Even if 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 fascinating historical past, a lovely 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. After studying this text, you’ll be shocked by the number of issues to do right here.
Listed here are the 15 greatest issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece.
1. Go to The White Tower
The fortified White Tower on the seafront is Thessaloniki’s major 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” because of the many executions that passed off there. It obtained the title “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at this time it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you might have a beautiful view of your entire 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 most likely 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 reasonably priced attraction as properly.
The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong from 8 am to eight pm. If you happen to’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you may additionally simply have a look at it from the skin.
Deal with: 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, top-of-the-line locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
I bear 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 vehicles or motorbikes!
You can simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
If you happen to stroll south from the White Tower alongside the promenade you’ll go by the statue of Alexander the Nice who was born in Pella, about 1.5 hours from Thessaloniki. A visit to Pella is a good day journey from Thessaloniki. Study extra about that journey, right here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can be residence to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. If you happen to hold 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’ll discover tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
If you happen to’re into biking, this enjoyable journey is a should. Thessaloniki’s promenade might be one of the best place in all of Greece to have the ability to experience your bike for a number of kilometres with out worrying about vehicles. Mother and father with kids will admire this car-free zone as properly.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
Town’s greatest sq. is likely one of the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an excellent place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable heart of town and a significant assembly place. You will see 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 go 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 some of the well-known spots within the metropolis. If you happen to go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve this can be a great spot to see how the locals rejoice.
Don’t overlook to take a fast photograph of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, remember that the sq. can be well-known for the truth that political protests often happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you may wish to keep away from the sq..
4. Study About The Metropolis’s Jewish Historical past at The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki presents the historical past of the Jewish group in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish group in Thessaloniki was notably robust in the course of the Ottoman Empire when Jewish refugees arrived from Spain and Portugal the place they confronted extreme persecution.
Jews made up the largest group in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. In the course of the Second World Warfare, nearly your entire Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Right now, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless dwell in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish group in Greece. Whereas the group may be very small at this time, its affect on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to study concerning the Jewish group and historical past is to be a 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 road is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an reasonably priced €5. If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that isn’t on everybody’s record, this museum is for you.
Deal with: 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 best issues to see in Thessaloniki is the excavations of the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki (also referred to as the Roman Discussion board). This historic Roman market is positioned near Aristotelous Sq. and homes the stays of a theater and two Roman baths.
One of the best 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 great spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s definitely spectacular to see this historic 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 may get in for €4.
Deal with: Roman Agora, Olympou 75, Thessaloniki 546 31, Greece. Get instructions right here.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki’s major church, Agios Dimitrios, is likely one of the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down nearly utterly within the Nice Fireplace 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 positioned only a few steps from the Roman Discussion board so make sure to 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 fascinating historical past, you may even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents an excellent overview of town’s historical past. Images is allowed, and because it’s a church, entrance is free.
Deal with: Agios Dimitros, Ag. Dimitriou, Thessaloniki 546 33, Greece. Discover it on the map, right here.
7. Take a Hike By 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 via the cobblestone alleys and can see the normal 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 will be achieved at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and due to this fact saved its conventional feel and appear. Plus, yow will discover outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You can spend hours exploring this attractive neighbourhood.
To many Greeks, Ano Poli is probably the most genuine neighbourhood of Thessaloniki. It’s right here, that yow will discover conventional taverns taking part in rebetiko music, not for vacationers, however for the locals.
Get pleasure from getting misplaced within the maze of streets in Thessaloniki’s oldest neighbourhood.
8. Verify Out The Eptapyrgio (Yedikule)
If you happen to 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 title (“Seven Towers”) when the primary Ottoman governor added further towers.
The fortress itself is kind of spectacular to take a look at, however the view from right here is spectacular because it’s the very best level within the metropolis. Whereas the view from the White Tower can’t be crushed, you get a special perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is positioned on Thessaloniki’s historic 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.
Deal with: 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 beginning home of probably 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.
Many 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 the event you’re not enthusiastic about Atatürk and his life, there may be another excuse to go to his beginning home — it’s a wonderful option to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open daily from 10 am to five pm, and entrance is free.
Deal with: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many major issues to do in Thessaloniki)
If you head again down in the 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 prompted critical injury 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 referred to as Kamara.
This was once Thessaloniki’s major entrance gate, strolling via it is likely one of the actions in Thessaloniki that may join you all the way in which again to Roman occasions.
The early Christian mosaics within the Rotunda are completely beautiful. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account some of the necessary locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Deal with: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get instructions right here. The Rotunda is open daily 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 top-of-the-line methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with a neighborhood information are standard in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will provide it free of charge and also you solely tip the information primarily based on how good the tour was?! After all, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a significant scholar metropolis, you may undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately let you know about their fascinating metropolis.
This can definitely present the correct stability between archaeological websites and the extra fashionable features of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions often final between two to 3 hours and introduce you to the foremost 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 firms you may select from — FreeTour and GuruWalk each have good rankings.
12. Expertise Ladadika (one of many coolest issues to do in Thessaloniki)
If you happen to 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 filled with eating places and bars. As is usually the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a foul repute however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has all the pieces the traveller might hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and many conventional meals and music.
In reality, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it one of the best get together district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t take pleasure in a stroll via the world in the course of the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the principle market was positioned 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 major issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you’ll discover out extra about Thessaloniki’s historical past till the Roman period. You’ll most likely want round two hours right here as there may be a lot to see within the exhibition.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is positioned close to the White Tower the statue of Alexander the Nice. The exhibitions cowl the interval between prehistory and late antiquity. Many 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 may wish to make the most of the museum go 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 necessary 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, when you can marvel on the structure, you will be unable to expertise an genuine Turkish tub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, some of the enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki can be to guide a therapy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and presents varied companies. You possibly can both go for a self-service go to or add on varied massages or remedies. After you chill out 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 certain to guide an appointment prematurely to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to beautiful Pozar and Edessa. Study extra about that tour right here.
15. Go For Drinks in The Pupil Space Round Kamara/Rotunda
Whereas the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are standard locations to discover in the course of the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its repute as a scholar metropolis, one of many major actions in Thessaloniki is certainly trying out its energetic scholar (get together) scene.
There are numerous bars and cafés right here, that are cheaper than those within the Ladadika neighbourhood. Take a look at Bulldog and the Beast, On The Highway, and Pulp.
If you happen to’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you may spend the entire evening exterior. If you happen to’re on a very tight finances, you gained’t should 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 evening with musicians, artists, and college students having a tremendous time. And as ordinary in such neighbourhoods, you may also discover the most affordable road 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 study Greek meals, whereas sampling many alternative conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the way in which. This can be a enjoyable and reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher option to have a neighborhood expertise than cooking and consuming a meal collectively? The expertise takes place in a Greek residence and also you’ll make new associates whereas studying tips on how to cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night contains studying tips on how to make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Study extra right here.
Hop aboard this lovely sailboat and luxuriate in a half day cruise round Thessaloniki. On this luxurious journey, you’ll go to seashores, go snorkelling, and luxuriate in a incredible Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gasoline, 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 a 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 study extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Information to Greece’s Legendary Panorama.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Study concerning the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and luxuriate in lunch with a surprising view. Study extra about this standard day journey right here.
- Pozar Thermal Baths and Edessa: Soak in pure thermal sizzling springs, gaze on the tallest waterfall within the Balkans, and luxuriate 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 this stuff 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 a whole lot of historical past but in addition expertise the scholar nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll study extra concerning the metropolis’s multicultural previous.
I like Thessaloniki as a result of it’s quieter than Athens, the persons are friendlier, the service is best, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, a whole lot of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low cost. So be sure to make the most of all this stuff and guide your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And in the event 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 attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its beautiful seashores. Or you may journey additional north to discover a number of the different Balkan international locations reminiscent of Albania (in the event you ask me my absolute favorite metropolis within the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Take a look at our high posts:
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