Greece’s second city offers an enticing mix of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage in a diverse cultural setting with an excellent food scene.
The airport is around 8 miles (13km) from the heart of the city, and it’s easy to get around by foot, bus, taxi and bicycle. You’re never more than 20 minutes from the centre by public transport.
2 hrs ahead of GMT
Neighbourhoods To See
This vast neoclassical square near the waterfront is the beating heart of the city. An elegant space lined with bars, cafes and restaurants, it plays host to dozens of food markets and events, making it an ideal meeting place.
Enjoy a relaxing stroll along this endless waterfront boardwalk, passing picturesque spots such as the White Tower and the concert hall.
Ano Poli (Upper Town)
Discover a different Thessaloniki as you head up past various UNESCO World Heritage monuments – including the Church of St Catherine, Vlatadon Monasery and church of Agios Nikolaos Orfanos – to get a fabulous panoramic view from the top.
By day it’s wonderful to just wander the cobbled streets of this brightly coloured bohemian district filled with traditional tavernas. After dark it comes alive with bustling nightlife.
The iconic symbol of Thessaloniki, the tower was built in the 15th century by the Ottomans and used as a prison and site for executions.
If you have even a passing interest in ancient history, you’ll be impressed by this wonderful museum. It holds ancient artefacts including the Derveni Papyrus which dates from 320-250BC and is deemed Europe’s oldest book by UNESCO.
Church of Agios Dimitrios
Enjoy a cool wander around this impressive 7th century basilica built to honour Thessaloniki’s patron saint. A few 8th century frescos survive and the crypt holds a silver reliquary said to contain Dimitrios’ remains.
Food And Drink
Whatever you fancy you’ll find it here, from traditional tavernas serving grills and meze in Ladadika to contemporary Greek cuisine all over the city. For balance, there are plenty of fine-dining options and awesome street food. The city’s location means seafood is freshly caught and cooked In endless ways – head to Kalamaria for some of the best fish restaurants.
JUNE – SEPT | Summer Festival
A packed outdoor progamme of music, concerts, theatre performances and street art.
NOV | International Film Festival
This annual event welcomes established and up-and-coming filmmaking professionals from Greece and Southeast Europe and attracts a celebrity-packed crowd.