The name Agios Nikolaos means Saint Nicholas; Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors. The stress lies on the second syllable of the word "Nikolaos".
It is easy to reach the town by bus. There is a regularly scheduled bus service along the northern coast of Crete, and it takes several hours to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos.
There is a small beach near the inner city (see picture). Also, there is a small lake near the harbour, Lake Voulismeni, along which there are terraces.
The archeological museum has artifacts from the Minoan era. There is a folk museum in the city as well.