Whether a culture lover or a foodie, Thessaloniki will amaze you with its multifaceted personality. Our tip: in order to fully feel this city’s aura and vibes, you need to walk through its streets, neighbourhoods and squares. This is the only way you’ll get to discover its countless hidden gems!
The mixture and coexistence of cultures and civilizations during so many years have transformed Thessaloniki into a metropolis of flavors, a crossroad of smells, tastes & gastronomic experiences. Some of the worldwide known delicacies of the city include Bougatsa (pastry of custard, cheese, or meat filling between layers of phyllo), Koulouri (type of bagel with sesame), Trigona (meaning Triangles, cream Filled phyllo cones, shaped as triangles).
Explore the food district of Ladadika, a hub of traditional and experimental cuisine, Modiano market for traditional taverns and Athonos Street taverns with live Greek music events. In the upper town district, try one of the many places at the Triangle Tower area and Tsinari for local flavors and meze (small appetizers usually accompanying your drink). In the outskirts of the city, the fish taverns of Perea will delight you with their stunning location and exceptional food. And of course, do not miss out the food markets, such as Modiano and Kapani, where you can also enjoy great food.
Explore the White Tower Museum, the Archaeological, as well as the Byzantine Culture Museums, enjoy the area’s modern artistic twist at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art or enjoy the open air museums of Roman Agora and Rotonda.
The churches of Agios Dimitrios and Agia Sofia along Panagia Acheiropoihtos (meaning “not made by human hand”), one of the oldest surviving Christian temples of Greece with a name deriving from the icon of the Virgin Mary inside believed to be of divine origin, are definitely the ones you should visit. The top archaeological attractions in ide Thessaloniki are Roman Agora, Rotonda, the Arch and Rotonda of Galerius, the Byzantine walls and castles in Upper Town and Bezesteni Market.
The port area, after the renovation of its buildings and warehouses, is an ideal place to enjoy your coffee or a meal before attending one of the many cultural activities and events. Along with the seafront or “Paralia”, the port boasts some of the city’s most treasured sea views. Enjoy your night drinks at Valaoritou street, a revived old neighbourhood with vibrant cafes and bars, or stroll through the famous Ladadika with its landmark restaurants and bars. Food markets are a meeting point for shopping, chatting and sitting down for a quick ouzo before heading back home for lunch or dinner. Kapani, Modiano, Bit Bazaar and the Flower District (Louloudadika) as well as Athonos Square offer a true taste of the city, literally and metaphorically.
The centre with Aristotelous Square, the beating heart of the city, surrounded by marvelous neoclassical beauties, pastries and lovely cafes, the living streets of Iktinou and Pavlou Mela hosting bistrots and cocktail bars and Tsimiski street, the shopping hotspot of the city. Last but not least, definitely visit Ano Poli (Upper Town) for a glimpse of what Thessaloniki used to look like before the great fire of 1917, take in the amazing city panoramic views and grab a bite to some of the area’s exceptional taverns.
Thessaloniki has an intriguing past and has always been a crossroad of cultures. Contemporary Thessaloniki is deeply inspired by this past and combines the assets of a modern city with a rich history. The works and restoration on the Port and the New Promenade have created an unparalleled seafront to enjoy walks, seaside parks, a drink or coffee and cultural marvels. The Concert Hall of Thessaloniki frequently hosts numerous noteworthy events and concerts for music lovers.
Every year Thessaloniki also hosts significant cultural and commercial festivities such as the Thessaloniki International Fair (September), the International Book Fair (May), the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November) and Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (March). The Contemporary Art Museum of Thessaloniki, includes works by the most famous modern artists, donated by the famous collector Alexandros Iolas. The Bienale of Contemporary Art is another perfect example of the city’s modern take.