Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki Large Cover Image

Situated in the northern part of Greece, Thessaloniki stands as a gateway to the Balkans, offering a captivating fusion of cultures, traditions, and flavors.

Often referred to as Greece's second capital, Thessaloniki has an important  place in history. Founded in 315 BC by Cassander, it was named after Alexander the Great's half-sister, Thessalonike. Throughout the centuries, the city has been shaped by lots of different influences, including Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Jewish, leaving behind a tapestry of architectural wonders and cultural treasures.

The city's most iconic landmark is the White Tower, an imposing structure that proudly stands on the waterfront. With a history dating back to the Ottoman period, the tower offers panoramic views of the city and provides a glimpse into Thessaloniki's past through its museum exhibits.

As you wander through the city's streets, you'll discover an array of historical gems. The Rotunda, originally built as a Roman mausoleum, later served as a church and then a mosque, showcasing its multi-layered history. The nearby Arch of Galerius and the Roman Forum are a reflection of  Thessaloniki's Roman past. The city is also home to an impressive number of Byzantine churches, including the stunning Hagios Demetrios, dedicated to the patron saint of Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki's  cultural scene is everywhere, in its numerous museums and art galleries. The Museum of Byzantine Culture houses an exquisite collection of Byzantine art and artifacts, while the Archaeological Museum includes treasures from the region's ancient past. If you’re a contemporary art enthusiast you can explore the State Museum of Contemporary Art, which you’ll find  in a former warehouse transformed into a cultural hub.

Food lovers will delight in Thessaloniki's restaurents. It’s also renowned for its vibrant food markets, such as Modiano and Kapani, where you can discover a tapestry of colors, aromas, and flavors. Try the delicious Greek cuisine and taste local delicacies like bougatsa (a sweet or savory pastry), souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), and retsina (traditional Greek wine).

Thessaloniki is a city that embraces its youthful energy and intellectual spirit. With a large student population, the city comes alive with a thriving nightlife, bustling cafés, and trendy bars. The Aristotelous Square, the heart of the city, is a busy meeting point where locals and visitors gather to socialise, enjoy a coffee, or simply appreciate the atmosphere.

Activities

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