©Flickr, Kirk Siang, Chania Central Market
©Flickr, Stefanos Vasdekis, Chania Indoor Market
©Flickr, Tim Dobbelaere, Chania Indoor Market
One of the landmarks of Chania town is the centrally located cross shaped ‘Agora’ (market). This is a busy indoor market selling lots of traditional products such as local Cretan cheese, honey, herbs, nuts, dried fruit, spices, breads, souvenirs, fresh fish (morning only), meat and wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables.
In the summer it is often crowded with tourists but otherwise, even though it is still busy, recent years has seen somewhat of a decline in trade due to the opening of large supermarkets on the outskirts of the city and also restricted parking in the town.
However, as a visitor you will love to see the vibrant colours and appetising smells of the fresh produce. One arm of the cross has the fish stalls, the next has all the butchers, the next houses fruit and vegetables and the 4th is miscellaneous where you might find anything from toys to leather goods. In the centre is a kiosk with magazines, newspapers, books and postcards, and there is also a cafe.
There are a couple of small local tavernas which are next to each other on the wing where the fish stalls are. Appetising traditional home cooked dishes are displayed for you to choose from. Why not ‘go Greek’ and order the special ‘patsas’ (tripe soup) made from tripe and various other ingredients. It is known as other names in some other European countries, all with their own variations, and the Greek version may be seasoned with red wine vinegar and garlic or thickened with egg-lemon. The Geek version sometimes uses calf feet with the tripe. Patsas also has a reputation for remedying a hangover.
Families should know
Kids will love
- A donut at the central cafe or perhaps spinach pie from the bakery
- Choosing gifts to take home, especially perhaps the excellent gift wrapped scented soaps made from olive oil
Parents will love
- Seeing the wonderful fresh produce
- Ouzo/Metaxa/gin/whisky etc. sold in ornate miniature bottles making perfect gifts to take home
- People watching whilst enjoying a coffee at the central café
- Trying ‘patsas’
Best season to visit
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