Thessaloniki is the second largest metropolis in Greece and broadly thought of the culinary capital. After spending time in Athens, I knew I used to be eager for extra Greek metropolis exploration. Positive the islands within the Cyclades get all the eye and fame due to their impossibly charming white homes, superb seashores, and dramatic landscapes. Nevertheless, I actually loved my time in Athens and completely love the City Greek vibes.
Thessaloniki is sort of a smaller extra compact model of Athens. Though it doesn’t have the well-known Acropolis and Parthenon, it presents quite a bit in its personal proper. Positioned proper on the ocean, it’s the scorching spot for superb nightlife and scrumptious meals.
Attending to Thessaloniki from the airport
Thessaloniki airport is situated 14 kilometres from the town centre and is accessible by public bus going to and from the airport. Categorical bus line 78 (and 78N at night time) join the airport to the town centre. Tickets could be bought from merchandising machines on board the bus (precise change required) and the fare is EUR 2. Journey time between the airport and the town is 40 to 50 minutes and buses run each half-hour.
Taxis from the airport to the town heart are roughly €20 a technique. They’re available exterior of the airport and they’re metered. There is no such thing as a Uber within the metropolis in contrast to in Athens, however the metropolis taxis can be found on the Uber app.
Getting round Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is definitely a really small metropolis. The town heart is just 20 minutes from one finish to the opposite. The higher city is just 20 minutes by foot from the town heart. It would appear to be a giant and chaotic metropolis due to how densely packed the whole lot is however there actually isn’t that a lot.
I might advocate exploring Thessaloniki solely on foot.
The one alternative for public transportation in Thessaloniki is public buses, however they make for a great way to get across the metropolis. There’s a dense community of bus strains connecting most components of the town and suburbs. Tickets value EUR 1 when purchased from avenue kiosks (periptera) or EUR 1.10 when purchased from merchandising machines on board the buses. Tickets have to be validated in one of many particular machines discovered on all buses.
Taxis are additionally available and could be booked by way of Uber. There is no such thing as a Uber formally however relatively official Thessaloniki taxis use the platform as a part of their very own.
What to do in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is a good looking metropolis in its personal manner. It doesn’t hook you in like a typical European metropolis with stunning gothic structure or large cathedrals however relatively the character of the town grows on you. So far as “conventional” European metropolis sights, there aren’t too many to talk of in Thessaloniki. However, listed below are among the should see issues within the metropolis.
Higher City (Outdated City)
Ano Poli (or the Higher City) is enclosed inside the metropolis’s previous fortifications on the highest level of the town. The historic space survived the good fireplace of 1917 so has retained a lot of its old-world aesthetic, and is one in all Thessaloniki’s most charming neighbourhoods. Spend a while exploring the slender streets and alleys stuffed with stunning ottoman homes and conventional taverns. As a result of space’s elevated location, Higher City is a good way to see Thessaloniki from above. You will get right here on foot, however when you’re quick on time or don’t really feel like hoofing it, take bus 23 from the town centre.
Road Mode is an annual music, artwork and sports activities competition that has been held in Thessaloniki since 2009. It’s the largest competition in North Greece, internet hosting greater than 40,000 spectators annually. The three-day program (often across the finish of August) includes greater than 50 stay music performances on a number of levels and DJ units, in addition to avenue artwork, avenue dance, parkour, skateboarding, kids’s actions and rather more.
This is among the oldest church buildings on the earth. it’s additionally residence to a good looking mural that dates again to very olden instances. Courting again to the 4th century AD, this church is situated within the Higher City of Thessaloniki and is open to the general public.
Located within the heart of Thessaloniki, Rotunda was changed into a Christian church after it was constructed in about 300 AD. With the Ottoman occupation, the church was changed into a mosque. As soon as it was liberated, Rotunda was once more changed into a Christian church and later right into a sculpture museum.
Arch of Galerius
Generally known as Kamara, the Arch of Galerius was initially constructed to commemorate the victory of Roman basic Galerius over the Persians. Kamara is at the moment a passageway and a well-known assembly level within the metropolis.
The Roman Discussion board, also called “Historical Agora,” was constructed by the Romans. Located close to the Aristotelous sq., the constructing was the middle of the political and public life within the metropolis.
The Galerius Palace
The Galerius Palace is a vital monument in Thessaloniki. It has obtained awards from the European Union in 2008 for the distinctive conservation of its ruins that changed into an academic web site that’s now a serious attraction within the metropolis.
Go to The Fabulous Museums In Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is legendary for its museums, owing to its historical past courting again hundreds of years. The truth is, this metropolis holds a few of Greece’s finest historic artifacts. Listed here are among the finest museums you’ll be able to go to in Thessaloniki:
- The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki homes an in depth assortment of hundreds of years previous artifacts and is a must-visit when you’re curious about historic Greek historical past.
- The Museum of Byzantine Tradition showcases greater than 3000 artifacts, mosaics, and jewellery from the Byzantine interval. For those who want to study in regards to the Byzantine tradition and life throughout the Byzantine period, this museum is price visiting.
- The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki presents the historical past of Sephardic Jews and the Jewish life within the metropolis. It homes a number of monumental stones, inscriptions, and sequence of images, explaining the historical past of the Jewish individuals who lived in Thessaloniki.
- The Thessaloniki Olympic Museum was established to protect the sporting heritage and is a superb place to study in regards to the historical past of the Olympic Video games.
Different museums in Thessaloniki embrace:
- The Pictures Museum
- The Museum of Cinema
- The Up to date Artwork Middle of Thessaloniki
- The Conflict Museum
See The Stunning Church buildings In Thessaloniki
There are a number of church buildings in Thessaloniki courting again hundreds of years. Most of those church buildings are among the many finest instagrammable locations in Thessaloniki. Listed here are among the finest church buildings which can be price a go to when you’re in Thessaloniki:
- Hagios Demetrios, additionally known as The Church of Saint Demetrius, is devoted to Saint Dimitri.
- Hagia Sophia is among the oldest church buildings within the metropolis. This Byzantine church is included as a World Heritage Website on the UNESCO listing.
- Agios Pavlos is situated on a hill and is a good looking church within the metropolis.
- The Church of Panagia Chalkeon is a sexy Byzantine church with a stunning backyard.
For those who didn’t go to the White Tower you weren’t actually in Thessaloniki. That is probably the most emblematic, iconic picture the town has to supply. Nobody actually is aware of when or by whom it was constructed, however its development is attributed to the Ottoman Empire in 1530 A.D.
Traditionally the tower has performed an essential position within the growth of the town. At this time it’s used as an exhibition heart and museum, the place you could find extra data abut the historical past of the tower.
Free strolling tour of Thessaloniki
There may be one firm that does the free strolling excursions by means of Thessaloniki. I booked a day Higher City tour with him and some different vacationers joined. The information Giorgos was very informative and being an area of Thessaloniki his entire life, he actually took the time to study in regards to the historical past of his metropolis.
We explored the higher city sights and visited all of the church buildings and historic sights within the course of. Essentially the most fascinating a part of the hike actually had been his personal private recounts on the historical past of the town together with the historical past of the standard Greek Bouzouki (a small guitar) and the Turkish-Greek inhabitants trade.
I had heard in regards to the inhabitants trade between Greeks and Turks within the early twentieth century earlier than however by no means in a lot element. He recounted how Thessaloniki was as soon as a thriving hub for Turks, Greeks, and Jews alike. A lot of the higher city was residence to Turkish communities that roughly constructed the town as it’s at the moment. Nevertheless, after World Conflict 1, the inhabitants trade of 1,000,000 Turks dwelling in Greece and Greeks dwelling in Turkey turned the whole lot the wrong way up.
The place to remain in Thessaloniki
There are not any scarcity of locations to remain in Thessaloniki. Being a densely packed metropolis means you’ll have all kinds of choices out there to you.
As the town is kind of small, wherever within the metropolis heart will guarantee that you’re near the motion. The Airbnb choices in Thessaloniki are considerable and nice. With very low-cost costs and high quality residences, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with this.
I stayed in an Airbnb within the higher city with completely unreal views of the town. It was situated proper subsequent to Agios Dimitrios Church and you would see your entire metropolis in addition to the ocean. There actually is nowhere higher to get views of the town than from my condominium, not even the partitions of the Akropolis.
Nevertheless, staying within the higher city meant strolling up and down a hill quarter-hour each time I needed to enter the town. For those who would relatively have a shorter commute and be proper within the motion, then I might keep extra central nearer to the waterfront.
The place to drink in Thessaloniki
Like Athens, Thessaloniki is understood for its stylish cocktail bars and numerous different establishments for imbibing. I like me cocktail and am in all probability too previous to be going to school model bars. Nevertheless, in case you are of that age, then ensure to stroll by means of the Galerius Sq. to see the younger faculty nightlife.
For the remainder of us, there are some superb cocktail bars making world class drinks. They aren’t tremendous low-cost like they’re in Albania for instance, however they’re nonetheless less expensive than you’ll discover in locations like New York, Singapore, or London.
Vogatsikou is situated close to the waterfront and is among the prime cocktail bars within the nation. They’ve legit bartenders which can be masters of their craft and the drinks resemble that. I had among the finest drinks of my journey right here and would extremely advocate a cease in. It’s additionally close by to many nice eating places so you’ll be able to have a pleasant meal afterwards.
Coq Tail combine bar
If you’d like a cocktail bar with nice views of the town, look no additional than Coq Tail combine bar. That is positively an incredible hangout spot for locals and vacationers alike. Positioned within the Higher City close to to the town partitions, this bar has unobstructed views of the town.
The place to eat in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is understood for its culinary prowess. There are eating places and bars actually at each nook of the town. The town heart is residence to many superb Greek eating places, many with a extra stylish aptitude to it. However, costs are nonetheless affordable by Greek requirements and the meals is scrumptious.
One other approach to get a really feel for native life is visiting Modiano and Kapani markets. These metropolis market function a scrumptious introduction to Thessaloniki’s vibrant culinary scene. Each markets supply a glimpse (and style) of conventional Thessaloniki meals and are throughout the road from one another. Wander by means of each for a sensory overload of vibrant spices, produce, meats, cheeses (oh, the cheeses), olives, and lots of native snacks and ready gadgets.
Gyros and Souvlaki are staple quick meals in Greece and amongst my favourite avenue meats on the earth. I can’t depend what number of gyros I’ve eaten throughout my many months in Greece but it surely’s sufficient to say I’ve an issue.
Thessaloniki has their very own model of gyros. They’re made exceptionally giant, and served with mustard and ketchup. Sure, you learn that proper. They’re served with ketchup and mustard like a hotdog as an alternative of utilizing their prized tzatziki. I used to be a bit shocked when discovering this at first and do not know why the Greeks would butcher such factor. Fortunately, you’ll be able to simply inform them no mustard/ketchup and so as to add tzatziki.
Gyrodiko is situated exterior of the primary a part of city however it’s the most well-known place for gyros. They’ve 4 large rotating spits with 500kg of pork meat spinning all day and night time. The gyros are 2x the dimensions of regular gyros. They’re all nonetheless simply as scrumptious and my go to avenue meals of alternative in Greece.
Going to Meteora from Thessaloniki
For those who’re in Thessaloniki for at the very least 3 or 4 days, then among the finest day journeys you’ll be able to take is to the monasteries of Meteora. These thousand yr previous monasteries are among the many most beautiful and picturesque spiritual buildings you’ll ever see.
They’re constructed on the highest of mountain peaks that seem like they’re floating over the sky. From Thessaloniki, you’ll be able to take a bus to the city of Kalambaka and do a DIY tour of the world. In any other case, you’ll be able to e-book a day journey from Thessaloniki to Meteora which can take up your entire day.
I visited Meteora as a part of my Northern Greece highway journey itinerary however in case you are solely right here for just a few days, then I might advocate simply doing the day journey.
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