"Home to monuments from it's Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past, Thessaloniki is a fascinating place to visit for history lovers!"
Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece, a vibrant metropolitan city, which has always bridged east and west, it offers beautiful beaches, a picturesque harbour, several places of historical interest, delicious local cuisine and a fun nightlife, creating a holiday experience, which everyone will enjoy. It welcomes people of all ages, with great educational activities for children, teenagers and their parents. It is ideal for people who want to explore Northern Greece or central Macedonia, however, it also works perfectly well as a destination in and of itself. There are also many Roman relics to see as well as Ottoman monuments, such as the White Tower and the Bezesteni. Nowadays it is known for its cultural events and festivals. There are also excellent restaurants, museums and nightlife in this city.
This all serves to make Thessaloniki the perfect destination, for those who want to explore its cultural riches and enjoy its delicious cuisine and great nature.
Thessaloniki Travel Guide
At A Glance:
Considered the second largest city on the Greek mainland, it has a population of 354,290 and is the capital of Central Macedonia, sitting on the Themaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. It is a modern metropolitan seaside city, with everything that you could want in a holiday, including a rich history, plenty of natural beauty and the sapphire waters of the Aegean Sea.
Thessaloniki has a temperate, warm climate for the majority of the year. The hottest months are June, July and August, when the average temperature is normally well above 25 degrees and reaches highs of more than 30 degrees. Temperatures in autumn and spring are warm without being oppressive with September having highs of 29 degrees, which falls down to around 14 degrees in November, with the process going in reverse during the Spring. This makes Thessaloniki the ideal tourist destination for sun-seekers.
History and Culture
Its history shows that it was discovered during the Macedonian heyday, in 315 BC, just thirty years after Alexander the Great had conquered the world. It is named after the Thessalian horsemen who helped Alexander’s father Phillip defeat the Phocians, with the name literally meaning victory of the Thessalians in Greek. By Roman times its crucial strategic location, meant that it was a vital and flourishing city, which was visited by the Apostle Paul. Once the Roman Empire split, it became the second most important city in the Byzantine empire, after Constantinople. This meant that it became an attractive target for the Ottomans, conquering it in 1430, building many mosques and castles. It became a part of mainland Greece in 1912, and became a hotbed of anti-Nazi sentiment, against the pro-German king.
Linking east and west, it combines exotic eastern spices, with hearty Mediterranean flavours. It is also a harbour town, ensuring that there is a wide selection of fresh fish, such as red mullet, small sardines and squid. The city is especially famous for its souvlaki: sliced pork meat in circular pitta bread, with potatoes, onions, tomato and tzatziki. The region is also well-known for its sweet, with mpougatsa pie, a cream filled pie spiced with cinnamon being especially flavoursome. The size of the city also means that you will find a large variety of international restaurants as well.
Featuring a range of great family-friendly activities, it is the perfect destination for family holidays. The Magic Park, has a wide-selection of rides for people of all ages, along with a playground, making it ideal for a family day out. The NOESIS science and technology museum combines a large number of interactive exhibits, with a 3D cinema, a simulator and a planetarium. Slightly outside of the city is the Seich Sou forest, which is ideal for active families who want to get out and explore nature. While, the harbour and beaches provide plenty of opportunity for aquatic fun that the whole family will enjoy.
Tours and Attractions
There are a variety of tours and attractions in Thessaloniki, which visitors are sure to enjoy. Agios Dimitrios and the attached catacombs are a fascinating and educational attraction, ideal for families and history lovers. While the famous White Tower, a symbol of the city, is also a great day out. The city also hosts a variety of interesting museums including the archaeological museum, the Byzantine museum and NOEIS, which touch on both Eastern history, Western history and science.
Events and Festivities
The Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is held every September and lasts for 10 days, it is usually attended by the Greek Prime Minister and is crucial for links between Greece and its Balkan neighbours. The International Film Festival takes place in Autumn and combines international films, with local films, to make for an excellent event that aficionados of cinema are sure to enjoy. The city also holds an international photography festival, featuring the best of Greek photography.
As the second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, has a vibrant and buzzing nightlife, which offers something for every taste. Foremost of these are the many cool nightclubs, featuring a selection of music, including modern pop, electro, rock and Greek. There is also an exciting local music scene, which takes place in the many cafes and bars of the city. Thessaloniki also caters for those who want something quieter, with many tavernas that stay open late into the evening combining delicious food, with great wine for the perfect experience.