Nafplion's streets pass by bright flowers and look up at wooden balconies, and its lively cafes invite travellers to take a break from wandering. The romantic seaport town's relaxed atmosphere, fascinating mosques and gorgeous churches more the make up for its lack of classical ruins.
The old part of town has some delightful shops, where items range from touristic kitsch to elevated art. Visitors will enjoy searching the area for souvenirs. Nafplion also has several decent malls and grocery stores for self-caterers, and markets that offer local crafts and produce.
Visitors will find traditional Greek dishes at establishments along the bustling harbour or in the grand Venetian-style square called Plateia Syntagmatos. Other dining options include fast food and a variety of international cuisines.
Nafplion's vibrant nightlife has a fairly broad scene, meaning visitors can choose between partying and relaxing over sundowners or romantic meals. Some of the town's best establishments lie in the harbour area or perch dramatically on the cliffs.
Nafplion is a comfortable base from which to explore the Peloponnese's remarkable archaeological sites, which include Sparta's ruins and the ancient Greek theatre of Epidaurus. Athens is less than two hours' drive away. Beyond that, visitors can enjoy art galleries and interesting museums dedicated to archaeology, folklore, Komboloi (worry beads), and even Ouzo. They can also hike up to the Venetian Fortress of Palamidi and enjoy the view, or relax at beaches, waterfront tavernas and open-air cinemas.
Although it has been described as a prettier, cleaner and quainter version of Athens, things can get fairly chaotic in Nafplion during the summer months, particularly as it's a very popular weekend excursion for the Athenians themselves.