My first experience in Santorini was staying just outside of Fira for a few nights before moving on to Oia.

I quickly fell in love with Fira’s busy energy, eclectic restaurants and shops, and, of course, stunning views. 

If you’re traveling to Santorini solo, or just want to be in the center of the nightlife, I’d highly suggest basing yourself out of Fira.

I had so much fun exploring the town that even after I shifted my Airbnb to Oia, I’d still make a point of hopping the bus back to Fira to grab a fun dinner and drinks most nights.

It’s a much easier place to meet other travelers, plus is home to the central bus station, meaning you can get anywhere on the island from here.

Fair warning though, like most things in Greece, the station is super chaotic, last minute, and confusing.

Have your money ready to hand over before you get on the bus, move fast, and keep your ears open, because the bus you need will probably be late, and not announced until right before it boards.

The list below will prepare you for the perfect visit to town. You can check out all the best things to do in Fira, plus see answers to some frequently asked questions about the area.

What is Fira famous for?

Is Fira worth visiting

Fira is the capital of Santorini, Greece. It’s well known for its galleries, shops, white-washed streets, and of course the Three Bells of Fira.

Is Fira worth visiting?

Fira vs Oia which is better

Absolutely, it was one of my favorite parts of Santorini. It’s great for a more lively night and has plenty of sights to check out during the day!

Fira vs Oia, which is better?

Fira vs Oia which is better 2

They both have their benefits. Fira is better for a night out, or if you want to be more central on the island. Oia is better for romantic sunset views, boutiques, and cave hotels.

Best Things to Do in Fira

The Best Things to Do in Santorini Fira Greece

1. See the Three Bells of Fira

Head to Fira’s blue domed Catholic Church of the Dormition to Santorini’s most photographed bells, known as the Three Bells of Fira. 

You’ll definitely recognize them from social media, or any research you’ve already done on the island.

The best part is there’s a nearby parking lot that gives you a picture perfect view of the bells and the sun setting over the Caldera.



2. Ride the Santorini Cable Cars

I have to admit riding the Santorini Cable Cars is still on my Greece Bucket List. 

From what friends have told me, it’s well worth taking the ride for the views alone, especially if you go near sunset. 

Either way, you’ll absolutely want to have your camera out taking photos.

It’s also the perfect way to get in a magnificent view while, especially if you’re coming in from the port.

Fair warning though, you’ll want to book your tickets early, because the cable cars get insanely busy during the summer.



3. Check Out the Museum of Prehistoric Thira

This is another spot that I didn’t get to visit on my first trip, but have heard good things about.

The Museum of Prehistoric Thira has tons of ancient artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and exhibits.

It’s the perfect way to learn all about the history of the island.

My friend says it took them about 90 minutes to see everything, making this an easy stop when you’re ready to get out of the sun.



4. Hike Along the Caldera

If you’re looking for a bit of exercise with a killer view, plan to hike along the Caldera, either into Fira or from Fira to Oia, for the sunset (about six miles).

Fair warning though, it gets boiling midday if you’re visiting during peak season.

I’d opt to either hike in the early morning or late evening for the most enjoyable temperatures. 

It’s also easy to stop by Skaros Rock, Imperovigli, and Firostefani while hiking between Oia and Fira. 



5. Go Shopping

Since Fira is Santorini’s capital, it’s got plenty of shopping and restaurants to keep you busy all afternoon.

I had so much fun strolling around all the streets of Fira checking out all the stores.

There are tons of sandal shops, souvenir places, and boutiques.

There are also tons of local artwork to check out, so don’t forget to stop by one of the art galleries if you’re shopping for an extra special souvenir. 



6. Enjoy the Restaurant Scene

By the time I got to Santorini, I had spent about two weeks eating Mediterranean food, and was so ready for a change of pace.

Thankfully, Fira offers plenty of different cuisines, including Greek, to keep your tastebuds happy.

These are some spots I really enjoyed while hanging out in Fira:



7. Head to a Winery

I’m always ready to do a winery, especially in Greece. 

You’re basically guaranteed an afternoon of stunning views, and delicious vino.

There aren’t any vineyards right in Fira, but there are a few close by.

The best part is they’re pretty easy to get to if you hop the bus in Fira, since all the lines connect here.

Fun Fact: Because of Santorini’s volcanic soils, wine produced here has high acidity and is quite full-bodied. 


Book one of these popular Santorini wine tastings!


8. Go Bar Hopping

If you didn’t make it to the winery, but still want to have a bit of fun, head bar hopping in Fira.

Since it’s such a large town, there’s plenty of both locals and tourists to keep the scene lively. 

Some of the most popular bars in Fira are:

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9. Sign Up for a Tour

There are plenty of tours being offered on Santorini, and a ton of them take place right in Fira.

The island offers everything from horseback tours, to boating tours, and even private sightseeing tours.


These are some of the most popular tours in Santorini!


10. Watch the Sunset

Even though Oia is the most popular spot to watch the sunset in Santorini, Fira still gets a pretty spectacular view.

I highly recommend stopping to enjoy the epic Greek sunset at one of these popular spots:

  • Saint Minas Holy Church
  • From a sunset cruise
  • Church of St. John the Theologian
  • From the hiking path to Oia
  • From the Donkey Stairs


11. Indulge in Mediterranean Food

If you come to Greece, you’re basically required to indulge in all the amazing Mediterranean food.

These are some of the best Greek spots in Fira:



12. Take Tons of Photos

Fira, like many Greek towns, is super photogenic with its blue domes, white-washed walls, and colorful flowers. 

It’s a glorious spot to wander around taking photos either for yourself or for your social media.

Some really classic spots for Instagram photos in Fira are:

  • Franco’s Bar
  • Church of St. John the Theologian
  • Fira walls near St. Stylianos Church
  • Three Bells of Fira

Book a photographer in order to take the most epic photos in Santorini!


13. Laugh at The Greek Wedding Show

Laugh at The Greek Wedding Show

The Greek Wedding Show is one of those vacation activities that, though corny, can be a ton of fun, especially if you’re with family.

This interactive Greek comedy show has major My Big Fat Greek Wedding vibes, and is sure to keep you laughing the entire night, especially since they serve drinks.


RSVP to The Greek Wedding Show early to guarantee entry!


14. Visit the Old Port

Visiting the Old Port in Fira is a bit of a commitment depending on how you decide to get there, but it’s so worth checking out if you have the time.

To get from the main town of Fira into the Old Port, you can either climb roughly 580 steps next to donkeys, take a cab, or ride the Santorini Cable Cars.

I’d suggest the cable cars since they offer the best view.

Once in town you can explore the seaside, check out shops, and even just chill at a cafe to get in some interesting people and boat watching. 


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15. See the Skyline from a Boat

There’s nothing better than seeing Santorini from the water, so if you can take a bit of time at the Port, then head out on a boating excursion.

Whether you want to chill on the water, or explore the Caldera, or catch a romantic sunset, there are tons of different tour options for everyone. 


Check out some of the most popular boating excursions from Santorini!


16. Check Out Local Artwork

While you’re walking around Fira, stop into some of the fine art galleries to see works from local artists.

Who knows, you may find the perfect unique souvenir to take home with you.

These are some of the most popular art galleries in Fira:



17. Go Dancing

Don’t miss out on the nightlife scene in Fira. It’s the best on the entire island.

I missed out last year since one of Greece’s COVID rules was no dancing!

But I’m hoping to get back to the island to check out these hotspots:



18. Explore the Folklore Museum of Santorini

Okay, so the Folklore Museum of Santorini still temporarily closed after COVID, but hopefully it’ll reopen this summer.

I’ve heard great things from friends about this museum.

winerIt has some really cool caves, plus you get to look back at what life was like in Santorini in the 19th century.


Wrapping It Up

18 Best Things to Do in Fira Santorinis Liveliest Town

After writing this list, I truly cannot wait to get back to Greece this summer to explore more of Santorini.

Whether you’re spending the day or evening in Fira, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. 

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out!


Check out some of these other popular Santorini activities!

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