Thessaloniki is the biggest city in the Greek region Macedonia and the centre point of everything that happens in the northern part of Greece. Culture, trade, millions of people – all roads lead to Thessaloniki. Last night I returned home from my trip there, and I slept only one night. This travel was not my first time visiting Saloniki (like the locals call it), because I live 140 km from there. In the Thessaloniki metropolitan area live more than 1 million people. The people in Salonki are always smiling and are more than happy to help you. So, I can say that I know nearly everything about this great city. Stay a while and listen to our travel tips on what to do when visiting Thessaloniki.
How to get to Thessaloniki
As usual, the best way to travel is by plane. If you live in any part of Europe, Thessaloniki airport is located around 15 km from the city. You can take a cab or go by bus. We recommend going by bus because it is cheaper (only 2 euros), and you will spend the same time whether you choose a taxi (more expensive) or a bus around 50 mins. Sometimes you will get there earlier, but it all depends on the traffic.
Travelling around the City
Same as transportation from the airport, the best way to move around the city is by bus. This time, getting anywhere around Thessaloniki, it will cost you only 1 euro. On the other hand, there is a taxi service, but it is quite expensive. However, in some situations, if you stay late at night and party (it has excellent nightlife) when public transportation does not operate, you must take a taxi.
What to do in Thessaloniki
The beautiful Aegean sea will make you wish you’ve stayed in Saloniki until the rest of your life. Greek people are warm people who are proud of their history and know how to live life to the fullest. There are a couple of beaches around the city, which are decent to enjoy a good afternoon. However, if you want to visit better beaches, then you should visit other small towns and villages either on the path towards Athens or any of the places in the Halkidiki area.
As you’ve read before, you know that me and my wife love to shop. Thessaloniki is the place of fashion and shopping. Dozens of small greek boutiques offer modern, and quality designs found nowhere in Europe. Of course, you can find the usual brands there, but we highly recommend to visit the Greek ones. You will find pieces of cloth that has a unique greek signature of colours. Make your life more colorful with those beautiful designs. There are malls (Cosmos is the biggest one), but the real fashion lies on the streets Egnatia and Tsimiski. There you need at least one full day to visit all the shops and find a piece that will match your style.
In the city centre, you can find an old tower, that is both a monument and a museum of Thessaloniki. It is called the White Tower of Thessaloniki. It is a landmark fortress left by Ottoman Rule. In the past, it was a prison, but today it offers an interactive exhibition of the city’s history. Nextravel gives two thumbs up adding this monument for your must-visit travel list.
Other places we think you should visit are Arch of Galerius monument built in the 4th century. If you genuinely want to experience early Byzantine architecture, this monument will offer a great chance to observe and feel the Byzantine craftsmanship. The main square is called Aristotelous Square, and it is located on the Nikis avenue in the centre of the city. Designed by French architect Ernest Hebard in the early 20th century. However, most of the square was built in the 1950s.
Thessaloniki is a sports city. Locals support football and basketball teams and create an atmosphere like no other in Europe. And getting a ticket is a must if you want to experience a show both on the field and in the stands. Whether they lose or win, you will hear thousands of roars supporting PAOK.
In Thessaloniki, you can find many museums you can explore. We recommend that you start with the Archaeological Museum, that has exhibits from seven prehistoric eras. It is the biggest museum of northern Greece, and if you want to learn a thing or two about Alexandar the Great and Byzantine Empire, then you must put it on your visit list.
If you want to experience the local life in Thessaloniki, you must visit the Kapani and Modiano markets. Inside these markets, you can experience the exceptional culinary scene in Greece. If you want to find unique spices so you can experiment in your kitchen and make strange food taste divine, then visit Kapani. It offers that plus much more.
We hope that this information will be useful in your future Thessaloniki trip. If you want more information, feel free to comment, and we will be more than happy to answer.
Nightlife: As the second biggest city of Greece, Thessaloniki offers a dynamic and wild nightlife. There are a plethora of bars you can choose from, but there must be one that is better than others, you think, right? The answer is YES! We recommend the Club Division. It is located on Katouni street and is made from a restored landmark. A huge dancefloor, and fabulous looking interior, in the club you can find famous DJs around the world.
Food and Drink
Greece has always had had distinct and beautiful food. Whether you like to eat greek barbecue or tasty seafood you can get plenty of it. We recommend souvlaki and gyro from a barbecue menu.
On the other hand, from the Greek seafood, we recommend Lobster Pasta. It will give your taste buds an experience of a lifetime. There are many restaurants in Thessaloniki; some are located near the shore area while others are scattered all around the city.
Never forget to drink ouzo. Greek alcoholic drink, sweet and powerful, will make your mind strong. Careful though, you might get tipsy after one glass of ouzo. If you got in glass 5 or more, you are drunk buddy, so be careful.
Hotels: Thessaloniki is not so much a tourist city as it is a regional capital city. That means the prices of hotels can vary depending on the season. The good hotels are located near the shore, and the rates are pretty high. But you can find good hotels located 3 or 4 km from the city centre that offers excellent service and experience half the amount. It all depends on your budget.
Clothes: It is not officially summer, yet yesterday the temperature was 35 degrees! So, we travelling in Thessaloniki, take light and white garments. Also, do not forget to bring a bottle or two of water. You will dehydrate if you don’t drink regularly.