Kos is a popular tourist destination in Greece’ Dodecanese Islands. Located near the Turkish coast, Kos is one of the warmest destinations in Europe and is known for its excellent beaches, laid back culture and vibrant nightlife! The island should definitely be on your Greece itinerary.
The towns and villages on Kos are quite spread out, meaning it can be difficult to decide where is the best place to stay. Whilst many visitors stick to Kos Town, there are plenty of other excellent resorts worth discovering around the island.
That’s where we come in! We’ve created this guide to help you figure out the best area in Kos for your itinerary. Regardless of your travelling style, there’s definitely a place for you on the island.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Kos
- Kos Town – Best neighborhood in Kos for your first time
- Lambi – Where to stay in Kos close to everything
- Kardamena – Where to stay in Kos for nightlife
- Mastichari – Best neighborhood in Kos for families
- Kefalos – Where to stay in Kos on a budget
- Tigaki – Best neighborhood in Kos for couples
- Zia – Best neighborhood in Kos for tradition
Where to Stay in Kos
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Kos.
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Kos
Whilst there aren’t any hostels on the island, there are still plenty of budget-friendly hotels that are perfect for backpackers! Fantasia Hotel offers self-contained apartments at great rates, as well as some good communal facilities. This allows you to socialise with other guests whilst still maintaining some privacy.
Best Budget Hotel in Kos
Located in the gorgeous Lampi area, Gaia Garden is a great choice if you want to be within walking distance of all the action whilst still staying in a calm area. They offer a continental breakfast that is highly rated by previous guests. They also have high-speed WiFi and laptop hire – perfect for business travellers!
Going to Kos? This guide on fun stuff to do in Kos hits all the highlights!
Best Luxury Hotel in Kos
Of all the great five star hotels on the island, Neptune Hotel-Resort has to take the top spot. It boasts five swimming pools as well as a whole host of other great recreational facilities. The views from the hotel are incredible, and the customer service is second to none!
Kos 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Kos. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Kos for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kos Town – relax and watch the world go by at the restaurants and bars in Eleftherias Square
- BEST place to visit in Kos Town – check out the Roman ruins around the town, including the Odeon and Roman House
Kos Town is the largest town and capital of Kos, acting as the main port for the island. This is the focus of most itineraries on the island, with all of the major attractions located in the city centre! It is also where all of the ferries to other parts of Greece, and onwards to Turkey, depart from.
The town has a varied nightlife, from local dive bars to upscale nightclubs and everything in between! There are also some excellent tours departing from the city where you can explore the rest of the island – by coach or by boat. If you are only planning a short trip, this is the place to be.
- Take a boat tour from the harbour where you can explore the surrounding seas and dramatic coastal scenery
- Head to Kos Town Castle to learn about the history of the island and admire the architecture left behind by the many occupiers of the island
- The Tree of Hippocrates is said to be where the famous philosopher taught residents of the island – the surrounding area has some great local restaurants
- Restaurant Alexandros is a popular restaurant with both visitors and locals – show up early to grab a table
- Walk down Bar Street at night to take in the city’s best nightlife venues playing popular music and serving cheap drinks
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Kos Town
Fantasia Hotel offers serviced apartments right in the heart of Kos Town! Only a short walk away from the beach and Bar Street, you will be right in the middle of the action. Rooms are fully air-conditioned and have private balconies overlooking the city and the coast. There are also small kitchenettes with coffee makers.
Have some time? Get out of the city with these epic day trips from Kos!
Best Budget Hotel in Kos Town
This hotel is fantastic for families on a budget that are visiting the island! It has a large swimming pool, a smaller kids’ pool and a hot tub. Located right on the coast, guests are treated to magnificent views across the harbour. The surrounding exotic gardens are also perfect for unwinding in.
Best Luxury Hotel in Kos Town
This five-star hotel is packed with excellent facilities! There are two pools, tennis courts, beach facilities and even a spa area. The buffet restaurant is well rated by guests and provides a complimentary breakfast each morning. For larger parties, they also offer studio and apartment style rooms.
Check this out – If you are headed to Corfu check out our guide to Corfu’s best areas to stay!
(Where to stay in Kos close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Lambi – if you are visiting during the Hippokratia Festival, this is a great experience for discovering local culture and Hippocratic history
- BEST place to visit in Lambi – head to Lambi Beach where you can try out a variety of watersports activities and hire equipment
Located just to the north of Kos Town, Lambi is a sleepy beach village that is perfect if you want to remain close to the action but prefer a more laid back atmosphere! Though technically a village in its own right, Lambi is so well connected with Kos Town that it is often regarded as part of the same area.
By far the most popular attraction in Lambi is its beach. Though a little busier than other beaches across the island, it offers plenty of facilities. Popular activities include snorkelling, kayaking and motorboat hire! The restaurants also have a calmer atmosphere than those in neighbouring Kos Town.
- Hire a bike and cycle from Lambi to Tigaki Village – the popular route is incredibly scenic and great for all fitness levels
- Admire the magnificent Mediterranean Views and try out some great drinks and dishes at Artemis Heaven Beach Bar
- If you are looking for a fun group activity, Exodus Kos is a well-rated escape room in the town – perfect for families and large parties
- Travel around the north of the island in style by hiring a buggy from Moto Harley, located between Lambi and Kos Town
- Lambi has plenty of excellent tavernas where you can soak up local culture and try authentic cuisine – we recommend Sunset Taverna on the main street
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Lambi
The spacious hotel gives you a great combination of privacy and excellent social spaces for meeting other guests! Though the apartments are quite basic, they are well equipped with everything you will need for a short stay in the town. Cooking facilities are available as well as private balconies.
Best Budget Hotel in Lambi
Located in the north of Lambi, Gaia Garden is a peaceful resort that gives you more for your money! The large terrace has sun loungers and a decent sized pool and provides great views across the town. An American style buffet breakfast is provided every morning, and WiFi is available throughout.
Best Luxury Hotel in Lambi
This hotel is adults only, making it perfect for couples and solo travellers looking to get away from the family resorts! Based on the northern tip of Lambi, the surrounding area is very peaceful and provides excellent views across the Mediterranean. There is also a private beach area for hotel guests only.
(Where to stay in Kos for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kardamena – head to Starlight Bar, the biggest nightclub on the island with the best parties
- BEST place to visit in Kardamena – relax under the parasols of Kardamena Beach and try out the snorkelling facilities
Kardamena is the main nightlife hub on Kos and popular with the 18-30 crowd! Its long beach is a hub of activity during the day with bustling bars, authentic restaurants and great facilities. Snorkelling is popular here, as with many other parts of the island, and there are some excellent equipment hire places on the coast.
Starlight Bar is the best-known nightclub in the town with regular rave events and good prices on drinks. The main strip in the town has some other great clubs whether you are looking for a more reserved atmosphere or a local party!
- Visit the Folklore and Maritime Museum for a unique insight into the legends that have shaped Kos and it’s seafaring history
- For a friendly bar experience, head to Athenian Bar – they have great cocktails and can even make up a new concoction just for you!
- For a more local nightlife experience, the Jam Bar is a popular hangout in the town and has great prices and an outdoor lounge area
- Avli Restaurant offers great, upscale Greek-style seafood with an ambient atmosphere and wide range on its menu
- If you’re on a budget, Thomas Grill and Meze offers excellent Greek dishes at low prices and is right on the coast!
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Kardamena
This is another great hotel if you are looking for studio or apartment style accommodation with the convenience of a hotel! It’s only a short walk away from the beach and is located right next to the main nightlife strip. All rooms come with small balconies and well-equipped kitchenettes, as well as air conditioning.
Best Budget Hotel in Kardamena
Located close to the beach, Cleopatra Superior offers great value for money! There is a large pool and terrace area, as well as two bars and a fitness suite. A continental breakfast is provided every morning and is very well rated by guests. Rooms are somewhat basic but come with balconies overlooking the town and sea.
Best Luxury Hotel in Kardamena
Another magnificent five-star hotel, Grand Blue Beach Hotel is unbeaten in Kardamena for luxury accommodation! The massive pool terrace overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the surrounding mountains. Rooms are well equipped and guests are rewarded with luxury toiletries and robes. High-speed WiFi is available throughout.
Insider Guide! This is the ultimate list of the best day trips from Athens!
(Best neighbourhood in Kos for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Mastichari – catch a ferry to nearby Kalymnos Island for a fun day trip
- BEST place to visit in Mastichari – take the kids to the Lido Water Park for some family fun in the sun
Mastichari is a somewhat popular resort on the north coast of Kos that has excellent facilities for families! The nearby Lido Water Park is the largest on the island and has excellent slides for all ages and fun pool areas. If you want a more typical experience, Mastichari Beach also has some fantastic facilities.
Though the town does have reasonable tourist numbers, it is a lot more peaceful than the larger resorts on the island. This creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy during a family itinerary or even if you just need somewhere to unwind! The restaurants and cafes serve high-quality Greek cuisine and drinks.
- Mastichari Beach runs along the entire length of the town and has great recreational facilities including equipment hire
- To learn about the history of the island, head to the Hippocrates Cultural Centre which has some interesting exhibits
- KiteSurfing Kos offer equipment hire as well as guided trips along the coast of Mastichari – they’re the most popular kitesurfing company on the island!
- Akrogiali offers excellent Greek cuisine at low prices – they are very highly rated by guests and the plates are massive
- For a more casual dining experience, Athina Kalimera is a small cafe located a few minutes inland from the beach
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Mastichari
Located just outside Mastichari, the Small Village is a collection of apartments and suites right on the coast! There is a swimming pool on-site, as well as massage facilities and a fitness centre. There are some great communal spaces for meeting other guests, and free WiFi is available throughout.
Best Budget Hotel in Mastichari
Ilios and Irene are two fully serviced apartments in the south of Mastichari. Here you get the privacy of a self-catering apartment, as well as the benefits of an on-site restaurant with a complimentary breakfast! Guests are rewarded with a platter of local delicacies upon arrival, and free parking is available.
Best Luxury Hotel in Mastichari
This gorgeous hotel is truly the pinnacle of luxury in Mastichari! It boasts five swimming pools, eight bars and a large recreation area with sporting facilities. A complimentary Greek breakfast is served every morning from the on-site restaurant. Rooms are beautifully decorated and include luxury toiletries and modern technology.
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(Where to stay in Kos on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kefalos – try out some snorkelling on Agios Stefanos beach – one of the best spots on the island
- BEST place to visit in Kefalos – venture into the White Stone Cave to discover artefacts dating back to the prehistoric and Roman eras
Located in the far south of the island, Kefalos is a vibrant town that offers a lot to visitors! The most popular attractions in this area are the beaches which are often considered to be some of the most beautiful on the island. Agios Stefanos, in particular, is great for snorkelling and has a wide range of facilities.
Travelling further into the surrounding countryside is also a rewarding experience, with plenty of hiking trails and breathtaking viewpoints! As it is so far away from the main town on the island, Kefalos is a dream for budget travellers looking to venture slightly off the beaten path and discover a more authentic Greek town.
- Hike up to the Castle of Kefalos to discover some of the town’s history as well as take in the marvellous views of the area
- Unwind at LynnYannYoga who offer a variety of classes to suit all levels whether you are just trying it out or are a yoga expert
- Baywatch Watersports offer some great activities including jet skiing, windsurfing and snorkelling at budget-friendly rates
- Sample some authentic Greek cuisine whilst taking in the magnificent scenery of the area at Maistrali Restaurant
- Bravo Cafe Bar offers excellent drinks and coffee, as well as a varied food menu, right on the beach!
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Kefalos
Though this hotel is as basic as they come, it is well located for access to the beach and the local tavernas of Kefalos! There is a small communal pool area with terrace and sun loungers. Free WiFi is available in all of the shared areas, as well as complimentary parking for guests with cars.
Looking for something different? Check out our guide to party hostels in Mykonos!
Best Budget Hotel in Kefalos
If you want to upgrade a little but are still sticking to a tight budget, Kordistos Hotel has some great facilities! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and come with balconies overlooking the sea. There is a large swimming pool on-site as well as a great restaurant the offers a complimentary buffet breakfast.
Best Luxury Hotel in Kefalos
This exquisite five-star hotel is an excellent option if you are planning a relaxing getaway. The small pool terrace has views across the sea, and there is a tennis court area free of charge to all guests. An American style breakfast is provided every morning and even comes with gluten-free options!
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(Best neighbourhood in Kos for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Tigaki – sample local wine and discover how it is produced in the area at Hatziemmanouil Winery
- BEST place to visit in Tigaki – visit the Alikes Salt Lakes area for a relaxing hike amongst the gorgeous scenery
Tigaki is a sleepy village on Kos’ northern coast. It is a perfect getaway for couples thanks to the laid back atmosphere, friendly locals and an abundance of tourist facilities! Tigaki Beach is a little less touristy than some others on the island, making it the perfect place to unwind and admire the gorgeous views across the sea.
The restaurants in Tigaki are mostly tavernas, offering you a local experience at great prices! Though there is some nightlife in the village, it is a very calm affair with simple drinks and ambient music. If you do decide to opt for something a bit livelier, Tigaki is well connected with Kos Town.
- Mascot Bar is one of the most popular in the area, offering budget-friendly drinks and regular karaoke nights for tourists and locals
- Barracuda Beach has sun lounger mattresses with luxurious parasols where you can sit back, relax and bask in the Greek sun
- Head further south to Basilika Agios Pavlos where you can enjoy the ancient architecture and soak up the history
- Once you have finished sunbathing, head to Alikes – just in front of the beach – where you can enjoy large plates of local food
- If you want some more active beach activities, neighbouring Marmaris has an excellent beach with equipment hire facilities
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Tigaki
Just a short walk from both the beach and the salt lakes, Aspro Spiti offers full suites that come with kitchenettes and balconies! There is a large swimming pool with a terrace in the centre of the hotel, offering a great place to relax and mingle with other guests. They provide a complimentary breakfast every morning.
Best Budget Hotel in Tigaki
The Golden Star Hotel is an adult only accommodation – perfect for couples looking for some peace away from the family crowd! Completely family run, it has a very welcoming atmosphere and the on-site restaurant serves homemade dishes. All rooms come with a balcony and modern conveniences.
Best Luxury Hotel in Tigaki
This luxurious hotel is located right on the beach! There is a buffet restaurant on-site serving a complimentary breakfast every morning and traditional cuisine throughout the day. There is also a spa centre, small nightclub and convenience store within the hotel. Rooms are equipped with large en-suites that have a bathtub and a shower.
Further reading – Check out the top hostels in Mykonos
(Best neighbourhood in Kos for tradition!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Zia – hike through Kos National Park to discover viewpoints across the entire island
- BEST place to visit in Zia – head to the Spinning Wheel to pick up some handmade jewellery – perfect for souvenirs!
Located right in the heart of the island, Zia is not often visited by tourists who generally stick to the beach towns. Though this means tourism infrastructure is not as widely spread, it does result in a much more authentic experience! The streets are filled with tavernas, local boutique stores and interesting monuments.
It is also located right next to Kos National Park, where you can enjoy hikes through the island’s mountainous terrain! Zia is well connected with Kos Town, giving you a great place to stay away from the crowds whilst still allowing you to explore the more popular areas of the island.
- Wander down to the Positive Shops, a series of local handicraft stores set up by the local community – their fabric goods are particularly popular
- Taverna Zia No Stress lives up to its name by maintaining a laid back atmosphere with views over the mountains – the food is also excellent
- Head on one of the bus tours that pass through Zia, allowing you to explore most of the island in a single day
- Pick up a cheap sample of Ouzo or wine from the street sellers along the main thoroughfare in Zia
- The Village Taverna is a creative restaurant right in the centre of Zia, serving traditional cuisine with a friendly vibe
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Zia
Though there are no hotels or hostels in Zia, there are some excellent holiday lets to choose from! This villa is great if you are on a budget but want the privacy of an entire home. Located in Asfendiou, it is only a short walk away from Zia and has breathtaking mountain views. They also offer airport transfers.
Best Budget Hotel in Zia
The Sunset Lodge has a gorgeous garden area with a large terrace where you can relax and enjoy the Greek sunshine! There are barbecue facilities on-site allowing you to make full use of the outdoor space. All units come with free car parking and are fully equipped with air conditioning and kitchens.
Best Luxury Hotel in Zia
Villa Demelius is by far the most luxurious option if you are looking to stay in a villa in Zia! It comes with a private pool and sun lounging area. Private parking is available, and the building is fully air-conditioned. The kitchen is well equipped with a dishwasher and coffee machine. It sleeps up to six people.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kos?
Kos is a mesmerising island that has plenty to offer visitors. Whether you want the bustling nightlife of Kardamena or the understated authenticity of Zia, there is something for everyone on this Mediterranean gem!
If we were to choose the best area, it would have to be Kos Town! This is the main gateway to the island and has a good mix of nightlife, beaches and local restaurants.
Nevertheless, all of the towns and villages mentioned in this list have their own unique attractions to offer visitors. We hope this guide has helped you choose the right area for you during your visit to Kos!
What are your tips for visiting Kos? Let us know in the comments!
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