Sailing into the harbor of Syros, you might not feel like you're in Greece. The island's port city could easily pass for a coastal town on the French Riviera or Italy's Amalfi Coast. That's because immigrants who came to Syros from France, Italy, Germany and other parts of Greece between the early to mid-1800s collectively influenced the architecture, which consists mostly of multistory stone buildings with arches and pops of pastels.
The heart of Syros' port city -- Ermoupoli, which also happens to be the capital -- is Miaouli Square. Visitors to the square will be awed by its main attraction, the grand Town Hall, which not only serves as the island's political center, but also the archeological museum. Adjacent to the square are various cafes and shops, as well as a statue of Andreas Miaoulis, an admiral from the Greek War of Independence. The shops in Ermoupoli sell mostly goods handmade or manufactured in Greece, with lots of unique jewelry, handbags, clothes and cookware.
Outside the port city, Syros continues to offer a taste of authentic Greece at its seaside villages with quaint restaurants and beaches. Aside from only a few small cruise lines, Syros is mostly visited by other Greeks, so it doesn't feel crowded with tourists like more popular islands Mykonos and Santorini.