Even though there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis is just not on everybody’s radar.
To Greeks, Thessaloniki is a legendary scholar vacation spot with a cool, relaxed vibe that distinguishes town from the remainder of the nation. However, many vacationers haven’t even heard of it!
This port metropolis has 3,000 years of historical past, and its early Christian and Byzantine structure are listed as UNESCO World Heritage websites.
To not point out, the influences of Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans and Jews give Thessaloniki a really distinctive character.
Greatest Issues To Do in Thessaloniki, Greece
Having lived in Greece for nearly six years, I can testify to the truth that Thessaloniki is a dynamic metropolis properly price visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of attention-grabbing historical past, an exquisite seaside, and thrilling nightlife.
As a traveller, it’s possible you’ll be questioning what to do in Thessaloniki, which is the place I are available in. After studying this text, you’ll be stunned by the number of issues to do right here.
Listed here are the 15 finest issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece.
1. Go to The White Tower
The fortified White Tower on the seafront is Thessaloniki’s primary landmark, which homes an exhibition concerning the metropolis’s Byzantine historical past.
Throughout Ottoman occasions, the White Tower was used as a jail and supposedly referred to as “Blood Tower” as a result of many executions that befell there. It obtained the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though immediately it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you might have a beautiful view of all the metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
When you’ve got only some hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower can be the one factor it is best to undoubtedly find time for. And due to its central location, you’ll in all probability wish to begin any journey to Thessaloniki right here. This strolling tour with a neighborhood takes within the White Tower and different highlights within the metropolis.
The White Tower is certainly one of many high issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an inexpensive attraction as properly.
The museum is open each day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong from 8 am to eight pm. Should you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you would additionally simply have a look at it from the skin.
Handle: White Tower, Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece. Get instructions right here.
2. Take a Stroll Alongside The Seafront
On the seafront, you may take pleasure in a beautiful stroll alongside the promenade, probably the greatest locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
I keep in mind being fascinated that I had lastly discovered a place in Greece the place I might stroll for hours with out being disturbed by automobiles or motorbikes!
You might simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
Should you stroll south from the White Tower alongside the promenade you’ll move by the statue of Alexander the Nice who was born in Pella, about 1.5 hours from Thessaloniki. A visit to Pella is a superb day journey from Thessaloniki. Be taught extra about that journey, right here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can be dwelling to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. Should you maintain strolling farther south, you’ll see a number of small parks, such because the Backyard of Sands and Backyard of Remembrance.
The view of Thessaloniki’s port from the promenade is superb, and farther north you will see that tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
Should you’re into biking, this enjoyable journey is a should. Thessaloniki’s promenade might be the very best place in all of Greece to have the ability to trip your bike for a number of kilometres with out worrying about automobiles. Dad and mom with youngsters will admire this car-free zone as properly.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town’s greatest sq. is likely one of the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and a fantastic place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable heart of town and a serious assembly place. You can find varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Individuals wish to buy groceries within the streets and markets near the sq., and you’ll undoubtedly move by right here greater than as soon as throughout your time in Thessaloniki.
Aristotelous Sq. is likely one of the most well-known squares in all of Greece and probably the most well-known spots within the metropolis. Should you go to throughout Christmas or New 12 months’s Eve this can be a excellent place to see how the locals have a good time.
Don’t neglect to take a fast picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, remember the fact that the sq. can be well-known for the truth that political protests normally happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you would possibly wish to keep away from the sq..
4. Be taught About The Metropolis’s Jewish Historical past at The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki presents the historical past of the Jewish neighborhood in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish neighborhood in Thessaloniki was notably robust through the Ottoman Empire when Jewish refugees arrived from Spain and Portugal the place they confronted extreme persecution.
Jews made up the largest neighborhood in Thessaloniki till the Nice Hearth in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Through the Second World Struggle, nearly all the Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
In the present day, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless dwell in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish neighborhood in Greece. Whereas the neighborhood could be very small immediately, its impression on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
An effective way to be taught concerning the Jewish neighborhood and historical past is to be part of this personal tour with a information which takes within the museum, synagogue, Jewish market, Holocaust Memorial and extra. Click on right here for particulars.
The Jewish Museum on Agia Mina avenue is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an inexpensive €5. Should you’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that isn’t on everybody’s record, this museum is for you.
Handle: Ag. Mina 11, Thessaloniki 546 24, Greece. Get instructions right here.
5. See The Roman Agora (one of many high issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Among the finest issues to see in Thessaloniki is the excavations of the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki (also called the Roman Discussion board). This historical Roman market is situated near Aristotelous Sq. and homes the stays of a theater and two Roman baths.
The most effective half is that it continues underground the place yow will discover out extra concerning the Roman Discussion board in its personal museum. When you’ve got any curiosity in archaeology in any respect, a go to to the museum is a should — particularly since one of many two Roman baths continues to be buried beneath town.
In the summertime, going underground could be a excellent place to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s definitely spectacular to see this historical sq. in the midst of the fashionable metropolis of Thessaloniki. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and three pm, and you will get in for €4.
Handle: Roman Agora, Olympou 75, Thessaloniki 546 31, Greece. Get instructions right here.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki’s primary church, Agios Dimitrios, is likely one of the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down nearly fully within the Nice Hearth of Thessaloniki in 1917, however huge reconstruction efforts returned the church to its splendour. Contained in the church, you may even discover distinctive mosaics that survived the fireplace.
Agios Dimitrios Church is situated only a few steps from the Roman Discussion board so make sure you mix the 2. Dimitrios is Thessaloniki’s patron saint which explains the basilica’s significance. You possibly can see the place the place he supposedly died within the crypt underground.
And, due to Thessaloniki’s attention-grabbing historical past, you may even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents a fantastic overview of town’s historical past. Pictures is allowed, and because it’s a church, entrance is free.
Handle: Agios Dimitros, Ag. Dimitriou, Thessaloniki 546 33, Greece. Discover it on the map, right here.
7. Take a Hike Via Thessaloniki’s Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Essentially the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is definitely its outdated city, or Higher City. You possibly can go for a stroll by way of the cobblestone alleys and can see the standard Balkan homes that date again to Ottoman occasions.
A stroll within the picturesque Higher City is likely one of the actions in Thessaloniki which are free and may be finished at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth and subsequently stored its conventional appear and feel. Plus, yow will discover outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You might spend hours exploring this beautiful neighbourhood.
To many Greeks, Ano Poli is essentially the most genuine neighbourhood of Thessaloniki. It’s right here, that yow will discover conventional taverns enjoying rebetiko music, not for vacationers, however for the locals.
Take pleasure in getting misplaced within the maze of streets in Thessaloniki’s oldest neighbourhood.
8. Test Out The Eptapyrgio (Yedikule)
Should you head farther up from the Higher City, you’ll attain the Eptapyrgio fortress which gained notoriety when right-wing totalitarian Greek regimes imprisoned political prisoners there.
This interior a part of the wall was constructed by the Byzantines however obtained its identify (“Seven Towers”) when the primary Ottoman governor added extra towers.
The fortress itself is sort of spectacular to take a look at, however the view from right here is spectacular because it’s the best level within the metropolis. Whereas the view from the White Tower can’t be crushed, you get a unique perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is situated on Thessaloniki’s historical Acropolis.
What I discovered much more spectacular are the outdated jail corridors which join the place to Greek rebetiko music.
“Yedikule” is likely one of the most well-known rebetiko songs, and the protagonist is a prisoner on this well-known jail. The doorways and cells are a haunting reminder of what occurred right here within the twentieth century.
Handle: Eptapyrgio Fortress, Επταπύργιο, Eptapirgiou 130, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions right here.
9. See The Atatürk Home
For one thing rather less touristy, go to the start home of essentially the most well-known individual from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Normal Consulate of Turkey, the state which Mustafa Kemal based.
This is probably not of curiosity to everybody, however as an ethnic Turk, I used to be very moved by my go to right here.
A lot of the furnishings right here continues to be unique, and there are even a few of Atatürk’s and his household’s belongings. It’s one of many locations to go to in Thessaloniki if you wish to see one thing that’s not on everybody’s radar.
Even in case you’re not inquisitive about Atatürk and his life, there may be another excuse to go to his start home — it’s a superb strategy to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open each day from 10 am to five pm, and entrance is free.
Handle: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many primary issues to do in Thessaloniki)
If you head again down in direction of the fashionable heart of town, you’ll spot the traditional Rotunda. It’s one of many oldest issues to see in Thessaloniki and was once a Roman temple, then a church, and later a mosque.
Earthquakes have triggered severe harm to the constructing, however a number of the mosaics inside have been restored.
Only a few steps from the Rotunda you’ll discover one other Roman monument, the Arch of Galerius. It commemorates the Roman victory over the Persians and is also called Kamara.
This was once Thessaloniki’s primary entrance gate, strolling by way of it is likely one of the actions in Thessaloniki that may join you all the best way again to Roman occasions.
The early Christian mosaics within the Rotunda are completely gorgeous. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account probably the most vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Handle: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get instructions right here. The Rotunda is open each day between 8 am and 5 pm within the winter and till 7 pm in the summertime.
11. Take a Free Strolling Tour
I firmly imagine that free strolling excursions are probably the greatest methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with a neighborhood information are in style in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will supply it at no cost and also you solely tip the information based mostly on how good the tour was?! In fact, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a serious scholar metropolis, you may undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately let you know about their fascinating metropolis.
This may definitely present the correct stability between archaeological websites and the extra trendy facets of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to a few hours and introduce you to the most important landmarks.
That approach, you get some background details about issues you might have already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few corporations you may select from — FreeTour and GuruWalk each have good scores.
12. Expertise Ladadika (one of many coolest issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Should you ask any Greek individual what to do in Thessaloniki they are going to definitely let you know to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood near the port is stuffed with eating places and bars. As is usually the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a nasty repute however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has the whole lot the traveller might hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and many conventional meals and music.
In truth, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it the very best social gathering district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you received’t take pleasure in a stroll by way of the world through the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the primary market was situated right here as properly.
Just like the promenade and Aristotelous Sq., it’s a pedestrian-only zone that any customer to Greece will admire. This neighbourhood is likely one of the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki, don’t miss it.
13. Tour The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
As in lots of locations in Greece, one of many primary issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you will see that out extra about Thessaloniki’s historical past till the Roman period. You’ll in all probability want round two hours right here as there may be a lot to see within the exhibition.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is situated close to the White Tower the statue of Alexander the Nice. The exhibitions cowl the interval between prehistory and late antiquity. A lot of the artefacts are from Thessaloniki and its neighborhood.
The museum is open all week from 8 am to eight pm, and a ticket is €8, however you would possibly wish to reap the benefits of the museum move which permits entrance to the Archaeological Museum, the White Tower, the Galerian Advanced, the Museum of the Roman Agora, and the Museum of Byzantine Tradition.
For €15 you may see all of the vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths that you could go to: Bey Hamam, Yeni Hamam, Paşa Hamam, and Yahudi Hamam (Pazar Hamam).
Sadly, none of them are nonetheless in use. So, whilst you can marvel on the structure, you won’t be able to expertise an genuine Turkish tub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, probably the most stress-free actions in Thessaloniki can be to e book a remedy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and gives varied providers. You possibly can both go for a self-service go to or add on varied massages or therapies. After you calm down within the steam room, you get to bask in a glass of Turkish tea and some items of lokum (Turkish delight).
The self-service expertise prices €25 whereas the fundamental “Ali Mama” service prices €45. Be sure that to e book an appointment upfront to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to gorgeous Pozar and Edessa. Be taught extra about that tour right here.
15. Go For Drinks in The Scholar Space Round Kamara/Rotunda
Whereas the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are in style locations to discover through the day, that is additionally a well-liked nightlife space. With its repute as a scholar metropolis, one of many primary actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its energetic scholar (social gathering) scene.
There are numerous bars and cafés right here, that are cheaper than those within the Ladadika neighbourhood. Try Bulldog and the Beast, On The Street, and Pulp.
Should you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you may spend the entire night time exterior. Should you’re on a extremely tight funds, you received’t must enter a bar in any respect — merely get booze from a kiosk and drink it exterior.
Don’t miss this space because it involves life at night time with musicians, artists, and college students having a tremendous time. And as ordinary in such neighbourhoods, you may as well discover the most affordable avenue meals right here.
Extra Enjoyable Issues To Do in Thessaloniki
There are such a lot of actions within the metropolis, I had so as to add a couple of extra to the record.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is likely one of the high issues to do in Thessaloniki for foodies. Meet at a market and find out about Greek meals, whereas sampling many various conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the best way. This can be a enjoyable and inexpensive expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher strategy to have a neighborhood expertise than cooking and consuming a meal collectively? The expertise takes place in a Greek dwelling and also you’ll make new mates whereas studying cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the inexpensive night consists of studying make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Be taught extra right here.
Hop aboard this lovely sailboat and revel in a half day cruise round Thessaloniki. On this luxurious journey, you’ll go to seashores, go snorkelling, and revel in a implausible Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gas, meals, drinks, and gear. Discover out extra right here.
Day Journeys From Thessaloniki
Whereas there are quite a few issues to see, do and eat within the metropolis itself, there are a couple of nice day journeys you may take as properly.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring website is UNESCO listed and is likely one of the high locations to go to within the nation. Be part of a full-day, highly-rated tour and see what all of the fuss is about. Click on right here for particulars concerning the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Information to Greece’s Legendary Panorama.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Be taught concerning the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and revel in lunch with a surprising view. Be taught extra about this in style day journey right here.
- Pozar Thermal Baths and Edessa: Soak in pure thermal sizzling springs, gaze on the tallest waterfall within the Balkans, and revel in lunch in a picturesque village. Discover out extra about this enjoyable day journey right here.
Now You Know What To Do in Thessaloniki
With all these items to do in Thessaloniki, I’m positive you’ll have a enjoyable and thrilling journey to Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
You’re going to get to see numerous historical past but additionally expertise the coed nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll be taught extra concerning the metropolis’s multicultural previous.
I really like Thessaloniki as a result of it’s quieter than Athens, the individuals are friendlier, the service is healthier, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, numerous the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low cost. So be certain to reap the benefits of all these items and e book your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And in case you’re questioning the place to go subsequent, don’t fear, there are many choices.
From Thessaloniki, you may discover different components within the north of Greece, such because the beautiful Chalkidiki peninsula with its gorgeous seashores. Or you may journey additional north to discover a number of the different Balkan nations akin to Albania (in case you ask me my absolute favorite metropolis within the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Try our high posts:
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