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15 best things to do in Mykonos

mykonos, greece

Greece’s answer to Ibiza, that’s saucy and sandy in equal measure. Are you planning the ultimate Greek holiday? As one of the most popular Greek islands, Mykonos needs to be on your list. 

It’s a small island jam-packed with plenty of variety. There’s the bustling beaches and legendary bars in Paradise, the storybook streets and quaint historical gems of Hora (Mykonos Town); Ano Mera is famous for its monasteries, and the beaches along the northern coast are much more tranquil. Nightlife, sightseeing spots, watersports, they’re all here, on an island that couldn’t be easier to explore – by car, boat or bike. 

Here are 15 of the best things to do in Mykonos on your first visit:

1. Visit the Folklore Museum

The Folklore Museum is located in Mykonos Town, just a short walk from the nearest bus station. Across its six exhibition spaces you’ll find a replica of a 19th century living room, a fine collection of paintings and antiques, including furniture, maps, manuscripts, weights and measures. 


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2. Take a guided our of ancient Delos

Got time for a day trip to the birthplace of Apollo? That’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Greece’s most important archeological and historical areas? AND just generally stunning? Course you do. 

After a short ferry ride, you can hike up Mount Kythnos or visit the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo and Propylaea. There’s also a museum full of ancient Greek sculptures and artefacts. 


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3. Visit the Rarity Gallery

Q: Why does all the art in Greece have to be ancient?

A: It doesn’t. Take the Rarity Gallery, for example. All right, it’s a rarity, but it’s been exhibiting up and coming artists from all over the world since 1994. What were you doing in 1994, huh? Definitely one of the best things to do in Mykonos for those who love eclectic displays of contemporary art.


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4. Soak up the sun on Platys Gialos beach

Just a stone’s throw from Paradise Beach, the Platys Gialos beach is one of Mykonos’ most popular. Famous for its white sands and clear seas, it’s like something out of a cartoon, or a Bond movie — you pick. Sun-junkies should check it out during the summer months for a relaxing sunbed session, followed by dinner and drinks at one of the area’s multiple beachside eateries. 

Platys Gialos

Image source:spiros xanthos on Unsplash

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5. Enjoy the Greek cuisine

Greek food’s core ingredients include olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, yoghurt, cheese, lamb, beef, pork, fish, tomatoes and, last but not least… wine. When you’re done wine tasting (if such a thing is possible), try sampling these traDISHional culinary delights: Greek moussaka, courgette balls, Dolmadakia (grape leaves stuffed with rice/beef), Greek salad. Also, Gyros –- the kebab dish that’s as good when you’re sober as when you’re trolleyed.

a plate of food in mykonos, greece

Image source:Contiki

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6. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos

Love your ancient treasures? Don’t miss the Archaeological Museum and its collection of sculptures and ceramics from across Mykonos and the surrounding islands. Built in 1905, this museum houses a wide collection of objects from as far back as 900 BC. Its standout piece (if we had to choose) is a vase depicting the Trojan horse, which was found in Mykonos in the 1960s but dates back to 700 BC. With its low entry fee and accessible location, the Archaeological Museum is well worth adding to your list of things to do in Mykonos


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7. Discover the windmills

If you do visit Mykonos, you’ll hardly fail to notice the iconic windmills. Built in the 1500s to use the island of the winds’ strong gusts to grind grain into flour, these 16 windmills are no longer in operation. Instead, they simply stand and look pretty, overlooking Little Venice to make for splendid scenery indeed. You can see them from most points in the main village, but you’ll want to get up close and personal too. One windmill has even been converted into a museum. 

windmills, mykonos

Image source:Contiki

8. Watch the sunset in Little Venice

One of Mykonos’ major tourist attractions, Little Venice is known for its colourful buildings that overlook the harbour. Many of the former ship captains’ homes have been converted to bars and restaurants, so you can expect a great time as well as a great view — although, beware, it can get crowded in high season. Whether you’re staying nearby or just passing through, you won’t be able to resist grabbing yourself an Ouzo, perching on the harbourside and gasping at the magnificent sunset. 

9. Experience the nightlife on the beach

Paradise Beach is one of the world’s most iconic beaches, with blissful sands and seas by day and earth-shatteringly epic parties by night. You’ll find beach bars aplenty here – including the Cavo Paradiso which was voted the 10th best club in the world. Nearby Super Paradise Beach is renowned by party goers and popular with LQBTQ+ travellers from across the world. Both are open 24/7 and easy to get to from Mykonos Town. Don’t forget your snazzy swimwear. And your outrageous moves. 

Mykonos by night - people drinking and looking at the sea

Image source:Contiki

10. Practice watersports

Nobody ever forgets clinging to their banana boat for dear life while the speedboat driver hauls across the crystalline seas at 60mph. If you don’t do it for the thrill, do it for the look on your friend’s face. There are watersports for all in Mykonos, be it wakeboarding, a paddle boat… or even a nice relaxing swim.

people practicing water tubing in mykonos

Image source:Contiki

11. Check out Armenistis Lighthouse

The 20-metre-tall lighthouse is free to enter and gives you an awesome view of the surrounding seas and neighbouring islands. Don’t miss the sunset from this serene viewpoint.  

Lighthouse in Mykonos

Image source:Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash

12. Visit the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani

Apart from Hora (AKA Mykonos Town), the only other real town of Mykonos is Ano Mera. It’s only 4 miles east, but you’ll feel like you’re a world away. What Ano Mera lacks in beaches, it makes up for with peace, quiet and best of all, monasteries. The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani dates back to the 16th century. It’s whitewashed on the outside but brimming with light fixtures and impressive altar screens on the inside. A must-see for fans of iconic religious architecture. 


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13. Go shopping

From Louis Vuitton to handmade jewellery, shopping is sure to become one of your favourite things to do in Mykonos. If you’re a vino connoisseur, don’t miss the Mykonos Wine Room. And the groundbreaking Nammos Village is a must-see for all fashionistas.

mykonos, greece

Image source:Contiki

14. Go on a bicycle tour

Renting a car can be a good idea in Mykonos – especially if you’re heading to Ano Mera or venturing north to see the island’s quieter beaches – but it’s not essential. There are loads of bike tours available, so you can travel from beach to quirky jewellery store, to museum and back again — without the hefty insurance bill. The island is hilly in places, but generally it’s suited to cyclists of all abilities. 


Image source:Contiki

15. Take a cooking class

Sure, fridge magnets are fun, but isn’t it better to take a taste of your best-ination home with you? When you learn to cook traditional Greek feasts, you’ll be able to wow your friends at dinner parties, or cheer yourself up when it’s Monday and your holiday blues are in full swing. Handling filo dough, making feta parcels with honey and sesame, preparing a Greek meze table of your own… they’re all important life skills.

Feta Cheese

Image source:Lena Kudryavtseva on Unsplash

How long should you stay in Mykonos?

For the perfect stay in Mykonos, we recommend at least three days. This should give you enough time for lazy beach days and crazy club nights, with space in between for shopping, sightseeing and other adventures.


Image source:Contiki

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