Although 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 nicely price visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of fascinating historical past, a wonderful 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 below 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 most important landmark, which homes an exhibition concerning 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 have got a beautiful view of your entire 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 wish to begin any journey to Thessaloniki right here. This walking tour with an area 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 inexpensive attraction as nicely.
The museum is open day-after-day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong from 8 am to eight pm. In case you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you may 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 beautiful stroll alongside the promenade, probably the greatest 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 can simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
In case 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. Study extra about that journey, here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can also be house to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. In case 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 wonderful, and farther north one can find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
In case you’re into biking, this fun trip is a must. Thessaloniki’s promenade might be one of the best place in all of Greece to have the ability to trip your bike for a number of kilometres with out worrying about automobiles. Mother and father with kids will respect this car-free zone as nicely.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
Town’s greatest sq. is without doubt one of the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an ideal place to cease for a espresso. That is the trendy heart of the town and a serious assembly place. You’ll discover numerous 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 move by right here greater than as soon as throughout your time in Thessaloniki.
Aristotelous Square is without doubt one of the most well-known squares in all of Greece and probably the most well-known spots within the metropolis. In case you go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve it is a excellent place to see how the locals have fun.
Don’t overlook to take a fast photograph 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 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 sturdy through 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. Through the Second World Struggle, nearly your entire Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Immediately, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless stay in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish group in Greece. Whereas the group could be very small right now, its influence on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to be taught concerning 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 case you’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 directions here.
5. See The Roman Agora (one of many prime 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 perfect half is that it continues underground the place yow will discover out extra concerning 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 continues to be buried beneath the town.
In the summertime, going underground is usually a excellent place 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 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 most important church, Agios Dimitrios, is without doubt one of the prime locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down nearly 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 be 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 fascinating historical past, you possibly can even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents an ideal overview of the 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)
Probably the most stunning a part of Thessaloniki is actually its old town, or Upper Town. You possibly can go for a stroll via the cobblestone alleys and can see the standard Balkan homes that date again to Ottoman instances.
A stroll within the picturesque Higher City is without doubt one of the actions in Thessaloniki which are free and might be accomplished at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth and due to this fact saved its conventional feel and look. 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 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)
In case 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 received its identify (“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 very 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 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 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 start home of essentially the most well-known particular person from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the General 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 the event you’re not curious about Atatürk and his life, there may be another excuse to go to his start home — it’s a wonderful approach to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open day-after-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 most important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once you head again down in direction of the trendy heart 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 brought on critical injury to the constructing, however among 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 most important entrance gate, strolling via it is without doubt one of the actions in Thessaloniki that can join you all the best way again to Roman instances.
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 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-after-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 probably the greatest methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with an area 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?! After all, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a serious scholar metropolis, you possibly can undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This may actually present the suitable steadiness between archaeological sites and the extra trendy features of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to 3 hours and introduce you to the most important landmarks.
That method, you get some background details about issues you have got already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few corporations you possibly can select from — FreeTour and GuruWalk each have good scores.
12. Expertise Ladadika (one of many coolest issues to do in Thessaloniki)
In case you ask any Greek particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they may actually inform you 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 status however is now tremendous fashionable.
Ladadika has the whole lot the traveller may hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and many conventional meals and music.
In actual fact, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it one of the best social gathering district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t take pleasure in a stroll via the realm through the day as nicely.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman instances, the primary market was situated right here as nicely.
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 most important 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 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 may wish to reap the benefits 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 which 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.
Nonetheless, probably the most enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki could be to e-book a therapy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and presents numerous providers. You possibly can both go for a self-service go to or add on numerous massages or therapies. 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 to e-book an appointment prematurely to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to gorgeous Pozar and Edessa. Study extra about that tour 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 well-liked nightlife space. With its status as a scholar metropolis, one of many most important actions in Thessaloniki is unquestionably trying out its vigorous 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 Road, and Pulp.
In case you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire night time exterior. In case you’re on a very tight price range, 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 night time with musicians, artists, and students having an incredible time. And as ordinary 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 a couple 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 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. Find out more here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher approach to have an area expertise than cooking and consuming a meal collectively? The expertise takes place in a Greek house and also you’ll make new associates whereas studying find out how to cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the inexpensive night contains studying find out how to make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Study extra here.
Hop aboard this stunning 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 incredible Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gas, meals, drinks, and gear. 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 a couple of nice day journeys you possibly can take as nicely.
- 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 part of a full-day, highly-rated tour and see what all of the fuss is about. Click here for particulars concerning the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Guide to Greece’s Mythical Landscape.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Study concerning the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and revel in lunch with a surprising view. Study extra about this in style day journey 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 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’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 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 variety of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So make sure that to reap the benefits of all these items and e-book 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 possibly can discover different components within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its gorgeous seashores. Or you possibly can journey additional north to discover among the different Balkan international locations such as Albania (in the event you ask me my absolute favourite city in the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Try our prime posts:
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