Even if there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis just isn’t on everybody’s radar.
To Greeks, Thessaloniki is a legendary scholar vacation spot with a cool, relaxed vibe that distinguishes the 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.
Finest 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 value visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of attention-grabbing historical past, a wonderful seaside, and thrilling nightlife.
As a traveller, you might 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 finest issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece.
1. Go to The White Tower
The fortified White Tower on the seafront is Thessaloniki’s important landmark, which homes an exhibition in regards to the metropolis’s Byzantine historical past.
Throughout Ottoman occasions, the White Tower was used as a jail and supposedly known as “Blood Tower” because of the many executions that happened there. It obtained the title “White Tower” after it was painted white, though right this moment it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you have got a beautiful view of the whole 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 it’s best to undoubtedly find time for. And due to its central location, you’ll in all probability need 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 prime issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an inexpensive attraction as properly.
The museum is open on daily basis from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen from 8 am to eight pm. If you happen to’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you may additionally simply take 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’ll be able to take pleasure in a beautiful stroll alongside the promenade, among the finest 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 might 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 cross 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. Study 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. If you happen to 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 superb, and farther north you will 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 the perfect 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 youngsters will respect this car-free zone as properly.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
Town’s greatest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and a fantastic place to cease for a espresso. That is the trendy middle of the town and a significant assembly place. You can see varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Individuals prefer to buy groceries within the streets and markets near the sq., and you’ll undoubtedly cross by right here greater than as soon as throughout your time in Thessaloniki.
Aristotelous Sq. is among the most well-known squares in all of Greece and probably the most 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 picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, needless to say the sq. can be well-known for the truth that political protests often happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you may need 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 neighborhood in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish neighborhood in Thessaloniki was notably robust throughout the Ottoman Empire when Jewish refugees arrived from Spain and Portugal the place they confronted extreme persecution.
Jews made up the most important neighborhood in Thessaloniki till the Nice Hearth in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. In the course of the Second World Battle, nearly the whole 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 neighborhood in Greece. Whereas the neighborhood may be very small right this moment, its influence on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to be taught in regards to the Jewish neighborhood 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 avenue is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an inexpensive €5. If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that’s not 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 prime issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Among the finest issues to see in Thessaloniki is the excavations of the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki (also referred to as the Roman Discussion board). This historical Roman market is positioned near Aristotelous Sq. and homes the stays of a theater and two Roman baths.
The very best half is that it continues underground the place yow will discover 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 the town.
In the summertime, going underground generally is a great spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s actually spectacular to see this historical sq. in the course of the trendy metropolis of Thessaloniki. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and three pm, and you will 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 important church, Agios Dimitrios, is among the prime 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’ll be able to even discover distinctive mosaics that survived the hearth.
Agios Dimitrios Church is positioned 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’ll be able to see the place the place he supposedly died within the crypt underground.
And, due to Thessaloniki’s attention-grabbing historical past, you’ll be able to even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents a fantastic overview of the town’s historical past. Pictures 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 Via Thessaloniki’s Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most stunning a part of Thessaloniki is actually its outdated city, or Higher City. You’ll be able to go for a stroll by means 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 among the actions in Thessaloniki which are free and might be performed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and subsequently stored its conventional feel and appear. Plus, yow will discover outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You might spend hours exploring this attractive 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.
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 internal a part of the wall was constructed by the Byzantines however obtained its title (“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 overwhelmed, you get a special perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is positioned 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 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 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 essentially the most well-known particular person from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Common 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 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 if you happen to’re not fascinated with Atatürk and his life, there’s one more reason to go to his beginning home — it’s a superb approach to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open on daily basis 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 important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once you head again down in direction of the trendy middle of the 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 few 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 referred to as Kamara.
This was once Thessaloniki’s important entrance gate, strolling by means of it is among 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 gorgeous. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account probably the most essential 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 on daily basis 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 among the finest 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 without cost 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’ll be able to undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
It will actually present the best steadiness between archaeological websites and the extra fashionable points of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions often final between two to 3 hours and introduce you to the main landmarks.
That manner, you get some background details about issues you have got already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few firms you’ll be able to 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 particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they are going to actually inform you to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood near the port is stuffed with eating places and bars. As is commonly the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a nasty popularity 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 reality, the neighbourhood is so alive that many take into account it the perfect social gathering district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t take pleasure in a stroll by means of the realm throughout the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the primary 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 respect. This neighbourhood is among the prime 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 important issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you will discover out extra about Thessaloniki’s historical past till the Roman period. You’ll in all probability want round two hours right here as there’s 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 need to make the most of the museum cross which permits entrance to the Archaeological Museum, the White Tower, the Galerian Complicated, the Museum of the Roman Agora, and the Museum of Byzantine Tradition.
For €15 you’ll be able to see all of the essential locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths you can 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 bathtub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, probably the most enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki could be to ebook a therapy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and gives varied companies. You’ll be able to both go for a self-service go to or add on varied massages or remedies. After you calm down 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. Make certain to ebook an appointment upfront to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to gorgeous 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 in style locations to discover throughout the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its popularity as a scholar metropolis, one of many important actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its vigorous scholar (social gathering) 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’ll be able to spend the entire evening exterior. If you happen to’re on a very tight finances, you gained’t need to 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 an incredible time. And as ordinary in such neighbourhoods, you too can 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 prime 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. Discover out extra right here.
Cook dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher approach 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 associates 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! Study extra right here.
Hop aboard this stunning 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 just a few nice day journeys you’ll be able to take as properly.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring website is UNESCO listed and is among the prime 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 in regards to the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Information to Greece’s Legendary Panorama.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Study in regards to 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 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 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 these items 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 loads of historical past but additionally 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 like Thessaloniki as a result of it’s quieter than Athens, the persons are friendlier, the service is healthier, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, loads of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low cost. So make certain to make the most of all these items and ebook your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And if you happen to’re questioning the place to go subsequent, don’t fear, there are many choices.
From Thessaloniki, you’ll be able to discover different elements within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its gorgeous seashores. Or you’ll be able to journey additional north to discover a few of the different Balkan nations corresponding to Albania (if you happen to ask me my absolute favorite metropolis within the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Take a look at our prime posts:
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