Despite its bad reputation, I decided to visit Kos this summer. I decided to visit because the island offers one of the best ancient ruin sightseeing opportunities to be had on any of the Greek islands. And if you like history just like me, you will like Kos, especially Kos Town. With wild nightlife, nearby beaches and Greek food, Kos Town was a perfect place to base myself. So here we go…
Ancient sites in Kos Town
There’s so much to see in Kos Town. If you’re after ancient ruins, the place is literally littered with ancient ruins.
The good thing is, Kos Town is small, so you can easily walk from one ancient site to another. No need to get taxis or buses around, unless you’re super lazy.
I went in the middle of July. Despite the scorching temperatures, I managed to see all the important sites within Kos Town. However I haven’t seen them all in one day as it was too hot so I did the more centrally located on my first day and the ones that are located on the outskirts on the second day.
Centrally located sites in Kos Town
I would consider the centrally located ones to be the Ancient Agora, which is located literally next to the “bar street”; Kos Town Castle and the Hippocrates Tree.
Ancient Agora in Kos Town
Ancient Agora is enormous. In fact, it was one of the biggest ancient agoras in the ancient world. You could easily spend the whole day walking around the site and imagining what it must had looked like in the olden days. There are few mosaics which are relatively well preserved, you just have to find them. I think the better preserved ones were moved to the archaeological museum in the town to protect them from weather and nature. You can walk anywhere as you like, there are no barriers and you can touch anything, which makes it a little bit more special as you can get real close to history. The entry is completely free.
Kos Town Castle
This is one of the few sites in Kos Town for which you have to pay. €5 will get you inside this large castle. It takes solid two hours to walk around the walls and see everything once you’re inside.
Kos Town Castle isn’t ancient, however it is built on the ancient foundations, and ancient columns, statues as well as ceramics are littered everywhere throughout the site.
Hippocrates Tree in Kos Town
Just before the entrance to the castle and outside of this really grand looking mosque is the Hippocrates Tree. You’ll probably see it before the castle. It’s a good spot to chill and people watch. The square is really pretty with cobbles and inside the mosque is a little market selling souvenirs and other trinkets. This tree is supposedly 2000 years old and apparently Hippocrates himself taught medicine under this very tree.
If you get tired from all this sightseeing you can hit the beach underneath the castle.
Other Kos Town sights
Western Excavation Zone in Kos Town
Very similar to the Ancient Agora, Western Excavation Zone is once again huge. You can walk around wherever you please and get the feel for the place. Because it’s not as old as the Ancient Agora as I think it dates to Roman times, this site is more preserved. Definitely worth a stroll.
Roman Odeon in Kos Town
Literally next to the western excavation zone, or better, across the road from Western Excavation Zone of Kos Town is the Roman Odeon. The site is reconstructed, as they still hold performances here. Roman Odeon shouldn’t take that long to explore, it’s a small site but definitely worth your time.
Roman Villa in Kos Town
This one was the trickiest to find and still up to this day, I’m not sure whether I’ve seen this site or not. At the time when I was in Kos Town I googled about this place and it said the site is closed, but I still went to check it in case I could have a glimpse at it through the fence or something. My guidebook highly recommended this site stating that it’s a well preserved Roman Villa and you get the sense of how people lived in the ancient times. Anyhow, all I’ve seen was this white structure just a few inches from a busy road, it looked like it could be the Roman Villa (according to my maps and the internet). If that white structure was indeed the Roman Villa, then yeah, don’t bother. But if it wasn’t, I wish good luck to anyone attempting finding it.
As you can see there are lots of sites to see in Kos Town. There’s also a museum hosting ancient artifacts found in and around Kos Town and I am sure it’s well worth a visit as most of the statues and mosaics were removed from the sites due to preservation efforts. I didn’t visit the museum as I didn’t fancy it, but if you’re really into history and have some spare time you should definitely pay a visit.