Holidays in Thessaloniki
The loved and multi sung city of Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece, and also one of the most beautiful travel destinations. Ottoman mosques, Roman columns, early Christian and Byzantine churches, and imposing mansions testify the centuries of history this place carries.
In the city center, there is the famous Aristotle’s Square, which is surrounded by impressive buildings such as the Olympion and its "twin" building; the Electra Palace hotel building, whereas the statue of Aristotle dominates. Here, there are shops and also some of the most popular café/bars in town. At the nearby Tsimiski, Metropoleos and Koromila Consul streets you will find numerous shops, to make your purchases.
It is worth visiting the Modiano gallery, which is covered by a glass roof and seems to have sprung from another era, maintaining a nostalgic atmosphere! Inside the Modiano market, there are shops separated in categories (fishmongers, butchers, etc.), as well as some cafés and tavernas. Nearby, you can see Athonos street, where stylishly taverns and shops are found.
One of the most characteristic monuments of the city, and also locals’ classic meeting point, is the triumphal Arch of Galerius, known as Kamara. Your attention will be stimulated by the embossed characteristics of the monument, depicting moments of the victorious campaign of Galerius in the East. Within walking distance from the Arc, there is the Rotunda; a circular domed building which looks like the Pantheon in Rome and now houses temporary art exhibitions. The monument is famous for its magnificent mosaics and rare paintings.
The city's great attractions include many historic churches, such as the churches of St. Demetrius, St. Sophia and Chalkeon Virgin. The city also hosts several interesting museums, including the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Byzantine Culture Museum, the Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia-Thrace, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Film and the Photography Museum. Of great interest is also the Municipal Art Gallery.
Nikis (Victory) Avenue, a favorite spot for both locals and visitors, is suitable for relaxing walks and bike rides alongside Thermaikos Gulf. A trademark of the coastal road as well as the whole city of Thessaloniki is the White Tower; a fortifying cylindrical structure. Within the Tower, the original and fascinating Museum of the City of Thessaloniki operates. Almost beside the museum, stands the equestrian statue of Alexander the Great. Do not leave town before you walk by the coastal road, starting from the warehouse at the port, passing Aristotle’s Square, leaving behind the White Tower and the Statue of Alexander the Great and continuing to the New Beach which now reaches the Concert Hall. Walking next to Thermaikos Gulf, you will feel the unique energy, the pervasive melancholy, and also the city's eroticism.
During your stay in Thessaloniki, make sure to take a trip to Kalamaria, where you will find seaside café/bars, taverns, and shopping centers. A more chic option is Nea Krini, with its beautiful marina and the glorious sunset! Here, you will find café/bars overlooking the deep blue sea, as well as some of the most elegant restaurants and taverns in the city.
At the highest point of Thessaloniki, the well-preserved traditional village of Upper Town, offering stunning views across the city and the Thermaikos Gulf lies. Here, the scenery changes: The cobbled streets, the whitewashed corners, the simple buildings samples of the Macedonian folk architecture with the enclosed balconies and loggias, the historical squares, the stone stairs and the castles’ walls awake a romantic and nostalgic feeling! At the northeast end of the walls, the fortified citadel of Thessaloniki, with the Eptapyrgio fortress, known by the Ottoman name Yedi Kule stands out. In the Upper Town, you will find several simple but impressive temples, such as the church of Saint David and the Temple of the Archangels. You will also see the remains of the Alantza Imaret mosque. In the picturesque Upper Town neighborhoods, you will find beautiful ouzo-taverns, which will introduce you to the secrets of the local gastronomy. Ask locals to tell you the story of the legendary ghost of Baba-Moussa, who every midnight walks on the Terpsithea square!
Thessaloniki is a city that never sleeps, offering visitors numerous nightlife options. In Aristotle's Square, you can enjoy your drink at ease. Alternatively visit the café of the Film Museum, overlooking the harbor. One of the best kept secrets of the city, students’ favorite place is the Bit Pazar. Stylishly taverns serving delicious snacks and wine or retsina, in a friendly and warm atmosphere can be found there. You can also spend some time there in the morning, when you will find several antique shops open with a feeling of bygone eras. In the popular Ladadika you will find many neatly bars, while along Nikis (Victory) Avenue, you will find numerous café/bars covering every taste. At the Nikiforos Fokas pedestrian street, you can enjoy your drink, listening to soul, jazz, bossa nova or rock sounds, under the stunning White Tower. For those seeking a more alternative option, the hip bars in Valaoritou Street as well as the places in Syggrou and Franks areas are highly proposed.
The city of Vardar, Thessaloniki that is, is also characterized for its culinary feast. The visitor can choose between ouzo-taverns, traditional Greek cuisine restaurants, pubs, and restaurants with ethnic or gourmet cuisine.
During your stay in Thessaloniki, you can take either the tourist train or the open-bus tour to visit the historical monuments of the city. Highly recommended for those in love is the cruise in the Thermaikos Gulf!
Institution for the city of Thessaloniki is the International Trade Fair, the country's largest trade fair and also one of the largest in Balkans, held annually in September. It is open to the public, while at the same time artistic events are organized. Another important event for the city is the International Film Festival, usually held in mid-November. The films are shown at the Olympion building and also in halls located in the warehouses of Pier A at the harbor. Finally, the Documentary Film Festival is held annually in March.
The "Bride of Thermaikos Gulf" harmoniously combines its glorious past with its vivid present. Thessaloniki is a city full of life which respects its great historical and cultural heritage. Whichever season you choose to visit this enchanting city, surely, you will fall instantly in love with it. And we bet that it would be a love that will last a lifetime...
- The White Tower
- The Church of St. Demetrius, St. Sophia and the Chalkeon Virgin
- The Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda
- The Roman Forum
- The Ancient Hippodrome
- The Thessaloniki Walls
- The Concert Hall
- The OTE Tower for a stroll and coffee
- The building of the former Municipal Gallery (Villa Mordoch)
- The Courts Square and the Navarino Square for walking
- The YMCA Park
- Lake Volvi
- The Town of Vergina
- Veria City
- Naoussa City
Travelling by airplane
If you fly to the city of Thessaloniki, to Macedonia International Airport, you can use the municipal buses or taxies to get to the city center.
For more information on the bus routes of Thessaloniki click here.
Travelling by car
To drive to Thessaloniki, you can take the following routes:
The National Highway from Athens to Thessaloniki, if you are travelling from Athens, Arahova, Chalkida, Livadeia, Larissa, Volos or from neighboring areas.
The Egnatia Highway, if you are travelling from Igoumenitsa, Ioaninna, Preveza, Meteora, Kastoria or from neighbouring areas.
The National Highways from Tripoli to Kalamata, from Athens to Corinth and to Thessaloniki, if you are travelling from Kalamata, Mani, Stoupa or neighbouring areas.
Travelling by train
If you are travelling by train to Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Railway Station is your terminal station. From there you can either take the bus or a taxi to reach Aristotle Square or your hotel.
Transfer within Thessaloniki
For your transportation within the city of Thessaloniki, but also to the city suburbs, you can use either the municipal buses or taxies.
During your stay in Thessaloniki, you can be served for health issues:
General Hospital of Thessaloniki - Agios Dimitrios 2, Elenis Zografou, Thessaloniki, Tel: (+30) 2313 322100
General Hospital of Thessaloniki - Agios Pavlos 161, Ethnikis Antistaseos, Kalamaria, Tel: (+30) 2313 304400
University General Hospital of Thessaloniki - ΑHEPΑ 1, Kiriakidi, Thessaloniki, Tel: (+30) 2313 303110-1
General Hospital of Thessaloniki - G. Genimatas 41, Ethnikis Amynas, Thessaloniki, Tel: (+30) 2313 308100
General Hospital of Thessaloniki - Ippokratio 50, Al. Papanastasiou, Thessaloniki, Tel: (+30) 2313 312000
European Interbalcan Medical Center 10, Asklipiou, Pylaia, Tel: (+30) 2310 400000
Thessalonikis Central Port Authority: (+30) 2313 325821-2-3-4
Macedonia Airport: (+30) 2310 985000
Information Desk of Macedonia Airport: (+30) 2310 471170
National Centre for Emergency Assistance (ΕΚΑΒ): 166
Fire department of Thessaloniki: 199
Intercity Bus Station of Macedonia: (+30) 2310 595400
Hellenic Railway (Ο.Σ.Ε.): 14511
City Bus of Thessaloniki (Ο.Α.Σ.Θ): 11085