The capital of the Greek island of Corfu, Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Twin fortresses, known as the Old Fortress and the New Fortress, stand atop two hills overlooking the old town, where you’ll find cobbled lanes strung with clotheslines, squares, museums, and an astonishing number of churches for a city of its size.
Corfu Town is a charming place for a shop or a wander, and among the best places on the island to delve into local history. The town is a common stop-off on day tours of the island, which typically combine a guided walking tour of the city with stops at the likes of Achillion Palace, the Monastery of the Virgin Mary of Paleokastritsa, Kanoni, and some of the island’s beaches.
For history buffs exploring independently, there are several interesting museums, including the Antivouniotissa Museum, which displays Byzantine artwork and artifacts, and Corfu Living History, a waxwork-filled townhouse showcasing life on the island in the mid-19th century.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Corfu Town is a must for history buffs and souvenir shoppers.
- Wear sturdy shoes for strolling around Corfu Town as many of the streets are cobbled.
- The narrow streets, cobblestone surfaces, and stepped entrances of the old town make wheelchair access difficult.
How to Get There
Corfu Town is situated on the east coast of the island. Travelers arriving by cruise ship usually dock at a port just over 1 mile (2 kilometers) west of the old town, and local buses and shuttle buses run between the two. Local blue bus 15 travels between Corfu Town and the airport, about 1 mile (2 kilometers) southwest of town.
When to Get There
Corfu Town, particularly the historical core, is busiest between June and August. As a visit requires some walking and the midday heat can be intense, it’s best to come either early in the morning or in late afternoon. Note that some restaurants and shops close for a siesta between around 3pm and 5pm.
What to See and Do in Corfu Town
Part of the pleasure of Corfu Town is simply wandering about and seeing what you happen upon, whether a quiet back alley or a bustling square. There are several sights in Corfu Town worth seeking out, including the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, which displays everything from Chinese ceramics to Japanese samurai armour. Elsewhere, the arcade-lined Liston promenade is a good place to shop, while Spianada Square is ideal for people-watching.