Chania is a trading- and leather town with lots of things you may want to bring back home; leather, shoes, textiles, pottery, spices, olive oil, silver and gold, music and souvenirs. Haggling is sometimes practised in the so called tourist shops, and when making a larger purchase. Take a receipt! Always keep the receipt when you have bought anything, otherwise you may become an accomplice to VAT fraud. Staff from the VAT department may confront you outside the shop or restaurant, and if you cannot produce a valid receipt you will be fined along with the shopkeeper, about 165 euro.
Card payments Cards are not accepted everywhere. Some cards, such as Diner’s are virtually impossible. In many cases, the customer has to pay the fee charged to the shop by the banks, which means an extra 4-8 per cent if you pay by card. The best cards to use are Visa, American Express, Eurocard and MasterCard.
Shop hours In Chania town, shops are open Monday to Saturday 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. On Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays also 5.30 pm to 9 pm. Closed on Sundays. Tourist shops usually stay open from 9 am to 10 pm. The market hall in Chania town stays open like the ordinary shops.
Shopping tour Start by the market hall, which is right in the centre of town. First of all, go inside. There is fish, meat, fruit and veg, bakery, pharmacy and a few shops selling spices. Should you want to buy exclusive clothing, perfume, cosmetics or shoes head towards the shops along Tzanakaki Street or Andreas Papandreou Street (ex. Dimokratias). On Tzanakaki Street, you will also find the main post office and the Greek Telecom Head office. North of the market hall is where the old parts of town begin, with lots of little shops selling clothes, shoes, leather and gold. The street behind the market hall Is called Tsouderon. Continue along that and you arrive at Skridlof, the well-known ‘leather street’ in Chania town. Having passed Skridlof, you enter Chalidon, the tourist street down to the Venetian port. In the alleys on the west side of the port, such as Zambeliou alley and Theotokoupoulo alley, you’ll find several little craft shops.
Things you may want to bring back from your Cretan holiday:
Leather There are still a few tanneries left in town, particularly along leather street (Skridlof Street) in Chania town.
Spices and olive oil: Thyme and oregano grows wild on Crete, and a large part of the olive harvest is bought by Italians, to raise the quality of Italian olive oil.
Clothes and shoes The somewhat pricier shops, with brand clothes and shoes, are all along Andreas Papandreou Street (ex. Dimokratias) and Tzanakakis Street in Chania town.
Gold Bargain mercilessly, 15-30 per cent. Remember that gold is usually 14 carat.
Silver Sold in all the souvenir shops. In the alleys above the Venetian port, there are shops making their own silver- and gold jewellery.
Music Greece has a flourishing music industry. Buy for instance traditional bouzouki-music, i.e. rebetiko, Cretan folk music or contemporary Greek music.
Markets Take the opportunity to visit one of the traditional markets, where you can buy anything from live chickens to shoes. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, it is an enjoyable spectacle.
Chania Every Saturday, from 6 am to 2 pm. Ten minutes’ walk from the market hall at Minoos Street. The easiest way of getting to Chania town is by car or bus. Thursday: beside the swimming stadium in Neo Chora, about ten minutes’ walk from the Firkas castle. From 6 am to 2 pm. In Chania town, there is also the famous market hall. Open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Rethymnon Every Thursday, from 7 am to 1 pm. By the new marina on the beach walk. Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm. Between the bus station and the football arena Sochora.
Heraklion Every Saturday from 6 am to 2 pm. The market is down by the port and stretches for several kilometres. Walk or take a taxi from the bus station. Car or local bus is the easiest ways of getting to Heraklion.
Prices 1 kg tomatoes: ca 1 euro. 1 litre olive oil: ca 3,50 euro. 1 kg oranges: ca 1,10 euro. 50 cl Amstel beer: ca 0,90 euro. 70 cl Kretikos red wine: ca 3,50 euro. 200 g Nescafé Select: ca 6 euro. 1 litre milk: ca 1,30 euro.
Shopping along the Chania coast
Elephant Store - Platanias
A unique concept store conveniently located in the center of Platanias and with 2 more shops in Chania Old Town and Agia Marina Village. You can find a wide range of clothes, swimwear, sandals, accessories, gifts, home decor and souvenirs mainly made in Greece. All items are hand picked and of high quality that cater to the most demanding customers.
The shopping in Platanias is mainly in many small shops. If you are looking for style, class and reasonable prices, we recommend Ladakis Leather. Their shop is by the square in Platanias, from which taxis and buses depart. The shop carries well-known brands in shoes, bags and belts.
Glasses and sunglasses are a good deal in Platanias. There is much to choose between, and the prices are generally good. Visit Maria in the shop MyOptics.
If you are tense or in pain of any kind, help is at hand in PV Elektroterapi in Daratso. Ole and Connie offers trial treatments that divert pain from joints and muscles through electric impulses. PV also sell their devices, should you want to bring one home.
At Croesus you’ll find watches, jewellery and much more. This shop, with branches in both Chania and Rethymnon, has a good selection of well-known brands. Anything can be tailored to your wishes, and prices are good. Very good service.
This famous jewellery brand has found its way to Chania from Venice, and is now for sale at a price that cheers everyone. The jewellery is made in glass and metal, a new kind of fusion jewellery.
Biolea Olive Oil
Cretan ‘gold’ – the olive oil- is to be had everywhere, but there is only one place which has the highest quality. The Biolea oil from Astrika Estates lacks counterpart, and their oil with a mixture of orange and lemon will grace any dish.
The Manousaki family in Vatolakos has been making Cretan wine for many years. Now, you can taste different varieties. Every week, they arrange wine tasting at the family vineyard, a good opportunity to gather inspiration for the selection of wine at your next dinner.
IRA Silver & Gold - Platanias
Gold and silver may not be the first thing you think of in Platanias, but here is a wide range of gold and silver, with a good selection of watches to boot.