A former Byzantine fortress repurposed as a prison by the Ottomans and only decommissioned in 1989, the Eptapyrgion (‘Seven Towers’) is a grim reminder of Thessaloniki’s penal past, recounted in the Greek blues songs known as rembetika. Reached by a steep walk to the heights of Ano Poli, it's perfectly preserved, allowing access to some towers (of which there are actually 10), communal blocks and isolation cells, and displaying historical information and scattered artworks.

The views from the Byzantine walls are the best in the city.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Thessaloniki attractions

1. Kastra

0.26 MILES

The kastra (castle) encloses Byzantine churches and timber-framed houses with overhanging upper storeys. Enjoy panoramic views from the tower by the…

2. Monastery of Vlatadon

0.42 MILES

Believed to have been founded around 1351 on the place where Paul preached in Thessaloniki, this secluded monastery blends fascinating history with some…

3. Church of Osios David

0.53 MILES

This serene little 5th-century church, once the katholikon (major church) of the Monastery of Saviour Christ of Latomos, is one of the most significant…

4. Church of Nikolaos Orfanos

0.54 MILES

This early-14th-century church, one of the most beautiful in a city heavy with stunning examples, has superb (though age-darkened) frescoes, many dating…

5. Atatürk House


Modern Turkey’s illustrious founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), was born here. Along with displays tracing Atatürk's life and career you'll see…

6. Yeni Hammam

0.78 MILES

An atmospheric 16th-century structure, this former Turkish bath has great acoustics. Today it houses a bar that's gone to great lengths to turn the lovely…

7. Church of Agios Dimitrios

0.83 MILES

This enormous 7th-century basilica honours Thessaloniki’s patron saint. A Roman soldier, Dimitrios was killed around AD 306 at this former Roman bath site…

8. Rotunda of Galerius

0.89 MILES

In AD 306 Roman emperor Galerius built this harmonious 30m-high dome, comparable to Rome's Pantheon and possibly intended as his mausoleum. Marking the…