The museums one can visit in the Rethymnon Prefecture cover a wide range: from archaeological museums, to folk art and ecclesiastical collections, to contemporary art exhibitions.
The collecting of the museum exhibits began in 1888, on the initiative of the Greek Educational Association of Rethymnon. Until 1990 the museum was accommodated in the Loggia. In 1991 it was moved into a pentagonal building that can be seen in front of the Fortezza main gate.
The Municipal Art Gallery L. Kanakakis began functioning in 1992 in a Venetian building in the city centre, where the Rethymnon Centre for Contemporary Art has also been stationed since 1995.
The museum functions in a restored 17th century Venetian mansion, and the collection originates from donations and purchases. It numbers over 5.000 exhibits. The permanent exhibition areas extend into five rooms and mostly include traditional handicraft and folk art objects.
The Museum of the Arkadi Monastery accommodates a significant collection of Post-Byzantine icons, prelatic vestments, weapons, handwritten codices, and even certain personal belongings of Abbot Gabriel.
Heading east of the city of Rethymnon and reaching the village of Margarites one arrives at one of the most important pottery centres of Crete. The exhibition was organized by the Cultural Movement of Margarites in co-operation with the Modern Pottery Study Centre of Athens.
The Waxworks Museum is located at the foot of Mount Psiloritis. It was founded on the initiative of the sculptor Dionisios Potamianos, who dedicated many years of work so that the 104 wax effigies were completed.