It feels like home!
• Shortly before landing: With the announcement of the pilot that we are approaching Thessaloniki, the city from above is like a magic photo: The White Tower, the Walls, the harbour and Aristotelous Square look like a magnificent Byzantine mosaic! If you do not disturb anyone, take a picture!
• Discovering the city: Since its foundation, Thessaloniki has been a multicultural city and a city that gave shelter to many refugees and immigrants over the centuries. From the Greeks of Pontus and Asia Minor to Jews and Armenians, Thessaloniki retains until today the elements of these cultures and that makes the city so special!
Those who visit the Bride of Thermaikos say that it is love at first walk and that is why it was named as the most “romantic city of Greece.” Whether or not this applies, we will leave it to your discretion! The port of Thessaloniki is a point of reference for visitors, who are enchanted walking on the coast. If your romantic side of yours calls, then walk along the coast across the entire Nikis Avenue with its cafes and continue all the way to the White Tower. From the White Tower and the statue of Alexander the Great and from the Thessaloniki Nautical Club to the city’s Concert Hall, the coastal route is divided into theme parks, which you must explore and perhaps have a coffee in one of the outdoor cafes that exist inside the parks.
10 places to visit in Thessaloniki
• The White Tower: The symbol of the city. Built in the 15th century, it was a fortress, a prison, a military accommodation and now it hosts an interactive version of the city’s history. Do not forget to climb to the top of the Tower to view the city. Free admission every first Sunday of the month.
• The Church of St. Demetrius: The Church of the Patron Saint of Thessaloniki. Under the church, there is a catacomb, where there is the grave of St. Demetrius. The church is a cultural heritage of UNESCO.
• Eptapyrgio: The famous Castles in the slums of the Upper Town and the Yedi Kule, the old prisons, now constitute a UNESCO cultural heritage.
• The Roman Forum: You will find it on the upper side of Aristotelous square and you will find the central market of the Roman period.
• The arch of Galerius: Kamara (as Thessalonians call it) is the monument of Emperor Galerius, which commemorates the victory against Sassanid Persians and the conquest of the capital of Ctesiphon in 298 AD. Today it is a monument of reference for Thessaloniki and a meeting point for students and visitors.
• The city Museums (Archaeological, Byzantine, Macedonian Struggle and War): The museums of Thessaloniki contain unique findings from the history of Macedonia and from the city.
• Thessaloniki International Fair: It is located at the city centre and is a point of reference for all visitors of the city. Every September hosts the International Fair with exhibitors from all over the world. Do not forget to drink your coffee on the fourth floor of the rotating OTE Tower and have the city at your feet.
• Aristotelous Square: A meeting place for Thessalonians and visitors. It is the most famous square in the city, with many cafes and bars and for a walk. We recommend to have a coffee in the “Room with a View” on the roof of Olympion Cinema (10 Aristotelous Square).
• Tomb St. Paisius (Souroti): after the sanctification of Elder Paisius, the tomb of the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Souroti (a few kilometers away from the airport) is a place of pilgrimage for many visitors.
• The Vlatadon Monastery: A historic monastery in Ano Polis. According to testimonies, it was built on the place where Apostle Paul lived or taught.
The night is alive
Thessaloniki is famous for its nightlife. We suggest a stroll in Valaoritou Street and its lively bars, as well the cafes at the coast (Nikis Avenue), Mitropoleos Street and Iktinou & Zefxidos Streets. You must bear in mind that the nightlife in the city goes through the bouzoukia, the music halls and clubs… so stay in the centre for clubbing or go to the Sfagio for places with live music.
Hungry? No problem!
If you want to satisfy your hunger, you are in the right city! In Thessaloniki, one thing is certain: No one leaves hungry.
Foods you should try in Thessaloniki!
• Gyros and souvlaki: The classic street food of Greece and Thessaloniki. We suggest a walk in Ladadika in «Laikon» (24 Polytechniou str.) for little grilled pork chops in Greek pitta bread.
• Mezedes: These are available in several small cafes and bars. We suggest paying a visit to the various student bars above Kamara and the various cafés at the Bit Bazaar area (300 meters above the Roman Forum).
• Koulouri of Thessaloniki: You can either eat it plain or with salami or cheese. The famous koulouri is crispy and it will satisfy your hunger. You can buy it from a bench (one of the many) that exist in the city centre.
• Pies: Cheese pie, spinach pie, mince pie and kourou cheese pie ... The city has wonderful pies in every corner. We recommend the “Pites of Voula” (48 Pavlou Mela Str.), a very popular shop which has many fans.
10 Sweets You Should Try at Thessaloniki!
• Bougatsa: The classic breakfast of Thessaloniki, which you can have it with Greek coffee or chocolate milk. You can find it with cream filling, chocolate, cheese, spinach, mince and even plain with pure honey coating.
• Bougatsan: This is a combination of bougatsa and croissant. The cream filling is the same with bougatsa and you can find it in Estrella on Pavlou Melas Street.
• Tsoureki Terkenli: You can find the yummy tsoureki of Terkenlis in many parts of the city and in the corner between Tsimiski and Aristotelous Square. We suggest trying the chestnut-filled tsoureki, coated with white chocolate.
• Pourakia & Anomala from Hadjifotiou: Perhaps the sweetest temptation of the city. The chocolate cigarillos (also offered in various other flavours) and the “anomala” will sweeten your palate. You will find them in the Mediterranean Cosmos shopping mall (11th km. Thessaloniki – Moudania Road) and in Hagia Sophia (Pavlou Mela 37).
• Trigona of Panorama: The well-known triangle-shaped sweet with cream filling has gone sweet tooth lovers crazy! Take a stroll in Elenidis in Panorama or at Helios patisserie in Antigonidon Square and you will find out what we mean.
• Kourkoubinia, touloumpakia and other syrup-made sweets: For anything that has to do with syrup sweets, Hatzis in Kalamaria (in Themistocles Sofouli Str.) is the maître! Do not forget to try the wonderful Kazan Dipi and Ekmek Kantaifi!
With one of the largest markets of Greece, one thing is certain: In Thessaloniki, you will find whatever you are looking for at the price you want! Just wander around downtown and more specifically in Mitropoleos, Egnatia, Tsimiski and Ermou Streets. If you want to awaken your senses through the smell of amber, oregano and cinnamon, then a walk in Kapani Market will compensate you. If you go down a little further down the road, you will find the Modiano market, the place with the freshest meat and fish in the city and the most beautiful smiles of the Thessalonians.
If you prefer shopping centres, Thessaloniki will not let you down... One Salonica (at the western entrance of the city), Mediterranean Cosmos (next to airport) and the Outlet Mall (near the stadium of PAOK basketball in Pylaia) provide a shopping solution for all budgets!