5 Winter experiences in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is a well-known Greek city that will steal your heart once you lay eyes on the impressive beauty and feel the vibrant energy. You will have the chance to walk around the city and enjoy shopping in the beautiful shops, you will most definitely enjoy the deliciousness of seaside cafes, restaurants and bars and you will have the chance to visit the wonderful cultural and religious sites. However, for the more active and adventurous travelers and for those who are seeking to further discover Greek culture, we have selected the best experiences that you will definitely find interesting to try out with your friends and family.
Sunset biking tourThe ultimate activity to swish through the city’s most iconic landmarks such as the White Tower, the Royal Theater, and the famous umbrella art installation, while learning all about this city’s never-ending charm. This sunset bike tour is perfect for families that are looking for a fun, active activity that everyone can enjoy. This sunset bike tour is a quick, alternative and easy way to witness Thessaloniki’s most well known monuments, alternative cafes, and hidden spots only locals know! Have fun riding an e-bike; enjoy some Greek tapas, and cold refreshment during your relaxing afternoon in Thessaloniki!
Horse riding experienceA mere 30 minutes outside of Thessaloniki, a Western-like ranch has been the go-to horse farm in the area for the past 20 years. Explore the farm, get acquainted with the horses, choose one and enjoy a one-and-a-half hour ride in the beautiful surrounding hills. Besides riding, the farm has beautiful surroundings and other farm animals to check out. Have a relaxing experience; absorb the fresh air, all while enjoying your favorite activity!
Professional photoshootKeep your memories of Greece alive forever with a professional photo shoot in Thessaloniki. Choose your background – blue sea, green mountains, rich vegetation or the hustle and bustle of Greece civilization and the photographer will capture high-quality photographs. Whether you want to commemorate a romantic escape, take a family vacation or simply showcase your persona in one of the most beautiful places in the world, this experience has you covered.
Meteora bike tourMeteora is world-famous for being one of the most important Orthodox monuments and religious sites in Greece. This stunning wonder of nature whose creation was a mystery for a very long time will take your breath away as soon as you land your eyes on it. Experience this one-of-a-kind destination while cycling through the unique landscape on the Meteora. Spend your day learning about history and culture while cycling and have an incredible one-day excursion to Greece’s most impressive scenery.
Dion and Litochoro history tourThis one-day excursion from Thessaloniki is perfect for those who wish to find out more about Greek mythology and Alexander the Great. This Dion to Litchoto history tour from Thessaloniki includes visiting the village of Dion, located at the foot of Mount Olympus, which has become popular over the years since archaeologists found remains of the ancient Macedonian civilization there. You’ll soak up knowledge as you learn about great historical figures and view once-in-a-lifetime historical artifacts on this history tour with a licensed guide.
THE ZONGOLOPOULOS UMBRELLAS
One of the most famous sculpture in Thessaloniki is the famous 13m-high, stainless steel sculpture titled “Umbrellas” on the waterfront. Umbrellas are actually one of the most photographed sculptures around the world.
The sculpture was designed by the late Greek sculptor George Zongolopoulos who exhibited the Umbrellas for the first time on the celebration of the 45th Venice Biennale. The sculpture was mounted on a floating platform at the entrance of the exhibition and received remarkable publicity internationally. Zongolopoulos felt particularly honored with the installation of the Umbrellas in Thessaloniki in 1997, the year that the city was the European Capital of Culture.
We could say that this sculpture is an important reference point for the public space of Greece and a great place for beautifully taken photos in different stages of sunset or sunrise.
Do not miss it!
Christmas in Thessaloniki
The countdown for the holidays has started and also in Thessaloniki it is noticeable. The city is covered in a blanket of exuberant Christmas lights and other decorations. Most of the stores even underwent a complete metamorphosis. Also, the cafes and restaurants are in. Going out for a drink with friends is now done in the middle of countless lights, reindeers, Christmas trees and fake snow.Cosiness at the Aristotle square
Like always the Aristotle square is the heart of festivities. Its twenty-meter-high Christmas tree is ornamented by thousands of lights. The children run around the carrousel and enthusiastic explore the coloured Christmas houses on the square. Meanwhile, the parents drink their coffee and shoot some pictures of their kids. But also elsewhere in the city center you can get a taste of the Christmas ambiance. The shopping area at Agia Sofia is now enlightened by blue lights. Here and there you find life-size plastic dromedaries. For a passerby a nice moment to take a selfie. Those who are relaxing on the terraces are enjoying the whole spectacle.Traditions around Christmas
Besides all the lights and the dressed-up fake dromedaries you also find lightened boats throughout the whole city. In Greece this is a typical Christmas tradition. One of the main reasons for these boats is the honouring of Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of the sailors. In the past the boats were also decorated to welcome the seafarers back home for the holidays. Only two centuries ago the Christmas tree was introduced in Greece. Besides the enlightened boats the ‘Kalanta’ are also a tradition around Christmas. On Christmas evening the children pass by the houses to sing these songs and that way earn sweets. Families spend the first and second day of Christmas together, largely –how could it be different- around the table.Time for even more sweets
That the Greek people have a really sweet tooth, we already knew. 365 days a year the shop windows are full of pies, cakes and cookies. But in December it’s almost impossible to meet the needs of the Thessalonians. Tsourekia, melomakarona and kourabiedes are typical Christmas delicacies. Around December you will find at least one of these sorts in almost every household.
Awesome Reasons Why Thessaloniki Should Be on Your Bucket List
Dotted with historic sights but still stylishly modern, Greece’s second city is a destination worth visiting. The New York Times named it one of their top destinations for 2016. The laid-back yet vibrant atmosphere of the city is its calling card, but in case you need more reasons to visit, here’s why Thessaloniki deserves to be on your bucket list.
The city is walkable Sprawling around the coastline of the Thermaic Gulf, Thessaloniki is full of unique landmarks. The shore spans from the ferry harbour to the White Tower, and the many Byzantine churches and vestiges of past life sprinkled throughout the city and its historical districts make it a great place for sightseeing.
There are plenty of sights to see Ancient ruins are rooted in the middle of the city, including the UNESCO sites the Roman Agora, the Arch of Galerius, the Rotonda, the Byzantine Baths and the Crypt of Agios Demetrios. To learn more about the history of the area, there are a range of museums such as the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Archeological Museum and the Cinema Museum of Thessaloniki – built to raise the city’s status as Cultural Capital of Europe in 1997. What’s more, there are loads of astonishing churches (make sure to visit Hagia Sophia). There’s so much that you won’t have time to see and experience it all in one day so make the most of all the affordable accommodation the city offers.
It's a culinary paradise Thessaloniki’s cuisine is known across the country for its quality and variety. Because of its past, the city’s gastronomy boasts flavours from Pontus, Asia Minor and Constantinople, as well as Arab and Armenian influences that infuse traditional dishes with exotic nuances. You may easily find yourself eager to order the entire menu, but relax, the city is also perfect for long walks, so you can burn off the calories later.
You can visit the Ladadika District This beautiful, walkable area is located off Thessaloniki harbour and is an eating and drinking hotspot. Named after the numerous olive oil shops that used to populate the area, it was the bazaar and central market of the city under Ottoman rule. Now, it’s peppered with charming tavernas, restaurants, bars and clubs.
It's great for shopping addictsIt may not have as many options as its big sister Athens, but Thessaloniki still has a good selection of high-end boutiques and fast-fashion retailers. Although the majority are on Tsimikis street, the nearby streets of Pavlou Mela and Mitropoleos are home to some designer boutiques. Fair warning: you may actually find yourself shopping till you drop.
It offers stunning viewsThessaloniki has its own stunning vantage point, the Eptapyrgio Castle. This ancient fortress perched on the hilltop overlooks the entire city and offers views of the Gulf. Whether you visit by day or night, it is an attraction you shouldn’t miss. On your way back, discover the quaint streets and drop by one of the delightful mezedopoleio (restaurants) to enjoy some local cuisine.
The downtown streets offer insight into the city's pastOne of the first things that will strike you in Thessaloniki is the juxtaposition of buildings of different styles and influences. Throughout its history, the city was home to Greeks, Jews, Ottomans and refugees from Asia, to name but a few. These architectural vestiges are still visible today and are a real sight to marvel at while you’re walking the city. Check out Thessaloniki Walking Tours to find a route to inspire you.
It has its own National ParkJust 10km (6mi) away, the Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas National Park – one of the most important wetland systems in Greece and greater Europe – offers refuge from the city to those looking to connect with nature. Covering an area of 38,800ha (95,876ac), it is ideal for an escape into the wild.
Meet the Bougatsa, Thessaloniki’s finest You may have figured it out already, but Thessaloniki deserves its place on any foodie’s bucket list. One of the main items that must be tried and adopted is the bougatsa. This (usually) sweet phyllo pie has, like so many other Greek specialities, a long history, and is now considered the ultimate Thessalonian breakfast. Make sure to pop by Serraikon, one of the oldest bougatsa shops in town, to try this local delicacy.
OPEN HOUSE IN THESSALONIKI
Open House is one of the most important global institutions for the promotion of architecture. The idea began at London in 1992 and until today, it has spread to many cities around the globe. The Open House project invites the public to explore and understand the value of architecture.Every year for one weekend, private and public buildings open their gates to everyone for free and the city is transformed to a big museum, with its buildings and architecture being the exhibits.
Open House started in Thessaloniki in 2012 and has since been organized 8 times, with great response from the public. In OPEN HOUSE Thessaloniki 2019, 600 volunteers guided the tours in 100 places, marking the record number of 54000 visits!The 9th OPEN HOUSE Thessaloniki consists of a series of virtual tours, that will premiere on 28th of November 2020, and walkings tours in the city, that will be rescheduled on new dates.
For more information : www.openhousethessaloniki.gr/en/oht2020/
Winter in Thessaloniki
5 Reasons why winter is the Best Season to Visit Thessaloniki
If you’re looking for a Greece winter getaway, Thessaloniki is a fantastic choice. It’s far north enough to get the occasional dusting of snow, and it’s a great gateway to day trips like Meteora, NYmfaio, Metsovo etc.See the White Tower covered in snowThessaloniki is magnificend covered in snow and if you are lucky enough ged down to the waterfrond and enjoy the symbol of the city covered in snow. The view of it will reward you!Visit quiet churches and archaeological sitesGreece isn’t a popular winter destination on the whole, but it’s hard to find a less touristic destination in Greece than Thessaloniki in winter. If seeing quiet, little-visited churches, centuries-old ruins, and relics of the Ottoman era — all without tourists — sounds like heaven, you’ll a fantastic time in wintry Thessaloniki.Eat a delicious Greek mealsGreek food is one of my favorites, and it’s just as tasty in the winter as in the summer! While many Greek dishes like Greek salads and fresh seafood are far better enjoyed in the summer, there is a hearty side to Greek cuisine that shouldn’t be forgotten in the winter. Marvel at the view from Ano PoliThe charming neighborhood of Ano Poli (Old City in Greek). Two-thirds of Thessaloniki was destroyed in a huge fire in 1917; as a result, the city’s architecture isn’t as beautiful nor as historic as, say, Athens. The exception to this rule is Ano Poli, the one of the few parts of Thessaloniki to survive the destruction. It’s full of street art, cute tavernas and cafés, and plenty of spunky resident stray cats and dogs. It’s also home to some of the best views of Thessaloniki, so climb higher and higher and you’ll see some impressive sights.Take a snowy day trip in MeteoraIf you’re lucky enough to visit Meteora in the snow, it’s truly something out of a dream. The landscape is pinch-me-beautiful basically any time of year, but in the winder is just phenomenal if you have the chance to see it covered with snow. For daily excursons and getaways nearby Thessaloniki contact us directly and we will be happy to organise it for you: www.houseloft.gr
Paradise in Greece! These are the best beaches of Halkidiki!
Nea FokeaNext to the homonymous port, where fishing boats anchor and below the height of 17 m. Byzantine tower of Ag. Pavlou, secluded secluded coves with turquoise waters.
AfitosAtmospheric beach bars, overlooking the picturesque port of Pounda, offer relaxation combined with a cosmopolitan feeling. The umbrellas with straw roofs and on the horizon the bluish crystal clear sea form the idyllic "monotonous" spectacle up to the bar Liosi
KalitheaOne of the most popular for young people. White sand, beach bars in a row and a pine-covered rock that characterizes the beautiful creek, with the branches of the trees touching the waters.
Pefochori Golden beach and sea in blue-green shades, suitable for fishing. Cafes, bars and restaurants "spring up" by the sea, from where you can admire the sunset.
Polichrono-Chanioti One continuity of the other. Both have been awarded a blue flag. Unheard of and endless… With pines, semolina sand, emerald waters and water sports facilities.Siviri The old fishing port of Kassandreia today is a holiday settlement around a beautiful beach with all the necessary tourist infrastructure. Ideal for families.
EATING OUT IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, it has for over 2,000 years been a melting pot of cultures – reflected in the blend of spicy eastern, French, Balkan and Mediterranean flavors of its cuisine, and in its cosmopolitan vibe. are part of the culture, and while everyone has been forced to tighten their metaphorical belts, no one wants to tighten their real ones. Here are the highlights.
CADEEN All day bar - restaurant
Lunch, dinner, wine & cocktails till late in the evening.
Address: Dim. Gounari 7, Thessaloniki 546 22 MAREALocated in one of the most urban corner of the city. This elegant space can host lunch meetings, business dinners or private events offering the gastronomic splendor of the Greek seas in its most contemporary version. Address: 13 Lori Margariti, Street Thessaloniki
Open Daily: 12:00 – 00:00 Coquille Sea Food
A “must be place” in the very centre of Thessaloniki, with the best view in town, just in front of the port of Thessaloniki! Best sea food, eclectic wine labels combined with a quality atmoshere! Leoforos Nikis 3 Hours 1:00 PM - 1:00 AM
ΜΑΥΡΗ ΘΑΛΑΣΣΑ//MAVRI THALASSA
Great seafood amazing quality and cooked simply the staff are attentive and courteous and the local Nikolaou Plastira 3, Kalamaria Hours 1:00 PM - 11:30 PM CLOCKHART Greek and international cuisine, with top quality fresh ingredients and a wide variety of excellent wines. Proxenou Koromila 4
LOCAL Address: Paleon Patron Germanou 17, Thessaloniki 546 22 A cozy coffee-bar-restaurant for a quick city break during a busy day. Hours 8:00-2:00
THINGS TO DO/ SEA & BEACHES
Pieria is the land of the nine Muses and the Olympian Gods. The prefecture is situated among Olympus, the Mountains of Pieria and the coasts of Thermaikos Gulf. Capital of Pieria is the town of Katerini, which lies 68 kilometers (42 mi) from Thessaloniki. The length of the sea front, the abundant golden sand, the quality of the water and the unrepeatable combination of coastline and mountainous massifs are some of the reasons to visit Pieria. There are facilities for small craft and alternation between quiet and cosmopolitan life. Also, there are plenty hotel infrastructure and a wide range of cuisine, entertainment, wealth and sporting activities available. Access is easy from the National Motorway E75 and the railway station. Those who come in the summer on holiday, will enjoy the beautiful resorts that are on the 70 kilometer (43 mi) long coastline. The beaches of Korinos, Paralia, Olympiaki Akti (Olympian coast), Litochoro, Leptokarya, Platamonas and Neoi Poroi are famous. Most of these beaches are beautiful sandy beaches.
Halkidiki (or Chalkidiki) is the most popular holiday destination in northern Greece. The beaches in Halkidiki Greece are famous for their soft sand, crystal water, and lush surroundings.
Halkidiki has long been famed for its cosmopolitan seaside resorts, beautiful natural landscape, and exotic beaches. Halkidiki is a peninsula, which is divided into three smaller peninsulas. Most popular Halkidiki beaches are found in Kassandra peninsula, including Sani, Kallithea, Paleochori and Hanioti. The second peninsula, Sithonia, is not that tourist developed and has many hidden coves to relax. Halkidiki beaches on the second peninsula are popular for camping.
You can get there by car, taxi or by bus. The bus station ‘KTEL Halkidiki’ services all three areas of the Halkidiki peninsula: Kassandra, Sithonia, and Ouranoupoli.
Just a short driving distance distance from Thessaloniki.
Peraia, Neoi Epivates, Agia Triada, Nea Michaniona lie a few kilometres outside Thessaloniki, from the side of Thermaikos Bay, and have a privileged view of the city, and Asprovalta, Vrasna beach and Stavros on the other side of the Prefecture at Strymonikos Bay.
Agia Triada was home to the first camping site to have been created in Greece. These villages are lively all year round, offering truly excellent amenities and age-old history. They have kept their traditional colour intact and they are fortunate to be adorned by far-stretching beaches, all with awards for their clean waters.
During the summer months you should combine your stay at Thessaloniki with a visit to the nearby beaches. Here, you can find clear blue waters and facilities for water sports. There are every type of facilities, hotels, marines, courses, camping sites and picturesque traditional taverns right next to the sea, as well as various open-air places for entertainment under the starry sky.
Shopping in Thessaloniki
The city has quaint little streets with small boutiques and large department stores. Whatever shopping habits you may have, Thessaloniki will fulfil your wishes!PEDESTRIAN STREET OF HAGIA SOPHIA
The main shopping streets are Tsimiski & Mitropoleos and the streets around them. Ermou & Proxenou Koromila are also two busy and very interesting streets with world famous brand shops and some ambitious new designer ateliers. Egnatia Street runs parallel with Tsimiski and will undoubtedly meet expectations comfortably. The usual opening hours for stores are continuous (9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.), for suburban stores the working hours are split shifts three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) and morning shifts for the other three days (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).'ODEON PLATEIA' MALL IN THE CITY CENTER
There are shopping malls all over Thessaloniki, where you can combine shopping, relaxing at a café and end your day by watching a film in the cinema. In the city center visit Plateia mall or take a short car ride to Mediterranean Cosmos which is the largest shopping center in the Balkans. City Gate is the closest mall to the City Centre, it boasts a hypermarket with ample parking. The shopping mall times are usually from 9.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The cinema and dining facilities will remain open for business until roughly 2.00 a.m.'KAPANI' MARKET
Modiano and Kapani covered markets will give you the chance to take a glimpse of Thessaloniki as it used to be. Merchants here will make you believe that time has stood still as they keep their old traditional ways alive. They are considered as Thessaloniki’s main marketplaces as you can find good prices and a big variety of products. Working hours daily 8:00-14:00 except Sundays.
The best shopping places in town are there waiting to be discovered!
Thessaloniki in the morning
Take a morning walking tour and get to know the original tastes of Thessaloniki. Learn all about Thessaloniki’s history, visit open-air markets, confectionaries, ouzeris and more! Taste Greek coffee, koulouri and bougatsa with origins from Byzantine times. Coffee it is a beloved habit of Thessaloniki’s residence, cafes in the city have full tables all day long, it is a moment of social contacts anticipation and discussions. Even National geographic was impressed by the city “Thessaloniki has more cafés per capita than any other European city” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/nightlife-cities/TASTE THE FAMOUS ''KOULOURI'' FOR BREAKFAST
24 hours in Thessaloniki
So you’ve got one in Thessaloniki to get a taste of the city? No problem! Even though it will charm you that you’ll definitely want to come back soon, it is possible to see a lot within a short amount of time.
The city is fairly compact, so you can get around relatively easy.
Whether it is checking the traditional seaside walk, visiting famous museums or experiencing the local nightlife, there is a lot to do in Greece’s second-biggest city, even when visiting just for a day
If you’d rather spend your day being led around by a local, then check our Thessaloniki day tours (link tours)!
There are a few must-do activities that are impossible to miss!Morning
An ideal itinerary will normally start in Aristotelous Square, the city’s landmark square, where it’s possible to breathe in the fascinating vibe of the city. Surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops, this square is the beating heart of Thessaloniki. Treat yourself with a hearty breakfast and start your day!A walk along the promenade
You start your refreshing walk at the White Tower, Thessaloniki's most famous landmark. Entry to the White Tower is only 4 Euros and includes an audio guide.
The inside of the tower hosts an exhibition about the history of the city. It is spread over 6 levels and on the top level you can enjoy a great 360 degrees view over the city and the harbour front.
From there, you can hop on one of the wooden tour boats that sail along Thermaikos gulf, where you can enjoy a different view to the city! There are several boat companies along the main waterfront and the boats operate all day long and a sunset cruise is particularly romantic.A Greek lunch
Lunch suggestions are endless in Thessaloniki. If it’s summertime, we recommend you eat along the waterfront, but during the rest of the year you can enjoy lunch either in the city centre or in the Ladadika neighbourhood. It’s about a 5 minute walk from Aristotelous Square . Check our restaurant recommendations here. (link restaurants)Afternoon
If you want to dive further into Greek history and culture, you can continue your day by visiting Thessaloniki's extensive Archaeological Museum and the Byzantine Museum (link museums)
Up until World War 2, Thessaloniki had one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe. At the Jewish Museum (free), you can learn more about the heritage of Jewish life in Thessaloniki
Twenty-four hours in Thessaloniki could also include a visit to the Arch of Galerious and the Rotunda, ancient temples of Byzantine origin.Shopping
Thessaloniki prides itself for being a popular shopping destination. On Mitropoleos and Tsimiski, the most famous shopping streets, you will find all the shops you wish for.
Heading then towards the area called Louloudadika, it is worth to visit the Turkish baths..In the same area, there are flower stands and shops, as well as busy locals running their daiy errands
Open markets showcase a colorful array of fresh produce, such as fish, fruit and spices, but it’s also possible to visit markets for antiques and vintage objects. Markets are the place locals choose for daily shopping.Exciting nightlife
Greek life is equal to enjoyment. And how to do this better than whilst enjoying a dinner and then a drink? The best way to end your day in town is walking around the district known as Ladadika, The area is populated with beautiful bars and tavernas as well as with stories from the past of Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki is a treat for all your senses!
48 hours in Thessaloniki
An ideal itinerary will normally start in Aristotelous Square, the city’s landmark square, where it’s possible to breathe in the fascinating vibe of the city. Surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops, this waterfront square is the beating heart of Thessaloniki. Treat yourself with a hearty breakfast and start your day!
Head east along the seafront – where the wide boulevard is a joy to walk in – to the White Tower, Thessaloniki's most famous landmark The inside of the tower hosts an exhibition about the history of the city. It is spread over 6 levels and on the top level you can enjoy a great 360 degrees view over the city and the harbour front.
From there, you can hop on one of the wooden tour boats that sail along Thermaikos gulf, where you can enjoy a different view to the city. There are several boat companies along the main waterfront and the boats depart regularly throughout the day from next to the White Tower- a sunset cruise is particularly romantic.
Don’t miss the nearby Umbrella sculpture, and keep walking along the waterfront as far as the statue of Alexander the Great, or head to the Archeological Museum . Also close by is the Museum of Byzantine Culture which contains several important artefacts from this era and is a must for those with a strong interest in history.Lunch
Head back along the promenade to First Pier, where you can enjoy a fabulous lunch and a few cocktails at the super trendy Kitchen Bar restaurant on the marina, before exploring the neighbouring Photography Museum . Other lunch options include the funky Be* Bar on Komninon Street for New York-London-Greek fusion dishes plus some truly divine cocktails, or popular Olympion Café-Bar in Aristotelous Square. Finish off with a coffee at the stylishly minimalist Local Espresso Bar on Paleon Patron Germanou Street, and find dessert at nearby bakery Choureal (try the profiteroles),or at the incredible Sugarangel on Lassani Street.Afternoon
Thessaloniki is famous for its shopping areas. The main shopping streets are Tsimiski St. and Mitropoleos St. as well as all the streets crossing them. .You’ll find beautiful boutiques and glossy designer stores along Proxenou Koromila, plus plenty of cute independent shops and cafes along the pedestrian side streets around this area, as well as over in Ladadika district on the other side of Aristotelous Square.
And if clothes and accessories are not the only things you have planned on buying, then a visit to Modiano and Kapani Arcades is recommended! It’s a good opportunity if you wish to get a glimpse of the town’s past. Apart from the shopping spree though, you can also enjoy a coffee break or a meal in the traditional tavernas here.After Dark
For dinner, visit the historic Ladadika District for traditional taverns like those along the pedestrian Karipi Street, a favourite with locals, as well as more trendy modern bars like Kouziva, which is on a pretty plaza with a gorgeous central fountain.
On weekends, the whole of the city centre becomes one huge party, with music and crowds spilling out of bars and merging into one, and street parties popping up in small plazas or on corners. With an 80,000-strong student community, more bars and cafés per capita than any other European city, and a year-round night-life scene that doesn’t depend on tourism, Thessaloniki is a great place to party no matter what your style. Nikis Street, the city’s main boulevard, is full of cafés , bars and clubs, while the elegant Kalapothaki Street is known for it’s high-end restaurants and cocktail bars. Thessaloniki’s younger crowds flock to Valaoritou neighbourhood, where you’ll find music scenes to suit any taste, or to Bit Bazaar, a noisy and friendly locale popular with the college community, which is crammed full of tiny, traditional taverns serving up local wine and mezedes (small dishes of delicacies).Day Two Morning
Start at the Roman Forum, one of the oldest sites in Thessaloniki; a two-level forum built over the ancient Greek agora. The best-preserved ruin here is the Odeon, an ancient theatre still sometimes used for summer concerts. Close by, you can also find the Byzantine-era church of Panagia Chalkeon, and the Ottoman-era Bey Hammam bathhouse, effectively taking you through the four major layers of the city’s history.
Take a cab or a leisurely stroll up to the North-Eastern corner of the old city walls in time for sunset, where Alysseos Tower (better known as Trigonion Tower) provides exceptional views across the city. From here, you get a great view of the Eastern Wall running down all the way to the White Tower on the seafront, marking Thessaloniki’s original boundaries. Nearby, you’ll find another Byzantine monument, the Heptapyrgion or “Seven Towers Fortress“, a fort which has it’s origins in 316 BC and which is made up of ten towers.Lunch
Head to Athonos Square, a local favourite, where you’ll find plenty of taverns, restaurants, cafés and bars. It’s one of the most popular areas of the city, and with good reason; this fantastically creative area is rammed full of dozens of tiny art galleries and quirky shops selling vintage clothes or handmade jewellery. It’s easy to while away several hours exploring this one tiny area of Thessaloniki, so make sure to leave time to browse.Afternoon
About 1km east of Athonos Square are two more Roman sites; the Arch of Galerius (298 – 299 AD), another of the most iconic sites in Thessalokini, and the Rotunda (306 A.D), a surprisingly well-preserved structure home to many ancient mosaics. In the surrounding area you’ll find numerous churches the most impressive being the Agia Sofia Church, named after the iconic Constantinople temple.
Once you’ve had your fill of history, wind down with a traditional Greek coffee or an ice-cold frappé at any of the incredible cafés around Thessaloniki, or get a last-minute cultural fix at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you have another night in the city, head to Dentrospito (“Treehouse”) in YMCA Square near the famous Umbrellas, a much-loved local hotspot with drinks, snacks, and excellent cocktails.
Just an hour or so along the coast you’ll find the first peninsula of Halkidiki, the Kassandra Peninsula, where exceptional white-sand beaches and those iconic turquoise Greek waters form the perfect setting for a day or two of serious rest and relaxation following a few days in Thessaloniki. Contact us if you want to extend your stay there!
With a wide variety of cultural and artistic institutions, Thessaloniki is a treasure trove for visitors. If you want to know some of the top museums to be found in the city, here’s an overview of some of the best museums that Thessaloniki has to offer:Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is considered one of the country’s most important museums. Collection includes findings from the area of Thessaloniki and the wider northern Greece. The eight permanent exhibition units, structured thematically, represent all aspects of private and public life in antiquity, while several temporary exhibitions take place annually hosting many collections in collaboration with some of the world’s most important museums.It is easily accessible from every part of the city, so you’ll have the chance to combine your visit to the museum with other places of interest(link: 10 Best Things in Thessaloniki)Open on Google Maps6 Manoli Andronikou, Thessaloniki, 546 21, Greece+302313310201Visit website Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art
The MMCA is a citizens’ initiative, unique in the history of the Greek contemporary arts field. Since the Museum was founded (1978), its Collection is constantly enriched through new donations by artists and significant collectors such as Alexandros Iolas, Franz Geierhaas, Magda Kotzia, Alexandros Xydis and Dimitris Meimaroglou. It also includes a scientific library.Open on Google Maps154 Egnatia str, Thessaloniki, 546 36, Greece+302310240002Visit website Museum of Photography
Housed in a former warehouse, the museum is home to stimulating exhibitions of historic and contemporary Greek photography. Organizing the international PhotoBiennale photography festival every two years, the museum has a nationwide mission of familiarizing the public with photography through a rich agenda of activities as well as promoting Greek photography on an international level.Its collections and its archives include more than 100.000 photographic objects.Open on Google MapsWarehouse A, Pier A,Thessaloniki port area, 3, Navarchou Votsi str. +302310566716Visit website White Tower Museum
Set in the monument-symbol of the city, the White Tower Museum holds a permanent exhibition dedicated to the city of Thessaloniki.
The White Tower, built in 15th century in order to replace an older 12th century Byzantine fortification, is the most commonly known monument of Thessaloniki and the symbol of the city because of its prominent position, long history and imposive architecture.Open on Google MapsLeoforos Nikis Str, 54621, Thessaloniki+302310267835Visit website
Thessaloniki Cinema Museum
The Thessaloniki Cinema Museum is located in a warehouse on the first wharf of the city’s port, a few blocks down Aristotelous Square. With the aim to collect, preserve and display items connected to the history of cinema in Greece, the museum comprises a collection of Exhibits include machinery, i.e. cine-cameras and projectors, old pieces of cinema equipment and attachments, cinema-film developing tanks, lenses, sub-titling machines etc., celluloid material (films, news reels etc.), photographs from almost two thousand films, gigantic, hand-produced cinema posters, the musical background to all cinema films circulated prior to 1995 on LPs and CDs, and a cinema archive.Open on Google MapsWarehouse A, Pier A,Thessaloniki port area, 3, Navarchou Votsi str. +302310378570Visit website Museum of Byzantine Culture
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is a remarkable museum where visitors can discover and learn aspects of life during the byzantine and post-byzantine eras. Featuring exhibits of art, religious artefacts as well as items depicting historical changes, ideology and the political situation affecting everyday life. Frescoes, mosaics, icons, marble architectural members, integrally detached frescoed early Christian burials, valuable ecclesiastic utensils, objects of personal ornament, but also functional objects of everyday use present aspects of life in Byzantium, from the organization of religious and social life and the artistic and intellectual production to private life and activities in the market, the countryside and the sea.Open on Google Maps2 Leoforos Stratou, Thessaloniki, 546 40, Greece+302310267835Visit website