Where to stay in Kos for first time: 6 Safe areas

Kos is one of my favorite tourist destinations in Greece. I understand that finding where to stay in Kos as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Kos for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Kos for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Kos and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Kos is a beautiful Greek island located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It is the third-largest island in the Dodecanese and is situated near the coast of Turkey.

The island is known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and lively nightlife. You can explore ancient ruins, medieval castles, and traditional villages. 

The main town and capital of the island is also named Kos. It is a historic and vibrant town with archaeological sites, medieval buildings, and a picturesque harbor.

Kos was an important center of learning and culture in antiquity, with notable figures such as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, being associated with the island.

Kos is accessible by air and sea. The island has an international airport with regular flights, and ferries connect it to other Greek islands and the Turkish coast.

The local cuisine on Kos includes traditional Greek dishes, seafood, and a variety of Mediterranean flavors. Tavernas and restaurants offer a taste of the local culinary delights.

Is Kos safe for tourists?

Yes, Kos, like most of Greece, is generally safe to visit. The island has a relatively low crime rate, but pickpocketing can occur.  It’s essential to exercise standard safety precautions while traveling, such as being aware of your surroundings, safeguarding your belongings, and following local laws and customs.

Where to stay in Kos for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Kos for first-timers and tourists are Kos Town, Kardamena, Kefalos, Mastichari, Tigaki, and Marmari. These are the most popular tourist destinations on the island, providing a range of accommodations for all budgets and preferences.

Kos Town is the overall best area for first-timers. It is the island’s capital and main port, offering highest concentration of hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, bars and clubs. It is rich in history with archaeological sites like the Ancient Agora, the Castle of the Knights, and the Tree of Hippocrates.

During my trip to Kos, I stayed at the mid-range Orpheus Studios. It was a good value for money hotel close to the old town and the ferry port. Short walk from shops, restaurants, and major sights like Ancient Agora and Tree of Hippocrates. My room was comfortable with lovely ocean views.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Kos for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Kos first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Kos first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Kos, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Kos have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Safe areas to stay in Kos for first-timers and tourists:

1. Kos Town

Kos Town is one of the most popular places to stay in Kos for first-time visitors. It is the main town and capital of the island located on the eastern coast of the island. It is known for its rich history, archaeological sites, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches.

Kos Town is home to numerous historical and cultural attractions. Staying here offers easy access to the famous Ancient Agora, Castle of the Knights, and the Tree of Hippocrates, Roman Odeon of Kos, Casa Romana, and Archaeological Museum of Kos.

The town center is characterized by narrow streets, traditional Greek architecture, and charming squares. It is home to various shops, boutiques, markets, restaurants, tavernas, and cafes.

The main harbor is a focal point with fishing boats, yachts, and waterfront cafes. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll and enjoying views of the Aegean Sea. Boat trips and excursions to nearby islands are often available from the harbor.

Kos Town has a lively nightlife, especially during the summer months. Numerous bars, pubs, and nightclubs cater to various tastes, ranging from relaxed beach bars to energetic clubs.

In addition to historical attractions, you’ll be close to numerous beaches nearby including Lambi Beach, Paradiso Beach, and Psalidi Beach.

Best places to stay in Kos Town for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Albergo Gelsomino, 5-star beachfront hotel in the center of Kos Town, easy distance from Kos Port (5 mins on foot), Kos Town Beach, and Tree of Hippocrates. The hotel has comfortable air conditioning rooms, paid airport transfer, a private beach area, and very good breakfast.

Luxury ($$$):  Aqua Blu Boutique Hotel & Spa, Adults Only, beautiful 5-star accommodation for couples, and adults, located in a quiet area near Lambi Beach but it is a short walk, scooter/taxi ride into Kos Town. It has an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa, free parking, and rooms with views of the Aegean Sea or pool. It also has airport shuttle services and superb breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Kos Aktis Art Hotel, 4-star hotel located in the seafront area in the middle of Kos Town, easily accessible from the harbor. Easy access to major sights like the Castle of the Knights, and various restaurants, tavernas, bars and beaches. You can choose to stay in rooms with amazing ocean views.

Budget ($): Milva Apartments, 3-star accommodation in central Kos Town but quiet for a good night sleep. Rooms are spacious and clean with a fully-equipped kitchen.  Easy access to the famous Ifestou street and within only a few mins walk to the bus station to get to the airport, Kefalos, and Kardamena.

Budget ($): Astron Suites & Apartments, 3-star beachfront accommodation located between Kos Town and Psalidi Beach.It is in a nice quiet residential area away from the noise but a short walk away from the port, the old town and beaches. It has a lovely rooftop outdoor pool, and rooms with a full kitchen.


2. Kardamena

Kardamena is a popular resort town located on the southeast coast of Kos. Known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and a variety of entertainment options, Kardamena attracts a diverse range of visitors.

Numerous bars, clubs, and beachfront venues offer a vibrant atmosphere, especially during the summer season. Popular nightlife spots include open-air clubs, beach bars, and traditional Greek tavernas.

The town boasts a long, sandy beach with clear waters, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming. Water sports such as jet-skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing are available.

Kardamena features a picturesque waterfront promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants.

You can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the harbor and take in views of the sea.

The town is a hub for water-based activities, including boat tours and diving excursions. Various boat excursions and day trips depart from Kardamena’s harbor, allowing you to explore nearby islands.

Kardamena is conveniently located near Kos Hippocrates Airport, making it easily accessible for travelers arriving by air. You’ll also be close to Antimachia Castle and Aquatica Water park.

Best places to stay in Kos in Kardamena for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Cabana Blu Hotel & Suites, 5-star beachfront hotel in Kardamena, a short walk from the town center. It features an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, and a private beach area. It also has ike hire and car hire services.

Mid-range ($$): Nissia Kamares, 4-star accommodation in a great location near the airport, and next to the bus stop, easy distance to shopping area and restaurants. Convenient base for those taking the ship to other islands from Kadamena. It has an outdoor pool, exceptional breakfast, and family rooms.

Budget ($): Mina Studios, 3-star accommodation conveniently located in a quiet area close to the Main Street of Kardamena. It is within walking distance to all the bars, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, bus station, taxis, and the beautiful beaches. It has free parking and comfortable family rooms.


3. Kefalos

Kefalos is a village located on the southwest coast of the island, about 40 kilometers from the capital, Kos Town. Kefalos is known for its traditional charm, beautiful beaches, and historical sites.

Kefalos is home to numerous beautiful beaches including Kamari Beach, Paradise Beach, and Agios Stefanos Beach. These beaches are ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

The village itself is charming, with narrow streets, traditional Greek architecture, and a relaxed atmosphere. 

The ruins of Kefalos Castle overlook the village and provide panoramic views of the surrounding area and the Aegean Sea. The castle has a rich history and was originally built by the Byzantines. 

Best places to stay in Kos in Kefalos for tourists:

Luxury ($$$): White Rock of Kos Hotel – Adults only, great 5-star hotel for couples and adults, located in Kefalos, featuring an onsite bar/restaurant and suites with a terrace with beautiful views of the Aegean Sea. Rooms are on a hill, so you’ll need to walk uphill from the lobby, pool and dining place. You can consider renting a car to explore the island as taxis are expensive and not always easy to find.

Mid-range ($$): Panorama Studios, 3-star family-run self-catered accommodation situated on the cape of Kefalos Village, offering panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and mountains. It is close to Ayos Stefanos Beach, Paradise Beach, and Camel beaches. 5 mins walk from the bus stop. The hotel has free parking, outdoor yoga facilities, and car rental services.

Budget ($): Kokalakis Hotel, 2-star good value for money accommodation in a nice quiet location, but  close to the beaches, markets and restaurants. Great base for relaxing and enjoying the beaches. All rooms have a balcony offering views of the pool and Saint Nicholas island.


4. Mastichari

Mastichari is a village located on the northwestern coast of the island of Kos in Greece. It is a relatively quiet and picturesque destination known for its traditional charm, beautiful beaches, and proximity to the neighboring island of Kalymnos. 

Regular ferry services connect Mastichari to Kalymnos, making it easy for visitors to explore Kalymnos island which is known for its rock climbing and sponge diving.

Best places to stay in Kos in Mastichari for travelers:

Luxury ($$$): Neptune Luxury Resort, 5-star hotel in the beachfront location, 5 km away from Mastichari Village. It has multiple swimming pools including a children’s pool, bars, superb breakfast, and free parking. Not so much nightlife as such, but a perfect base for a relaxing stay.

Mid-range ($$): Mastichari Bay Hotel, 4-star beachfront resort situated on the edge of Mastichari, easily accessible from the airport. Good base if you want to stay next to the beach and close to the airport. You can find a bus stop right in front of the hotel. 

Budget ($): Ilios and Irene, 3-star good value for money accommodation in Mastichari, easy access to Mastichari Beach, a mini market, and many traditional taverns. You can rent a car for a reasonable price. Breakfast is delicious and varied.


5. Tigaki

Tigaki is a popular destination located on the northern coast of Kos, situated approximately 10 kilometers west of the capital, Kos Town. Tigaki is known for its long sandy beach, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of tourist amenities. 

Close to Tigaki, there is a salt lake known as Alykes. The lake is a protected area and is home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatching.

Tigaki is relatively flat, and renting a bicycle is a popular way to explore the surrounding areas. Many tourists enjoy cycling along the beach or venturing into the countryside.

Best places to stay in Kos in Tigaki for visitors:

Mid-range ($$): Utopia Blu Hotel, 4-star hotel right in the center of Tigaki and a 5 mins walk to all the shops and the beaches. You can find a large supermarket right across the road for your grocery.  

Mid-range ($$): More Meni Residence & Suites, 4-star accommodation, in central location of Tigaki, close to the beach. You can find many bars and restaurants on the same street. The area can be noisy, crowded during peak tourist season.

Budget ($): Mythos Suites Hotel, popular 3-star hotel close to numerous beaches including Flamingo Beach, Golden Beach, and Tigaki Beach. The hotel has full-day security, a children’s playground, delicious breakfast, and family rooms. Easy access to bus stops, restaurants, and shops. It can get pretty busy at night.


6. Marmari

Marmari is a popular resort area, located on the northern coast, between Tigaki and Mastichari and is approximately 15 kilometers west of the capital, Kos Town. Marmari is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, water sports, and a relaxed atmosphere. 

The main attraction of Marmari is its long and sandy beach, which is well-organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. The shallow waters make it a suitable destination for families with children.

Best places to stay in Kos in Marmari for tourists:

Luxury ($$$): D’ Andrea Lagoon All Suites – Adults Only, 5-star hotel, great base for couples for a relaxing holiday, featuring airport transfer, exceptional breakfast, a private beach area, and a swimming pool.  The location is off central, a bit remote, you’ll need a car to get around.

Mid-range ($$):  E-GEO Easy Living Resort, 4-star accommodation in Marmari in a very quiet location, easy access to Marmari Beach, featuring a kids’ club, 4 swimming pools, fabulous breakfast, and currency exchange for guests. Easy access to the bus stop to take you to Kos town in 30 minutes.

Budget ($): Anthia Apartments, 2-star good value for money accommodation, near the beach in Marmari, and easy access to the bus to get to Kos Town. You can enjoy a wonderful view of the sunset from the room’s balcony. There are many parking spaces nearby if you come by car or rent one.


In conclusion, Kos Town, Kardamena, Kefalos, Mastichari, Tigaki, and Marmari are the safe and best places to stay in Kos for first-timers and tourists. These areas provide a range of accommodations for all budgets, and easy access to public transportations and tourist amenities.

You can continue reading about Greece in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Kos. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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