Mykonos Greece is a destination every person should visit. It's by far one of the most memorable places I've been. Some might think Mykonos only offers parties and beach clubs, but there is so much more to this island than that. If you’re thinking of visiting Mykonos be sure to read this post listing the 10 BEST things to do in Mykonos Greece. You’ll get a taste of the entire island and learn there is more to Mykonos than the average traveler thinks!
Mykonos has become one of the most popular “Insta” destinations. Scroll through your Instagram feed and I can guarantee you’ve seen the pictures of whitewashed buildings, narrow streets, and boho boutiques. Jake and I had been planning to go to Mykonos for a while and had our dates picked shortly before this destination seemed to blow up on social media.
After seeing this spike in popularity I became nervous that we were about to visit a destination that 1) didn’t live up to its expectations with all the edited and photoshopped pictures that have become a norm on social media but 2) that our long awaited Greece vacation was about to explode with higher than average crowds of tourists. Surprisingly my worries never came to fruition.
We visited in mid-May which meant we beat the crowds. Talking to many locals and shop owners we did learn that tourism has exploded and everyone living here is very aware that Mykonos has become an “Instagram” hotspot. I was even told on several occasions “don’t go to this area at such and such time because that’s when all the Instagram ladies are taking their photos”. I had to laugh. Jake and I were commended by those we talked to for picking the perfect time of year to visit. Give it two weeks when June hits…that street that just took us 2 minutes to walk would take 30 with all the summer crowds.
My other concern about Mykonos not meeting its hyped-up expectations with all the perfect photos on social media was also unwarranted. This island was as picturesque and charming as I could have ever dreamed. Seeing it in person was more lovely than the photos.
Now let’s move on to the good stuff and why you're here. After exploring this tiny island for 5 days it was easy to come up with the list of the 10 BEST things to do in Mykonos Greece!
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10 best things to do in Mykonos Greece
1. Wander Mykonos Town aka: Chora
Hands down one of my favorite things to do in Mykonos! The main town of Mykonos is Chora. Many just call it Mykonos town. Chora is a maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings with shutters and railings painted in a rainbow of colors, small restaurants, boutique and designer shopping, and an endless supply of photo opportunities. Don’t bother with street names as many don’t have them. Get lost in all the twists and turns knowing that this area is small. It’s kind of like Venice. You don’t have to worry about getting lost because at some point you will either find yourself at the water or a familiar landmark.
A good starting point is the Little Venice area right on the water. Pick any street that goes inland and start from there. Head to Popolo coffee shop for the best espresso on the island and the friendliest Italian owner. Not only will you get your coffee to start the day but Popolo is in a very picturesque area that's the perfect place to start your aimless wandering.
2. Sunset Cocktails in Little Venice
Watching the sun set is probably one of the most memorable things to do in Mykonos. Little Venice is a long stretch of buildings nestled right up against the ocean wall. You will find restaurants and bars lined up together each offering an open patio looking out to the ocean and similar overpriced menus. I wouldn’t recommend eating here as you will find better and more affordable spots elsewhere, but this is the perfect spot to grab a pre-dinner cocktail and watch an incredible sunset. Go at least 30 minutes before sunset during shoulder season and an hour during summer. Plan to spend around 14 euros for cocktails and 9 euros for the cheapest wine. Scarpa and Negrita are two good options.
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3. Visit the windmills
Mykonos is known for being a windy island…though I didn’t think it was that windy when we visited in May. Windmills can be found all over the island. The most convenient place to see 5 intact windmills is at Kato Myloi or Kato Mili. Situated just left of Little Venice they will most likely be on your way to see other sights in Mykonos. These windmills were used to grind grain back in the day for ships sailing from Mykonos. I highly recommend getting up early, as in arriving around 7:00am. Seeing these windmills lit with the golden glow of the sunrise and little to no tourists is definitely one of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece.
4. Paraportiani Church
The Church of Panagia Paraportiani is an icon of Mykonos. It’s actually 5 chapels meshed into one building. 4 on the bottom and 1 on the top. It’s covered in white stucco and I personally think it looks like a bowl of melting ice cream. Visit at sunrise or sunset when the golden light makes this a dazzling sight. Fun fact: did you know Mykonos has 365 churches? One for every day of the year!
5. 180 Sunset Bar for the best sunset views in Mykonos
Another must when planning what to do in Mykonos is visiting 180 Sunset Bar. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece. It’s a steep 15 minute uphill walk from Little Venice. The walk isn’t bad and I did it in flat sandals but definitely would not recommend heels. 180 Sunset Lounge opens 1.5 hours before sunset and closes around 11:00pm. The entire place has a major Bohemian vibe and there are several different areas to sit and watch the sunset.
When Jake and I visited there was only one area open for walk-ins. Reservations can be made but it’s a 50 euro minimum spend per person! We arrived about 15 minutes before they opened and grabbed one of the free spots on the steps. There is always a DJ or live music, blankets are available if it gets cold, and the experience is incredible. We each ordered a 10 euro glass of wine. Cocktails are more expensive at 18-25 euros. We stayed for about 2.5 hours just chilling and enjoying the views and music. Go here early in your trip because you might want to come back a second time. See my Instagram stories featuring this spot. You can find the videos in my Greece highlights on my profile page.
6. Rent a car for the day to hit lesser known beaches
Staying on the island for more than a day or two and wondering what to do in Mykonos with your extra time? Rent a car for the day! As stated earlier, Mykonos can get crowded. Jake and I spent our first few days using the public bus system…which is great and so easy. One day we decided to rent a car and go to some areas the buses don't go. This was such a memorable day. We practically had the beaches we visited to ourselves. Mykonos is not a big island. You could drive the entire island, make plenty of stops for beach time and pictures and still have time left in the day when you finished. Because you can cover the entire island in a day you have the luxury of not having to map out every detail. Pick a few beaches you want to hit, maybe a restaurant or two and then just wander from there or get recommendations from locals as you go. We really liked Fokos beach and Fokos Taverna. Visit Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm for a wine tasting and tour.
*Please steer clear of renting an ATV or scooter. The hospitals are filled with tourists each year from bad accidents. Part of the reason is the roads are very narrow, steep, and have hair pin turns. The other reason is many people renting these ATVs and scooters have no idea what they are doing and are a hazard to themselves and everyone else on the road. Go the safe route and pay for a small car. The price is only about 15-20 euros more and worth it.
7. Kikis Tavern
Probably one of our most memorable dining experiences and easily one of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece. You can only get here by car so this would be a great lunch spot for when you have your rental car. The restaurant is only open during daylight hours since there is no electricity. The owner will most likely be there to greet you with wine and water as you wait. There is no waitlist. The owner boasts of his photographic memory as he points to who you will be seated after. If there is a wait take a seat or walk down the steps to the small beach below. Make sure at least one member of your party stays by the restaurant though…strict rules you know!
Have everyone in your party order the salad starter. You go to the salad bar where the freshly made options are explained to you. Each person gets to choose 2 so have everyone order something different. We had the beet, fava bean (a specialty of Mykonos), artichoke, and octopus salad. They all were outstanding. We also had the tzatziki. The bread that came with was some of the best on our trip. For a main we shared the grilled octopus. A huge portion and easily splittable. Lastly, we had the homemade (melt in your mouth) chocolate cake which tasted like a flourless cake. If you order anything else get the porkchop. It was HUGE and heartily recommended by many.
Trust me and make sure to visit Kikis. I guarantee it will make your list of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece.
8. Scorpios sunset music Ritual
When asking what to do in Mykonos many will immediately say “go clubbing”. The typical club environment isn’t for everyone and that's where Scorpios Mykonos comes in. What an incredible, memorable, unique, "I would do this every time I come to Mykonos", experience. Scorpios is one of the many beach clubs in Mykonos and it would be hard for me to go anywhere else as this spot was beyond amazing. It easily takes the top spot for the best beach club in Mykonos. See my post Scorpios - The Best Beach Club in Mykonos.
The bohemian décor, service, views, music, crowd, and overall experience were just spectacular. Look at the calendar and make a reservation for a day where they have their “music ritual”. You could book your spot for the start of the ritual, 5:00pm, or make a day of it reserving sunbeds, enjoying lunch, etc.
This is a place where you could spend 100’s of dollars or get off cheap, like Jake and I did. We arrived at Scorpios at 1:00pm for lunch reservations. Instead of eating at the restaurant we ended up eating in the area right next to it that overlooked the beach. It was mid-May so it wasn't crowded. We ordered a quinoa salad and two espresso freddos for a total of 26 euros. Expensive for Greece but cheap compared to the rest of the menu and other beach clubs.
Instead of paying 100+ euros for a sunbed we walked to Paraga, the neighboring beach right behind Scorpios. It’s a public beach so you can either claim your spot of sand or pay for a sunbed. We were pretty hungry come 4:00pm and didn’t plan on spending an arm and a leg for dinner at Scorpios Mykonos so we ate at the highly recommended Tasos Taverna. We had an amazing meal with our table and toes in the sand for 20 euros. At 5:00pm we made our way back to Scorpios for our sunset music ritual reservation.
I reserved the Sunset Beach area which is the best spot to see and enjoy whatever band or DJ is playing that evening. You have to buy a bottle as drinks are not served by the glass in any reserved area. We found a 50 euro bottle of wine and nursed that. Since we were there for over 5 hours we each ordered a glass of wine which to our surprise they happily allowed.
This is not a college party crowd like many clubs in Mykonos. The crowd was mostly young professionals in their late 20's, 30’s and 40’s. People danced and wandered around to the beat of the music. This is a great alternative for those looking for a club experience a little more “refined”. This is an absolute must experience and easily makes the list of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece and the best beach club in Mykonos. If you want that crazy party scene head to Paradise or Super Paradise beach.
9. Kayak Tour
One of the best ways to see the many beaches of Mykonos and get some snorkeling in is to do a boat or kayak tour. I prefer the kayak tour as it’s a little more active. The views you will see from the water and the experience paddling beach to beach is beyond memorable. Not into the idea of a kayak tour. Do you a catamaran tour. Some options even include stops at other islands like Delos! You can't go wrong with either option and each earns a spot on the list of best things to do in Mykonos Greece.
10. Delos Day Trip
Delos is a 30 minute boat ride from the Old Town port in Mykonos and a must on the list of things to do in Mykonos Greece for anyone that is interested in Greek history. The island is deserted except for its ancient ruins. Delos has a story that begins over 3,000 years ago and was a significant spiritual destination. Greek legend was that Apollo and Artemis were born here. Temples were built in their honor and pilgrims would come with their offerings. The history continues far beyond this. I recommend hiring a local guide, they meet the arriving boats, or getting a good tour book and reading up on your history beforehand and during your self guided tour. As always, I’m a big Rick Steves fan and found his Greece book very helpful.
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Have you visited Mykonos? What's on your list of the best things to do in Mykonos Greece?
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