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 effectively value visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of fascinating historical past, an attractive 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 shocked 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 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” as a result of many executions that came about there. It received the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though in the present day it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you may have a stunning view of your complete metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
When you’ve got just a few hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower can be the one factor you must positively find time for. And due to its central location, you’ll in all probability wish to begin any journey to Thessaloniki right here. This strolling tour with an area 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 reasonably priced attraction as effectively.
The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong from 8 am to eight pm. Should you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you may 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 possibly can 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 might stroll for hours with out being disturbed by automobiles or motorbikes!
You may simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
Should 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. Study 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. Should 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 superb, and farther north you will see that tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
Should 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 journey your bike for a number of kilometres with out worrying about automobiles. Dad and mom with kids will recognize this car-free zone as effectively.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
Town’s largest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and a terrific place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of town and a significant assembly place. You will 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 positively 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 one of the vital well-known spots within the metropolis. Should you go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve this can be a excellent place to see how the locals rejoice.
Don’t neglect to take a fast picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, remember 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. 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.
Jews made up the largest neighborhood in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. In the course of the Second World Warfare, nearly your complete Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
At present, 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 in the present day, its impression 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 road is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an reasonably priced €5. Should you’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that’s not on everybody’s listing, 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 high issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Probably the greatest issues to see in Thessaloniki is the excavations of the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki (often known 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.
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. When you’ve got 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 town.
In the summertime, going underground could be a excellent place to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s definitely 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.
Handle: 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 high 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’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 possibly can even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents a terrific overview of town’s historical past. Images 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 way 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’ll be able to go for a stroll via 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 could be performed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and subsequently stored its conventional feel and look. Plus, yow will discover previous church buildings and towers right here and stays of the previous Byzantine partitions. You may spend hours exploring this attractive neighbourhood.
To many Greeks, Ano Poli is probably 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.
Take pleasure in getting misplaced within the maze of streets in Thessaloniki’s oldest neighbourhood.
8. Verify Out The Eptapyrgio (Yedikule)
Should 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 inside 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 overwhelmed, 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.
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 probably 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 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 continues 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 should you’re not concerned with Atatürk and his life, there may be 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 daily from 10 am to five pm, and entrance is free.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
While you head again down in the 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 brought about severe injury 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 often known as Kamara.
This was once Thessaloniki’s important entrance gate, strolling via 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 one of the vital 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 daily 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 an area information are standard in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will provide it totally free 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 possibly can positively discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately let you know about their fascinating metropolis.
It will definitely present the precise stability 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 means, you get some background details about issues you may have 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)
Should you ask any Greek particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they may definitely let you know to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood near the port is stuffed with eating places and bars. As is usually the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a foul status however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has every thing the traveller might hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and many conventional meals and music.
The truth is, the neighbourhood is so alive that many take into account it the very best get together district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t get pleasure from a stroll via the world through the day as effectively.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the primary 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 recognize. 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 important issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you will see that 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 would possibly wish to make the most 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 possibly can see all of the essential locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
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 tub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nonetheless, one of the vital stress-free actions in Thessaloniki can be to guide a therapy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and provides numerous companies. You’ll be able to both go for a self-service go to or add on numerous massages or remedies. After you loosen up 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 guide 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 Scholar Space Round Kamara/Rotunda
Whereas the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are standard locations to discover through the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its status as a scholar metropolis, one of many important actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its vigorous scholar (get together) scene.
Should you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire night time outdoors. Should you’re on a extremely tight finances, you gained’t should 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 night time with musicians, artists, and college students having an incredible time. And as normal in such neighbourhoods, you can too discover the most affordable 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 listing.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is among the high issues to do in Thessaloniki for foodies. Meet at a market and find out about Greek meals, whereas sampling many alternative conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the way in which. This can be a enjoyable and reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher strategy to have an area 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 how you can prepare dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night contains studying how you can make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Study extra right 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 implausible 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 a number of nice day journeys you possibly can take as effectively.
- 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 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 shocking view. Study extra about this standard day journey right here.
- Pozar Thermal Baths and Edessa: Soak in pure thermal scorching 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 positive you’ll have a enjoyable and thrilling journey to Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
You’re going to get to see a number of historical past but additionally expertise the coed 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 best, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, a number of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low cost. So ensure that to make the most of all these items and guide your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And should 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 gorgeous seashores. Or you possibly can journey additional north to discover a number of the different Balkan nations akin to Albania (should 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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