Located in northern Greece, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and one of the most ancient cities in Europe. It is a multicultural urban center, a youthful student city, an infamous port and known across the country for its delicious gastronomy and vibrant nightlife. It is located next to the Thermaic Gulf where a variety cultures, ideas, trends and natural beauty mix and they create a fascinating place to explore and feel its unique charm. Its history is long and is written on its buildings that date back to the Byzantine Empire. You will be enchanted by the beauty of Thessaloniki and the city’s lifestyle.
Ascend the White Tower for incredible views of the city
White Tower is the landmark of Thessaloniki. It is located in the middle of the port and surrounded by cafeterias and a big pedestrian street to walk and enjoy the breeze from the Thermaic Gulf. It was built around 1500 A.D. and it was a part of the city’s defensive system. Enter the Tower, as today it hosts a modern museum with wonderful collections that show the history of Byzantine Thessaloniki. When you reach the top of the Tower, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the Port and the city. You can enter the Tower every day from 9 AM to 4 PM and admission costs 3 EUR (3.35 USD) for adults and 2 EUR (2.23 USD) for elders (over 65 years old) and students.
If you do not want to enter the White Tower then walk along the Port to see beautiful views of the city. For a fuller taste and perspective of the Gulf take a boat and do the 30 minute tour of the Port, while you listen to contemporary music. It embarks every 30 minutes and it is completely free as long as you buy a beverage (coffee or something else, it does not matter). It may seem touristic but it is a great opportunity to see Thessaloniki from afar and feel the breeze and the enchantment of the Thermaic Gulf. Do not miss the sunset on the Gulf as you will see the most impressive colors in the sky, while watching the sun diving into the water! It is simply magical.
Watch the people go by at the most central location
When you arrive at Aristotelous Square, you will realize that you are in the most central point of the city. The Square was redesigned, after the fire of 1917, by French architect Ernest Hébrard. It is a meeting point and venue for open-air events and live concerts. Looking around you, you will find the most emblematic buildings, like Cinema Olympion and Egnatia Palace Hotel. In the center of the square stands the statue of Aristotle, while in the north rises the imposing statue of Eleftherios Venizelos.
Aristotelous Square is the point of contact between the Gulf and the major commercial street of the city: Egnatia Street, lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Find where the heart of nightlife beats
Thessaloniki features a plethora of dining and entertainment options. Being home to two universities, this is a youthful city, which is reflected in the city’s nightlife. Trendy cafes and restaurants can be found along the waterfront and in Aristotelous Square, while more artistic cafes are found in Navarinou Square. However, at Ladadika, a pedestrianised cobblestone area with small alleys and roads, you will find the nightlife hotspots of the city. It is an area where time has lost its power and every day is the weekend. Definitely the place to go out and enjoy a good quality food at the one of the many live music taverns and restaurants and then continue clubbing until early in the morning. For food in the Ladadika area, I strongly suggest to eat at Kioupia, a tavern with great environment, friendly staff and a large variety of traditional dishes with meat or seafood, fresh fish, pasta, risotto, and fresh salads. It is a real experience and delicious treat. For a special night out, check the schedule of the bar Mavri Trypa as it hosts various live bands during the week.
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Amazing and unique flavours
Thessaloniki is famous for the variety of food it offers in huge portions and for its extraordinary sweet treats at very good prices. You will find taverns and bakeries and you will crave everything. Do not leave the city without trying the famous and traditional koulouri, a round bread with sesame. Start your day with the city’s famous breakfast treat: bougatsa, a baked pastry filled with cheese or meat and has a sweet version with cream and cinnamon. Do not miss the city’s infamous sweet that is only found here: trigona panoramatos, a traditional syrupy triangle pastry filled with whipped cream. Go to “Elenidis” store located at Dim. Gounari street number 13, for the best trigona panoramatos and to Terkenlis at Aristotelous Square for tsoureki (a greek kind of brioche). Find En Karpo store at Stratigou Doubioti street no. 18, where they have all kinds of handmade chocolate and creams, superfoods and fruit; all healthy and delicious. Finally trust street food. It is usually the most delicious treat.
See the city by bus
Catch the Cultural Route Bus number 50 that departs every hour at the bus stop located under the White Tower, it costs only 2 EUR (2.25 USD) and you will discover the main parts of the city in the most relaxing way. The bus operates every hour between 8 AM and 9 PM from June to September and from 9 AM to 8 PM from October to May. The drive lasts 50 minutes and it takes you around the city’s major attractions like Aristotelous and Navarinou Squares, Egnatia Street, St. Demetrius Church, Rotonda etc. There is no better and relaxed way for sightseeing!
You don’t need many reasons to fall in love with Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is a beautiful, historic city in northern Greece. Its historic and archaeological sites are harmonically blended with its modern and youthful side, giving visitors a great area to explore and enjoy. Discover its picturesque neighborhoods, its Byzantine churches, the interesting monuments and enjoy its quality nightlife and incredible food. Walk along the waterfront, ascend the White Tower and do not miss bus number 50 that will take you for a ride around the city.
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