At night, instead of seeking out a packed club/bar/disco or walking around the harbor and old town, wander into Chania's back alleys to see the old Venetian and Turkish remains. Sit in a quayside cafe and enjoy a coffee or a drink, or treat yourself to a ride in a horse-drawn carriage at the harbor. At the other extreme, stroll through the new town; you might be surprised by the modernity and diversity (and prices) of the stores patronized by typical Chaniots.
Clubs come and go from year to year. Some popular spots include El Mondo and the Happy Go Lucky, both on Kondilaki (the street leading away from the center of the old harbor); Idaeon Andron, 26 Halidon; and Ariadne, on Akti Enoseos (around the corner, where the old harbor becomes the new). On Anghelou (up from the Naval Museum) is Fagotta, a bar that sometimes offers jazz.
Cafes are everywhere, but two stand out because of their locations. At Pallas Roof Garden Cafe-Bar, on Akti Tobazi (right at the corner where the new harbor meets the old harbor), you can sit high above the harbor, watch the lights, listen to the murmur of the crowds below, and nurse a refreshing drink or ice cream. However, you must climb 44 stairs to get here; as the sign says, IT'S WORTH IT. If you'd prefer to hear traditional Cretan songs, try Cafe Lyriaka, 22 Kalergon (behind the arsenali along the harbor).
The gay community in Chania does not seem to have any single gathering place, but the DioLuxe cafe, at 8 Sarpidonas (behind the Porto Veneziano hotel, on the new harbor), is reported to be gay friendly.
Movie houses around town -- both outdoor and indoor -- usually show foreign movies in their original language. The one in the public gardens is especially enjoyable. Watching a movie on a warm summer night in an outdoor cinema is one of life's simpler pleasures.
A summer cultural festival sometimes features dramas, symphonic music, jazz, dance, and traditional music. These performances take place from July to September at several venues: Firka fortress at the far left of the harbor; the Venetian arsenali along the old harbor; East Moat Theater along Nikiforou Phokas; or Peace and Friendship Park Theater on Demokratias, just beyond the public gardens. For details, inquire at one of the tourist information offices when you arrive in town.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.