Shopping in Crete

Did you know that Crete is not only the largest Greek island but also a shopper’s paradise? The vibrant markets and charming boutiques scattered throughout the island offer a unique shopping experience for both locals and tourists alike. Shopping in Crete is not just about buying souvenirs; it is a way to immerse yourself in the local culture and take home a piece of the island’s rich history.

Crete has a long-standing tradition of commerce dating back to ancient times when it was a hub for traders from across the Mediterranean. Today, shopping in Crete is a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern convenience. Visitors can explore bustling street markets filled with local produce, handmade jewelry, and unique artwork. Additionally, the island is home to modern shopping centers where shoppers can find the latest fashion trends and luxury goods.

One of the highlights of shopping in Crete is the opportunity to support local artisans and small businesses. By purchasing handmade products such as olive oil, ceramics, and textiles, visitors can directly contribute to the local economy and preserve traditional craftsmanship. In fact, studies show that for every 100 euros spent at a local business, 68 euros stay in the community, compared to only 43 euros for chain retailers. This means that shopping in Crete not only benefits the shopper but also the local community as a whole.

Looking to Shop in Crete? Discover the Best Places to Shop on the Island!

When it comes to shopping in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re in search of unique handmade souvenirs, traditional Cretan products, or high-end designer goods, Crete has something to offer for every kind of shopper. From bustling markets to charming boutiques, the island is a shopper’s paradise waiting to be explored. Learn more about the top shopping destinations in Crete.

**Where to Shop in Crete**

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a shopper’s paradise with a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you are looking for unique souvenirs, local products, or high-end designer goods, Crete has it all. Here are some of the best places to shop in Crete:

**Local Markets**

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and find unique products is by visiting the local markets in Crete. Chania’s Municipal Market is a must-visit, offering a wide variety of products such as fresh produce, spices, herbs, and local crafts. The market in Rethymnon is also worth a visit, with vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to traditional Cretan foods.

**Boutique Shops**

For those looking for high-quality, handmade items, boutique shops in Crete are the way to go. In towns like Chania and Heraklion, you will find numerous boutique shops selling clothing, jewelry, pottery, and other locally made goods. These shops often showcase the talent of local artisans and offer one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find anywhere else.

**Designer Stores**

If you’re in the mood for some luxury shopping, Crete has a number of designer stores where you can find high-end fashion brands and accessories. Heraklion and Chania are the main hubs for designer shopping, with stores carrying well-known brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.

**Traditional Products**

Crete is known for its unique products, such as olive oil, honey, herbs, and wines. You can find these traditional Cretan products in specialty stores throughout the island, as well as in local markets. Be sure to pick up some olive oil soap, Cretan thyme honey, or a bottle of local wine to take home with you.

**Shopping Malls**

For those who prefer a more modern shopping experience, Crete also has several shopping malls where you can find a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options under one roof. The most popular shopping malls on the island are The Mall Athens and Mediterranean Cosmos in Thessaloniki, offering a mix of Greek and international brands.

**Shopping in Crete**

Overall, shopping in Crete offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, traditional products, or high-end designer goods. With its diverse range of shopping options, Crete is sure to satisfy even the most discerning shoppers.

***Did you know?*** According to recent statistics, tourism spending on shopping in Crete has increased by 15% in the last year.

Is shopping in Crete expensive?

Shopping in Crete can vary in price, but generally, it is considered to be affordable. There are a range of options from high-end boutiques to local markets, so you can find something to fit any budget.

What are some popular items to buy in Crete?

Some popular items to buy in Crete include olive oil, honey, traditional Cretan herbs, handmade ceramics, and local wines and cheeses.

Are credit cards accepted in most shops in Crete?

While credit cards are accepted in many shops and restaurants in Crete, it is always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting smaller establishments or markets.

Are there any specific shopping areas in Crete that I should visit?

Some popular shopping areas in Crete include Chania Old Town, Rethymnon Old Town, Heraklion city center, and the villages of Agios Nikolaos. These areas offer a mix of shops, boutiques, and local markets.

What are the best souvenirs to bring back from Crete?

Some popular souvenirs to bring back from Crete are handmade leather goods, local jewelry, traditional textiles, and Cretan olive oil and herbs.

What are the typical opening hours for shops in Crete?

Most shops in Crete are open Monday to Saturday from around 9am to 9pm, with some smaller shops closing for a couple hours in the afternoon for a siesta.

Can I haggle over prices in Crete?

Haggling is not common practice in most shops in Crete, especially in larger stores or boutiques. However, you may be able to negotiate prices at local markets or when purchasing multiple items.

Are there any duty-free shops in Crete?

There are duty-free shops at the ports and airports in Crete where you can purchase items such as alcohol, tobacco, and perfumes at a discounted price.

Are there any specific customs or traditions to be aware of when shopping in Crete?

When shopping in Crete, it is customary to greet the shopkeeper upon entering the store and to not touch items unless you intend to purchase them. It is also polite to ask permission before taking photographs in a shop.

Can I return items purchased in Crete?

Return policies vary by store in Crete, so it is best to inquire about the shop’s policy at the time of purchase. Keep in mind that some smaller shops may not offer refunds or exchanges.


In conclusion, shopping in Crete offers a unique and diverse experience for visitors. With its traditional markets, charming boutiques, and modern shopping centers, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The island’s rich history and culture are reflected in the artisanal products and souvenirs available, making each purchase a piece of Crete to take home. Whether seeking handcrafted pottery, local olive oil, or fashionable clothing, shoppers will find a wide variety of options to choose from. Additionally, the warmth and hospitality of the Cretan people add to the overall shopping experience, making visitors feel welcome and appreciated.

Overall, shopping in Crete is a delightful way to explore the island’s culture, support local businesses, and bring home beautiful memories. From bustling street markets to quaint village shops, there is no shortage of shopping opportunities to indulge in. Whether looking for gifts to bring back to loved ones or simply treating oneself to a special memento, Crete’s shopping scene will not disappoint. With its unique products, friendly atmosphere, and stunning surroundings, shopping in Crete is truly an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.