8 Tips for first time Nafplio visitor

Nafplio old city

8 Tips for Nafplio first time visitor

If you are visiting Nafplio for first time, get to know the city with our tips and our Nafplio city guide

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Nafplio old city

Over the last 20 years, Nafplio has gone from a small city to an international cultural destination. With a quiet, island vibe, Nafplio has plenty to take in once you know where to go, from the old city downtown, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia castles to the Bourtzi fortress and the amazing beaches.

Travel tips for first time Nafplio visitor

The "Laiki" - local market

Every Wednesday and every Saturday at one of the most known streets in Nafplio, you find “Laiki” – a local market event where local producers offer their products.

You will be able to find the most fresh fruits and vegetables, plus if you are not familiar with the concept, which by the way it is very known between Greeks, you will enjoy the experience!

Shopping in Nafplio

Nafplio is a small city, despite that, there are many many shops where you can enjoy shopping. From the old city downtown, where you can find many retail traditional shops to the Sideras Merarhias and Argous streets, you will have a range of different options for shopping.

Don’t miss the chance to visit some of the traditional shops selling local products, for local desserts (mainly pastry and dairy).

The red bus

It is not a double floor one, but still Nafplio has its own red bus! It is a great way for you to see the city of Nafplio and some of its landmarks, like the “Lion on the rocks”.

The train

You can find this train next to the port and it is a great option for you to explore the city of Nafplio! If you have kids, they will love it!

The bike

Nafplio is a city full of pedestrians streets and squares! The best way to explore Nafplio, if you are not a fun of walking, is the bike! Next to the port you can rent a bike for 2 or 4 and explore all the secret areas of Nafplio old city downtown!

The boat to Bourtzi

The top landmark of Nafplio is Bourtzi fortress, a castle-island in the middle of the port! Do not miss the chance to take the boat from the port and visit it!

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Go fishing

At the end of the port, you can find “Omilos” or “Banieres” – a place where you can go fishing! The location is also great for amazing views to the Argolis Gulf.

The path

There is an amazing rocky path that starts from the port and ends very close to the Bourtzi fortress, just on the back side. From this path you will enjoy the best view to the Nafplio city ever!

Nafplio Arvanitia beach

The best things to do in Nafplio

Nafplio with its picturesque old city downtown with an amazing architecture will for sure be one of the most beautiful cities you ever visited! Full of history, with many landmarks, castles, fortresses and museums, offers you many things to do and see. Find our customized city guide for Nafplio

Things to do in Nafplio

Your full guide for Nafplio city

For more information and suggestions for Nafplio city and Peloponnese region in Greece, visit our blog

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What to see in Nafplio, Peloponnese | The most beautiful Greek city

Nafplio old city downtown

What to see in Nafplio, Peloponnese | The most beautiful Greek city

Nafplio is the most beautiful Greek city and a top place to visit in Peloponnese. You will have too many things to see and do in the city that for sure you will come back more than one time!

Nafplio Arvanitia beach
Arvanitia Beach Nafplio

Nafplio is well known for its old city downtown, full of small pedestrian streets, the historical buildings, its unique architecture and its 2 castles and 1 fortress.

Nafplio is a timeless city. Streets that are barely if ever used by automobiles, shops, restaurants and cafes selling the same things they have been selling all century (with the exception of the tourist shops) and people who have a kind of homegrown sophistication. Nafplio is a hip little city that will certainly remind you of a more romantic age than the one we are in now.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the heart of Nafplio old city downtown. Surrounded by historical buildings, the Syntagmatos square is also full of cafes, restaurants and shops. The city’s archeological museum is also located at the west side of the square and it is one of the places in Nafplio that deserves your time to visit.

The square it is one of the best preserved 19th Century squares in Greece. You will love to walk there and explore all these little shops around. A break for a coffee or for food at any of the restaurants and cafes, it is a must!

There are a number of important churches in Nafplion and even a mosque or two. The old town is made up of Venetian buildings and neoclassical mansions.


Nafplio old city downtown

Mpoumpoulinas Street - the sidewalk next to the port

The Bouboulinas Street which follows the port is a place where people watch the sunset and walk off their evening meals. The street is full of restaurants and some amazing colourful historical buildings. The street is also amazing for the sunset view!

Exactly behind the Mpoumpoulinas street, there are many small streets that belong to Nafplio old city downtown. Make sure to walk also at these small streets and enjoy the most colourful neighbourhood you ever visited!

All the streets have many shops, cafes and restaurants and you will find some nice places also for a glass of wine. 

Bourtzi Fortress

Nafplio Greece Acronafplia

Once you pass the Mpoumpoulinas street, you will have a great view to the Bourtzi fortress. Located in the middle of the port, Bourtzi is unique fortified islet. It used to be a prison for many years, today is the symbol of Nafplio!

The fortress is reached by small boat from the port.

The round of Arvanitia Beach

Acronafplia Nafplio

If you continue walking after Mpoumpoulinas street, you will end up at the end of the port, where you can see the port’s lighthouse. From there you will be able to enjoy special views to Bourtzi fortress looking in front of you and if you turn on the back side you will enjoy amazing view to the city’s castles, Palamidi and Acronafplia!

Next to the port, there is a very small path that you can take and continue to walk around the Acronafplia hill – castle. We call it the round of Arvanitia because it ends at the Arvanitia beach.

The whole path is builded next to the sea, from the right side you will enjoy unique view to the Argolis gulf and on the left side you will have the Acronafplia hill.

Having a lighthouse, a cave, a monastery hidden in the hill, the round of Arvanitia is a must once you are in Nafplio.

Palamidi Castle

The Palamidi castle, which sits above and dominates the city, is actually three separate fortresses walled together.

There are 999 steps leading up to the fortress and from the top there is a spectacular view of the city and much of the entire bay and the eastern Peloponnese. 

You can also drive to the castle (it takes around 4 to 6 minutes).


Acronafplia Castle

Nafplio old city downtown

The Acronafplia is the oldest part of the city, in fact up until the Venetians and the Franks arrived in the 13th Century, it was the city.You can drive or walk up past the fortifications and the views of the town and port to the north and the rocky shore and the Peloponnese to the south.

Acronafplia castle is full of hidden spots for amazing city views. You will for sure love it! Acronafplia is also the best place in Nafplio to enjoy the sunset!



Interesting archeological sites close to Nafplio

There are enough interesting archaeology sites in the area to make Nafplion a good place to base yourself.

Ancient Mycenae and Ancient Epidaurus are the two MUST SEE archeological sites. Both of them located only 20Km away from Nafplio city.

Nafplion is a great place to visit especially in the off season when you want to do nothing but shop, eat, drink and watch life in this small city.

Kondili beach nafplio

If you are planning to visit Nafplio anytime soon, you can find our city guide to be your support on planning your trip. Click the button below to explore Nafplio’s city guide:

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Mycenaen Civilization | Ancient Mycenae | Nafplio,Greece

Mycenae Archeological Site

The Mycenaean Civilization (c. 1700-1100 BC) named after their major center, a city called Mycenae aprox 20kms North from Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greece. Their civilization flourished during the Late Bronze Age. The Mycenaean Civilization was influenced by the Minoan one which had flourished during the Early Bronze Age and started from Knossos, Crete. The Mycenaeans dominated most of the Greek Mainland and some of the Greek Islands and had trade relations with Cyprus, Levant and Egypt.

The Mycenaeans were Greeks who created their own culture influenced by the Minoan and other Mediterranean cultures. Some of the major centers of the Mycenaean civilization were located in the Eastern Peloponnese region including, Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, Midea, and Sparta. The largest city of all the above is the Mycenae were even today visitors can admire the citadel, tholos tombs from the 16th century BC, shaft graves, the Cyclopean Walls and the Lion Gate, the entrance made from huge stones and having the famous pair of lions.

At all the Mycenean centers there are complex buildings, all of them sharing common architecture features. All the buildings were built around a large rectangular central hall or Megaron. The Megaron consisted of an entrance porch, a vestibule and the hall itself. This was the main area of the palace that contained a large circular hearth with four wooden columns supporting a holed ceiling. Usually there was a second smaller hall, the Queens Megaron, many private apartments and other areas such as storage, administration and manufacturing. The rooms in the palace were constructed with rubble fill and cross-beamed walls that were covered with limestone blocks at the outside, plaster inside and were richly decorated with fresco paintings.

At the outside of the complex there was a huge wall, consists of huge stones that were called the Cyclopean walls, taking their name from the Cyclopes. People could not imagine how can someone move these walls rather than the Cyclopes. The Cyclopean Walls were up to 13m (42.6ft) high and up to 8m (26ft) thick. Mycenaeans used to include a terrace at the agricultural lands, damns for flood management and small bridges that were built from stone blocks.

Find the 5 MUST SEE archeological sites to visit in Greece – Click HERE.

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio | by Vida Hospitality

Vida Residential Apartments | Rent a holiday apartment in Nafplio

One of the most well-known landmarks of the city of Nafplio is the main fortress in the city, the Palamidi Fortress. In the old times where there were not cars and gps people who wanted to reach Nafplio were using Palamidi as the point of direction in order to know how to reach the city. Built in the highest point of the city, on top of the 216m hill, Palamidi is visible even from many kilometers away.

So, Palamidi is the final important fortress that was built from Venetians’ outside of their own country. They started the construction in 1711 and by 1714 the massive fortress was already built. One year after the completion of the Fortress the Turks defeated and took control of the castle. During 1822, when Greeks won their independence, in one night they were able to take control of the city by controlling the Palamidi fortress.

The Palamidi, which takes its name by the Homeric hero Palamidis, was built based on the design of Giaxich and Lasalle and was based on a system of mutually supporting and mutually defending bastions, which are all connected each other and were built in different levels and with different directions in order to protect the city.

The Aghios Andreas bastion that was the best equipped was the headquarters. Each occupant of the fortress was changing the name of the bastion with heroes or important people form their nation. Nowadays the names of the bastions come from Geek people that are directly connected with the Greek history.  To the North of the fortress there are the Leondias and Miltiadis bastions, to the North-West the Robert one, to the South the Themistocles and to the East side is the Achilles bastion. All the above bastions were constructed by the Venetians while the last one, the Epameinondas was completed during the Turkish occupations and the Fokion one was entirely built by the Turks.

In the 29th November of 1822, Staikos Staikopoulos lead a unit of Greek rebels and within one night was able to take control of the Palamdi fortress with a surprise attach that started from the bastion of Achilles.

Some of the bastions of Palamidi were used as a prison later on the history. In 1833, Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the leaders of the revolution, was imprisoned in Palamidi, during the time of the regency, when King Otto was still a minor. The Miltiadis bastion was converted also as a prison from 1840 till around 1926.

There are two ways to reach the top of the Palamidi hill, either by car driving around the hill or by the staircases that are located at the West of the fortress and lead to downtown Nafpio. Locals still support that there are 999 steps and the last one was destroyed by Kolokotronis’ horse. Some support that this story was created by some people who wanted to emphasize how greedy was Theodoros Kolokotronis. Once you are in the Palamidi fortress you can see the impressive water tanks that are used even today to collect rainwater.

Things to do in Nafplio, Greece | Full Guide for Nafplio | Vida Hospitality

Nafplio Arvanitia beach


Nafplio Greece Arvanitia Beach
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Nafplio, the most beautiful city in Greece

Nafplio was the first capital of modern Greece . – today, Nafplio is the most beautiful city in Greece and one of the most romantic places you ever visited. Nafplio offers you a range of different things to do in and close to the city, being a great destination for your next vacation.

Nafplio is an ideal places for both families with kids and couples. The city is family friendly and in the same time, Nafplio can be a great romantic place for couples who really want to enjoy some great time together.

2 castles, 1 fortress, 2 must see archeological sites, more than 15+ different beaches, a picturesque old city downtown full of pedestrian streets and squares, many hidden paths next to the see, great spots for city views, best dining options – all these make Nafplio a top destination for your holidays.

Nafplio, a top destination for your vacation

What to do in Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio city paths

Nafplio is a city full of pedestrian streets. More than that, Nafplio has some really amazing paths that you will love. Explore all of them here.

Karathona Beach Nafplio
Nafplio Greece Arvanitia Beach

Places to visit in Nafplio

Nafplio has many landmarks that deserve your time to visit. Palamidi castle, Acronafplia castle, Bourtzi fortress and an amazing old city downtown.

Restaurants & Cafe in Nafplio

Nafplio offers a big range of dining options. Many nice restaurants and cafes with great city views are located across the city’s old downtown and port.

Nafplio Greece Bourtzi

Byzantine churches in and close to Nafplio

Archeological sites in and close to Nafplio

Nafplio is a city of history. There are many archeological sites and museums inside the city but the 2 MUST SEE archeological sites are Ancient Mycenae and Ancient Epidaurus, both located on a short distance from Nafplio.

Nafplio old city downtown
karathona beach

Short trips from Nafplio

Nafplio, because of its location, can be your base to explore the Peloponnese region and the Saronic gulf islands.

Wineries close to Nafplio

Nafplio is located close to Nemea and Argos, where some of the most well known wineries of Greece are located.

Vida Hospitality Nafplio

Monuments in Nafplio city

Nafplio, heaven on earth

Beaches in and close to Naplio

Nafplio and all the area close to the city is full of amazing beaches. Karathona, Arvanitia and many many more.

Nafplio, Greece, Karathona beach

Kids outdoor playgrounds in Nafplio

Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece

Nafplio city

Called one of the most beautiful and most romantic Greek cities, located  only 120 km from Athens, Nafplion takes pride in being also the first capital of the modern Greece.

Ideal destination for families

Turbulent  history  has shaped its architecture and overall culture and tradition, so expect to experience Frankish, Venetian and Turkish influence combined in one idilic mosaic picture that will make you fall in love with this city.

Romantic Nafplio

Nafplio is the first capital of Greece and is considered as “The Capital of Romance” in Greece. There are so many things that can bring you closer to him and help you create unforgettable memories from a Romantic Gateway! It is called also “The Venice of Greece”

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