Even if there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis isn’t 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, a stupendous seaside, and thrilling nightlife.
As a traveller, chances are you’ll be questioning what to do in Thessaloniki, which is the place I are available. After studying this text, you’ll be stunned 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 foremost landmark, which homes an exhibition in regards to the metropolis’s Byzantine historical past.
Throughout Ottoman instances, the White Tower was used as a jail and supposedly referred to as “Blood Tower” because of the many executions that befell there. It received the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though right now it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you’ve got a stunning view of all the metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
You probably have only some hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower could be the one factor you must undoubtedly find time for. And due to its central location, you’ll most likely wish to begin any journey to Thessaloniki right here. This walking 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 day by day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen from 8 am to eight pm. In the event you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you can additionally simply have a look at it from the surface.
Deal with: White Tower, Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece. Get directions here.
2. Take a Stroll Alongside The Seafront
On the seafront, you possibly can take pleasure in a stunning stroll alongside the promenade, the most effective locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
I bear in mind being fascinated that I had lastly discovered a place in Greece the place I may 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.
In the event 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 good day journey from Thessaloniki. Be taught extra about that journey, here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can also be dwelling to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. In the event you preserve 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 wonderful, and farther north one can find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
In the event you’re into biking, this fun trip is a must. 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.
Town’s largest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an important place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of town and a significant assembly place. You will see varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Folks 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 Square is among the most well-known squares in all of Greece and one of the crucial well-known spots within the metropolis. In the event you go to throughout Christmas or New 12 months’s Eve this can be a excellent 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, understand that the sq. can also be well-known for the truth that political protests often 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 group in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish group in Thessaloniki was significantly 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 most important group in Thessaloniki till the Great Fire in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. In the course of the Second World Struggle, virtually all the Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Immediately, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless dwell in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish group in Greece. Whereas the group could be very small right now, its impression on the historical past of Thessaloniki is gigantic.
An effective way to be taught in regards to the Jewish group and historical past is to join this private tour with a information which takes within the museum, synagogue, Jewish market, Holocaust Memorial and extra. Click here for details.
The Jewish Museum on Agia Mina avenue is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an inexpensive €5. In the event you’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 directions here.
5. See The Roman Agora (one of many high issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Top-of-the-line 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 you’ll find out extra in regards to the Roman Discussion board in its personal museum. You probably have any curiosity in archaeology in any respect, a go to to the museum is a should — particularly since one of many two Roman baths remains to be buried beneath town.
In the summertime, going underground generally is a excellent spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s actually spectacular to see this historical sq. in the course 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 directions here.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki’s foremost church, Agios Dimitrios, is among the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down virtually fully within the Nice Fireplace of Thessaloniki in 1917, however monumental reconstruction efforts returned the church to its splendour. Contained in the church, you possibly can even discover distinctive mosaics that survived the fireplace.
Agios Dimitrios Church is situated only a few steps from the Roman Discussion board so remember 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 attention-grabbing historical past, you possibly can even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents an important 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, here.
7. Take a Hike By way of Thessaloniki’s Previous City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Essentially the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is actually its old town, or Upper Town. You possibly can go for a stroll by the cobblestone alleys and can see the normal Balkan homes that date again to Ottoman instances.
A stroll within the picturesque Higher City is among the actions in Thessaloniki which might be free and may be performed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and subsequently saved its conventional feel and look. Plus, you’ll find previous church buildings and towers right here and stays of the previous Byzantine partitions. You might spend hours exploring this attractive neighbourhood.
To many Greeks, Ano Poli is probably the most genuine neighbourhood of Thessaloniki. It’s right here, that you’ll find 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)
In the event 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 received its identify (“Seven Towers”) when the primary Ottoman governor added extra 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 situated on Thessaloniki’s historical Acropolis.
What I discovered much more spectacular are the previous jail corridors which join the place to Greek rebetiko music.
“Yedikule” is among 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 happened here within the twentieth century.
Deal with: Eptapyrgio Fortress, Επταπύργιο, Eptapirgiou 130, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get directions here.
9. See The Atatürk Home
For one thing rather less touristy, go to the delivery home of probably the most well-known individual from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the General Consulate of Turkey, the state which Mustafa Kemal based.
This might not be 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 remains to be authentic, 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 when you’re not enthusiastic about Atatürk and his life, there’s one more reason to go to his delivery home — it’s a superb method to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open day by day from 10 am to five pm, and entrance is free.
Deal with: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get directions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many foremost issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once you head again down in direction of the fashionable middle 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 precipitated severe harm to the constructing, however a number of the mosaics inside have been restored.
Just some 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 foremost entrance gate, strolling by it is among the actions in Thessaloniki that can join you all the way in which again to Roman instances.
The early Christian mosaics within the Rotunda are completely beautiful. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account one of the crucial necessary locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Deal with: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get directions here. The Rotunda is open day by 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 consider that free strolling excursions are the most effective methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with a neighborhood information are well-liked in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will provide it without cost and also you solely tip the information primarily based on how good the tour was?! In fact, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a significant scholar metropolis, you possibly can undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately let you know about their fascinating metropolis.
This may actually present the proper steadiness between archaeological sites and the extra fashionable points of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions often final between two to a few hours and introduce you to the main landmarks.
That approach, you get some background details about issues you’ve got already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few firms you possibly can select from — FreeTour and GuruWalk each have good rankings.
12. Expertise Ladadika (one of many coolest issues to do in Thessaloniki)
In the event you ask any Greek individual what to do in Thessaloniki they are going to actually let you know to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood close to the port is filled with eating places and bars. As is usually the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a foul popularity however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has every little thing the traveller may hope for in a giant European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and many conventional meals and music.
The truth is, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it the very best celebration district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t take pleasure in a stroll by the world in the course of the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman instances, the principle 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 among 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 foremost issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place one can find out extra about Thessaloniki’s historical past till the Roman period. You’ll most likely want round two hours right here as there’s 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 make the most of the museum pass 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 possibly can see all of the necessary locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Previous Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths that you may 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 won’t be able to expertise an genuine Turkish bathtub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, one of the crucial enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki could be to guide a therapy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and gives 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 take pleasure 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 guide an appointment prematurely to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to beautiful Pozar and Edessa. Be taught extra about that tour here.
15. Go For Drinks in The Scholar Space Round Kamara/Rotunda
Whereas the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are well-liked locations to discover in the course of the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its popularity as a scholar metropolis, one of many foremost actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its full of life scholar (celebration) 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 Road, and Pulp.
In the event you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire evening exterior. In the event you’re on a very tight funds, 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 students having a tremendous time. And as typical in such neighbourhoods, you can even discover the most cost effective 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 just a few extra to the record.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is among 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. It is a enjoyable and inexpensive expertise. Find out more here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher method 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 pals whereas studying find out how to cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the inexpensive night consists of studying find out how to make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Be taught extra 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 improbable Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gasoline, meals, drinks, and tools. Find out more here.
Day Journeys From Thessaloniki
Whereas there are quite a few issues to see, do and eat within the metropolis itself, there are just a few nice day journeys you possibly can take as properly.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring website is UNESCO listed and is among 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 here for particulars in regards to the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Guide to Greece’s Mythical Landscape.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Be taught in regards to the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and luxuriate in lunch with a shocking view. Be taught extra about this well-liked day journey 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 here.
Now You Know What To Do in Thessaloniki
With all this stuff to do in Thessaloniki, I’m certain you’ll have a enjoyable and thrilling journey to Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
You’ll get to see plenty of historical past but in addition expertise the scholar nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll be taught extra in regards to the metropolis’s multicultural previous.
I really 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, plenty of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So ensure that to make the most of all this stuff and guide your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And when you’re questioning the place to go subsequent, don’t fear, there are many choices.
From Thessaloniki, you possibly can discover different elements within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its beautiful seashores. Or you possibly can journey additional north to discover a number of the different Balkan international locations such as Albania (when you ask me my absolute favourite city in the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Take a look at our high posts:
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