you should have enough drinks with you.
- Kallithea Springs
On the east coast and about 8.6 kilometres south of the moorings are the former Thermal Springs of Kalithea. Originally, sulphurous springs bubbled here, which were already used for recreation in ancient times and have since dried up. The architecture visible today dates mainly from the construction measures of 1927-1929. Largely destroyed during World War II, the area fell into oblivion after a revival at the end of the 1960s and increasingly fell into disrepair. After a long period of restoration, the complex, which was built in oriental style and is well worth seeing, was reopened on 1 July 2007 and has since been open to the public again. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to bathe in a thermal spring.
Open daily from 08:00-20:00, children under 12 are admitted free of charge and those aged 13 and over, pay 5 euros each. To relax, you can rent two sunbeds with umbrellas for 15 euros on the neighbouring beach. The price includes two chilled bottles of water and a soft drink. It takes about 10 minutes to get there by rental car* or taxi. There is a free car park directly in front of the entrance.
- Faliraki and Water Park
A few hundred metres below Kallithea Springs is the beginning of the 4.5-kilometre-long beach of Faliraki. It falls quite shallowly into the sea and consists mainly of sand mixed with gravel in some places. The village of Faliraki is considered the tourist stronghold of Rhodes. Here you will find numerous hotels, clubs, bars and restaurants. In the centre, there are also many boutiques, souvenir shops and other shops.
In the northern area there is a large water park with several pools and slides. During the summer season, it is open from May to October from 10:00-18:00. From June to August, it is extended until 19:00. Infants under the age of three are admitted free of charge, those aged 3 to 12 pay 16 euros and older people 24 euros each.
- Butterfly Valley
One of the island's popular excursion destinations is the inland Butterfly Valley, which is densely forested and also known as the Petaloudes Valley. In the middle of it runs a stream with several waterfalls and small ponds. Some of the paths have steps to make it easier to master inclines and are easy to walk on with sturdy shoes*. A visit is particularly worthwhile in the summer months from mid-June to early September. At this time, the moths that give the area its name can be found in large numbers in the nature reserve, where smoking is strictly prohibited. You should also keep quiet at all times and refrain from making loud noises such as whistling and clapping your hands.
The Valley of the Butterflies is about 5 kilometres long, of which 1.5 kilometres are accessible to visitors via three entrances. There are plenty of free parking spaces on site to park your rental car*, which takes about 35 to 45 minutes to reach from the cruise ship berths. Depending on the route chosen, that's 26 to 31 kilometres each way. It is open daily from 08:00-19:00 and admission is 5 euros per person. From October to the end of May there is a reduced entrance fee of 3 euros. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Brochures in German and English are available at the entrances.
- Kritinia Castle
Located about 34 kilometres from the Butterfly Valley and reachable after a 45-minute drive, you will find the remains of Kritinia Castle on the west coast of Rhodes. The quite well-preserved castle complex was built in 1472 by the Knights of St. John and offers a very good view due to the elevated position of 270 meters. Access is free of charge and possible at your own risk. At the foot of the fortress there are parking facilities and a small café/snack bar.
- Castle of Monolithos
On a single 240-meter-high rock is about 27 kilometers further south, a similar structure can be found. The Castle of Monolithos was built in 1476 and can be reached via a stone staircase. A little worse in terms of condition, the castle is equipped with an internal chapel and also a magnificent view of the surrounding area. Here, too, the fortress is left to its own devices and accessible free of charge. Special care should be taken at any wall openings and abysses, as no railings or other fall protection devices have been installed here. There is also a gastronomic facility at the foot of the land elevation for a break of the shore excursion.
On the opposite east coast of Rhodes and about the same height as Monolithos, a charming village nestles on a 166-meter-high land elevation. Often referred to simply as a white village, Lindos was once the most important place on the island and is now a popular destination. One reason for this is probably the remains of the ancient Acropolis, which was developed into afortress by the Knights of St. John and is now open to visitors daily in summer from 08:00-19:00. Admission is 12 euros per person.
The ascent is only possible on foot or by donkey ride for 8 euros each way. Everyone can decide for themselves whether the latter is absolutely necessary. In addition to a visit to the well-maintained and worthwhile site, there is also an excellent panoramic view of the coastal region.
Lindos itself is a listed building and the town centre is completely car-free. Therefore, if possible, you should park the rental car* in one of the surrounding parking lots. To cool off, you can head for one of the three beaches, Lindos Beach, Pallas Beach and/or Saint-Paul Beach. Lindos is about 49 kilometers away from the berths of the cruise ships in Rhodes Town, for which you can calculate with a motorized vehicle about 55 minutes travel time in each direction.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Via the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and entrance fees in Rhodes Town, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book in time, you can realise a variety of excursions on your own.
A small selection of independent excursions for, in and around Rhodes can be found under
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you haven't booked a Mediterranean cruise yet, but would like to get to know Rhodes personally and go on excursions on your own, you will find great offers with the major cruise operators in the German-speaking countries. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer charming itineraries with their modern cruise ships, along with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite cruise line at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the cruise specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. You can choose from a wide range of daily offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. The popular special offers are also attractive, with which you can travel particularly cheaply and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the museums: Monday to Sunday from 09:00-16:00. Occasionally closed on Monday or Tuesday.
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 08:00-14:30
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 08:00-14:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information at the port: Monday to Sunday from 07:00-15:00
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Saturday from 09:00-20:00
- Country code: +30
- Taxi Rhodos: Tel. +30 6932898079 (Taxi Rhodes)
- Taxi Rhodos: Tel. +30 6936656126 (Taxi Rhodes)
- Taxi Rhodos: Tel. +30 22410 65555 (Diagoras Radio Taxi)
- Taxi Rhodos: Tel. +30 22410 69800 in Rhodos-Stadt (Rhodos Radio Taxi)
- Taxi Rhodos: Tel. +30 22410 69600 von außerhalb Rhodos-Stadt (Rhodos Radio Taxi)
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 100
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 166
- Fire Brigade: Tel. 199
- Vaccination recommendation: Tropical Institute Greece
- Security instructions: Federal Foreign Office Greece
- Buses: KTEL (en)
- Buses: RODA prices tickets (gr)
- Bus schedules: KTEL timetables
- Bus schedules: RODA timetables (gr)
- Island map: Rhodes Map
- City map: Rhodes Town Map
- City map: Rhodes Old Town Map
- Climate table: Rhodes Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Rhodes Town
- Webcam: Rhodes Marina
- Travel Guide: Rhodos*
- Official language: Greek
- National currency: Euro, 1 EUR = 100 Cents
More port information on popular cruise destinations in the Mediterranean