Mykonos may be known as “the Ibiza of Greece,” but it isn’t just about beaches and partying. Its whitewashed buildings with their blue doors, the charming windmills, small domed churches and colorful streets, invite you to take a break from the sun. In between getting your feet wet at the beach and showing off your tan at a bar at night, you’ll want to have the full postcard Greek island experience, by stopping by some of the island’s most charming landmarks and streets.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Mykonos
- 1. Beaches
- 2. Delos
- 3. Little Venice
- 4. Windmills
- 5. Chora
- 6. Nightlife
- 7. Shopping
- 8. Paraportiani Church
- 9. The Pelicans
- 10. Archaeological Museum
You’re in Mykonos for the beaches, and they’re obviously the main attraction. There are several excellent choices throughout the island, so be sure to not just stick to one. Even if you’re staying at a resort or a beach hotel on the coast, take some time to explore the neighboring beaches, as they offer different experiences -- some are better for water sports, others are more secluded, others better for families...
See the MYKONOS BEACHES GUIDE
No visit to Mykonos is complete without a trip to Delos, a tiny sacred archaeological island. It has no permanent population and stands as a museum just a short ferry ride away from Mykonos. It’s famous for its iconic stone lions, and for many significant archaeological remains that you may also see in the site museum.
See the DELOS GUIDE
A row of colorful two-story Venetian-style houses with wooden balconies on the seafront has become known as Little Venice, and is a favorite Instagram spot. It’s one of the most romantic sights on the island, so after snapping a few photos (especially during the beautiful sunset), many choose to sit on its several café and restaurant terraces (where the stronger waves often crash on). Others continue towards the charming neighborhood behind it, with its narrow whitewashed streets filled with bars, restaurants and shops.
See the LITTLE VENICE GUIDE
Mykonos' windmills are the island's most photographed and most recognized landmarks. A group of five, with their cylindrical shape and pointed roofs, stands on a hill across from Little Venice, and is also a popular sunset spot, as from here you have a beautiful view over the sea and an almost magical atmosphere.
See the MYKONOS WINDMILLS GUIDE
This typical Cycladic village is the center of Mykonos, behind Little Venice. It’s made up of cubic whitewashed houses with colored windows, doors and balconies; small white churches, bougainvilleas, and narrow paved streets. Closed to traffic, it’s a picturesque place you’ll want to wander around in, either in the calmer earlier hours of the day, or after dinner when it’s at its liveliest, with cafes and shops invaded by the newly-tanned tourists.
See the CHORA GUIDE
Mykonos is also known for its beach parties, which usually start in the middle of the afternoon and often last until sunrise. The main party beaches are Paradise, Super Paradise, Psarou and Paraga, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had on the streets of Little Venice and Chora, with small bars with doors open to the street or waterfront. In July and August, the big beach clubs invite some of the world’s top DJs, while the bars in Little Venice and Chora have a more loungy atmosphere, with upbeat music and cocktails.
Mykonos is arguably the best shopping destination in Greece (with Athens or Santorini coming in second). You'll probably fall in love with a copy of an ancient Cycladic piece of art, or will go for the trendy designer clothing. Many of those fashion shops (including upmarket names) are found along Matogiani (or Matoyianni) Street, while elsewhere you'll also see some tempting jewelry shops (many with pieces inspired by ancient Greek jewelry) and art galleries. Do note, however, that many shops close in the afternoon, often between 2pm and 5pm, but then remain open late into the night.
This iconic bright-white church, dating back to the 1500s, stands by the waterfront in Chora. It’s featured on almost every postcard, and is classified as a national monument for its perfect representation of Cycladic architecture.
See the PARAPORTIANI CHURCH GUIDE
Mykonos’ mascot is Peter the Pelican, or rather, its substitute. A pelican named Petros (or Peter), which used to roam around the waterfront, became such a beloved resident, that when it died, another pelican was brought in. And with it, a couple of others, and you’ll see them usually close to Paraportiani Church and its surroundings. You’ll find that they don’t mind posing for photographs.
See more about the PELICANS IN MYKONOS
This museum in a typical whitewashed building by the harbor, presents a notable collection of sculptures, jewelry and ceramics, found around Mykonos and neighboring Delos and Rhenia.
See the MYKONOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM GUIDE