THESSALONIKI A MOSAIC OF CULTURES, A KALEIDOSCOPE OF EXPERIENCES
Warm and generous, Thessaloniki is at the same time historic and avant-garde: the second largest city in Greece, ideal for a city break, a mosaic of cultures and fascinating holiday moments
Located in Macedonia, in Northern Greece, there is a city unlike anywhere else in Greece. Thessaloniki is a sprawling urban centre, a cultural melting pot, where dreams, ideas, visions and trends percolate in an alternative, avant garde scene. Its history is written upon everything you see the Thermaic Gulf, the White Tower, Nikis Avenue, Aristotelous Square, Mitropoleos Avenue, Tsimiski Avenue, Ladadika, Modiano Market, Bit Bazaar and the Old City. For thousands of years, this northern port-town has been a meeting point for people of different cultures. Impressive attractions, cafes, bars, traditional tavernas, gourmet restaurants, a lively nightlife – you’ll find everything here in Thessaloniki, the beautiful ‘bride of the Thermaic Gulf’.
Thessaloniki: a multicultural centre Trace the civilisations and peoples that have left their mark on this great city of Thessaloniki. The Palace, the Triumphal Arch and the impressive Rotunda offer an insight into the reign of emperor Galerius Maximilianos (early 4th century) and formed the city’s administrative and religious centre in Roman times. Or the Jewish Museum, in an elegant listed building from 1904 on Agiou Mina Street, recreating the life of the Jewish community in pre-war Salonica and its subsequent extermination by the Nazis. Finally, don’t forget to visit the former home of Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey.
Or wander the narrow lanes of Ano Poli, one of the oldest districts of Thessaloniki, above the modern town. There you’ll admire the numerous attractions, most of which are castles and religious monuments; the Trigoniou Tower, with its amazing view; the Eptapyrgio fortifications; Ottoman monuments; the Vlatades monastery and the Byzantine churches of Osios David and Agios Nikolaos Orfanos. This is the most unspoilt district of the old city. And let’s not forget, of course, the iconic 16th century White Tower, by Aristotelous Square in the city centre.
Travel to a fun and vibrant city The White Tower, Ano Poli, Aristotelous Avenue, shopping on Tsimiski Street, bar hopping on Valaoritou Avenue, the International Film Festival held in the warehouses of the port, live music at Ladadika’s eateries, walks through the vaulted arches and the open air markets, visits to museums and Byzantine monuments… the ideal city-break destination.
In the city centre, the atmosphere is filled with a youthful energy, all day and all night. With every step you’ll discover hidden treasures; historic cafes, cosy bars, as well as clubs with impressive designs in renovated industrial spaces and music venues in old warehouses, hosting live rock concerts. Nightlife is one of the city’s strengths. Follow the locals to their favourite haunts, and let them guide you through Thessaloniki’s secrets, sure to satisfy all styles and tastes. In this city in Northern Greece, fun is a local tradition, just like the warm soup you’ll be served when the sun comes up.
Gastronomy of Thessaloniki Leaving Thessaloniki, you’ll take with you thousands of memories, and a few (worthwhile) kilos. High-end restaurants and historic eateries, trendy dining options, as well as out-of-the-way ouzeris, tavernas and all-day restaurants will offer you a lifetime’s worth of foodie fun. Istanbul and Pontos, the Balkans and the Mediterranean, Macedonia and Thrace… all these cultures will make their way onto your plate.
Thessaloniki’s gastronomy reflects the melting pot of cultures that this city has been for centuries. Its cuisine is known for its meze (small plates intended for sharing) that the 1920s refugees brought with them. They also brought the tradition of patsa (tripe soup) and Thessaloniki’s world-famous bougatsa (a sweet-cream breakfast pastry).
Spectacular, internationally-renowned archaeological sites of Greece are easily accessible from Thessaloniki, at Philippi, Pella, Ancient Dion and Vergina.