Best Things to Do in Nafplio, Greece

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Updated: April 21, 2020

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The 13 Best Things to Do in Nafplio, Greece

1. Palamidi Fortress

An imposing hilltop fortress at sunset
This imposing Venetian fortress sits high above Nafplio, offering interesting historic exploration and excellent views over the sea and the town below. Built mostly in the early 1700s, Palamidi Fortress is important for being both the setting of one of the first Greek liberations from the Turks and for acting as the prison of the Greek revolutionary hero, Theodoros Kolokotronis. If you choose to access it by climbing its 900+ steps, start early in the morning when the steps are in the shade, and bring water; the path begins just to the right of Kontrabasso Bar. Those looking for less of a challenge can hire a taxi at the entrance to Old Town to take you to the top (about €10); you can arrange for your driver to come back to collect you, or descend the famous steps back to town. A visit to the fortress can take from 20 minutes to multiple hours – those who like to climb and explore will want to plan for at least an hour at the top. Open 8am to 7pm daily. Admission is €8, €4 for non-EU students and EU citizens over 65, free for EU students and all kids up to age 18. • Map

2. Archaeological Museum of Nafplion

Tourists examine displays at the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio
Set inside a classic Venetian building on Nafplio’s Syntagma Square, this impressive but approachable collection makes a good introduction to the history and geology of the surrounding Argolid region. Displayed over two floors and divided historically by civilization, the museum’s collection includes local artifacts that date back to the Paleolithic Era (10,000 BC), the most impressive of which is a bronze suit of armor from neighboring Dendra that is dated to the 15th century BC. You can see the whole museum in an hour or two, depending on your capacity for museums and whether you stop to watch the informative video. Admission is €6, €3 from November to March. Hours vary by season. Closed Tuesdays. • Map

3. Bourtzi Castle

The island castle of Boutrzi, outside of Nafplio, Greece, with a rowboat in the foreground
Bourtzi Castle sits on the small islet of St. Theodoroi just off Nafplio Harbor. Built by the Venetians in 1473, and at one time connected to Nafplio by a long chain in order to keep foreign invaders from accessing the town harbor, the fortress has over the years been a prison, executioner’s residence, hotel, and restaurant. It’s now a popular tourist sight, with boats running twice daily to the island and back. The trip out to the island takes about 10 minutes, and round trip tickets cost €5 for adults, €2 for children 2-8 years. • Map

4. Peloponnese Folklore Foundation

Traditional Greek costume displayed behind glass.
Devoted to the preservation of regional arts and crafts, the Peloponnese Folklore Foundation Museum features displays of traditional textiles and costumes, as well as looms, toys, furniture, and artifacts from Nafplio’s history. The museum’s excellent gift shop, located on the ground floor, is worth a stop even if you don’t have time to visit the museum. Located on the north side of Old Town, just a few blocks from the Marina. Admission is €5, €3 for people under 12 or over 65. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 2:30pm, 9:30am to 3pm Sunday. • Map

5. Swimming at the Lido

Rock-enclosed swimming spot on Nafplio Bay.at the
This lovely seaside swimming spot is just down the promenade from Old Town and ideal for a quick dip in cool water. The sea water here is deep (and sometimes choppy with waves, despite the rocky surround) and the sides of the pool are spotted with sea urchins, so it’s not ideal for kids, but there’s a smaller, shallower (though not as attractive) version located just a bit to the north. Both feature unobstructed views of Bourtzi Castle. Open daily. Free. • Map

6. Arvanitia Promenade

stone walkway between a rocky cliff and the sea
Especially beautiful at sunset, a walk along the Arvanitia promenade is a delightful must-do for any visitor to Nafplio. This flat, easy to navigate path winds between the Argolic Gulf and the steep rocky cliffs beneath Akronafplia Castle, cascading with prickly pear. The promenade begins near the Nafplio harbor lighthouse and ends at Arvanitia Beach, a small, pebbly swimming spot that’s great for kids and features a beach bar in the summer months. (Note: in September 2019, portions of the path were undergoing renovation due to damage from falling rocks.) • Open daily. Free. • Map

7. Day Trip from Nafplio

The ancient amphitheater at Epidavros.

The ancient amphitheater at Epidavros.


Nafplio is a great jumping-off point for day trips to the surrounding area, home to many important archaeological sites, interesting local agriculture, and beautiful islands. Taking a guided tour is an easy way to enjoy and explore the Argolid region, without the hassle of renting (and parking) a car in Nafplio.
The Best Day Tours from Nafplio are:

8. Karonis Distillery Exhibition & Shop

Display of ouzo making atrtifacts
Karonis is an award-winning family-owned distillery that has been producing traditional ouzo, tsipouro, and liqueurs since the 1860s. You can stop by their museum/shop in Old Town for a tasting, or to make an appointment to tour their distillery, located a few minutes’ drive outside of Nafplio. • Shop Map, Distillery Map

9. Akronafplia Castle

The rocky sides of Akronafplia castle above nafplio, and the view to the sea below.
Akronafplia is the oldest of the town’s three fortresses, with sections of wall still remaining from the 4th Century BC. Until the end of the 15th Century, Akronafplia’s walls encompassed the entirety of Nafplio, and today there’s no charge to explore the ruins and enjoy the great view. There are a few ways to access the castle: the road the runs south along the edge of Old Town (past Propolis restaurant and the parking lot for Arvanitia Beach) leads there, as does the pedestrian path running south of Pension Marianna. Those looking to avoid the uphill climb can take the elevator up to Nafplia Palace hotel from Plateia Politiko Nosokomiou in Old Town – from the elevator it’s an easy walk to the fortress ruins. Note that this site is not maintained by the municipality, so it’s a somewhat grittier experience than at Palamidi, without much in the way of helpful signage. Open daily. Free. • Map

10. Komboloi Museum

Entrance to the Komboloi museum in Nafplio, Greece
This small museum is dedicated to the Greek worry beads called komboloi. Up a narrow flight of stairs from the ground-floor shop, a well-curated collection of komboloi from the 1700s through the present day (most made of amber, but many of coral, ivory, ebony, or bone) are displayed alongside Catholic rosaries and strung beads from Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions. Informative signs explain the difference. At €2/person, admission is cheap, and you can experience the entirety of the museum and shop in a half-hour; this unique collection is well worth a stop when you’re strolling through Old Town Nafplio. Open 9:30am to 8pm. Closed Tuesdays. • Map

11. War Museum

Stone exterior of the War Museum in Nafplio, Greece
In a blue-trimmed stone building on one of Old Town’s main thoroughfares, the War Museum of Nafplio houses interesting displays of regional military history, including arms and artifacts from the War of Greek Independence through World War II occupation and resistance. Admission is €3, students free. Open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 2pm, Weekends 10am to 2pm. Closed Mondays. • Map

12. Nafplio National Gallery

Exterior of the National Gallery of Greece, Nafplio Branch, under stormy skies
A short walk from Old Town, and located within a beautiful neoclassical building, the National Gallery – Nafplio Department’s main exhibition space displays artwork dedicated to the subject of the Greek War of Independence, with side galleries featuring traveling collections, well-curated themed exhibits, and a small library of history and art books to peruse. The whole museum can be enjoyed in an hour or so, and air conditioning offers a refreshing respite on a hot day – but be sure to note the museum’s somewhat confusing hours before setting out. Admission is €3, free on Mondays. Open Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10am to 3pm; Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 3pm, and 5pm to 8pm; Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Closed Tuesdays. • Map

13. Go To the Beach

A line of beach umbrellas on a sandy beach, with mountains in the background.

Karathona Beach is a short taxi ride from Old Town Nafplio.


While Nafplio isn’t a beach town per se, there are still plenty of nearby beaches where visitors can enjoy some sun, sand, or a swim in the sea.

  • Arvanitia Beach: This small, pebbly beach is easily accessible from Old town and features a beach cafe in the summer months. Find it at the end of the Arvanitia promenade (15-minute walk), or on the road that runs south along the edge of Old Town (past Propolis restaurant) to the beach’s parking lot. • Map
  • Karathona Beach: Long, sandy, shallow beach with a handful of beach cafes (rent their shaded loungers for the price of a drink) and water-sports vendors. You can walk there from Nafplio in 30-45 minutes along a beautiful seaside path that winds past rocky coves (begin at the Arvanitia Beach parking lot), or grab a taxi at the entrance to Old Town for €10. • Map
  • Tolo: At more than 2km long, Tolo is the biggest and most commercial beach in the region. If you like ample choice of beach bars and plenty of company, Tolo is for you. Accessible from Nafplio via bus (€4, 20 minutes) or taxi (€15, 12 minutes). • Map

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