Even if there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis shouldn’t be on everybody’s radar.
To Greeks, Thessaloniki is a legendary pupil 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.
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 effectively price visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of fascinating historical past, a good looking 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 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 known as “Blood Tower” as a result of many executions that happened there. It received the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at present it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you’ve gotten a stunning view of your entire metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
If in case you have just a few 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 unquestionably one of many high issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an inexpensive attraction as effectively.
The museum is open day-after-day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen from 8 am to eight pm. For those who’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you can additionally simply take a look at it from the skin.
Tackle: 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 stunning stroll alongside the promenade, top-of-the-line locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
I keep 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 automobiles or motorbikes!
You can simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
For those who 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, right here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can be dwelling to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. For those who 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 wonderful, and farther north you’ll find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
For those who’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 automobiles. Mother and father with youngsters will respect this car-free zone as effectively.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town’s largest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an ideal place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of the town and a serious assembly place. You can 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 move 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 one of the vital well-known spots within the metropolis. For those who go to throughout Christmas or New 12 months’s Eve it is a excellent place to see how the locals rejoice.
Don’t neglect to take a fast photograph 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 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.
Jews made up the most important group in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Through the Second World Conflict, virtually your entire Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
At the moment, 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 present, its affect on the historical past of Thessaloniki is gigantic.
A good way to study in regards to the Jewish group and historical past is to be 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. For those who’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that isn’t on everybody’s checklist, this museum is for you.
Tackle: 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)
Probably the greatest 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 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 will discover out extra in regards to the Roman Discussion board in its personal museum. If 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 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 midst 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.
Tackle: 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 among the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down virtually utterly within the Nice Fireplace of Thessaloniki in 1917, however monumental 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 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’ll be able to see the place the place he supposedly died within the crypt underground.
And, due to Thessaloniki’s fascinating historical past, you’ll be able to 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.
Tackle: Agios Dimitros, Ag. Dimitriou, Thessaloniki 546 33, Greece. Discover it on the map, right here.
7. Take a Hike By means of Thessaloniki’s Previous City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is actually its previous 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 might be free and might be completed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and subsequently saved its conventional feel and look. Plus, you 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 probably the most genuine neighbourhood of Thessaloniki. It’s right here, that you 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)
For those who 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 sort 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 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 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.
Tackle: 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 probably the most well-known particular person from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Normal 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 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 case you’re not all for Atatürk and his life, there’s one more reason to go to his start home — it’s a superb strategy 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.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many foremost issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Whenever you head again down in the direction of the fashionable 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 precipitated 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 foremost 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 beautiful. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account one of the vital vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Tackle: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get instructions right 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 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 in style in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will supply it free of charge 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 serious pupil metropolis, you’ll be able to undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This may actually present the suitable stability between archaeological websites and the extra trendy facets of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions often final between two to 3 hours and introduce you to the key landmarks.
That approach, you get some background details about issues you’ve gotten 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 scores.
12. Expertise Ladadika (one of many coolest issues to do in Thessaloniki)
For those who ask any Greek particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they’ll actually inform you 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 nasty repute however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has all the things the traveller might hope for in a giant European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
In reality, the neighbourhood is so alive that many take into account it the perfect occasion district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t take pleasure in a stroll by means of the realm through the day as effectively.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the principle market was situated right here as effectively.
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 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 you’ll 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 may wish to make the most of the museum move 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’ll be able to see all of the vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Previous Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
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 tub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, one of the vital stress-free actions in Thessaloniki can 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’ll be able to both go for a self-service go to or add on varied 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 essential “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. 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 pupil metropolis, one of many foremost actions in Thessaloniki is unquestionably trying out its vigorous pupil (occasion) scene.
For those who’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you’ll be able to spend the entire evening outdoors. For those who’re on a extremely tight price range, you gained’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 a tremendous time. And as typical in such neighbourhoods, it’s also possible to discover the most affordable 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 number of extra to the checklist.
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 various conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the way in which. It is a enjoyable and inexpensive expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher strategy 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 buddies whereas studying how you can prepare dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the inexpensive night contains studying how you 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 improbable Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gas, 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 number of nice day journeys you’ll be able to take as effectively.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring web site is UNESCO listed and is among the high 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 study 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 scorching 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 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 numerous historical past but additionally expertise the coed nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll study 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 best, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the various college students, numerous the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So ensure to make the most of all these items 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’ll be able to discover different elements within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its beautiful seashores. Or you’ll be able to 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? Take a look at our high posts:
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