This city has many stories to tell – start exploring and create your own unique experience visiting this charming city
Thessaloniki – The ‘ancient hipster city’
Located near the sea, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, and is a modern metropolis surrounded by glorious history. The city is full of life and offers the perfect mix of beauty, history and culture. Old and new collide as archaeological sites overlook the city’s lively neighbourhoods and nightlife areas. The local cuisine has a remarkable reputation, and the wonderful sea views will ensure you’ll fall in love with this charming town.
Thessaloniki seems to have been suspending between the past and the present, between north and south, or Europe and the Middle East, and this is exactly the reason of its magic charisma. The city’s many different faces will offer countless possibilities for your visit.
Sights & Attractions
The White Tower
The city’s landmark, the 34m-high White Tower is a sight not to miss. Standing along the water, the Tower was built in the 15th century and enclosed by walls. It served as a fort, and was later on used as a prison, earning the name ”Tower of Blood”. In 1891 it was painted white and got its current name. Nowadays, you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views from its highest levels, as well as visit the museum that gives an overview of the city’s history.
Alexander the Great
The statue of Alexander the Great is another symbol of Thessaloniki and tributes the Great Greek King. During a stroll on the waterfront, you can’t miss this impressive artwork, which deserves a moment of admiration. The city has many more sculptures and monuments, both of historical figures and more modern and artistic pieces.
Part of the variety of culture in the city are the many interesting museums. You can go through the course of time and find archaeological treasures, Byzantine heritage, all the way to contemporary art. There are over 30 museums, so take your pick!
Neighbourhoods to explore
Like in many places, you’ll get to know and see a city most by walking through its different areas. Every district of Thessaloniki has its own characteristics; bustling, vibrant, colourful, old and new! You can easily go from one to another as distances are short. Athonos square is the area for food markets, taverns and shops, Ano Poli (upper town) is a nostalgic city, the Bit Bazaar is for antique lovers, and Ladadika and Valaotiou are the city’s evening hangout spots. And of course, you cannot miss the port and seafront. Get a full overview of the neighbourhoods here.
Thessaloniki has 15 monuments that were declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can go on a route passing by all of them, experiencing the city as an open museum of early Christian and Byzantine art. The route includes churches, walls, monasteries and Byzantine baths, unique architecture and rare religious art.
A day (& night) on the town
Did you know that the Greek coffee ‘’frappe’’ was invented in Thessaloniki? Everyone will start the day with a coffee and continues to enjoy those all day long! It can be paired nicely with a typical bougatsa (sweet pie), bagel or fresh spinach pie. To enjoy the pallet of flavours on offer, follow this gastronomic map. And if you last into the evening, you’ll be sure to find an unforgettable nightlife.
Tips & Useful Information
- Check out this overview of themed routes to explore or these suggested itineraries to instantly have your sight-seeing day sorted
- Able to take a little more time and travel outside the city limits? Here are some nearby escapes to explore
- Find an overview of all the events happening in the city in this calendar
- You can find free Wi-Fi hotspots around the city
- Thessaloniki has approximately 300 days of sunshine per year! The average temperature in September is 22°C/72°F
- Find all official tourism information here
Images: © Thessaloniki Tourism Organisation/www.thessaloniki.travel