Kastelli is the oldest part of the town, up on the hills above the mosque. The name is the Venetian variant of castle, and castles on hills of seaside towns protecting the town from invasion from the sea. Kastelli was also the old town center during both Venetian and Turkish times, of which little remained after the bombardments during World War II. An excavation of a Minoan house was carried out near the street called 'Lithinon', and farther up the hill a second and larger excavation labeled, 'Minoan Kydonia' (right). Remains of a building found here point to destruction by fire during the same period of the destruction of Knossos -c.1450BC as well as clay tablets with the Linear A script used by the Minoans and traces of the old city walls. Neither site is open to the public, but you can look through the fence.
Modern Hania surrounds the older city in every direction (except the sea). The Public Gardens lie southeast of the Market (left) and have a small zoo, with kri-kri (the indigenous small wild goat that still survives in the White Mountains), ponies, monkeys and birds). There's also a children's area, a café, and an auditorium which is also used for various events and cinema. The gardens were laid out by a 19th century Turkish pasha. The Historical Museum and Archives (Mon-Fri 9am-1pm;free) doesn't present much of interetst, and is in general a rather drab place.
The Battle of Crete Festival commemorates the Battle of Crete; held during the last week of Mayat the Public Gardens, with folkdancing.
Other Festivals as in most of Greece, churches and towns put on local festivals all-year-round. Getting to go to one is a matter of being in the right place at the right time and looking out for posters too. Sometimes the tourist offices will know something.