Chania is said to be one of the oldest, still inhabited city in the world.
It may or may not be right but a fact is that Chania has been in
existence for over 5000 years. It is now a large, noisy town but
as soon as you get into the old town and walk its narrow streets
and alleys the atmosphere changes and becomes charged with history.
Most prominent are the Venetian buildings and fortifications as well as the covered market.
Chania also houses an Archaeological Museum and a Maritime Museum which are both worth a visit.
Chania offers good opportunities for shopping, nice cafés and lots of good restaurants
See the visitor's guide to Chania
Rethymnon is a little smaller than Chania but is also growing quickly into a sprawling, rather ugly urban centre. However its old town and narrow alleys along the water front compete with Chania for the title of "Most beautiful city of Crete".
There are more Turkish houses and minarets remaining here than in Chania, although most houses are of Venetian origin. Rethymnon also has a long sandy beach which starts practically in the centre of the town and stretches eastward. Needless to say, this beach is lined with hotels, restaurants, cafes and all the other accompanying touristic "symptoms".