The second-largest Greek city combines a rich multicultural history, advanced facilities and a relaxed atmosphere, which is quite uncommon for such a densely inhabited place. The ‘Bride of Thermaikos’, is a charming city that will satisfy all tastes. In the following lines, you will read about some top museums, sights and areas you should visit while in Thessaloniki. Just Storage yourluggage at Lockerbox and enjoy the tour hands-free!
Αno Poli is one of the few areas of Thessaloniki that was not destroyed by the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917. It is located north of Agios Dimitrios, on the highest point of the city and extends to the Byzantine walls. The residencies of the area with their narrow streets are authentic samples of the Macedonian and the Balkan architectural tradition and compose a picturesque peaceful atmosphere away from the urban rhythms of the city’s center. Ano Poli is a great way to get familiarized with the local tastes and enjoy a fascinating view of Thessaloniki from above.
Ladadika is the nightlife hotspot of Thessaloniki, attracting countless locals, students and tourists every night. Colorful neoclassical buildings surround bars, cafeterias, traditional taverns, tsipouradika and clubs in a unique mixture of the old with the new that will fascinate and satisfy everyone. The place was named ‘ladadika‘ after the first shops of the area that were focused on selling oil (‘ladi‘ in Greek) and oil products during the Ottoman occupation.
3.Τhe Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Τhe Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was established in 1912 and it is located in a building that was designed by the Greek architect Patroklos Karantinos. It hosts findings from the wider area of Thessaloniki that represent the Macedonian culture from the prehistoric years until the later antiquity. Some of its most notable exhibits are the head of Serapis, the statue of Harocrates, gold medals and Medusa heads.
4.Museum of Byzantine Culture
The museum of Byzantine Culture is one of the most modern museums in Greece, presenting a complete picture of the Byzantine culture through interesting exhibitions and other activities. Its objects come from the area of Macedonia and especially Thessaloniki, which is closely connected with Byzantine history and tradition. The museum’s objects (that include sculptures, mosaics, wall paintings, coins, ceramics and manuscripts) are presented in 11 halls according to thematic units, based on the scientific museological approach that each object cannot be conceived as an individual artifact, but can only be substantially approached through its inclusion in the society that created it.
The living symbol of Thessaloniki is world famous and carries a rich history. The White Tower was constructed during the 15th century in the place of a previous Byzantine fortification and was later reconstructed by the Ottomans. Through the passage of time the Tower was used as fortification, but also as a famous prison (called ‘Tower of Blood’, for obvious reasons). It was named White Tower in 1891, when it was whitewashed. Nowadays, the tower is open to the public and the visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing panoramic view from its top. Inside you will find a very interesting museum, which focuses on the history of Thessaloniki and the tower, plus there’s a gift shop.
Thessaloniki’s New Waterfront is evidence that architecture can change the world by changing public space and improving daily urban life. The secret is to implement intelligent, citizen-oriented design that enables local people to meaningfully inhabit their cities. Recipient of numerous architectural awards, this 3.5km walkway that extends from the White Tower to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, was designed by architects Prodromos Nikiforidis and Bernard Cuomo. Completed in 2013, it has been embraced by Thessalonikians with absolute delight.
8. Church of Agia Sofia
At the east end of Hermes Street (Odós Ermoú), the Church of Saint Sophia (Ayía Sofía) is one of the town’s most important historic churches. The domed church was built in the eighth century on a three-aisled cruciform plan. In the ninth and 10th centuries, after the iconoclastic conflict, the church was decorated with expressive figural mosaics, including the Mother of God mosaic in the apse and a magnificent representation of the Ascension mosaic in the dome. Also notable are the capitals of the columns, believed to be from a fifth-century building. From 1204 to 1430, the Church of Saint Sophia was the town’s metropolitan church (cathedral). During the Turkish period, it was converted into a mosque, the Aya Sofya Camii. The building was restored after a fire in 1890 and survived the great fire of 1917 unscathed.
9. Local Market
To get to the heart of a place, you have to dig deep and experience local culture – this translates to visiting their markets, cafes, and soaking in the atmosphere of the local people’s day-to-day lives. At the Modiano Market, my senses were stimulated by the sight of vibrant and colourful arrays of produce, smell of aromatic spices, and the sound of enthusiastic shop-keepers promoting their goods.
Even though you dont’ buy anything or understant the language, you will certainly feel the spirit and warmth of the city through their marketplace. In addition, there are many quaint alleys near the market that housed eclectic cafes and restaurants, which are perfect for a short coffee-break.
10. Eat a “Bougatsa” of course
The north of Greece is famous for its excellent filo pastries, and queen among them is the bougatsa – layers of flaky dough with fillings of cream, spinach, cheese, or seasoned chopped meat, hacked into bite-sized pieces.Very few artisans still turn out bougatsa with hand-stretched dough.