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Even supposing 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 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.
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 lovely 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. 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 most 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 referred to as “Blood Tower” as a result of many executions that befell there. It acquired the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at this time it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you could have a beautiful view of all the metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
When you 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.
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. In case you're not eager on climbing up the tower, you would additionally simply have a look at it from the skin.
2. Take a Stroll Alongside The Seafront
On the seafront, you possibly can get pleasure from a beautiful stroll alongside the promenade, among the finest 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 automobiles or motorbikes!
You may 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 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. Be taught extra about that journey, here.
Thessaloniki's waterfront can also be residence 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 you can find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
In case you're into biking, 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 automobiles. Mother and father with kids will respect this car-free zone as effectively.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town's greatest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an amazing place to cease for a espresso. That is the trendy middle of town and a significant assembly place. You can find 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 cross by right here greater than as soon as throughout your time in Thessaloniki.
Aristotelous Square is among 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 12 months's Eve this can be 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, remember that the sq. can also be well-known for the truth that political protests normally happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you would possibly 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.
Jews made up the most important neighborhood in Thessaloniki till the Great Fire in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Throughout the Second World Battle, nearly all the Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Right now, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless stay in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish neighborhood in Greece. Whereas the neighborhood could be very small at this time, its affect on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
The Jewish Museum on Agia Mina avenue is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets are an reasonably priced €5. In case you're questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that's not on everybody's listing, this museum is for you.
5. See The Roman Agora (one of many high issues To do in Thessaloniki)
Among the finest 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. When 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 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.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki's most 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 hearth.
Agios Dimitrios Church is positioned just some 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 may 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 amazing overview of town's historical past. Images is allowed, and because it's a church, entrance is free.
7. Take a Hike Via Thessaloniki's Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most stunning a part of Thessaloniki is actually its old town, or Upper Town. You may go for a stroll by means of the cobblestone alleys and can see the normal Balkan homes that date again to Ottoman occasions.
A stroll within the picturesque Higher City is among the actions in Thessaloniki which can be free and could be performed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth 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 may 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 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 inside a part of the wall was constructed by the Byzantines however acquired its identify (“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 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 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 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 happened here within the twentieth century.
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 General 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.
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 should you're not involved in Atatürk and his life, there may be one more reason to go to his beginning home — it's a wonderful method 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 most important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once you head again down in the direction of the trendy 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 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 Thessaloniki's most important entrance gate, strolling by means of it is among the actions in Thessaloniki that can 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 probably the most necessary locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
It's 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 finest methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with a neighborhood information are well-liked 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 significant pupil metropolis, you possibly can undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This can actually present the proper stability between archaeological websites and the extra trendy facets of life in Greece's second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to 3 hours and introduce you to the foremost landmarks.
That means, you get some background details about issues you could 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)
In case you ask any Greek particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they are going to actually inform you to discover Ladadika.
This charming neighbourhood close to the port is stuffed with eating places and bars. As is commonly the case with these neighbourhoods, it used to have a nasty fame however is now tremendous fashionable.
Ladadika has every little thing the traveller may hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant previous homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
The truth is, the neighbourhood is so alive that many think about it the very best celebration district in all of Greece. However, that doesn't imply you received't get pleasure from a stroll by means of the realm throughout the day as effectively.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the primary market was positioned 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 most important 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. 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 would possibly 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 possibly can see all of the necessary 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 bathtub there. They're now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nevertheless, 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 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 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. Make sure that to e book 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 here.
15. Go For Drinks in The Pupil Space Round Kamara/Rotunda
Whereas the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda are well-liked locations to discover throughout the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its fame as a pupil metropolis, one of many most important actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its energetic pupil (celebration) scene.
There are numerous bars and cafés right here, that are cheaper than those within the Ladadika neighbourhood.
In case you're in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire night time exterior. In case you're on a extremely tight funds, you received'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 college students having an incredible time. And as typical in such neighbourhoods, you can too 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 listing.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is among the high issues to do in Thessaloniki for foodies. Meet at a neighborhood store and find out about Greek wine, whereas sampling some completely different varietals, and snacking on conventional meals and cheeses. It is a enjoyable and reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher method to have a neighborhood expertise than cooking and consuming a meal collectively? The expertise takes place in a Greek residence and also you'll make new buddies whereas studying the way to prepare dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night contains studying the way to make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Be taught extra here.
Discover Thessaloniki by Motorcycle
See the sights of town from the again of a motorcycle with Vasileios as your information! Sit again and benefit from the trip. Go to the White Tower of Thessaloniki, Statue of Alexander the Nice, Aristotelous Sq., Ladadika, and “Ano Poli”. It is a distinctive method to discover town. Be taught extra 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 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 here for particulars in regards to the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Guide to Greece's Mythical Landscape.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Be taught in regards to the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and luxuriate in lunch with a shocking view. Be taught extra about this well-liked day journey 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 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'll get to see a variety 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 individuals are friendlier, the service is best, and it's much more relaxed.
And due to the various college students, a variety of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So ensure to make the most of all these items and e book 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 beautiful seashores. Or you possibly can journey additional north to discover among the different Balkan nations (should you ask me my absolute favourite city in the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Try our high posts:
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- 61 Fun Things To Do in Greece
- 15 Things To Do in Santorini – An Insider's Guide
- 15 Cool Things to Do in Zakynthos
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- 27 Amazing Things To Do in Athens
- 21 Things To Do in Mykonos – Best Sights, Food and Activities
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