5 Things to Do in Thessaloniki
Greece is among the most popular summertime vacation destinations and things are no different this year. So, if your next spot on your summer travel list is the Birthplace of Democracy, you are guaranteed to have a good time, see many unique ancient sights and make countless fantastic memories. But while most people head either to one of Greece’s 6,000 islands or to the country’s capital, Athens, we recommend that you take a different, much more exciting route – Thessaloniki. Here are some key numbers you should know about this place:
- More than 1 million – the number of people who live in this metropolis, making it the second largest city in Greece
- 315 BC – the year in which it was founded
- 15 – the number of UNESCO sights you can see in the city – more than anywhere else in the country
- Over 30 – the museums you can visit here
Clearly, Thessaloniki is one of Greece’s most interesting gems. And since there are so many things to do and see in this city, we will help you out by giving you a few handy suggestions on how to spend your time there.
Travel back in time
Speaking of time, in Thessaloniki you may feel as if you have stepped into a time machine. As it was already mentioned, there are many museums and one-of-a-kind historic landmarks which you can see here. Among them is the White Tower of Thessaloniki. Today this is a museum where you can learn a lot of things about the city’s history. But in the past, the White Tower was a prison housing. Other great museums you can go to are Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and many more. Don’t forget to also stop by Heptapyrgion, one of the most iconic fortresses on the Balkans, the beautiful neighbourhood of Ano Poli and religious sights like the Church of St Demetrios, Rotonda, the Church of St. Sophia, Vlatadon Monastery… It would take us a really long time to just list the amazing historic sights of this city and it will take you weeks to explore them. Therefore, to make the most of your time in this Greek paradise, rent a car in Thessaloniki and gain the freedom to move freely, quickly and easily around the city.
Pictured: White Tower in Thessaloniki
Get a taste of the local lifestyle
If you go to Thessaloniki, you must also stop by its food markets. Kapani is among the most popular of them and tourists love it since it offers a wide selection of traditional local food. You can also stop by Modiano Market which is the largest enclosed such facility in the city or buy some fresh fruits and veggies from Thessaloniki Farmers’ Market.
Thessaloniki is known for being one of the best party cities in the world. The nightlife scene here is impressive and it features not only modern bars and clubs but also bouzoukia which is a Greek nightclub that features live music performances. In that past, plate smashing was a thing in that kind of places but nowadays this unusual tradition has been replaced by the throwing of safer things such as flowers or napkins.
Take in the beautiful sights
A simple walk on the beach or around some of the many local parks is a must. Thessaloniki is a beautiful city and you need to enjoy the wonderful views which it will offer you.