Although there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis will not be 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 value visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of attention-grabbing historical past, a phenomenal 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 below 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 foremost 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 referred to as “Blood Tower” as a result of many executions that happened 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’ve got a stunning view of all the metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
In case you have only some hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower could be the one factor you need 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 unquestionably one of many prime issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an reasonably priced attraction as properly.
The museum is open day by day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong 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.
Handle: White Tower, Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece. Get instructions right here.
2. Take a Stroll Alongside The Seafront
On the seafront, you may get pleasure from a stunning stroll alongside the promenade, among the best locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
I keep 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 vehicles or motorbikes!
You can 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 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 good day journey from Thessaloniki. Be taught extra about that journey, right 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 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 can find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
In the event 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 vehicles. Dad and mom with youngsters will respect this car-free zone as properly.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town’s greatest sq. is without doubt one of the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and a fantastic place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of town and a significant assembly place. You can see varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Folks 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 without doubt one of 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 it is a great spot to see how the locals have fun.
Don’t neglect to take a fast picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, needless to say the sq. can also be well-known for the truth that political protests normally happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you may need 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 Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Through the Second World Conflict, virtually all the Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
As we speak, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless reside in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish neighborhood in Greece. Whereas the neighborhood may be very small at this time, its influence on the historical past of Thessaloniki is gigantic.
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 road is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an reasonably priced €5. In the event you’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that’s not 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 prime issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Among the best 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 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 in regards to the Roman Discussion board in its personal museum. In case you 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 great spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s definitely 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 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 foremost church, Agios Dimitrios, is without doubt one of the prime locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down virtually fully 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 be sure you mix the 2. Dimitrios is Thessaloniki’s patron saint which explains the basilica’s significance. You may 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 By means of Thessaloniki’s Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is definitely its previous city, or Higher City. You may 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 without doubt one of the actions in Thessaloniki which can be free and may be completed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and due to this fact stored its conventional feel and appear. Plus, yow will discover previous church buildings and towers right here and stays of the previous Byzantine partitions. You can 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 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)
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 internal 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 have 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 distinct perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is positioned 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 without doubt 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 Common Consulate of Turkey, the state which Mustafa Kemal based.
This will 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 in case you’re not keen on Atatürk and his life, there may be one more reason to go to his start home — it’s a wonderful option 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.
Handle: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many foremost issues to do in Thessaloniki)
If 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 a Roman temple, then a church, and later a mosque.
Earthquakes have brought on severe injury 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 called Kamara.
This was Thessaloniki’s foremost entrance gate, strolling by means of it is without doubt 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 gorgeous. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account one of the crucial essential locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Handle: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get instructions right 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 imagine that free strolling excursions are among the best 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 spending a dime 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 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 precise steadiness between archaeological websites and the extra trendy elements of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to a few hours and introduce you to the main landmarks.
That manner, you get some background details about issues you’ve got already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few corporations you may 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 definitely let you know to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood near the port is filled with eating places and bars. As is commonly the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a nasty repute however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has every part the traveller may hope for in a giant European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
In truth, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it the very best occasion district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you received’t get pleasure from a stroll by means of the world through the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was 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 respect. This neighbourhood is without doubt one of 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 foremost issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you can find 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 positioned 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 may need to reap the benefits of the museum cross 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 essential locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths 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 bathtub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nonetheless, one of the crucial stress-free actions in Thessaloniki could be to guide a remedy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and gives varied providers. You may 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 bask in a glass of Turkish tea and some items of lokum (Turkish delight).
The self-service expertise prices €25 whereas the essential “Ali Mama” service prices €45. Be sure that to guide 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 Pupil 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 preferred nightlife space. With its repute as a scholar metropolis, one of many foremost actions in Thessaloniki is unquestionably trying out its energetic scholar (occasion) 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 Highway, and Pulp.
In the event you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you may spend the entire evening outdoors. In the event you’re on a extremely tight price range, you received’t need to enter a bar in any respect — merely get booze from a kiosk and drink it outdoors.
Don’t miss this space because it involves life at evening with musicians, artists, and college students having an incredible time. And as typical in such neighbourhoods, you may as well discover the most cost effective 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 number of extra to the record.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is without doubt one of 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 reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Cook 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 dwelling and also you’ll make new associates whereas studying how one can prepare dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night contains studying how one can 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 unbelievable Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gasoline, meals, drinks, and tools. 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 number of nice day journeys you may take as properly.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring website is UNESCO listed and is without doubt one of the prime 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 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: Be taught in regards to 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 this stuff to do in Thessaloniki, I’m certain you’ll have a enjoyable and thrilling journey to Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
You’re going to get to see a variety 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 individuals are friendlier, the service is healthier, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, a variety of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So be sure that to reap the benefits of all this stuff and guide 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 elements within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its gorgeous seashores. Or you may journey additional north to discover a few of the different Balkan international locations reminiscent of 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 prime posts:
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