Thessaloniki: how to discover a unique city rich in history and beauty

Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki, Greece by Viktor Posnov
from Adobe Stock

Thessaloniki is a modern port city, founded in the early 300 by its first King Cassander who gave this city the name of his wife Thessalonica, sister of Alexander the Great.
The transition of different periods and eras in which Thessaloniki has seen prosperity, wars and occupations has made it possible to create the history of this city which today boasts early Christian and Byzantine monuments recognized as UNESCO heritage.

The UNESCO heritage
Thessaloniki walls @GNTO HKakarouhas

The history of the city is present in every corner of Thessaloniki. The walls (photo above) measure 4 km and were built together with the city itself.
In the upper corner of the city fortifications you can find the Eptapyrgion, a Byzantine fortress from the Ottoman era.
Absolutely not to be missed is the Rotonda, a Roman domed temple converted in the years of Christianity into the Church of San Giorgio.

Continuing for a tour among the churches, you can admire those of San Demetrius ( photo below), San Davide (or Monastery of Latomou) and the Monastery of Vlatadon which offers a beautiful view of the Thermaic Gulf and mosaics of the Byzantine period.

And again, the church of the Prophet Elias, the church of the Twelve Apostles (also from the late Byzantine period), the early Christian church of Panagia Ageropolltos.
If, once you get here, you want to see more history, here are the two churches in the photos above: The church of Santa Sofia from the 7th century and the church of Panagia Calcheon also known as the red church.

What to do during the day

Thessaloniki is above all a seaside city. Lovers of jogging and walking can take advantage of the famous Nikis avenue to get to know one of the most famous sides of the Greek city.
Then starting from Aristotelous Square up to the shopping streets such as Mitropoleos, Tsimiski, Pavlou Mela, Proxenou Koromila for example, you can throw yourself into the heart of the city and let yourself go to the wildest shopping.
Alternatively you can visit traditional markets such as those of Modlano, Kapati or Vatikioti where you can find fresh products or simply enjoy the typical scents of the place.

Exhibitions and museums

How can we not talk about the exhibitions and museums of Thessaloniki? The landmark of the city, namely the White Tower, offers an exhibition in which the history of the city is represented. If it is true that Greece has an ancient history that almost no other country in the world can boast, why not start here to learn a little about the past of the place you are exploring?

Thessaloniki, White Tower @GNTO, KKouzouni

The Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Cinema and the Museum of Photography are just among the many museums that you can visit in the city.

What to do in the evening

When dinner time arrives and the city begins to come alive with the first lights of the night, the districts where you can go are Ladadika, Evosmos and Ano Poli. If we are familiar with the fantastic Greek restaurants, perhaps some are unaware of the more traditional taverns such as ouzeri, where they serve ouzo con mezedes (tasty morsels of fish or meat) or rebetadiko, a tavern with live rebetiko music.

lifeThessaloniki, Nighlife, @GNTO HKakarouhas

For those who want to stay up later, there are bars and clubs along Valaritou street, in the harbor area, in Kalamarià, Toumpa, Kastra and Polichni. The Casino Regency is 12 km from the city, towards the airport. But remember that you must be over 25 to enter.
If, on the other hand, you are in Thessaloniki with your sweetheart, you can take a sunset walk the Nea Paralia.

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