The Municipal Tourism Office (tel. 22420/24-460; fax 22420/21-111), on Vas. Yioryiou, facing the harbor near the hydrofoil pier, is your one-stop source of information in Kos. It's open May through October Monday to Friday 8am to 2:30pm and 5 to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 2pm; November through April, hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 2:30pm. Hotel and pension owners keep the office informed of what rooms are available in the town and environs; however, you must book your room directly with the hotel. Be sure to pick up a free map of Kos. For a more extensive and detailed guide to Kos -- beaches, archaeological sites, birds, wildflowers, tavernas, and much more -- pick up a copy of Where and How in Kos, available at most news kiosks for 4€
Orientation -- Kos town is built around the harbor from which the town fans out. In the center are an ancient city (polis), consisting of ruins; an old city, limited mostly to pedestrians; and the new city, with wide, tree-lined streets. Most of the town's hotels are near the water, either on the road north to Lambi or on the road south and east to Psalidi. If you stand facing the harbor, with the castle on your right, Lambi is to your left and Psalidi on your right. In general, the neighborhoods to your right are less overrun and defined by tourists; this area, although quite central, is overall more residential and pleasant. The relatively uncontrolled area to your left (except for the occasional calm oasis, such as that occupied by the Pension Alexis) has been largely given over to tourism. Knowing this will help you find most of the tourist-oriented services by day and action by night, as well as where to find a bit of calm when you want to call it quits. Most recommended places to stay lie to your left, east of the castle.