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.
Best Things to do in Mykonos
1. Wander the Town of Mykonos
The Town of Mykonos 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!
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.
3. Watch 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 Aegean Sea.
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…
5. Enjoy a Picnic Near the Mykonos Windmills
Mykonos is famously called the “island of the winds.” One of the most famous monuments of Mykonos are the 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.
6. Spot the Mykono’s Pelicans
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?
7. Take a Boat Over to Delos
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. It will cost around €20 for a return trip.
8. 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.
9. Explore Inside Lena’s House Folk Museu
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.The cost is €2 to enter.
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.
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.
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. Other fantastic Mykonos beaches:
- Platis Gialos
- Agios Ioannis
- Ornos Beach
- Paralia Kalo Livadi
12. Windsurf 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.
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 Skandinavian 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.
14. Clap Cyes 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.
15. Visit 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.
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. Mattheou Andronikou Street is one of the most iconic on the island to walk around and shop on.
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.
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.
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.
19. 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 a 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. Or enjoy a wine tasting for €12 a person.
20. Try out a Greek 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. Check out the tour times and see if you can get in on a class!
When is the Best Season to Visit Mykonos?
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 Mykonos. 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.
- Budget: If you’re in the initial stages of planning check out our awesome post that breaks down how much a trip to Greece costs.
Greek Travel Planning Resources
- Packing Guide — Check out our Greece Packing List to help pack your bags and ensure you don’t leave anything at home.
- Rent a Car — We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Car Hire to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check Price Here!
- Protect Your Trip — Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try World Nomads for competitive short term plans. Read a review of World Nomads here.
- Tours in Greece — Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Greece!
- Travel Adapter – Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.