Even supposing 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 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 properly value visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of attention-grabbing historical past, a fantastic 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 shocked by the number of issues to do right here.
Listed here 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 concerning the metropolis’s Byzantine historical past.
Throughout Ottoman instances, the White Tower was used as a jail and supposedly known as “Blood Tower” as a result of many executions that passed off there. It obtained the identify “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at the moment it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you’ve got a stunning view of the complete metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
When you’ve got only some hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower could be the one factor it is 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. 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 reasonably priced attraction as properly.
The museum is open day by day from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen from 8 am to eight pm. In case you’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you can 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 may get pleasure from a stunning stroll alongside the promenade, the most effective 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 could possibly 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 go 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 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 superb, and farther north you’ll find tons of bars, cafés, and eating places.
In case you’re into biking, this enjoyable journey is a should. Thessaloniki’s promenade might be one of the 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 properly.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The 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 heart of the town and a significant assembly place. You’ll discover numerous cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Individuals prefer to buy groceries within the streets and markets near the sq., and you’ll undoubtedly go 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 crucial well-known spots within the metropolis. In case you go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve this can be a great spot 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, 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 may 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.
The Jewish neighborhood in Thessaloniki was notably sturdy throughout the Ottoman Empire when Jewish refugees arrived from Spain and Portugal the place they confronted extreme persecution.
Jews made up the largest neighborhood in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Throughout the Second World Struggle, virtually the complete Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
At this time, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless reside in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish neighborhood in Greece. Whereas the neighborhood may be very small at the moment, its impression on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to study concerning the Jewish neighborhood and historical past is to be 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 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.
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)
The most effective issues to see in Thessaloniki is the excavations of the Roman Agora of Thessaloniki (often known as the Roman Discussion board). This historic 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 could find out extra concerning 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 the town.
In the summertime, going underground could be a great spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s actually spectacular to see this historic 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.
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 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 may even discover distinctive mosaics that survived the hearth.
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 may see the place the place he supposedly died within the crypt underground.
And, due to Thessaloniki’s attention-grabbing historical past, you may even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents a terrific overview of the 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 Thessaloniki’s Previous City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Essentially the most stunning a part of Thessaloniki is actually its outdated city, or Higher City. You may go for a stroll by way of the cobblestone alleys and can see the standard Balkan homes that date again to Ottoman instances.
A stroll within the picturesque Higher City is among the actions in Thessaloniki which are free and might be carried out at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth and due to this fact saved its conventional feel and appear. Plus, you could find outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You could possibly 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 could find 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. Test 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 obtained its identify (“Seven Towers”) when the primary Ottoman governor added extra 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 historic Acropolis.
What I discovered much more spectacular are the outdated 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 delivery home of probably the most well-known individual 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 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 for those who’re not keen on Atatürk and his life, there may be another excuse to go to his delivery home — it’s a superb technique to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open day by day from 10 am to five pm, and entrance is free.
Handle: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many important issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Whenever you head again down in the direction of the fashionable heart of the 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 induced severe harm to the constructing, however among 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 Thessaloniki’s important entrance gate, strolling by way of it is among 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 beautiful. Along with the Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda is taken into account one of the crucial vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
Handle: Platia Agiou Georgiou Rotonta 5, Thessaloniki 546 35, Greece. Get instructions right here. The Rotunda is open day by 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 the most effective 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 provide it at no cost and also you solely tip the information primarily based on how good the tour was?! After all, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a significant pupil metropolis, you may undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This may actually present the appropriate stability between archaeological websites and the extra trendy elements of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions often final between two to a few hours and introduce you to the most important landmarks.
That means, you get some background details about issues you’ve got already seen or are planning to see later. There are a few firms you may 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 individual 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 foul status however is now tremendous fashionable.
Ladadika has all the pieces the traveller might hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
Actually, the neighbourhood is so alive that many contemplate it one of the best occasion district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you received’t get pleasure from a stroll by way of the world throughout the day as properly.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman instances, 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 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’ll 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 make the most of the museum go 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 may see all of the vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Previous Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths which you could go to: Bey Hamam, Yeni Hamam, Paşa Hamam, and Yahudi Hamam (Pazar Hamam).
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 crucial enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki could be to e book a remedy on the new Hammam Baths as a spa expertise.
The Hamam is impressed by conventional Turkish baths and affords numerous companies. You may 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 bask 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 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 right 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 status as a pupil metropolis, one of many important actions in Thessaloniki is certainly testing its energetic pupil (occasion) 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 Highway, and Pulp.
In case you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you may spend the entire evening exterior. In case you’re on a extremely tight price range, you received’t must 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 evening with musicians, artists, and college students having a tremendous time. And as regular in such neighbourhoods, you can too 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 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 market and find out about Greek meals, whereas sampling many alternative conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the best way. It is a enjoyable and reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Prepare dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher technique 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 associates whereas studying how one can cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night consists of studying how one can make 4 dishes (and consuming them), tapas, drinks and even some Greek dancing! Be taught extra right 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 unbelievable 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 just a few nice day journeys you may take as properly.
- 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 concerning the tour, and study extra in our article: Meteora Monasteries: A Information to Greece’s Legendary Panorama.
- Mount Olympus and Dion: Be taught concerning the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and revel in lunch with a shocking view. Be taught 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 lots of historical past but in addition expertise the coed nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll study extra concerning the metropolis’s multicultural previous.
I really 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 various college students, lots of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low cost. So make sure that to make the most of all these items and e book your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And for those who’re questioning the place to go subsequent, don’t fear, there are many choices.
From Thessaloniki, you may discover different components within the north of Greece, such because the attractive Chalkidiki peninsula with its beautiful seashores. Or you may journey additional north to discover among the different Balkan nations reminiscent of Albania (for those who ask me my absolute favorite metropolis within the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Try our high posts:
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