Historical monuments, influences of different cultures and countless shopping opportunities - we reveal our best tips for a Thessaloniki city break!
7 Exciting Facts About Thessaloniki
- Thessaloniki was founded in 315 B.C.
- With around 1.2 million inhabitants, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece (as of March 2021) - right after Athens
- Thessaloniki was under Turkish rule until 1912
- The city is often just called "Saloniki"
- The average annual temperature is around 21 °C
- On average, the sun shines for 7 hours a day in Thessaloniki
- On clear days, you can even see the Mount Olympus from Thessaloniki's shores
All Thessaloniki Highlights at a Glance
7 Tips for Your City Trip to Thessaloniki
1. Explore the Many Sights of Thessaloniki
In the Greek port city, you will come across historical buildings, sights or monuments at almost every corner. Particularly interesting: the city's landmark, the White Tower, and the city wall. The White Tower is located directly on the Thessaloniki waterfront and serves as a Byzantine museum nowadays. Its origins, however, could never really be clarified. Those interested in buildings from the Greco-Roman period should put the Galerius Palace, the Roman Forum and the Rotunda of Galerius on their list. The Bey Hamam, Aigli Geni Hamam or Bezesteni, on the other hand, are masterpieces from the Ottoman period and definitely worth a visit. There is a lot to discover!
2. Visit One of the Museums in Thessaloniki
A city that has as much to tell as Thessaloniki naturally needs enough space to present its stories. For this reason, you will find several museums in Thessaloniki where you can learn more about the city's past. For example, in the Byzantine Museum, which was even declared "Museum of the Year" in Europe in 2005. But you can also learn about the history of Greece, Macedonia and Thessaloniki in the Archaeological Museum. However, the museum is very large, so you should bring enough time with you. The fact that the Greek port city was influenced by numerous religions and cultures is something you will not just learn from our next point, but also in the Jewish Museum. The Jewish community of Thessaloniki was once very large and had a huge impact on the city's history.
3. Discover the Religious Diversity of Thessaloniki
Over the many centuries and dominations, different cultures and religions have shaped the cityscape and population. In addition to numerous Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, you will also find several mosques and synagogues. Particularly worth seeing: the Hamza Bey Mosque and the Alatza Imaret Mosque. The Monastirioton Synagogue, on the other hand, is one of the most important synagogues in the city. But of course, the masterpieces of the Greek Orthodox Church are also more than just impressive. You should definitely pay a visit to Hagios Demetrios, Hagia Sophia or the Church of the Holy Apostles.
4. Stroll Along Thessaloniki's Waterfront Promenade
Although Thessaloniki does not have a city beach, it does have a beautiful waterfront promenade. It stretches for several kilometres and is ideal for a long and relaxing walk. You have got a constant view of the sea and on a clear day, you can even see all the way to the Mount Olympus. If you need a coffee, snack or drink in between, you will certainly find what you are looking for in one of the numerous cafés, restaurants and bars.
5. Go on a Shopping Tour in Thessaloniki
Do you fancy a bit of shopping in addition to all the sightseeing? Well then, Thessaloniki is the place to be! Whether luxury brands or second-hand, whether clothes or jewellery - the port city has something to offer for every taste. It's not for nothing that Thessaloniki is known as the Greek fashion capital and attracts many locals from different regions to stock up on the latest fashions. In the city centre, you will find one shop after another, but especially around Aristotle Square and along the Aristotle Street, you are well prepared for an extensive shopping tour.
6. Taste Through the Greek Cuisine
It is well-known that the Greek cuisine is one of the best and most popular cuisines in the world. So, of course, it's only natural that you should try the local cuisine in Greece's second-largest city. You can do this in a particularly authentic and traditional atmosphere at Prytanio, Kanoula or Lola Ouzeri, for example. If you prefer modern and urban cuisine, try Blackhaus, Odos Delfon or Marea Sea Spirit. Vegetarians, on the other hand, can enjoy some Greek highlights at Roots Vegan & Vegetarian Place. And what you should definitely try on a Thessaloniki city trip: Bougatsa. Bougatsa is a local puff pastry that is available both hearty, for example with cheese or minced meat, and sweet, for example with semolina pudding. A dream come true for all foodies!
7. Take a trip from Thessaloniki
Although Thessaloniki doesn't have its own beach, you have plenty of options to get to a nearby beach quickly. During the season, you can take a ferry to Peraia or Neoi Epivates within 45 minutes. The beaches are ideal for spending a relaxing day by the sea. Those who would like to visit the dream beaches of Chalkidiki, such as Nea Kallikratia or Nea Moudania, need to bring a little more time. However, there are very good train connections and you can also reach the beaches within one and a half to two hours with a rental car.
Flights to Thessaloniki With Austrian Airlines
Thessaloniki is diverse, Thessaloniki has a lot to offer and Thessaloniki is definitely worth a trip. So, what are you waiting for? Book your next flight with Austrian Airlines right here and enjoy the Greek sun at the port of Thessaloniki soon: