City break in Thessaloniki
The beautiful and multi-sung Thessaloniki or Salonika is one of the most captivating destinations of Greece. Ottoman mosques, Roman columns, early Christian and Byzantine churches, countless local delicacies and endless nightlife compose a perfect "city break" destination. Three days exploring the “city of Vardar” are enough to discover some of its most beautiful and interesting places.
You can start exploring the second biggest city of Greece and also known as co-capital by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the nearby Museum of Byzantine Culture. Continue your day with a stroll through ΔΕΘ (Thessaloniki International Trade Fair), where you will have the opportunity to visit the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy your coffee in OTE Tower. From there, go down to the White Tower and the imposing statue of the equestrian Alexander the Great. When it's dinner time, head to Athonos square and select one of the beautiful taverns found there. After enjoying your meal, it is worth taking a ride on the city’s tourist train. An alternative proposal for those in love is a cruise in Thermaikos Gulf with boats anchored near the White Tower. In the evening, choose one of the crowded bars located on Nikis (Victory) Avenue. You can also enjoy a drink on Nikiforos Fokas pedestrian, listening to soul sounds, jazz, bossa and rock, under the White Tower. For a more alternative night-out, bars on Valaoritou street are a perfect choice.
The second day in Thessaloniki can start with a tour to the center of the town. Start by the amazing Rotunda; a circular domed building, reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome which now houses art and temporary exhibitions. Within walking distance from Rotunda, you will find the triumphal Arch of Galerius (Kamara); the imposing monument with the reliefs. Continue your stroll to Thessaloniki by enjoying a coffee in either the beautiful Navarino Square or the famous Aristotle Square. From there, you can do your shopping at the nearby Tsimiski and Metropoleos streets. It is also worth visiting Modiano gallery, which seems to have sprung from bygone eras! There, you will find shops separated by kind (fishmongers, butchers, etc.), as well as some cafés and taverns. In the afternoon, you can take a relaxing stroll along the promenade: start from the warehouses in the port, pass Aristotle square, leave behind you the White Tower and the statue of Alexander the Great and continue to the New Beach which now reaches Thessaloniki Concert Hall. Walking next to Thermaikos Gulf, you will feel the unique energy, the pervasive melancholy, as well as the city's eroticism. At night, visit the historic Ladadika for food or drink.
The third day can begin with a visit to the preserved settlement of Ano Poli (Upper Town), which unfolds at the highest point of Thessaloniki, offering breathtaking views. The cobbled streets, the austere buildings of Macedonian folk architecture with enclosed balconies and loggias, the historical squares, the stone stairs and the walls of the castle will wake the romantic and nostalgic side of you! In the authentic neighborhoods of Ano Poli, you will find traditional ouzo-taverns, which will introduce you to the secrets of the local gastronomy. Continue your day with a walk to Kalamarià and the picturesque Nea Krini. There, you will find café/bars overlooking the deep blue sea, as well as some of the most beautiful fish restaurants in the city. In Nea Krini, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing sunset with sea view! Here, the magical journey to "Thermaikos’ Bride" as Thessaloniki is alternatively called ends! That’s the best way to end your visit to Thessaloniki; the image of Thermaikos Gulf bathed in the shades of the red sun...
In Thessaloniki, throughout the year various cultural events, including Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, the largest trade show in the country, held annually in September, are held. This exhibition is open to the public, while at the same time artistic events are organized. Another important event is the International Film Festival, usually held in mid-November. Additionally, there is the Documentary Film Festival, held annually in March. Finally, throughout the year, very interesting events in Thessaloniki Concert Hall take place. It is worth being informed about current cultural events and choosing whichever best suits your taste. A separate proposal is a day trip to the fascinating archaeological sites of Vergina or Amphipolis, as well as a visit to the majestic Meteora.