Chania harbour was built by the Venetians in the 14th century and for this reason the city is often referred to as ‘The Venice of the East’. Established on the ruins of the ancient city of Kydonia, Chania is not only considered to be the most charming city in Crete, but one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of Greece. Having suffered many invasions and annexations in its turbulent history, Chania now benefits from an interesting fusion of cultures and influences. The physical manifestations of the various periods of Arabic, Egyptian, Turkish, Venetian and Greek control fuse together to produce a uniquely multicultural cityscape. A poignant monument to one of the cultures of Chania is the Etz Hayyim Synagogue. It is the sole Jewish monument remaining on the island following the Second World War and exists as a sad reminder of the fate of the Jewish community of Chania, most of whom died on board the Tanais when it sank in 1944.
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Today, Cretan authorities are keen to preserve the city’s ancient buildings and historical monuments, not least for the benefit of the tourists who pour in year after year, to soak up the sun and take in some Cretan culture. As with many areas popular with tourists, a sizeable expat population has also grown up in Chania. Drawn to the Mediterranean lifestyle and favorable climate, expatriates in Chania can often be found working in the city’s hospitality industry and other tourist-centric roles. Tempting though it may seem to open a bar or restaurant in Chania’s charming old town, several expat landlords have fallen foul of the complex and often-changing legalities of Greece’s hospitality industry. This is where forums like InterNations come into their own and can help expatriate business owners and employees navigate the intricacies of working and/or owning a business in a new country.
Whether you own a bar in Eleftherios Venizelos Square, or you are working the busy season for a water-sports company at Agia Marina, the global expat network provided by InterNations can help you learn from the firsthand experience of others. If you need advice about visas, salaries or housing, or just want know the best places to socialize in Chania, InterNations is an excellent platform for getting in touch with an expat community keen to share information. Expats working in Chania’s tourist industry can expect to work hard during the high season, with seven day weeks being the norm for many for six months of the year. However, the rewards of living and working in this sun-kissed cultural melting pot are well worth the hard-yards and are sure to lead to some experiences worthy of sharing with your InterNations network.