Immensely likable Thessaloniki (thess-ah-lo-nee-kih) has never been more fun, cultured or affordable than it is right now. Greece's second city has excellent restaurants, museums and sights, plus an increasingly hip and inventive nightlife scene fleshed out by many thousands of Greek and foreign university students. Thessaloniki's a great base, as it provides easy connections by air, land and sea with numerous national and international destinations. And, as a safe and walkable small city, it has none of Athens' problems, either.
Travellers always seem to return to Thessaloniki, and it's indeed outfitted with enduring symbols of a glorious history; these include the White Tower on the cafe-lined waterfront, erstwhile Ottoman structures, and lengthy Byzantine walls culminating at the Ano Poli (Upper Town), an enchanting neighbourhood of colourful old houses, where Byzantine churches peek from winding alleyways. Grand structures include the 5th-century Church of Agios Dimitrios, the enormous Roman Rotunda and Roman Emperor Galerius’ 3rd-century palace ruins.
Most recently, during digs for the long-awaited Metro, extensive portions of the 6th-century central street and tetraphylon (monumental gate) were discovered, sparking fervent debates over how to reconcile modern development with buried historical riches.
Best places to stay in Thessaloniki
Think Greece and conjure up images of white-washed villages cascading down hillsides, azure seas sparkling in bright sunshine and powder-soft white sand beaches...
Thessaloniki destination guides
5-Day Northern Greece Tour: Delphi, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Pella, Thermophylae
Take a five-day tour to the northern region of Greece to explore stunning Delphi, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora, Thessaloniki's Archaeological Museum, Alexander the Great's capital of Pella and the Macedonian tombs of Lefkadia. Explore Delphi, Meteora and Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. Learn about Alexander the Great in his capital Pella.
Thessaloniki Markets Tour
Discover the lesser-known gems and hidden markets of Thessaloniki on a 3-hour walking tour, led by a friendly local guide! On a leisurely stroll around town, scout out vibrant markets selling almost everything from food and spices to flowers and bric-a-brac while learning about Thessaloniki’s intriguing history.