Thessaloniki

Greece’s “second city,” the cultural capital of Thessaloniki, is a seafront metropolis with a fabulous waterfront lined with inviting cafes, a fascinating walled old town and former Turkish quarter with narrow streets and traditional tavernas. It boasts Roman ruins and Ottoman alleyways along with a rich culinary scene and colorful food markets. Wine enthusiasts will find lots to love as well, with some of the nation’s very best wines produced here, something that’s reflected in the extensive array of bars and restaurants.

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Thessaloniki At A Glance

Average Flight Time from the UK to Thessaloniki 3 hours, 20 minutes

Population of Thessaloniki 
1.1 million

What to See in Thessaloniki 
Take a stroll along the fascinating promenade, Visit the Crypt of Agios Demetrios, Explore the museum of Byzantine Culture, Enjoy the restaurants in the Ladadika district

Towns or islands to visit near Thessaloniki  Visit the Halkidiki area for some of the finest beaches in Europe, Thassos, Limnos, Kavala, Pelion Peninsula, Volos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos

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Preferred Hotels in Thessaloniki

Things to do in Thessaloniki

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Named after the half-sister of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki has a fascinating story behind it as part of the kingdom of Ancient Macedonia as well as being a Roman metropolis at one time. You can learn more about it at this extensive museum that covers seven eras from prehistoric times to the early Christian period

Arch of Galerius and Rotunda

View the Arch of Galerius and Rotunda

View a glimpse of the city’s Roman history by visiting these two original Roman structures that date from the 4th-century AD and originally formed part of the same magnificent complex. You’ll be able to see hand-carved battle scenes on the pillars of the Arch which depict events from the 298 AD Persian campaign. The stout Rotunda has been a Roman temple, Christian house of worship and a mosque, and features some spectacular mosaics.

Museum of Byzantine Culture

Explore the Museum of Byzantine Culture

This expansive museum showcases thousands of artifacts from Byzantine and Pre-Christian time, including wall paintings, ceramics, rescued arches from historic buildings, frescoes and mosaics. The permanent exhibits focus on early Christians, their beliefs, daily life and rituals and include a number of early Christian tombs and graves that were excavated in the city.

yzantince chuch of Hagia Sophia or Agias

See the Hagia Sophia

One of the city’s oldest Byzantine churches, the Haga Sophia is a domed basilica that has witnessed everything from the Iconoclastic wars to the Crusades and Ottoman rule. After the 1917 fire it was restored, and today visitors are often most impressed with its interior that includes beautiful wall-wall-wall decorations with paintings and mosaics that date as far back as the 11th-century.

White Tower in Thessaloniki, Greece

Go Inside the White Tower

The circular whitewashed tower on the waterfront is the iconic symbol of the Thessaloniki. Just like the city, it’s quite storied, formerly occupying a corner of the Ottoman and Byzantine defenses before many of the walls were destroyed in the late 19th-century. It was a jail during Ottoman rule and the site of numerous torture victims, nicknamed the “tower of blood.” Today its interior houses a large museum that showcases life in various periods in the city, along with multiple artifacts and a home dating to the Byzantine period, including typical furnishings of the time.

Nightlife

Sample the Nightlife

One of the hottest nightlife spots in the city is in Ladadika, a neighborhood between the port and historic center. Its colorful neoclassic buildings that surround clubs traditional tavernas, bars and late-night cafes. But you won’t want to miss sipping a drink or two in one of the floating boat bars like the Arabella Boat Bar. A pirate-style ship, it brings passengers on sunset cruises along the gulf, complete with an open bar and dancing.

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Our Favourite Restaurants & Bars

Dia Thalassis

Dia Thalassis Restaurant

For fresh fish and seafood in Thessaloniki, Dia Thalassis is the place to go. A locals’ favorite, it’s renowned for offering the freshest you’ll find on the market with the catch arriving daily. A cozy, family-run eatery set off the beaten path, dishes are based on Greek cuisine and served in an especially relaxed atmosphere. On weekends enjoy it with live guitar and bouzouki. The fish is prepared with various mixes of Asian herbs, like the sea pastirma codfish, and you’ll find a good selection of wines to accompany it too. Save room for the dessert, traditional Greek doughnuts with honey.

Mezedopoleio O Kastas

Mezedopoleio O Kostas

A true hidden gem tucked away with signs all in Greek, Mezedopoleio is worth discovering for its menu of Greek cuisine using traditional cooking methods. It features a variety of fish and meat dishes and a popular handmade potato pancake in a very hospitable, intimate environment that makes for especially enjoyable, long meals complete with diachronic songs from Greek singers. All dishes are original using the freshest local ingredients, including grapevine leaves, roasted octopus and perfectly cooked squid alongside simply cooked but flavorful produce.

Mia Feta

Mia Feta

Mia Feta feta bar, as the name belies, pays tribute to this popular Greek classic. It offers an innovative menu featuring high quality, local ingredients delivered each day from its own dairy. Enjoy everything from coffee with yogurt topped with linseed, pomegranate and honey for breakfast to award-winning cheeses paired with fine Greek wines. All items on the seasonal menus are available to buy in its store, including truffled feta, a full range of Kourellas products and delicacies from artisans across the country.

Clochard

Chlochard

Opened back in 1979, Chlochard quickly became a favorite and has been impressing ever since – in fact it’s been a frequent winner of the “Toque d’Or” prize. Enjoy an elegant, charming atmosphere while dining on cuisine that blends traditional, international and eastern fare using homemade recipes and the freshest ingredients. The owner/host carefully selects all food products to ensure they’re the highest quality, with available dishes based on what’s currently available. Items include hot and cold appetizers like fish of the day carpaccio and a variety of cheeses, grilled seafood and moussaka, while mains might include dishes like Black Angus ribeye, salmon and duck breast.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia

Located at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, Ambrosia is popular with both locals and visitors. Enjoy a gorgeous setting where on a warm evening you can dine outside with a view of the swimming pool and waterfall. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, some of the popular items on the menu include meat dishes like succulent pork, tender beef and juicy lamb, as well as tiger prawns and seafood Orzo. Service is friendly, attentive and welcoming and the atmosphere is especially relaxing, with frequent live music adding a wonderful touch.