15 Finest Issues To Do in Thessaloniki in 2023
Although there are tons of issues to do in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis just isn’t on everybody’s radar.
To Greeks, Thessaloniki is a legendary scholar 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.
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, chances are 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 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 major 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” as a result of many executions that happened there. It bought the title “White Tower” after it was painted white, though at the moment it has a yellowish color.
From the White Tower, you’ve gotten a stunning view of your entire metropolis and the Mediterranean Sea.
When you have just a few hours in Thessaloniki, a go to to the White Tower could be the one factor it’s best to positively find time for. And due to its central location, you’ll most likely need to begin any journey to Thessaloniki right here. This strolling tour with an area takes within the White Tower and different highlights within the metropolis.
The White Tower is unquestionably one of many prime issues to see in Thessaloniki and at solely €8, it’s fairly an reasonably priced attraction as nicely.
The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, and in the summertime, the hours lengthen from 8 am to eight pm. If you happen to’re not eager on climbing up the tower, you may additionally simply take a look at it from the skin.
Tackle: White Tower, Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece. Get instructions right here.
2. Take a Stroll Alongside The Seafront
On the seafront, you possibly can take pleasure in a stunning 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 spot in Greece the place I might 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.
If you happen to 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 good day journey from Thessaloniki. Study extra about that journey, right here.
Thessaloniki’s waterfront can be dwelling to one of many metropolis’s most instagrammable spots — the lovable umbrella sculpture. If you happen to 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.
If you happen to’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. Mother and father with kids will admire this car-free zone as nicely.
3. Discover Aristotelous Sq.
The town’s greatest sq. is among the hottest locations to go to in Thessaloniki and an incredible place to cease for a espresso. That is the fashionable middle of the town and a significant assembly place. You’ll discover varied cafés and eating places on this pedestrian zone.
Folks prefer to buy groceries within the streets and markets near the sq., and you’ll positively cross 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. If you happen to go to throughout Christmas or New Yr’s Eve it is a excellent place to see how the locals rejoice.
Don’t overlook to take a fast picture of the statue of Aristotle after whom the sq. was named. However, understand that the sq. can 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 neighborhood in Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
The Jewish neighborhood in Thessaloniki was notably sturdy in the course of 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 Hearth in 1917 when many Jews left the nation. In the course of the Second World Battle, virtually your entire Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki was deported to Auschwitz.
Right this moment, 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 the moment, its affect on the historical past of Thessaloniki is gigantic.
An effective way to be taught in regards to the Jewish neighborhood 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. If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Thessaloniki that isn’t on everybody’s listing, 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 prime 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 historic Roman market is positioned 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 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 continues to be buried beneath the town.
In the summertime, going underground could be a excellent place 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.
Tackle: Roman Agora, Olympou 75, Thessaloniki 546 31, Greece. Get instructions right here.
6. Go to Agios Dimitrios Basilica
Thessaloniki’s major church, Agios Dimitrios, is among the prime locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
The basilica burned down virtually fully within the Nice Hearth 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 fireplace.
Agios Dimitrios Church is positioned just some steps from the Roman Discussion board so you’ll want to 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 an incredible overview of the 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 means of Thessaloniki’s Outdated City: Ano Poli (Higher City)
Probably the most lovely a part of Thessaloniki is actually its outdated city, or Higher City. You possibly can 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 might be free and will be executed at any time of day.
This a part of Thessaloniki survived the 1917 fireplace and subsequently saved its conventional feel and look. Plus, yow will discover outdated church buildings and towers right here and stays of the outdated Byzantine partitions. You could possibly 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)
If you happen to 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 extra towers.
The fortress itself is sort of spectacular to have 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 crushed, you get a distinct perspective from the Eptapyrgio — which is positioned 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.
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 delivery home of probably the most well-known individual from Thessaloniki, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The constructing now homes the Basic 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.
A lot of the furnishings right here continues 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 in the event you’re not occupied with Atatürk and his life, there may be one more reason to go to his delivery home — it’s a wonderful option 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.
Tackle: Consulate of Turkey, Ag. Dimitriou 151, Thessaloniki 546 34, Greece. Get instructions.
10. Go to The Rotunda (one of many major issues to do in Thessaloniki)
Once you head again down in the direction of the fashionable middle of the 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 brought on severe injury to the constructing, however a few of 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 often known as Kamara.
This was once Thessaloniki’s major entrance gate, strolling by way of 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 crucial essential 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 consider that free strolling excursions are among the best methods to get to know a brand new metropolis. These days, free strolling excursions with an area information are widespread 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?! After all, the identical is true for Thessaloniki.
Being a significant scholar metropolis, you possibly can positively 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 fashionable 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 key landmarks.
That manner, you get some background details about issues you’ve gotten 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)
If you happen to 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 fame however is now tremendous stylish.
Ladadika has every part the traveller might hope for in an enormous European metropolis — cobblestone streets, vibrant outdated homes, and many conventional meals and music.
In reality, the neighbourhood is so alive that many take into account it the very best celebration district in all of Greece. However, that doesn’t imply you received’t take pleasure in a stroll by way of the world in the course of the day as nicely.
The neighbourhood was named for the oil outlets that was once concentrated within the space. Throughout Ottoman instances, the principle 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 admire. This neighbourhood is among the prime 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 major 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 most likely 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. 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 cross 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 essential locations to go to in Thessaloniki.
14. See The Outdated Hamams (and Soak at The New Ones)
Thessaloniki has some Turkish baths you can go to: Bey Hamam, Yeni Hamam, Paşa Hamam, and Yahudi Hamam (Pazar Hamam).
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 tub there. They’re now used as eating places and for cultural occasions.
Nonetheless, one of the crucial enjoyable 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 gives varied providers. You possibly can both go for a self-service go to or add on varied massages or therapies. After you calm down 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. Ensure to guide an appointment upfront 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 widespread locations to discover in the course of the day, that is additionally a preferred nightlife space. With its fame as a scholar metropolis, one of many major actions in Thessaloniki is unquestionably trying out its energetic scholar (celebration) 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.
If you happen to’re in Thessaloniki in the summertime, you possibly can spend the entire evening outdoors. If you happen to’re on a very tight finances, you received’t must 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 evening with musicians, artists, and college students having a tremendous time. And as common in such neighbourhoods, it’s also possible to discover the most affordable 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 number of extra to the listing.
Wine and Meals Tasting
This is among the prime issues to do in Thessaloniki for foodies. Meet at a market and study Greek meals, whereas sampling many various conventional meals and drinksa lengthy the way in which. It is a enjoyable and reasonably priced expertise. Discover out extra right here.
Cook dinner and Dine With a Greek Household
What higher option to have an area 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 methods to prepare dinner some tasty Greek Delicacies.
This enjoyable and the reasonably priced night consists of studying 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 unbelievable Greek lunch with wine aboard the boat. Included is an skilled captain, gasoline, 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 number of nice day journeys you possibly can take as nicely.
- Meteora Monasteries: This awe-inspiring web site is UNESCO listed and is among the prime 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 be taught 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 shocking view. Study extra about this widespread 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 these items to do in Thessaloniki, I’m positive you’ll have a enjoyable and thrilling journey to Greece’s second-largest metropolis.
You’re going to get to see a number of historical past but in addition expertise the scholar nightlife that’s typical of Thessaloniki. And also you’ll be taught extra in regards to 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 numerous college students, a number 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 guide your journey to Thessaloniki now.
And in the event 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 beautiful Chalkidiki peninsula with its beautiful seashores. Or you possibly can journey additional north to discover a few of the different Balkan nations akin to Albania (in the event you ask me my absolute favorite metropolis within the Balkans is Tirana).
Are you travelling to different areas in Greece? Try our prime posts:
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