Kalamata's tourist attractions reflect the city's rich history. On the northern side of town, the Castro contains the remains of a medieval castle, an Orthodox monastery and an ancient amphitheater.
Across from the castle is Kalamata's wet market. In addition to fresh local produce, here you'll find small eateries and shops where you can buy the region's most well-known products: olives, olive oil, wine and raisins. Near the Castro is Plateia, Kalamata's historic district, characterized by wide pedestrian streets, green spaces and historical buildings.
History and culture buffs will enjoy exploring the exhibits at Modern Greek Art Gallery, Kalamata's Folklore Museum, the Archeological Museum and Victoria Karelias Collection of Traditional Greek Costumes.
Kalamata and its surroundings are blessed with spectacular coastal landscapes. Several beaches extend to both sides of the marina. Sandy beaches like Bouka and Velika are found going west toward Messini. Driving east, you'll mainly come across pebble beaches like those at Almiros, Santova and Foneas. If you've rented a car or van in Kalamata, the best thing to do is venture down the Mani peninsula without a fixed destination and allow yourself to be surprised by the views you'll find along the way.
The Kalamata region offers more than coastal landscapes. This area is nestled between the sea and the Taygetos mountains, where some peaks reach 2,500 meters. In this mountain range, accessible with a rental car in Kalamata, you'll find alpine meadows, gorges and valleys that are perfect for spring or autumn hikes.
Greece is a family friendly destination, and Kalamata is no exception. Visitors with children will find plenty of things to do, from spending a fun day at the city beach to kayaking, sailing, or exploring the castles of Koroni and Methoni, located a one-hour drive west of Kalamata. Another option involves driving 30 minutes to the small town of Androusa, which is surrounded by olive groves. Here you can arrange a tour of the local olive oil factory and take a family cooking class.
Kalamata's tavernas are the best place to sample Greek cuisine. You'll find a variety of tavernas and restaurants near the Archeological Museum. Moreover, Greece has a big outdoor café culture, so you may want to join the locals and watch the world go by at Kalamata's seaside eateries and cafés. Wine lovers will enjoy sampling local wines or, even better, following the wine route that goes west from Kalamata to Marathopoli on the Ionian Sea.
The main shopping street is Aristomenous in the historic district, where you'll find a mix of international and Greek brands. In addition, there are two major Greek department stores on Aristomenous' northern side, Notos Gallery and Hondos Center.
Some of the most important events in Kalamata are Easter and Carnival. As for cultural events, the most well-known are the International Puppet Festival (May), Kalamata Dance Festival (July) and Peloponnisos International Documentary Festival (October).