Even though there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis is just not 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.
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 properly price visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of fascinating historical past, a good looking seaside, and thrilling nightlife.
As a traveller, you could be questioning what to do in Thessaloniki, which is the place I are available in. After studying this text, you’ll be shocked 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 concerning 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 bought the title “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at present it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you’ve gotten a beautiful view of the whole metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
In case you have just a few hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower could be the one factor it is best to positively 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 certainly one of many high issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an inexpensive attraction as properly.
The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours prolong from 8 am to eight pm. When you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you would additionally simply take a look at it from the surface.
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 get pleasure from a beautiful stroll alongside the promenade, among the best 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 may simply spend a number of hours on Thessaloniki’s waterfront, particularly if the climate is especially good.
When 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, right here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can also be dwelling to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. When 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 wonderful, and farther north you can find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
When you’re into biking, this enjoyable journey is a should. Thessaloniki’s promenade might be the most effective 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 kids 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 an important place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of town and a significant assembly place. One can find varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Folks wish to buy groceries within the streets and markets near the sq., and you’ll positively move 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 well-known spots within the metropolis. When you go to throughout Christmas or New 12 months’s Eve it is a good spot to see how the locals have fun.
Don’t overlook to take a fast picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, remember the fact that 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. 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.
Jews made up the largest group in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Through the Second World Conflict, virtually the whole Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
At present, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless reside in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish group in Greece. Whereas the group may be very small at present, its impression on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to be taught concerning the Jewish group and historical past is to be a part of this non-public 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. When you’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that’s not 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 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 remains to be buried beneath town.
In the summertime, going underground could be a good spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s actually 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 may 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 most important church, Agios Dimitrios, is without doubt one of the high locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down virtually utterly within the Nice Fireplace of Thessaloniki in 1917, however huge 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 you should definitely 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’ll be able to even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents an important overview of town’s historical past. Pictures 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 Thessaloniki’s Previous City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Essentially the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is actually its outdated 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 are free and might be performed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth and subsequently saved its conventional appear and feel. Plus, yow will discover outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You may spend hours exploring this beautiful 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.
Get pleasure from getting misplaced within the maze of streets in Thessaloniki’s oldest neighbourhood.
8. Test Out The Eptapyrgio (Yedikule)
When 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 interior a part of the wall was constructed by the Byzantines however bought its title (“Seven Towers”) when the primary Ottoman governor added further towers.
The fortress itself is sort 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 overwhelmed, you get a distinct perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is situated on Thessaloniki’s historical Acropolis.
What I discovered much more spectacular are the outdated 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.
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 beginning home of probably the most well-known particular person from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Basic 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 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 when you’re not all in favour of Atatürk and his life, there may be one more reason to go to his beginning 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 most important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Whenever 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 critical harm 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 also referred to as Kamara.
This was Thessaloniki’s most important entrance gate, strolling by means of it is without doubt one of the actions in Thessaloniki that can join you all the best way 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 necessary locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Tackle: 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 a neighborhood information are well-liked in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will supply it without cost 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’ll be able to positively discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This can actually present the fitting steadiness between archaeological websites and the extra fashionable facets of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to a few hours and introduce you to the most important 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 corporations 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)
When you ask any Greek particular person what to do in Thessaloniki they are going to 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 foul repute however is now tremendous fashionable.
Ladadika has all the pieces the traveller may hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
In truth, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it the most effective occasion district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you gained’t get pleasure from a stroll by means of the realm throughout the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman occasions, the primary market was situated 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 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 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 need to benefit from 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 necessary 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 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 presents varied companies. You may both go for a self-service go to or add on varied massages or remedies. After you loosen up 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 fundamental “Ali Mama” service prices €45. Ensure 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 well-liked locations to discover throughout the day, that is additionally a well-liked nightlife space. With its repute as a pupil metropolis, one of many most important actions in Thessaloniki is certainly trying out its energetic pupil (occasion) scene.
When you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you’ll be able to spend the entire night time exterior. When you’re on a extremely tight finances, 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 college students having a tremendous time. And as typical in such neighbourhoods, it’s also possible to 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 checklist.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is without doubt one of the high 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 best way. It is a enjoyable and inexpensive expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Cook 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 cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the inexpensive night contains studying make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Study 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, 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 just a few nice day journeys you’ll be able to take as properly.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring web site is UNESCO listed and is without doubt one of 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 concerning the tour, and be taught extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Information to Greece’s Legendary Panorama.
- 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 shocking view. Study extra about this well-liked 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 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 plenty of historical past but additionally expertise the coed 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 healthier, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, plenty of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So ensure to benefit from all these items and guide your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And when 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 beautiful Chalkidiki peninsula with its gorgeous seashores. Or you’ll be able to journey additional north to discover a number of the different Balkan international locations reminiscent of Albania (when 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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