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.
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 nicely value visiting. It actually has all of it — tons of attention-grabbing historical past, an exquisite seaside, and thrilling nightlife.
As a traveller, you might be questioning what to do in Thessaloniki, which is the place I are available in. After studying this text, you’ll be stunned 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 primary landmark, which homes an exhibition in regards to the metropolis’s Byzantine historical past.
Throughout Ottoman instances, the White Tower was used as a jail and supposedly referred to as “Blood Tower” because of the many executions that passed off there. It bought the title “White Tower” after it was painted white, though right now it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you could have a beautiful view of your entire 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 it’s 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 certainly one of many high issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an reasonably priced attraction as nicely.
The museum is open on daily basis from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen 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 skin.
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 beautiful 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 may stroll for hours with out being disturbed by vehicles or motorbikes!
You could possibly 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 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. Study 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. 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 wonderful, and farther north you can see 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 vehicles. Dad and mom with kids will recognize this car-free zone as nicely.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town’s largest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and a fantastic place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of town and a significant assembly place. You will see that numerous 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 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 well-known spots within the metropolis. Should you go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve it is a excellent 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, needless to say the sq. can also be well-known for the truth that political protests normally happen right here. Throughout a rally or protest, you may 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 group in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish group in Thessaloniki was significantly robust through the Ottoman Empire when Jewish refugees arrived from Spain and Portugal the place they confronted extreme persecution.
Jews made up the most important group in Thessaloniki till the Nice Fireplace in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. Throughout the Second World Conflict, virtually your entire Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Immediately, solely about 1,200 Jews nonetheless dwell in Thessaloniki which nonetheless makes it the second-largest Jewish group in Greece. Whereas the group could be very small right now, its affect on the historical past of Thessaloniki is big.
A good way to study in regards to the Jewish group 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 record, 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)
Among the best 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 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 you could find 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 is usually a excellent spot to flee the warmth!
In any case, it’s definitely 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.
Handle: Roman Agora, Olympou 75, Thessaloniki 546 31, Greece. Get instructions right here.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki’s primary 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 possibly can even discover distinctive mosaics that survived the fireplace.
Agios Dimitrios Church is positioned just some steps from the Roman Discussion board so make sure you mix the 2. Dimitrios is Thessaloniki’s patron saint which explains the basilica’s significance. You possibly can see the place the place he supposedly died within the crypt underground.
And, due to Thessaloniki’s attention-grabbing historical past, you possibly can even see the stays of a Roman bathhouse on which the church was constructed. This church presents a fantastic overview of town’s historical past. Pictures 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 means of Thessaloniki’s Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is definitely its outdated city, or Higher City. You possibly can go for a stroll by 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 might be free and might be accomplished at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 hearth and subsequently saved its conventional feel and look. 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 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. 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 internal 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 very 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 positioned 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 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 particular person from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Common 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 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 in case you’re not involved in Atatürk and his life, there’s one more reason to go to his delivery home — it’s a superb strategy to see one of many conventional homes within the Higher City from the within. It’s open on daily basis 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 primary issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once 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 triggered critical 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 once Thessaloniki’s primary entrance gate, strolling by it is among the actions in Thessaloniki that may join you all the way in which 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 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 on daily basis 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 fashionable in most main cities.
Why pay for a tour when somebody will supply it at no cost 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 pupil metropolis, you possibly can undoubtedly discover a younger and dynamic information who will passionately inform you about their fascinating metropolis.
This can definitely present the fitting stability between archaeological websites and the extra trendy points of life in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
Free strolling excursions normally final between two to a few 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 firms 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’ll definitely 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 fame however is now tremendous fashionable.
Ladadika has every thing the traveller may hope for in a giant European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and plenty of conventional meals and music.
Actually, the neighbourhood is so alive that many take into account it the very best occasion district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you received’t get pleasure from a stroll by the realm through the day as nicely.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil retailers that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman instances, the primary market was positioned right here as nicely.
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 primary issues to do in Thessaloniki goes to an archaeology museum.
That is the place you can see 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 positioned 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 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 possibly can see all of the vital locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths that 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 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 enjoyable actions in Thessaloniki can 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 possibly can 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 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 certain that to e book an appointment prematurely to make sure availability. For pure thermal baths, take a day journey to beautiful Pozar and Edessa. Study 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 fashionable locations to discover through the day, that is additionally a well-liked nightlife space. With its fame as a pupil metropolis, one of many primary actions in Thessaloniki is certainly trying out 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 Street, and Pulp.
Should you’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire night time outdoors. Should 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 outdoors.
Don’t miss this space because it involves life at night time with musicians, artists, and college students having a tremendous time. And as ordinary in such neighbourhoods, you can even discover the most cost effective 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 couple of extra to the record.
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 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 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 easy methods to cook dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night contains studying easy methods to 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 incredible Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gas, meals, drinks, and tools. 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 couple of nice day journeys you possibly can take as nicely.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring website 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: Study in regards to the tradition and historical past of the spectacular Mount Olympus, hike Enipeas gorge and revel in lunch with a surprising view. Study extra about this fashionable 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 this stuff 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 lots of 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 individuals are friendlier, the service is best, and it’s much more relaxed.
And due to the numerous college students, lots of the issues to do in Thessaloniki are both free or fairly low-cost. So be sure to make the most of all this stuff and e book 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 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 international locations akin to Albania (in case you 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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