1) Kanoni is a cosmopolitan city attraction. Its name came from the fortifications of the French conquerors. This is where the entrance to the Casino is situated, while the sea view is just amazing.
2) Pontikonisi (in Kanoni) is the island’s landmark. The only day you can visit it, is on August 6 (the Metamorphosis of the Savior), when the monastery (the only building on the islet) celebrates. During the rest of the year, any visit or stay at the islet is strictly prohibited, since it has been declared as a natural museum.
3) You should definitely walk around the narrow streets of Kampielo, the oldest and most picturesque neighborhood of Corfu, with the unique ambiance. Spiniada is the largest square in the Balkans, just across from the old Fort, and it’s the center of the city’s social life. On the west part, you will see the covered passage of Liston, which is a beautiful arcade built by the French, which now hosts most of the city’s cafes, under its distinctive arches. On this square, you will get the chance to see the columns of Metland and the old building of the prefectural authorities, constructed right where Kapodistrias (the first prime minister of Greece) was born. The philharmonic bands of the city go through the square and this is where the Saturday cricket games take place.
4) The Central Library of Corfu is one of the oldest public libraries in Greece. It was established during the Venetian era and was attached to the Ionian Academy in 1825. Even though a big part of its oldest invaluable treasures was destroyed during WW2, the library still has some remarkable exhibits. The Historic Archive of the Prefecture –the richest one in Greece- is also hosted here.
5) On top of the Acropolis, in the Castle of Corfu, the famous Sidero lighthouse (1822) dominates the scenery and it’s definitely worth a visit for the unique view it provides. You will also get the chance to see the Tower of the Big Clock. For a more comprehensive tour of the island’s cultural history, you should visit the Municipal Gallery (in the Mansion of Michael and Georgios), which hosts paintings of great Corfu artists of the 19th century.
Other remarkable attractions are the Byzantine Collection, the building of the Ionian Academy and that of the Parliament, but also the mansion of Kapodistrias. The Reading Society of Corfu has a rich collection of paintings, valuable and rare transcripts and publications and it first operated in 1836 as a library. You should also take a walk in the picturesque neighborhoods of the Old Port and Ovriaki.
6) Palace: The Palace of Michael and Georgios is the most important monument from the English Rule. The Mon Repo (Palaiopolis) was the summer residence of the English Commissioner in 1831. It then became a seminary, later on the summer palace and recently a museum. This is where there are remnants of ancient temples; probably of Apollo and Ira. This exceptional palace with the distinctive Greek and neoclassical architecture amidst the beautiful gardens opened its doors to the public in 1991. Achilleion is the famous palatial villa of Empress Sissy with a remarkable architecture and astonishing works of art. Most of these are dedicated to the Greek history and mythology. This proves the appreciation and adoration the Empress had for the Greek tradition and the respect she demonstrated by choosing to establish a building of Greek instead of Austrian architecture and aesthetics. The location of the palace is truly breathtaking.
7) Archeological sites. The temple of Artemis Gorgi is an exceptionally preserved monument of the 6thcentury BC and it’s located in the limits of Palaiopolis. The monument of Menecrates in Garitsa has an archaic inscription, which is considered as one of the oldest ones in Greece. The archeological site of Palaiopoli (Mon Repo) with important monuments, such as the Agora, the temple of Kardakio and the Roman Baths, also includes an archeological museum and various smaller findings.
8) The museums. The archeological museum of Corfu has many exhibits from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras and it’s located in the city. A visit to the Byzantine museum can be combined with a visit to the church of Virgin Mary Antivouniotitssa, which hosts various ecclesiastical masterpieces. The island also hosts museums of great Greek personalities, like the Kapodistrias’ Museum and the Museum of Dionysios Solomos. The new Fort hosts the Museum of Ceramic Art, while in the Square of the Heroes of the Cypriot Fight visitors will see the Museum of paper currency of the Ionic Bank (unique in Greece), which also has a lab. The Museum of Asian Art (1927) is hosted in the Palace of Michael and Georgios and includes -among others- a unique collection of Green-Buddhist sculptures of Pakistan, which reflects the influence of the Alexander the Great’s Hellenistic years in the area of Gadar. The building of the museum itself tells the story of this city, since it was once the English headquarters of the Ionian Senate and, later on, the summer residence of the royal family. The Serbian Museum displays many exhibits from the Serbian army, which was stationed in Corfu during WW2. The island also hosts the Museum of Olive and the Historic and Folk Art Museum of Mesi Kerkyra, dedicated in the everyday life of the people who lived in the area on the 19th century. Don’t forget to visit the Museum of the Sea in Benitses, which is a private initiative and received an award from the Italian Research Institute IREDA. You will there have the chance to see findings from the maritime wealth of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean, as well as from the Mediterranean Sea.
9) The islands Vidos and Lazaretto. The island of Vidos is across the city and has adequate tourism infrastructure. It also hosts the municipal camp, walking trails, the Serbian mausoleum and the historical church of Agios Stefanos. Lazaretto is on the northeast part of the city and during the Venetian Era it was operating as a monastery. Later on, it became a quarantine for those suffering from plague and then during WW2 it was a concentration camp. During the civil war, it was a place where they were executing those in the death row. Since 1976, it’s a place of historical importance and monuments of its entire history are still preserved.
10)Churches and monasteries. Agios Spyridonas is the patron saint of the island and his relics are well preserved in a silver casket, which is a true work of art. Its unique panels feature frescoes dated back to 1727, but unfortunately they were destroyed by humidity and had to be replaced by works of Aspiotis. The marble temple is of Ionian architecture, but it’s not the original authentic stone creation, since this is placed in the church of Agios Georgios at the Old Fort. The churches of Archangels Michael and Gabriel and that of Agia Kyriaki are definitely worth seeing, since they are built inside a cave, in the impressive Aggelokastro, near Krini. They were built on the 13thcentury, while remnants of rooms, warehouses and the beautiful arched entrance are still preserved. The metropolitan church of Corfu bedazzles visitors with its architecture, while the city also hosts the Catholic Archdiocese (Saint Jacob). The Monastery of Virgin Mary Palaiokastritsa is located in Vlaherna, underneath Kanoni, and hosts a small museum with byzantine works, as well as the skeleton of a whale. The Monastery of Platytera nests the tomb of Kapodistrias.
11) The Forts. The Old Fort (Fortezza), which hosts the old Venetian Prison, the English barracks and the musical school, combines the Byzantine with the Venetian architecture. Its entrance is in the covered passage of Liston. You will definitely think that you live in another era, by walking through all these bridges, tombs, tunnels and loggias. From the top, you will enjoy the scintillating view. The most distinctive part of the Fort is its two Towers (of Land and Sea), one on each side. Also located in Fortezza are: the Doric style church of Agios Georgios (dated back to 1840), the English Hospital and the statue of Schullenburg at its entrance. On the north side, a tunnel leads to Mandraki, a charming little port for fishing boats. The New Fort of Corfu enjoys a panoramic view, since it’s located on the hill of Agios Markos. It was initially created to protect the port of the city, as well as to control the inland, but it was severely damaged during WW2. The New Fort hosts the Agios Markos’ engraved Lion, the War Museum, many exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events. The island boasts two more forts: the Kassiopi Fort and the Gardikio Fort.