The town of Kos impressed us by its numerous attractions.
While planning our vacation on Kos Island we were going to devote not more than a few hours to visiting the attractions. But later we dropped the idea of going to another island in favor of Kos Town and it wasn’t a mistake. Kos is home to many interesting attractions. Visiting the attractions, souvenirs shops and one of the taverns took us the better part of the day.
So here is the list of the major attractions in Kos:
The Castle of Joanites (The Castle of the Knights of Saint John) is considered to be the major attraction in Kos. A rather big castle that has withstood the ravages of time is located right on the quay near the harbor.
The construction of the castle was started by the Knights of the order of Saint John who came to Kos Island in 14th century.
The castle consists of two parts: the oldest interior part and the more modern exterior part.
Construction of the interior part was started in around 1436. Numerous remains of ancient statues and columns on the territory mean that the castle was built on the site of the previous constructions and buildings. The construction of that part was completed in 1478.
The exterior area dates from 1495 and was built at the order of Grand Master D’ Aubusson. The construction works were completed in 1514.
But in 1523 the castle was occupied by the Turks.
To see the castle you have to pay an entry fee of 4 euro.
Apart from the walls, towers and fortifications the castle contains ancient columns, statues and a number of blazons on the masonry. The reason is that the castle was built during the occupation of a few rulers.
After going over the small bridge you can see the Plane Tree of Hippocrates.
Many guidebooks call Kos “The Island of Hippocrates” and many tourists like the stories about the father of medicine.
According to the legend the tree was planted about 2400 years ago by Hippocrates himself who used its shade to teach his students in this place.
The tree looks very old but it cannot be more than 800 years old. However, there may be a scientific rationale behind the legend. The fact is that a young plane tree is growing near the old one and it may be regarded as its natural descendant.
Near the plane tree there is an entrance to the Archaeological Museum (the second complex) and a large number of souvenir shops offering souvenirs connected with Hippocrates.
Not far from the entrance to the Archaeological Museum you can see an ancient Agora which means “a market” in Greek.
That complex of ancient constructions was discovered after the earthquake of 1933.
The complex included the Sanctuary of Hercules. Besides, the area served as a social and political center of the island. You can see numerous remains of buildings of those times on the territory of Agora.
It is highly recommended taking a walk in the central square of the town called Eleftherios Square, visiting Gazi Hassan Mosque and St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church, taking a wander round the whole street of souvenir shops that starts here.
Other attractions of Kos are located just a little bit outside the town center.
In the north-east area of the town you can see well renovated ancient Odeon.
Nearby you can also see beautiful ancient Roman mosaics.
A little bit further there is the “Roman House”. It is a beautiful Roman mansion with a large number of mosaics. Near it you can see the archaeological excavations of the antique conservatory.
Opposite the Odeon you can see the ruins of the Ancient Hellenistic Gymnasium with its so called “Carved Street”. This part was sheltered and the athletes used it for exercising. Also a swimming pool was built here.
The Gymnasium has very interesting columns that withstood the ravages of time.
It should be noted that in the town of Kos we saw a large number of mosaics.
The general tip I can give you on Kos attractions is to use a tourist attraction map like the one I’ve got on my website. If you find that it is not of good quality you can take maps in tourism information desks or in hotels.
After that you can take walking tours to attractions of Kos. As the town has a large number of attractions to see you can spread your tours out over a few days.
Beaches in Kos town