Seeking the best things to do in Mykonos and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry we have you covered! Mykonos is one of Greece’s most well-known Aegean islands. Set in the central archipelago of the Cyclades, this island has just about everything going for it – and we mean everything. There’s nightlife by the gallon, some delicious food, charming Cycladic architecture, beaches, water sports, boutiques, and nightlife. Yeah, did we mention the hedonistic, sometimes pricey nightlife?
But there’s more than the obvious, so get ready for the best time in this sunny, ancient island with our guide on some of the very best things to do in Mykonos.
The Best Things to do in Mykonos
1. Explore the backstreets in Mykonos Town
Mykonos Town is, as you may be able to tell from the name, the main town on the island of Mykonos. It’s home to a quintessential jumble of white, boxy houses and winding streets, both of which were allegedly created to confuse pirates. You can see how: it’s easy to get lost!
One of the best things to do in Mykonos, exploring the town is a great way to get to grips with how it all ticks here. Little cafes, tavernas, flowers spilling out over white-washed balconies, laundry drying in the breeze, little staircases – it’s charming as anything!
- Location: Mykonos Town
- Cost: Free!
- Tips: Get lost!
2. Eat with the locals
Mykonos is a big, bustling tourist destination. Granted, there are a whole load of restaurants and eateries on the island that come highly recommended for the jet-set who can, you know, afford to eat at posh places.
Instead, one of our favorite things to do in Mykonos is check out local spots. Hop over to Kiki’s Tavern for fresh grilled fish close to Agios Sostis Beach, or tuck into tasty tidbits at the rustic setting of Fokos Taverna.
- Location: All over the island
- Cost: Around 20 Euros (depends how hungry you are)
- Tips: Eat and try everything you can!
3. Go and see the sunset in Little Venice
A buzzing district that’s alive with bars and eateries all along the waterfront, the aptly named Little Venice is where a lot of people come for dinner. And rightly so: it’s a beautiful setting for dinner, especially at sunset.
Get here early for a table along the water’s edge before a sundowner, and then sit back and watch the spectacle unfold for yourself. It’s even better with a glass of wine or two, gazing at the sun sinking below the horizon. Your camera won’t be able to do it justice. It’s super romantic.
- Location: Little Venice, Mykonos Town
- Cost: 20 to 30 Euros
- Tips: Phone ahead for a reservation
4. Learn about history at the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
Greece is obviously steeped in history, and the island of Mykonos is no different. To learn more about the history that’s made this island what it is today, we’d recommend heading over to the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos.
Here, you’ll find artifacts that date all the way back to the 9th century BC, which is pretty impressive to us. The most famous piece is an ancient vase that dates back to the 7th century BC; cool in itself, but even cooler is the Trojan horse painted on it. Maybe it wasn’t a myth after all…
- Location: Mykonos Old Town
- Cost: 4 Euros / person
- Tips: Closed on Mondays
5. Enjoy a picnic near the Mykonos Windmills
One of the most famous monuments of Mykonos are its windmills. Dating back to the 1500s, and originally used to mill wheat (obviously), these round windmills are a cool place to come and enjoy the atmosphere – and the views.
One of the best things to do in Mykonos would be to pack a picnic and make your way from Mykonos Old Town, along the coast and around the bay, to where the windmills are. Sit on the coast with snacks in hand and lap it all up.
- Location: Mykonos Old Town
- Cost: Free (your snacks will cost you though)
- Tips: Go for sunset
6. Spot the island’s pelican population
Another lesser-known icon of the island of Mykonos – the humble pelican. Yep, it’s true. In fact, the official mascot of the island is a pelican, and he’s called Petros. Nobody quite knows if it’s the same Petros (we’re guessing not) or if it’s a new Petros. Some sources say he died in 1985 after a 30-year-reign of being the mascot.
Apparently, Jackie Onassis donated a pelican to Mykonos island shortly afterward. It was named Irene. Another one was donated by Hamburg Zoo. Later, one just appeared. The reincarnation of Petros, maybe?
- Location: Who knows!
- Cost: Free
- Tips: Don’t mistake the pelican statues for actual pelicans
7. Take a boat over to Delos
A quick ferry ride from Mykonos Town will see you arrive at Delos – the birthplace of classic Greek gods Apollo and Artemis. It’s been uninhabited since the 7th century BC. Neat.
This small island is an important archeological site, with the remains of the sanctuary dedicated to the Greek deities to explore, as well as a museum. There are no hotels on the island because, well, it’s super important! It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is still being excavated to this day.
- Location: Delos
- Cost: 20 Euros (Return)
- Tips: Go early – it gets busy
8. Go on a hike around the island
Mykonos isn’t just beaches, nice food, and nightlife – as fun as all that is. It’s not exactly known for hiking, but you can definitely head for the hills on a hike.
Well, it’s a pretty flat island as far as Greek islands go, which makes a hike relatively easy for anybody. One pretty lovely hike runs from Mykonos Town to the Armenistis Lighthouse on the northwest tip of the island (4 miles).
Alternatively, the hike from Ano Mera to Lia Beach is well worth your time – especially in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
- Location: Take your pick
- Cost: Free
- Tips: Take plenty of water (it gets mega hot)
9. Explore inside Lena’s House
Who is Lena? What is this house of hers? You’re about to find out. Lena’s House is a 19th-century Mykonian house whose last owner was called – you guessed it – Lena Skrivanou. She passed away in 1968.
Since that time, it has been opened as a glimpse into the past of Mykonos and has been preserved with pretty much everything in-tact, from woven rugs and dark wood floors to the antique furnishings. A must for any architecture and design junkie.
- Location: Enoplon Dynameon 10
- Cost: 2 Euros
- Tips: Make sure to talk to the lady who runs the show
10. Be charmed by the churches and chapels
Mykonos has so many little chapels and churches that look perfect in all its winding streets. Mykonos Town alone has over 60 churches, which is crazy for such a small town, and the island as a whole has 600 to 800.
Many of them date back to the Byzantine era (that’s over 1,000 years old), and several have been built as the resting place for a particular family member, sort of like a shrine. It works out at basically one church per local family, so it kind of begins to make sense.
- Location: Everywhere
- Cost: Free
- Tips: Catch a service at the Virgin of St. Rosary (surprisingly, it’s Catholic)
11. Spend the day lazing on the beach
Let’s face it; it wouldn’t be a trip to Mykonos without spending some (maybe a lot of) time laying out on one of its beaches. They come in various varieties, from the tourist-populated kinds with parasols and sunbeds to relatively untouched stretches of sand.
Our recommendation? Head to the very trendy – but very busy – Psarou Beach, complete with beach bars, or the party-centric Paradise Beach. But for something laid-back and secluded, Agios Sostis is a good option.
- Location: Various
- Cost: Free (sunbeds can be expensive, however)
- Tips: Hire a car to get to more secluded beaches
12. Try out some windsurfing on Kalafatis Beach
But the beaches in Mykonos aren’t all about being lazy. Some places on this Greek island are primed and ready for more active pursuits. Kalafatis Beach, for example, is the place to go on Mykonos for water sports.
Set on the east side of the island, Kalafatis Beach is well away from the tourist crowds and the development that goes with ‘em. It takes about 30 minutes by car to get there, but it’s definitely worth it; this beach is famous for windsurfing, so if that’s your jam, a trip here is a no-brainer.
- Location: Kalafati
- Cost: Free to visit
- Tips: Drop in at the Windsurfing School if you don’t know how!
13. Party the night away
Mykonos is probably most famed for its nightlife. The hedonistic side to this island is definitely something that, if you’re into drinking and dancing, you should consider experiencing. It’s a popular place to party.
But where, oh, where should you go? There are tons of places from beachside bars to late-night clubs and raucous drinking holes to find yourself a slice of nocturnal fun.
The Scandinavian Bar plays host to international DJs, which is an excellent place to start (or end) your odyssey; Scorpios equals high prices, but fun times for sure; the famous Tropicana Beach Bar is a good place to end up, too.
- Location: Various
- Cost: Expensive!
- Tips: Prepare for all-night dancing
14. Clap eyes on Paraportiani Mykonos
Paraportiani is the most well-renowned church, and possibly the most recognizable icon of the island. It’s that famous, and seeing it is one of the best things to do in Mykonos (especially if you like buildings).
Located overlooking the sea, this could actually be one of the most photographed churches. When you get here and see the white-washed walls and the hodge-podge of five different churches melded together over the ages, you can see why.
A jumble of smooth shapes and walls with no outside decoration, this baby dates back to 1425.
- Location: Kastro, Mykonos Town
- Cost: Free
- Tips: There are lots of good local eateries nearby
15. Spend a few hours at the Folklore Museum of Mykonos
Located inside an old, 18th-century sea captain’s house – which, to be honest, is pretty much worth a visit in itself – the Folklore Museum of Mykonos tells the, um, folklore of the island.
As such, there are plenty of artifacts spread around the building, from traditional woven fabrics to model boats; from an antique wine press to lithographs of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.
One of the more off the beaten track things to do in Mykonos, if you’re someone who likes looking at collections of local history (and architecture), you’ll love this place.
- Location: Kastro, Mykonos Town
- Cost: Free (donate if you want)
- Tips: Ask for a tour to get more out of the exhibits
16. Shop ‘til you drop in the island’s boutiques
With all that money and wealth going around Mykonos, a fair few boutiques have popped up over the years, selling all sorts of different things. There are art shops, galleries, souvenir stands, boutiques selling jewelry, and loads more.
Most of the shops are located in Mykonos Town, and many of these are found pretty close together. Shoppers and those looking for an interesting trinket to take back home should make a beeline for some time spent exploring the commercial heart of the island.
- Location: Mattheau Andronikou Street
- Cost: However much you’re willing to spend (spoiler alert: expensive)
- Tips: Go late afternoon to beat the heat
17. Explore the quaint Ano Mera Village
A mere 15-minute drive from Mykonos Town is the less bustling Ano Mera, a village that’s the perfect antidote to the sometimes raucous and wearying main settlement of the island.
This place feels much more traditional. Life in Ano Mera revolves around the main square, with a network of alleyways leading off it, and a few restaurants, shops and bars to enjoy.
It’s definitely one of the most unmissable things to do in Mykonos; visiting the island without going to Ano Mera is practically a sin. Grab a traditional coffee and watch life go by in the square.
- Location: Ano Mera
- Cost: Free to wander
- Tips: Stay in a hotel in Ano Mera to have all this on your doorstep
18. Peer inside the Monastery of Paleokastro
Perched upon a hill near Ano Mera is the Monastery of Paleokastro. Not strictly a monastery, since it’s actually a nunnery dating back to the 18th century, this is yet another wonder of Cycladic architecture; white-washed and wonderful, spectacular against the sky and sea.
Though the exterior is simple, the interior is adorned with icons and comes complete with an eye-catching altar. Make sure to look for a prehistoric menhir (standing stone) next to the monastery; it’s thought to be either a gravestone or have other religious significance.
- Location: Paleokastro
- Cost: 1 Euro entry
- Tips: The ruins of a Ventian castle are a stone’s throw from here
19. Take some time out at Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm
If all the beaches and history are weighing heavy on your soul, don’t worry; you can always head to Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm for a good antidote to all that. And a glass or two of their locally grown wine.
It’s been going for 25 years and is set in classically Cycladic spot. Located near Ano Mera, a 10-minute drive from Mykonos Town, visiting this organic farm is made all the better when you sit down to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch.
- Location: Near Ano Mera
- Cost: 12 Euros per person (wine tasting)
- Tips: Phone in advance to tell them you’re coming
20. Try out a cooking class
If you’re a foodie and you love getting to grips with how locals cook, then you should really take the time out to try out cooking Mykonos style. So roll up your sleeves and learn how to make some of your favorite Greek dishes you’ve eaten – and some you’ve never tried.
There are a few places to do this; some locals even offer up their own home kitchens for truly home-cooked dishes. Easily one of the best things to do in Mykonos if you have any sort of affection for food.
- Location: Anywhere
- Cost: From 70 to 100 Euros
- Tips: Do not eat before you go!
When is the Best Season to Travel Greece?
High season (June-September): Like most places in Europe, Greece’s high season runs from June to mid September. This is when you will find the best sunny weather as noted above, but also crowds, especially on the popular islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete. Days are longer, the weather is HOT, so you’ll want to be close to a pool or ocean. Hotel and car rental prices are at their highest.
Shoulder Season (April -May and October-November): The weather in Greece is cooler during these months, some would consider it much more comfortable than prime summertime weather. It’s not as busy as the summertime, but you’ll still see lots of travelers lingering about. Prices on accommodation and car rentals will drop during this time. The shoulder season is typically a fantastic time to visit Greece.
Low Season (Late November- early April): The temperatures are cooler during the low season in Greece. You’ll still see plenty of sunny days but also overcast days and little to no sunbathing. It’s too cold to take a dip in the water, but you can still enjoy the beaches with some clothes on to keep warm in the breeze. The upside is you’ll find low prices and low numbers of tourists.
Quick Greek Travel Tips
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Yasou” and “Efharisto”
- Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
- Visa: Schengen visa. Which is 90 days in the European Union out of 180. Many nationalities are granted this on arrival for free. Check with your embassy to see if that is you.
- Weather: The weather in Greece is a Mediterranean climate. This means winters are mild and rainy, while summers are warm and dry with plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
- What to Pack: Warm weather clothes and a swimsuit, don’t forget a good pair of clothes to go and a jacket for cool nights. Read about what to wear in Greece.
- Rent a Car: Renting a car is the best way to get around the Greek islands. See our full car rental guide here.
Plan and Pack for Greece
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem in Greece so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps here is perfectly safe to drink. We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well.
However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
A cover-up is one of those beach vacation clothes you should always travel within your luggage. When packing for a day at the beach, make sure you don’t forget one. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays.
Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit, so this is where the cover-up is essential. Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa.
This all depends on where you’re heading to the beach, but a portable Bluetooth speaker is great to have when you’re in a group. We travel with a small BOOM speaker and take it with us when it feels appropriate. We say this because it’s often best to leave it at home on small secluded beaches so not to annoy anyone else with your music — no one’s that good of a DJ.
Of course, what you wear all depends on where you live! For those heading to Greece in the Spring or Fall, you may want something a little warmer. For those days we always reach for a warm fleece jacket.
Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut that has a timeless look for a walk on the beach or evening bonfire. It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable.
If you’re wondering what travel necessities to bring to Greece then good walking shoes should be your top concern.
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or live close to the beach. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage. For family beach goers I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Greece. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
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