Looking for Crete Instagram inspiration? Rethymnon is a beautiful city. Often overlooked by Chania and Heraklion, I was completely taken with Rethymnon. Even after nearly a month in Crete, I couldn’t help but be blown away by the city’s charm and beauty. Here are the ten best (in my opinion) and most Instagrammable places in Rethymnon plus their locations so you can find them on your own!
A quick note about naming. The town of Rethymnon goes by many different names (Rethimno, Rethymno, Réthymnon, and Rhíthymnos). This is due to the transliteration of the town name from the Greek alphabet. We use Rethymnon in most places in this article for clarity, but you may find companies or other websites use Rethymno, etc.
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Where to Stay in Rethymnon
While accommodations in Rethymnon are affordable compared to many resort towns in Greece, prices can vary greatly between the high season and off-season. We’ve broken down where to stay in Rethymnon according to a few different budget ranges. Here is a general range of what we mean by each budget category:
- Budget: A room in a hostel, usually $15-25 USD per night for a dorm bed or under $50 for a double.
- Mid-range: Around $60-$90
- Luxury: Around $100 per night or more
Budget: For an adventurous take on budget accommodations, we recommend Camping Elizabeth. Located just three kilometers outside of Rethymnon, this camping ground has caravans, tents, and bungalows to rent! Each includes outdoor furniture and access to a fridge, which means you can keep your costs even more in check. There is an onsite taverna serving local dishes, and a bus stop is just three hundred meters away. A great way to stay close to nature and the beach while enjoying Rethymnon during the day. Check rates and availability here.
Mid-range: For a seafront hotel that is surprisingly affordable, we recommend Sea Front Old Town. The location is in the middle of the old town and right on the sea, with most rooms having scenic balconies showing off either the seafront or the old town. Since Rethymnon is so beautiful, you really can’t go wrong with either view. It’s a great bargain, too – check rates, reviews, photos, and availability here.
Luxury: For a true luxury experience in Rethymnon, we recommend the five-star Rimondi Boutique Hotel. The rooms are stunning (thing Instagram-worthy), and the location can’t be beaten since the Venetian Harbor is only a four-minute walk away. If you want an extra dose of relaxation, you can use the onsite Turkish bath and massage services. Check rates, reviews, photos, and availability here.
Still Looking? Check out our full Rethymnon Hotel Guide.
The Best Rethymnon Instagram Spots
From famous landmarks to hidden gems, here are our favorite Rethymnon photography locations.
The Egyptian Lighthouse
When in Rethymnon, one goes to the lighthouse. It’s impossible to imagine anyone coming to the city and not seeing it. However, there are better times for photographing Rethymnon’s most iconic spot. During the day, especially in the high summer, the light can get harsh. Instagram is awash with washed-out and overexposed photos from here. I think that photographing it at golden hour does wonders, bringing out the deep colors of the water and giving a better background for the sky.
Many different angles work. You can go all around the harbor, seeing what works and what doesn’t. There’s a crane behind it, so some angles will only work if you can photoshop it out. You can also take an interesting shot of the lighthouse through the arch of the tourism office nearby.
Location: Egyptian Lighthouse, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
Looking Up to the Fortezza
There are many great shots taken from the Fortezza looking out, but my favorite view is from the ground looking up at the watchtower. You get beautiful rocks and waves in your shot. One of my favorite things to do in Rethymnon is to walk along the shore at sunset, and this photograph sums up what this experience feels like.
If you start at the Egyptian Lighthouse and make your way towards the bus station, you’ll find dozens of places you want to stop and photograph. This relatively short walk is packed full of beauty.
Location: the parking lot near Leof. Emmanouil Kefalogianni 18, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
The Venetian Harbor
You need to set aside a lot of time for your trip to the Egyptian Lighthouse since the Venetian Harbor is just next to it. Between the two, you can easily take hundreds of shots and selfies, testing out a million different angles. The boats in the harbor are one of my favorite sites in Rethymnon, along with the beautiful waterfront restaurants and cafes behind them.
Location: Venetian Harbour, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
Crete is full of beautiful beaches, and no doubt a relaxing day lounging in a sunbed and lapping up waves is high on your to-do list. The beaches here offer great opportunities for photography. While none of them can compare to say, the natural beautify of Seitan Limania, there is still so much to enjoy here. And you don’t have to climb down a terrifying cliff to get to the beaches of Rethymnon, so that’s a major plus!
Location: there are tons of beaches, but one example is at
Streets of the Old City
These charming blue steps in the Old City are next to the tavern Vassilis. Thank you to Stelios for helping us find the exact address! Stop by the tavern (which is his Uncle’s) for a refreshing drink after getting your Instagram pics!
Location: Chimaras 27, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
This is where you go to Rethymnon if you want to see the city’s best murals and street art. If you’re the kind of Instagrammer who longs for a colorful wall and a hint of cool, then look no further.
Location: Mikrasiaton Square, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
Greece is full of beautiful wayside shrines. These poignant spots are often put in beautiful settings, like this one at the base of the Fortezza. It’s almost impossible not to photograph them, as they seem so important and ethereal.
I encourage you to take your pictures, but there are a few things to know before you start shooting. Many of these mark the sites of accidents, and many Greek Orthodox believe that the person who died is still here in part. Also, these are important religious spots, doubly so because they are so personal.
If you choose to photograph them and post them on Instagram, be respectful. Don’t vandalize them or change them in any way. If they are not a part of your culture, then use your platform to further an understanding of a culture different than your own.
Location: Below the Fortezza on Leof. Emmanouil Kefalogianni
Globe Monument in Memorial Park
If your Instagram account is dedicated to travel, or if you’re just an avid traveler yourself, then your heart will flip standing by this giant globe monument in Memorial Park. There’s so much room for creativity here (way more than my straightforward picture).
I have been having a hard time finding out what the monument is to, so be respectful. I’d avoid yoga poses, for example, until you know more about it. (I tend to avoid yoga-Instagram in general, but that’s just because I have no flexibility whatsoever). If you know more about the monument, let me know in the comments so I can update this post.
Location: Near the Fortezza on Leof. Emmanouil Kefalogianni by the Bus Station
Dining at Avli in Rethymnon is picture-perfect, with a mix of old-school Greek charm and modern sophistication. You really can’t ask for a more perfect setting to dine in during your Crete vacation, especially if you go when the flowers are in full bloom.
Location: Xanthoudidou 22, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
Want to discover the city and take the best photos in town? Then a self-guided tour that you can download on your phone can allow you to check the old town at your own pace and stop all the times you want to get the best possible shots!
Rimondi Fountain is one of the city’s best-known sites, but nearly every photograph I’ve seen of it on Instagram is bad. My photos of the fountain are bad. This is a hard place to photograph. If the light is off even a tiny bit then it will be covered in shadows. It’s in kind of a strange corner, so there’s not a lot of space to work with. It’s historically important and some elements are beautiful, but altogether it is kind of a weird shape. Finally, most people’s photos (including mine) mess up their colors to better deal with the godawful shadows.
So why is it on my list of the most Instagrammable places in Rethymnon? Well, first, you’re going to see it. Second, you’re going to want to photograph it. And if you’re doing research ahead of time for places to photograph in Rethymnon, then you have enough time to plan your shot.
After combing through hundreds of IG photos of the fountain, this is the only example of one that I liked. Seriously. The only one. Shots of just the fountain were never really done well enough to be interesting, and far more often they were a mess. Shots of people in front of the fountain work better, but they’re still tricky. In most of the photographs I’ve seen of people in front of the fountain, the people look unrelated to the fountain like they’re in an entirely different picture. I’m telling you, this is one hard landmark to nail.
I think the reason this one works is her dress is bright but doesn’t clash with the fountain, and her hat pulls out some of the colors of the fountain without competing against it or being too beigy. I’m sure other colors would work, like maybe baby pinks and light oranges, but the shots I saw of all black and all red were just not right.
You can also see how she was still dealing with some shadows, but she’s standing just so that her head looks like it’s being framed by the natural light. Seriously, this simple photo gets so many things right that the average shot of this fountain misses.
So plan what you need to plan. Get your lighting right. Or opt for beautiful detail shots. And if you hate everything you shot, you won’t be the first (or the last) IGer to be taken down by the fountain.
Location: Mavrokordatou Alexanrou, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
Crete Travel Resources
Most people who come to Rethymnon also explore other parts of this beautiful island. Here are additional Crete travel resources to help you with your trip.
- 44 Fabulous Things to Do in Rethymnon & Bonus Travel Guide
- Rethymnon Hotel Guide
- Planning a Trip to Greece: Your Travel Checklist
- 7 Best Beaches in Crete
- Seitan Limania Beach: Crete’s Most Gorgeous Hidden Secret
5 Things to Bring with You to Crete
If you’re planning a trip to Crete, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more packing tips, check out our complete Greece packing list.
– A physical guidebook, on paper or Kindle. We love Lonely Planet Greece for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.
– A water bottle with a filter. While generally, the tap water in Santorini is drinkable, we generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! There are places on the island where the water tastes like minerals.
We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.
– Motion sickness pills. Santorini roads are winding, especially around the coast. If you have a weak stomach as we do, save yourself and bring some non-drowsy motion sickness pills.
– Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, TP & other Balkan transit needs. Bathrooms in the Balkans tend to be… how can we say it?… not so well-stocked. Save yourself the disappointment and bring a mini-rescue pack of wet wipes & hand sanitizer.
– Travel safety items. We think Santorini is very safe to travel to, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie nor I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack.
It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
More Crete Travel Resources
Headed to Crete? If this is your first trip to Greece, check out our guide to Planning a Trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and everything else you need to consider as you plan your trip.
For Heraklion, make sure to read our guide to the best Heraklion restaurants and cafes.
If you’ll be exploring the rest of the island, we have guides to things to do in Rethymnon, Rethymnon Instagram spots, and where to stay in Rethymnon, which includes hotels and hostel recommendations.
We publish new articles and trip advice nearly daily! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages, where you’ll find our entire archive plus anything new we publish before you leave for your trip.
Don’t Travel to Crete without Travel Insurance
Finally, make sure you always travel to Crete with a valid travel insurance policy. While Rethymnon is a very safe place to travel, you want to make sure you have your possessions covered if they’re stolen and your medical bills covered if you get sick or injured. This is especially true if you plan on doing any water sports like snorkeling, diving, or boating.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Pin This Rethymno Instagram Guide for Your Trip to Crete
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.