‘Get to know Thessaloniki’
Walk in the city
Thessaloniki rightfully holds the title of easy going, since the pace of the city is very different from other cities of Greece and especially in the capital. Anyone who visits the ‘bride’ of the Balkans, is bewitched by the beauty, hospitality and the frantically late nights on offer.
Thessaloniki is a city with rich cultural history and heritage. Museums, monuments, theater events, all kinds of concerts, theatrical and artistic events stir the interest of both residents and visitors.
In terms of entertainment, the city offers many different options. Undoubtedly the area enclosed by the streets Nikis, Valaoritou, Fragon and LeontosSofou, an old craft market place that rank in Thessaloniki, has become a place of entertainment for all social classes.
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Top 10 choices:
1. Museum of Byzantine Culture: one of the architectural jewels of the city. In its halls are hosted rare pieces of our heritage, which visitors and townspeople should enjoy. The museum, apart from the permanent collections, hosts temporary exhibitions.
2. Nea Paralia: The upgraded part of the seafront is ideal for walking, cycling or simply enjoying the sunset.
3. Ladadika: Café, bars and restaurants are found in the ‘old neighborhood’ of the city.
4. Ano Poli: Classic spot for those who want to see things from another angle. From the famous Castles the view is magic, especially while the sun sets.
5. Thermaikos: One of the most classic spots for coffee and drinks with alternative attitude.
6. Trigona Panoramatos: A visit to the region of Panorama is necessary in order to taste the famous trigona, which is crispy pastry, shaped like a triangle, filled with sweet traditional cream.
7. Chan: The Asian restaurant offers high cuisine and exotic flavors. It operates on site the MET and is among the few places in town where you can sample sushi and creative flavors of the East.
8. Mediterranean Cosmos: At this mall you will find many shops, café, restaurants, supermarket, bowling and a Village movie theatre.
9. Beer Art: One of the most popular places, in Nea Krini, with a great variety of beers and snacks.
10. Kitchen Bar: The Kitchen Bar is located at the port of Thessaloniki, in a very modern place. Here you can enjoy gourmet courses and drinks.
White Tower : The White Tower is the most famous building in the city and is located on the east side of the pier. Built in the 15th century AD as part of the fortifications of the city and in the Turkish prison and was part of torture. After the liberation of the city, the tower cleaned of the blood, so the tower was renamed ‘ White Tower’. Although today the White Tower is no longer white, retains its name.
The Arch of Galerius: The Arch of Galerius belongs to the cluster of buildings on the south-eastern part of the historical center of Thessaloniki. It was built in 305 AD to celebrate the triumph of Galerius over the Persians. Since the initial arc only three poles and part of the upper masonry have survived today.
The Rotonda: The Rotonda is a circular building, built in 306 AD as Pantheon or Mausoleum for emperor Galerius. During the Byzantine period, during the reign of Theodosius the Great Rotonda was transformed into a Christian church while at the Turkish a mosque
Byzantine Fortification Walls: The fortification walls built by Theodosius the Great in the 4th century. Repaired several times to withstand the barbarian invasions. Today only parts of walls especially over the Egnatia and Sikies
Ancient Market: Main reference point in the city of Thessaloniki was the site of the ancient Agora to the Hellenistic and Roman times.
St. Demetrios Church: The Agios Dimitrios is a 5kliti basilica church. It is situated at the center of Thessaloniki. The church’s patron saint of the city was destroyed by the great fire of 1917 and rebuilt in 1948. The church is decorated with beautiful mosaics. Below the church is the Crypt, a place where St. Demetrios died as a martyr.
Dioikitirio: It is built on the same area where was the older Ottoman konaki, which was built on the ruins of the Byzantine palace, where archaeological evidence uncovered in the region. The imposing building was built in 1891 by Italian architect Vitalian Pozeli, in 1907 the Government House hosted by the Turkish Law School and in that overthrew the Sultan Mehmet Resat in 1911, when he visited Thessaloniki.
Church of Agia Sofia: The Agia Sofia is a lovely church, built in the 8th century AD, a copy of the church in Istanbul. During the Byzantine Agia Sofia was the city’s Cathedral. The church was built over Roman baths. The interior is decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes of the early Byzantine era. Admirable is the mosaic of the Ascension of Christ.
Villa Bianca: Villa Bianca boasts a selection of morphological data. Developed in two main levels, with basement and attic, was built in the period 1911-1913 by the renowned Pietro Arrigoni.
Moni Vlatadon: It is situated at Ano Poli and is the only one left of the many that existed during the Byzantine times. It was founded in the middle of the 14th century by the Vlatades brothers. The view from the monastery looks out over the city and reaches out to the peaks of Mount Olympus.
Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art: The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 1979 following a donation of 30 art collector Alexander Iola and is located within the area of Thessaloniki International Fair. It covers all areas of contemporary art. Now houses 2000 works of art.
Museum of Byzantine Culture: The Museum of Byzantine Culture is a special regional unit of the Ministry of Culture. The museum opened its gates in 1994, but the 11 rooms it of opened gradually by 2004. The museum’s exhibits are presented by topic, so that visitors can draw a complete picture of some aspects of the culture of Byzantium.
Archaeological Museum: This is a scientific organization , with a wider cultural and educational nature, designed to collect, protect, study and promotion of works and objects of the Early Christian, Byzantine, medieval and post- general period, mainly from the geographical area of Macedonia. Founded in 1989 and launched in September 1994. The permanent museum exhibition developed in 11 rooms.
Institutions and Festivals
Dimitria: This and the second largest festival in country after Greek Festival (Festival of Athens and Epidaurus Festival), and certainly the longest, offering European profile and direction. The international festival ‘ Demetria’ began to take place in 1966 and runs from September to November and hosts artists from Greece and abroad.
Thessaloniki International Fair: Thessaloniki International Fair, the historical continuity and the role played eight decades, is unquestionably the National Exhibition pillar of the country. Each September TIF receives many Greek and foreign visitors and politicians usually make important announcements for the country during the exhibition. This year’s International Fair will run from September 11 to 19 the same month.
Book Festival: It is an institution that takes place in the city since 1983. In early June, for about 10 days, the paving of the new beach is filled with kiosks of numerous publishing houses, designed to promote reading, which the younger generations tend to forget.
Open Theatre Festival: this institution takes place in the summer (July and August) in Thessaloniki, offering viewers very qualitative theatrical plays.
Photobiennale: It is held every year from April to September in Thessaloniki. Reports of International Photography Meeting hosted more than 30 locations throughout the city.
In Thessaloniki the fun can begin with the first morning coffee or with a drink and will surely lead at bouzoukia or at a club. You will have a lot of choices for your amusement, depending on your preferences.
- Diatiriteo (12 Iktinou Str., tel. 2310 283181)
- Iktinou Au Trottoir (10 Iktinou Str., tel. 2310 283133)
- Comunale(PP German & Pavlou Mela Str., tel. 2310 220 914)
- Kantina Tropicana (31 Egnatia Str., Stoa Kolomvou, tel. 2310 539727)
- Ernest (13 Leof. Nikis Avenue, tel. 2310 242241)
- Coral (3 Leof. Nikis Avenue, tel. 2310 260036)
- Mistral (4 Tinou Str., Nea Krini, tel. 2310 444845 & 2310 455411)
- Meli Melo (65 Meg. Aleksandrou Avenue, Poseidonio, tel. 2310 853252)
- Le Nouveau (2 Plateia Aristotelous Sq., tel. 2310 224517)
- Achilleion (37 Leof. Nikis Avenue, tel 2310 229330)
- Tribeca (19 Leof. Nikis Avenue, tel 2310 226604)
- Mavro Provato (11 Sigrou Str.)
- Thermaikos (21 Leof. Nikis Avenue, tel. 2310 239842)
- Dogs (4th Panepistimiou Str.)
- Markiz (6 Kountouriotou Str., tel. 2310 550 358)
- Speaty Press & Coffee (116 Tsimiski Str., tel. 2310 221027)
- Politia Live Clubbing (Airport Area, tel. 2310 486956)
- Pili Aksiou (Andreou Georgiou & Ermionis Str., tel. 2310 553158)
- Astra (6 Friksou Str., tel. 2310 533332)
- Mylos (56 And. Georgiou Str., tel. 2310 551836)
- La Rosa Negra (Vilka Area)
- Vogue (23 26th Octovriou Str., tel. 2310 502081)
- Mouses (25 Agelaki Str., tel. 2310 231237)
- Mamounia (21st Andreou Georgiou Str., inside Vilka, tel. 2310 557000)
- Fix (15 26th Octovriou Str., tel. 2310 514666)
Regency Casino Thessaloniki (14km Thessaloniki- Michaniona, tel. 2310 424058)
Enjoy yourself and visit some of the alter fun places of Thessaloniki. The modern cinemas (Village Cinemas/ Ster Cinemas) provide you with comfort and spaces of high specifications, while the theaters (Royal Theatre- Vassiliko Theatro) entertain you with theatrical plays. If you want to do something more extreme, then you must visit Magic Park, the specifically shaped spaces where you and your friends play paintball, the Village Bowling, the Mini Golf or if it is summertime you can visit Waterland. Finally, a trip at the ‘Planetarium (Center for Science and Technology Museum ‘NOESIS’) is a great idea for all ages.
Thessaloniki Film Festival: It is the premier film festival in the Balkans and Southeast Europe, the forum for presenting the annual Greek production and the primary and oldest festival in the Balkans for the creations of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Every November claiming that achieves an ever increasing international scope, presents the most innovative independent films from around the world.
Pella is located in Makedonia and Edessa is the capital. The area offers the visitors attractive opportunities to discover idyllic places and exciting experiences gained both from the Ancient Pella and the alternative forms of tourism, entertainment and sports. You will also find marvelous sites at Kaimaktsalan’s Ski Resort, Vegoritida lake and Loudias river. You will have the chance to relax at the Municipal Baths of Loutra (Pozar). Last but not least you will see the traditional settlement of Agios Athanasios, which has many rooms and hotels and all the buildings are traditional establishments.
One of the best destinations for holidays and trips is Pieria which combines beautiful beaches, mountain paths, monuments and fun. Each beach offers something different to the visitor.
Pieria has many monuments and archaeological sites to show off such as Dion, the prehistoric settlement of Makrigialos, ancient Pidna and the ancient Lithira. The medieval castle of Platamona is one of the most great monuments of Pieria.
Mount Olympus, Pieria and Titaros, forests and rivers, coastal wetlands, the plains and the sea is the ecosystem of Pieria. All these things together, but also individually, show that Pieria is an area with rich natural environment and particularly wide variety of flora and fauna and has special ecological and aesthetic value.
The coast of Pieria, is famous for its large extent and for the diversity of holidays that offers. Wide beaches of rare natural beauty, rich golden sand interspersed with pebbles and pine groves, resulting in a smooth and warm blue sea. Most settlements have organized tourist infrastructure, cosmopolitan environment and a vibrant nightlife.
Ski Resort Elatochori:
The ski resort is located in Elatochori, 36 km from the town of Katerini. It has one aerial lift length, a baby lift 130 meters, a regional track length and a beginner slope. It also features rental ski, snowboard, clothing and equipment.
Traditional settlements are easily accessible and have fine dining and comfortable accommodations. You should visit the villages of Palaios Panteleimon, Petra, Palaion Poron, Litochoro.
Imathia is a place where the magic of nature captivates the senses. A place where overwhelming monuments coexist harmoniously with modern resorts and luxury hotels, a place where mountain Pieria coexist with the longest river in Greece, Aliakmonas. In the urban centers of the country cultural activities, strong and quality nightlife and excellent market, make your stay pleasant and beautiful. Capital of the province is Veria.
The land of Imathia has many wonderful archaeological sites which you can visit while your stay. The archaeological museum houses and exhibits many findings. Outside the museum are tombstones, altars and marble sarcophagus from the 2nd through the 3rd and 4th century. The school of Aristotle is near to Naousa in an idyllic landscape. This is the place where Aristotle was tutoring the young Alexander.
Beauties of nature:
From the most basic forms of alternative tourism developed in the region of Imathia it seems to be the naturalist tourism. The rich aquatic wealth, towering peaks with plangent rivers and springs are really nice attraction for anyone who wants to know the Greek nature in all its glory. In winter, winter sports lovers find refuge in two ski resorts, Seli Ski Resort and 3-5 Pigadia.
Halkidiki is a famous Greek peninsula located in the northern part of Greece. The prefecture of Halkidiki is consisted of three peninsulas Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos.
Halkidiki, Poseidon’s trident in the Aegean Sea, in the shadow of Mount Athos, has established itself as one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. It boasts a unique nature, secluded coves and crystal clear beaches, crystal clear sea, beautiful islands, blue … endless sandy beaches and beautiful coastline spanning 550 km, with 46 awarded blue flag beaches.
Cosmopolitan beaches await the visitor to discover. The sun, the sea and the natural beauty blend harmoniously on the Halkidiki peninsula. The visitor can enjoy all types of tourism throughout the year.
The tourist organization of Halkidiki hotel infrastructure includes a well, luxury and comfort, casinos, golf courses, marinas, spas and shopping centers, fully equipped conference rooms, good food and wine, apartments and rooms, camping, beach bars and clubs.
In Halkidiki, apart from stunning beaches, you must add its archaeological treasures, historical monuments, villages with remarkable traditional architecture (Olynthus, Acanthus, Afitos, Stagira, Petralona, Galatista, Nikiti, Ierissos, Ouranoupoli, Cape Poseidi).
Kassandra is famous for the beaches and the nightlife. In Sani you can find marvelous beaches and many hotels. Siviri, Fourka and Poseidi are well known places with great beaches, too. At last, Paliouri, Peukochori, Kalithea and Afitos are worthy to be visited.
Sithonia is the middle peninsula of Chalkidiki and has magnificent landscapes. You can visit Vourvourou, Marmaras, Sarti, Psakoudia and many more places.
- Porto Carras Grand Resort ( Neos Marmaras):
On the most outstanding resort in Greece, Porto Carras features two 5-star hotels (Porto Carras Meliton Hotel, Porto Carras Sithonia), a world class villa, a luxurious casino and two thalassotherapy and spa centers.
- Casino Porto Carras:
In Casino Porto Carras you can join for the ultimate experience and indulge into a world of luxury and special privileges.
Holy Mountain Athos
known for the 20 monasteries, is a place for praying and can be visited only by men. Castles and monasteries, battlements, turrets for protection from the wicked invaders. Shady and tranquil gardens, contemplation and meditation, silence sharpens hearing, serenity. Rare sacred icons and church treasures. Mount Athos is an independent monastic state and an Orthodox spiritual center since 1054 and has a separate status from the Byzantine period.
Good and tasty food is synonymous with Thessaloniki and visitors get many culinary experiences and gain some pounds. While you are here you have to taste the traditional pies (cream or cheese), crispy bun, trigona Panoramatos. Tasty delicacies wait for you in the taverns that are found scattered in the city, from the Center to Kastra and from Nea Krini to Perea. Here is a list of some of the most popular bar-restaurants in the city:
- Maison Crystal (6 Meg. Aleksandrou Avenue, tel. 2310 888865)
- Omilos (12 Meg. Aleksandrou Avenue, tel 2310 888200
- Shark (2 Argonauton Str., tel. 2310 421606)
- Bungalow White (10 Meg. Aleksandrou Avenue, tel. 2310 842232)
- Azzuro ( 86 Them. Sofouli Str., tel. 2310 419294)
- Villa Luna (40 Analipseos Str., Panorama, tel. 2310 340440)
- Remvi (2 Kanari Str., Nea Krini, tel. 2310 433100)
- Black Lime (Notos Galeries, 24 Tsimiski Str.& 31 Mitropoleos Str., tel. 2310 260197)
- Kitchen Bar (Port, tel. 2310 502241)
- Paparouna (7th Doksis Str., Ladadika, tel. 2310 510852)
- Fred & Ginger (16 Kolokotroni Str. Stavroupoli, tel. 2310 647400)
- Orizontes ( 9 Aristotelous Sq., tel. 2310 294036)
- Vithos ( 52 25th Martiou Str., tel. 2310 662376)
- Psarou (10 Mikonou & Marathonos, Toumpa, tel. 2314 028151)
- Zithos (7 Tsirogianni Str., White Tower, tel. 2310 279010)
- Tiffany’s (3 Iktinou Str., tel. 2310 274022)
- Mirsini (2 Tsopela Str., behind N.T.N.G, tel. 2310 228300)
- 7 Thalasses (10 Kalapothaki Str., tel. 2310 233173)
- T.G.I Friday’s (3 Aristotelous Str Sq., tel. 2310 242914/ Mediterranean Cosmos)
- Tre Marie (13 P.P. Germanou Str., tel. 2310 240051/ 57 Them. Sofouli Str., tel. 2310 403655/ 3 Komninon Str., Panorama, tel. 2310 332747)
- Le Palais (27th Maria Kallas Str., tel. 2310 422034)
- Maiami ( 8 Thetidos Str., Nea Krini, tel. 2310 447996)
- Tiganies & Sxares (97 Them. Sofouli Str., tel. 2310 411040/ 3 Katouni Str., Ladadika, tel. 2310 510284)
- .ES (2-4 Fragon Str., tel. 2310 532503)
- Anassa (26th Them. Sofouli, Kalamaria, tel. 2311 821360)
- Symfonia (21 Ermou Str. & Venizelou Str., 5th & 6th floor, tel. 2310 268007)
- Terkenlis (30 Tsimiski Str., tel. 2310 271148)
- Plaisir (48 G. Papandreou Str., & 13 Sofouli Str., 8 Miaouli Str., Nea Krini, tel. 2310 458313, G. Konstantinidi, tel. 2310 853852)
At the city you will find hotels suitable for your needs and desires. You will also try the gastronomic relishes that are prepared for you by known Greek and foreigner chef. For those who seek moments of relaxation and well-being many hotels have spas and health centers. Here is a list of the city’s hotels:
- Daios Luxury Living (59, Nikis Avenue, tel. 2310 250200, www.daioshotels.gr)
- Electra Palace (9 Aristotelous Square, tel. 2310 294000, www.electrahotels.gr)
- Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki (13km Thessaloniki- Perea, tel. 2310 401234, http://thessaloniki.regency.hyatt.gr)
- Nikopolis Thessaloniki (16-18 Asklipiou Str., Pylaia, tel. 2310 401000 )
- Domotel Les Lazaristes (16 Kolokotroni Str., Stavroupoli, tel. 2310 647400, www.domotelleslazaristeshotelthessaloniki.com)
- Makedonia Palace (2 Meg. Aleksandrou Avenue, tel. 2310 897197, www.makedoniapalace.gr)
- Porto Palace (65, 26th Octovriou Str., Port, tel. 2310 504504, www.portopalace.gr)
- Grand Hotel Palace (305-307 Monastiriou Str., tel. 2310 549000, www.grandhotelpalace.gr)
- Mediterranean Palace (3 Salaminos Str., tel. 2310 552554, www.mediterranean-palace.gr)
- Holiday Inn (8 Monastiriou Str., tel. 2310 563100, www.hithessaloniki.gr)
- Egnatia Palace (61 Egnatia Str., tel. 2310 222900, www.egnatiapalace.gr)
- City Hotel (11 Komninon Str., tel. 2310 269421, www.city-hotel.gr)
- Excelsior Hotel (10 Komninon Str. & Mitropoleos Str., tel. 2310 021000, www.excelsiorhotel.gr)
- The Met (48, 26th Octovriou Str., tel 2310 017000, www.themethotel.gr)