Thessaloniki is one of those cities that are called "universal". It will give history lovers an acquaintance with the rich past of Greece, young people will appreciate the active nightlife, shopping fans will be delighted with the number of shops, boutiques and souvenir shops. Where to go in Thessaloniki and how to spend time in this city?
The most obvious way to spend time in Thessaloniki is to get to know the sights. They cover a wide time period and reflect all historical milestones in the development of the city. It is difficult to choose the “most-most” to visit, but here is what should definitely be included in the route:
- Ano Poli is the oldest district in Thessaloniki, located on a hill. There are fortress walls, an observation deck, traditional-style houses, several historical churches. For lovers of beautiful views, Ano Poli is just the perfect place, especially at sunset;
- Roman monuments - well-preserved Rotunda, Roman Forum, Arch of Galeria ;
- Religious heritage - Vlatadon Monastery, St. Panteleimon Church, St. Sophia Church, Demetrius of Thessalonica Basilica, Catacombs of John the Baptist;
- The embankment is the center of life in Thessaloniki. Here are some of the most iconic sights of the city: the "Umbrellas" installation and the White Tower, which has become a symbol of the city.
Also, do not forget about the Archaeological Museum, rich in finds, colorful Turkish baths and numerous villas of the late 19th - early 20th centuries, which became the decoration of the city.
Cafes and restaurants
Thessaloniki is a city of cafes and restaurants. As well as coffee houses, uzeri, taverns, gastropubs and other establishments that will delight the soul of lovers of gastronomic experiences. In Thessaloniki, even in the tourist center, they will offer delicious food, presenting Greek and Mediterranean cuisine at its best. The main number of establishments are located in the Ladadika area, near the central market of Modiano, as well as in the streets in the area of the White Tower. In the evening hours, many establishments are filled with both locals and tourists who come to dine in large groups. Often these meals end well after midnight.
Please note: Thessaloniki has many cafes and restaurants with history. Some have been working for 50-90 years. Here you can enjoy not only the cuisine, but also the interior, which necessarily reflects the rich history of the institution.
Want to just have a snack during the day while walking? The city offers local fast food: gyros, crepes (pancakes with fillings) and various pastries. These establishments are concentrated on Aristotle Street, which runs from Egnatia to Aristotle Square, as well as on Navarino Square, which descends from the Arch of Galerius to the sea. Mostly students live there.
How to spend time in Thessaloniki? Of course, go shopping, because shopping is another strong point of the city. Without wasting extra energy on the search, you can immediately go to the central streets of Egnatia and Tsimiski. This is where a wealth of choice awaits: Greek shops give way to boutiques of international brands. There are also many large shopping centers in Thessaloniki, among which Mediterranean Cosmos, One Salonica Outlet Mall and Mega Outlet are famous for their large assortment. Souvenirs can be bought in shops along the promenade, or in the Modiano market, which opened at the beginning of the 20th century.
Vibrant nightlife is something without which it is impossible to imagine the second largest city in Greece. Clubs and bars of Thessaloniki open after 22:00 and work until the morning. Music genres range from DJ performances to jazz and rock. An alternative is traditional bouzouki for those who want to have fun “like a real Greek” and learn more about the peculiarities of national fun. Basically, bars and clubs are concentrated in the areas of Ladadika and Valaoritou, as well as near the waterfront.
The calendar of festivals of Thessaloniki is full of various events all year round: from gastronomic to cultural. Therefore, it is worth checking the poster so as not to miss the interesting. Among the largest festivals are the Book Fair, the biennale of contemporary art, the Urban Picnic Festival on the territory of the Roman Agora, the Food Festival, which involves many cafes and restaurants in the city, as well as the International Film Festival - one of the largest and most famous cultural events in Greece.
Thessaloniki is a city for everyone, including children. With a child, you can go to the water park - this is entertainment number 1 for the whole family. Waterland Waterpark is known for its large selection of attractions, both exciting and for children. In addition to the water park, the city has an amusement park Magic Park , where there are various slides, carousels, rides, a Ferris wheel and everything that will give the child a truly magical day. Also on the itinerary for tourists with children are the zoo and the Science Center with the Museum of Technology, where there is a digital planetarium, a virtual reality simulator, a cinema, interactive exhibitions and an exposition with objects of the technological achievements of the ancient Greeks.
Where to go for a day from Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is a great starting point for day trips. In 1.5 hours you can drive to the city of Edessa, which is famous for its picturesque waterfalls and ruins of fortress walls. The day can be spent on the legendary Mount Olympus (145 km), in Meteora (230 km), in Kavala (153 km) or on the Halkidiki peninsula: the road to its resorts will take from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. You can see different excursions from Thessaloniki here: Excursions from Thessaloniki.