Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Olympic Airways offers at least three flights daily to and from Athens in high season. (Flight time is about 50 min.) Flights to Chania from other points in Greece go through Athens. Aegean Airlines also offers a several flights daily to and from Athens. The airport is located 15km (10 miles) out of town on the Akrotiri. Public buses meet all flights except the last one at night, but almost everyone takes a taxi (about 18€/$25).
By Boat -- One ship makes the 10-hour trip daily between Piraeus and Chania, usually leaving early in the evening (www.ferries.gr). But as of 2007, during the tourist season Hellenic Seaways runs a once-daily high-speed catamaran between Piraeus and Chania that cuts the trip down to about 5 hours (www.greekislands.gr). All ships arrive at and depart from Soudha, a 20-minute bus ride from the stop outside the municipal market. Many travel agents around town sell tickets. In high season, if you're traveling with a car, make reservations in advance, or check with the Paleologos Agency (www.ferries.gr).
By Bus -- Buses run almost hourly from early in the morning until about 10:30pm, depending on the season, connecting Chania to Rethymnon and Iraklion. There are less frequent, and often inconveniently timed, buses between destinations in western Crete. The main bus station to points all over Crete is at 25 Kidonias (tel. 28210/93-306).
By Car -- All the usual agencies can be found in the center of town, but we've always had reliable dealings with Europrent at 87 Halidon (tel. 28210/27-810; www.europrent.gr).
The official Tourist Information office is at 40 Kriari, off 1866 Square (tel. 28210/92-943) but it keeps unreliable hours. You're better off turning to private travel agencies. On the scene, I recommend Lissos Travel, Plateia 1866 (tel. 28210/93-917; fax 28210/95-930); Diktynna Travel, 6 Archontaki (tel. 28210/43-930; www.diktynna-travel.gr); from your home abroad, try Crete Travel in the nearby village of Monoho (tel. 28250/32-690; www.cretetravel.com). A useful source of insider's information is The Bazaar, 46 Daskaloyiannis, on the main street down to the new harbor (to the right of the Municipal Market). This shop sells used foreign-language books and assorted "stuff." Owned and staffed by non-Greeks, it maintains a listing of all kinds of helpful services.
You can walk to most tourist destinations in Chania. Public buses go to nearby points and to all the major destinations in western Crete. If you want to explore the countryside or more remote parts of western Crete, I recommend that you rent a car to make the best use of your time.
A Taxi Tip -- To get a taxi driver who is accustomed to dealing with English-speakers, call Andreas at tel. 28210/50-821; you can also try tel. 69450/365-799 (his mobile phone number). With Andreas, you get an informative guide as well as a driver.
Banks in the new city have ATMs. For the tourist police, dial tel. 171. The hospital (tel. 28210/27-231) is on Venizelou in the Halepa quarter. There are now several Internet cafes: I like the Vranas Studios Cafe, behind the cathedral and at the corner of Aghion Deka, or Cafe Santé (on the second floor at the far west corner of the old harbor). There are also several laundromats in the old town, including the ones at 38 Karoli and Dimitriou or 38 Kanevero. In the new town, Speedy Laundry at 17 Kordiki, is on the corner of Koroneou, a block west of Plateia 1866. If you prefer to leave your laundry off, you can't beat Oscar at 1 Kanevro at the corner of the harbor square. For luggage storage, try the KTEL bus station on Kidonias. The post office is at 6 Peridou (an extension of Plastira that leads directly away for the municipal market); hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturday from 8am to noon. The telephone office (OTE), is on Tzanakaki (leading diagonally way from the municipal market); it is open daily from 7:30am to 11:30pm. Foreign-language publications are available at 8 Skalidi (main street heading west at top of Halidon).