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Kos Things to Do – Attractions and Must See

SmarterTravel

Kos Things to Do

A popular destination for young tourists attracted by beaches and an active nightclub scene, the Greek island of Kos has a rich cultural history.

Cultural Destinations

After a stop at the Municipal Tourist Information Office to pick up local maps and guidebooks, your self-guided tour begins as you go under the stone bridge towards the center of town and Nerantzia Castle. Built by the Knights of St John in the 16th century, the castle dominates the Kos Town waterfront. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was said to have taught his students under an enormous plane tree nearby. The ruins of Asklepieion, an ancient healing center where Hippocrates was trained, lie not far outside the city.

The archaeological museum of Kos on Eleftherias Square in the center of town displays exquisite mosaics, ceramics, and statues from Ancient Greek and Roman times. In the eastern zone, use your imagination to travel back in time as you stroll through the ruins of mosaic floors, temples, and shrines of the ancient agora (marketplace).

Next, visit the ruins of a bath house, gymnasium, a nymphaeum (grotto or sanctuary) and Casa Romana. Not far from there, the ancient Roman Odeon Amphitheater is still in use today. Keep an eye out for the clever tunnel built beneath it that allows actors to exit the stage from one side and reenter from the other.

Near the center of the town is the restored Defterdar Mosque. Although not open to the public it is an excellent example of 18th century Ottoman architecture. The Loggia Mosque is another beautiful building. In disrepair and no longer used as a mosque, visitors browse through tourist shops on the ground floor. The Church of Agia Paraskevi on the main square is an impressive structure with a richly decorated interior.

Beaches and Bars

After a busy day of sightseeing, travelers often head for the beaches and bars. Tickle your toes at Paradise Beach, sometimes called Bubble Beach –  feel warm bubbles caused by volcanic gasses drifting up from the ocean floor. For an unusual experience, try bathing at Therma, a hot spring on the edge of the sea reputed to have remarkable healing powers.

Take a stroll along the promenade at Kos Harbor and watch the colorful boats, yachts, and ships come and go. Take a day cruise to nearby islands or even across the sea to Turkey just 10 minutes away by hydrofoil.  Buy fresh fish from the fishermen who sell it from their boats each morning. When you’re ready for some refreshment, there is no shortage of cafes, tavernas, and bars around the harbor.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Kos – attractions and must see.

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