There’s no better place in Crete to go clubbing than the capital of the island, Heraklion. Of course, Crete is nothing like Mykonos, Ios, or other Greek islands better known for wild night parties, but the city still remains the place to go for great nightlife on Crete.
Although there are more pubs and bars than dancing clubs and discos in the city center, you just need to drive a few minutes to the east and reach the resorts of Malia and Hersonissos to find the most exclusive clubs in Crete.
Here, we will tell you which are the places you should definitely check out at night for great drinks and music in and around Heraklion.
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Where to Stay in Crete
The island of Crete is so big and diverse that it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy when It comes to deciding on the best areas to stay on the island. Since you will most probably be arriving at the capital, Heraklion, or spending some time in the wonderful western town of Chania, we have included here some of the top accommodations in both places. For more places to stay in Crete, check this site.
Here are our top suggestions for where to stay in Crete. In most cases, budget means hotel stays for around $40 a night, mid-range is from about $50-80 per night, and luxury will cost over $100 per night.
Nightlife in Heraklion: Best Clubs in the Center of Town
In no particular order, these are some of the places we recommend for great nightlife in the center of Heraklion
Envy Cafe Club
Right in front of the sea, Envy Cafe Club animates the evenings in the capital of Crete. Locally known as Envy, this club is well-known all over the island for the stunning cocktails, amazing views, and characteristic laid-back atmosphere.
The place also features excellent music and great for an evening with friends.
Location: Sofokli Venizelou, Heraklion – (open all day)
Island of Desire
The Island of Desire is the must-go club in Heraklion. Loved by tribes of all ages, they play the summer hits as well as classics. It’s considered one of the best clubs on the island, equally loved by locals and tourists.
This disco tends to get really crowded especially in the summer months. Great cocktails, fantastic music, friendly staff, and a unique holiday atmosphere.
Location: Sofokli Venizelou 95, Heraklion – (open all night).
Halavro Open Bar
Great atmosphere for this open space that’s becoming a trendy place to be in the center of town. Halavro Open Bar is my absolute favorite place for a fun night out. The music and the atmosphere are simply great.
Halavro serves great cocktails in a cozy atmosphere with a good music selection. The friendly staff at the venue will definitely make your visit a memorable one. There is also an open kitchen available.
Location: Milatou 10, Heraklion – (10 am – 4 am).
Located in one of the hottest spots of Heraklion’s nightlife, Plastelina remains one of my favorite places to go at night for a drink or two.
It’s a funny, little place, with just a few places to sit, but with a great choice in music and a plentiful list of cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. If you want to enjoy an easy-going night in Heraklion, surrounded by a relaxing atmosphere, then Plastelina is a great choice just steps away from Lions Square.
Location: Ideou Antrou, Heraklion – (10 am – 3 am).
A classic place to discover in town has always been The Bitters. It doesn’t come as a surprise that they offer the greatest selection of bitters in Crete!
The place exudes a 1920s atmosphere, inspired by the Prohibition Times in America. More than a regular bar, this speakeasy is a favorite place among locals. The cocktail list includes super cocktails most of them featuring a top variety of bitters.
Location: 25 Idis Street, Heraklion.
Think Tank 3rd Wave
Another of my favorite places to spend the evening in Heraklion is Think Tank 3rd Wave. Open long hours, day and night, this is a coffee and wine bar located in an impressive building
If you’re checking this place out with a group of friends, it’s a great idea to book a table at the gorgeous terrace in advance as it tends to be crowded. They specialize in local Cretan wines and in some uniquely crafted coffees with special ingredients and tasty toppings.
Location: Andreou Kritis 7, Heraklion.
Best Nightclubs in the Coastal Resort of Malia, Heraklion
Malia is an important resort less than half an hour from the city center which concentrates the highest number of pubs, beach bars, clubs, and discos in Crete.
For years, Malia has been known as a must-go place for dancing, fun nights, and exciting experiences, these are the best clubs to check in the town of Malia.
A long-time favorite, Apollo is known as Malia’s biggest and best urban club. Located right in the heart of Malia’s infamous strip, Apollo is one of those places loved by tourists and locals alike.
Appolo Club promises an unforgettable experience, as their motto claims, especially when it comes to their famous themed parties, such as the All In One Wristband (with free entrance in summer), the Go Deep Thursdays, the Full Moon Parties, the White Parties, and of course, the VIP Treatment.
Location: Dimokratias 110, Malia – (12 am – 6 am)
Warehouse Club Malia
Every season, Warehouse Club Malia kickstarts the summer evenings in Heraklion with its spectacular opening parties. Oftentimes, this venue presents the most popular DJ guests in Europe.
Warehouse Club is considered one of the hottest clubs in Malia Strip. You can easily choose amonth Rave parties, great cocktails, and an unparalleled summer atmosphere. Another well-known location on the island, Warehous Club Malia is another top choice in town.
Location: Dimokratias 81, Malia – (open all night).
Zig Zag Club and Lounge
Great music and crazy but casual atmosphere at Zig Zag Club and Lounge. This top nightclub is located on the main street of Malia and every summer attracts hundreds of your people looking for fun nights and music.
The place is best known for the friendly and welcoming staff and for serving great cocktails at very affordable prices. Zig Zag is often busy both with locals and visitors.
Location: Dimokratias 101, Malia – (open all night).
The Best Nightclubs in Hersonissos, Heraklion
Another great place to be near Heraklion to spend the best summer nights is Hersonissos, a popular resort east of the city center, and not very far from Malia.
Hersonissos has earned a reputation for its bars and pubs. It’s a favorite place for Europeans looking for loud music and wild nights in Heraklion. These are some of the places to rock the night away in Hersonissos.
New York Beach Club
Picture this: outdoor seating, stunning bar, beach-like atmosphere, great cocktails, and magnificent music… Everything combines in New York Beach Club, one of Crete’s top nightclubs right on the beach.
The famous Hersonissos venue is located on the main strip in town and it’s the absolute place to be if you want to experience a real taste of nightlife in one of the most famous beach resorts in Crete.
Location: Agias Paraskevis 30, Limenas Hersonissou – (9 pm – 5 am).
Palm Beach Club
Shisha bar in the outdoor space and great disco atmosphere indoors, Palm Beach Club is famous for the fantastic cocktails and the excellent bar service.
The place is really well-known on the island and visited by locals and tourists that every summer, DJs come from all over Greece to make the Palm Beach crowds dance all night long in the seaside promenade of Hersonissos.
Location: 25 Martiou, Hersonissos – (9 pm – 5 am).
Enigma Nightlife Hersonissos
Although a bit on the expensive side, Enigma is another top club located by the beach in the heart of Hersonissos nightlife area, right on the beach.
Enigma receives young crowds from all over the island as well as from the rest of Greece and it has become a classic place also for European tourists spending their summer in Crete. Great music, tasty cocktails, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Location: Agias Paraskevis, Limenas Hersonissou (12 am – 9 am).
As you can see, there’s no small choice of places to go dancing at night in Heraklion. There are also unique pubs and wine bars as well as cozy bars with a more relaxed vibe to enjoy conversation and to spend a great time with friends.
What to Pack for the Perfect Crete Vacation
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, check out our Essential Crete Packing List.
– A Physical Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece book as a starter, but you may also want to pick up the Lonely Planet Crete which covers the island more in-depth.
– A water bottle with a filter. While generally, the tap water in big cities on Crete 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! 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. Crete bus rides can cause motion sickness! 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 on trains and buses 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 Crete is very safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Allison 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? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide that explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.
If you’re still trying to work out where to go on the island, check out this perfect 2 days Heraklion itinerary as well as our guide to the best places to visit in Crete and our favorite Crete beaches.
If this will be one of your first trips to the Greek islands, check out our massive Greek Island hopping guide as well as our recommendations for where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit.
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Crete, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world! We have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
Pin this Guide about Heraklion Nightlife for Your Next Adventures in Crete!
Gabi Ancarola is a translator and travel journalist living in Crete. She regularly writes about the island for several magazines about travel, gastronomy, and hospitality. She has published several travel guides about Greece and runs a local gastronomy tour in Chania. She loves cooking local dishes, taking photos, and driving on the mountain roads of Crete.