The City

Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and the most important centre of the area. Built near the sea (at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf), it is a modern metropolis bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which gives it a special beauty and charm.

Take a tour in the centre of Thessaloniki and plan to visit its nearby destinations. Also, while being in Thessaloniki it is worth going up to Halkidiki and Olympus mountain.

Thessaloniki

Taste Thessaloniki's flavours. Thessaloniki is one of the most famous centers of gastronomy in Greece, suitable for every budget and appetite. Your food experience will be marked for ever in this beautiful city.

Thessaloniki Nightlife. Nights in Thessaloniki are an unforgettable experience! The most famous travel magazines and websites discovered one after another the nightlife of the city. In fact, National Geographic included Thessaloniki in the list of the top cities with the best nightlife worldwide! Thessaloniki has more cafés per capita than any other European city.
 

Visit Thessaloniki's Archaeological sites
  • The ancient forum (dated to the late 2nd or the early 3rd century AD) with squares, porticoes, additional buildings and odeum (293-395 AD), the palace complex of Galerius Maximianus (4th c. AD), the thermae, the hippodrome, the temples and other monuments and moveable finds (among them mosaics of exquisite art) brought to light in excavations and surveys. In the south square, is the famous Stoa of the Idols, which was two-storeyed and lavishly decorated.

  • The Triumphal Arch of Galerius (Kamara), built in AD 305 to commemorate his military successes in general in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. 

  • The Rotunda is an early 4th century building which later was converted into a Christian church. 

Visit Thessaloniki's Byzantine monuments
  • The churches of Acheiropoietos (5th century) a three-aisled, timber-roofed basilica, the Holy Wisdom of God (Hagia Sophia) (7th century), the Panaghia (Virgin) Chalkeon (1028), Hosios David (12thcentury), St Panteleemon (late 13th or the early 14th century), is of four-columned cross-in-square type, Ayioi Apostoloi (1310-1314),Taxiarches (14th century), Panagouda a three-aisled basilica with significant icons, Agios  Ioannis Prodromos (Nymphaion), Vlatadon monastery a 14th century foundation of which only the katholikon and two cisterns within the precinct survive, Ayios Demetrios a splendid basilica dedicated to the patron saint and protector of the city, etc. 

  • The byzantine walls of the city.

  • The byzantine bathhouse (late thirteenth century).

  • The Heptapyrgion castle was raised in stages, from the early years of the Byzantine Age into the Ottoman period.

Amazing Ottoman monuments
  • The White Tower (15th century), the hallmark of the city.

  • The Mosques of the Hamza Bey Cami (15th century), the Aladja Imaret Cami (1484) and the Yeni Cami  (1902).

  • Bezesteni, a rectangular building with lead-covered domes and four entraces was built in the late fifteenth century and operated as a cloth market. 

Discover neighbourhoods and focal points in the city
  • The Old City (Ano Polis), in which many notable examples of Ottoman and traditional Macedonian architecture still stand, alongside humble dwellings put up by the refugees who reached Thessaloniki in droves, after the Greek defeat in Asia Minor, in 1922.

  • The historical quarter of the Ladadika. In recent years, a series of interventions to rehabilitate the urban fabric have helped to enhance the Ladadika as a quarter for leisure pursuits.

  • The traditional markets: the Modiano, which is housed in a rectangular building of 1922, with pedimented facade and glass roof; the Kapani or Vlalis market; Athonos Square and the ‘Louloudadika’ (literally flower market).

  • Vasilissis Olgas Avenue, lined with many representative Neoclassical buildings and examples of late 19thcentury eclectic architecture.

  • The central Aristotelous Square, surrounded by monumental buildings and open to the waterfront for a width of 100 metres.

Places of interest near Thessaloniki
-1 to 2 hours far from the center-
  • Mount Olympus is  the highest mountain in Greece. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between the regional units of Pieria and Larissa, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks, deep gorges. The highest peak, Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence. Olympus is notable in Greek mythology as the home of the Greek gods, on Mytikas peak. It is also noted for its exceptional biodiversity and rich flora. It has been a National Park, the first in Greece, since 1938. It is also a World Biosphere Reserve. Every year, thousands of visitors admire its fauna and flora, tour its slopes, and climb its peaks. Organized mountain refuges and various mountaineering and climbing routes are available. The usual starting point for climbing Olympus is the town of Litochoro, on the eastern foothills of the mountain, 100 km (62 mi) from Thessaloniki.

  • Skra Blue Lagoon. To reach Axioupoli it is most possible to cross Axios River, which is mentioned on Homer's Iliad as Peones, who used to live in the area, fought in the Troy war. The Natural History Museum is one of the best in Greece, the LibraryMega Rema, the Statue of Liberty in the main square and the Metalio Lake, the big plane tree, which according to legend has been there since the era of Alexander the Great. Last but not least, it is worth visiting the Blue Lake on mountain Paiko. It is situated between village Koupa and village of Skra, which is internationally famous for the Battle of Skra-di-Legen that took place there during the first World War, on 17 May 1917.

  • Chalkidiki is a peninsula and regional unit of Greece, part of the Region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece. Chalkidiki has been a popular summer tourist destination since the late 1950s when people from Thessaloniki started spending their summer holidays in the coastal villages. Chalkidiki has some of the best beaches world wide famous for their crystal clear water covered with thick forest around them.

  • The cave of Alistrati is considered to be as one of the finest and largest in Greece, and possibly in Europe, where nature show its greatest power of creation.  
    At the entrance of the cave is the hall, a very nice room of 8 m height. From there start several galleries with great height and rich decoration of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave has also many levels that are unexplored yet. 

    Mythology According to the Greek mythology in the canyon of river Aggitis, which crosses the Alistrati region, at the site "Petroto" appeared the Sphinx. 
    It’s also stated that Pluto the god of Adis, when he stole Persephone, daughter of Demetra, led her to the canyon, where is the Gate of Adis . The area, that mythology referred to is located close to the cave of Alistrati.

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