Mosque in the old Venetian harbor of Chania town on Crete island, Greece.

Skip the big crowds (and costs) of Mykonos and head to this city on the West side of Crete. Accommodations are cheap — Chania has a ton of inexpensive Airbnbs — and so is the food. One recent traveler who responded to Money’s reader poll raved about how “amazing gyros could be found for just a couple Euros.” Head to Oasis, a hole-in-the-wall that serves souvlaki made with a top-secret family recipe, or try the Greek pastry bougatsa at Iordanis Bougatsa. For a more upscale experience, sit by the seaside at Periplous, which serves pasta and freshly caught fish alongside a gorgeous view. You’ll feel fancy without a hefty bill.


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Boats on the Old Port dock in Chania Greece
Courtesy of Chania Tourism Bureau

When you’re ready for a drink, grab a seat at Sinagogi, an old synagogue that’s been turned into an open-air bar, or explore the cocktail menu at Ginger Concept, which has a passion fruit pisco sour and a grape caipirinha (both for under 10 Euros).

Chania is walkable — or bike-able, if that’s more your speed — and that’s one of the top activities for tourists: Wander through the Old Port, browse the Old Town and head over to the lighthouse. And don’t overlook the beaches: visitor favorites include Balos Beach and Elafonissi Beach, the latter of which is famous for its pink sand.

Aerial view of Balos Beach in Chania Greece
Balos Beach Courtesy of Chania Tourism Bureau

VISIT: Balos Beach, Elafonissi Beach; Maritime Museum of Crete
SEE: Greek National Football Museum; Lighthouse of Chania
EAT: Periplous; Bougatsa Iordanis
DRINK: Sinagogi; Ginger Concept; Peacock Tail Bar[