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Six Reasons to Visit Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki. Credit: Tefvik Teker/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city and the capital of Macedonia, is both historic and avant-garde, and an ideal destination for a short city break.

The city has a lot to offer travelers in addition to its classic history and architecture.

Here are several reasons why you should consider exploring mesmerizing Thessaloniki this summer!

Experience Thessaloniki’s incredible nightlife

Thessaloniki has some of the best and biggest universities in the country, and thanks in part to its huge student population the city has some of the greatest nightlife in the Balkans.

Whether you want a cozy night out at a small bar along Nikis Boulevard, prefer barhopping on Valaoritou and Syngrou, or want to go dancing all night at Mylos Warehouse, Thessaloniki has something for everyone.

Stroll along the historic waterfront or take a boat ride on the Thermaic Gulf

white tower
Thessaloniki’s waterfront and its iconic White Tower. Credit: ΣΟΛΑΚΙΔΗΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΙΟΣ /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The city’s stunning historic waterfront is perfect for evening strolls and daytime exploration.

Don’t forget to stop and admire Thessaloniki’s famous White Tower and grab some snacks from the street vendors.

The Tower is by far Thessaloniki’s most iconic monument. The ancient city, located in northern Greece, has a rich history stretching from antiquity to the modern era but is most noted for its importance during the Byzantine period.

Currently, the monument is home to a museum that lays out the history of Thessaloniki. Visitors can climb up the Tower’s winding stairs until they reach its fascinating exhibition space.

You can also climb aboard one of Thessaloniki’s floating bars and cruise the Gulf of Thermaikos while enjoying the company of your friends and loved ones.

Experience Thessaloniki’s incredible museums and culture

Thessaloniki’s Museum of Byzantine Culture. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Thessaloniki has a reputation as a highly artistic city with plenty of events and institutions to exhibit art, history, and films to aficionados.

Definitely check out the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the Archaeological Museum, but don’t forget to visit the smaller museums, such as the Folk and Ethnographic Museum and the Teloglion Foundation of Art.

Taste the local sweets

Bougatsa. Credit: avlxyz /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Throughout Greece, Thessaloniki is especially known for its sweets, such as the tsoureki from a shop named Terkenlis.

Local shops sell plenty of Eastern desserts, and the city is famous for its bougatsa—try some along with strong, local coffee in one of the many hip coffee shops around town.

Explore the alternative side of Thessaloniki

The neighbourhood of Ladadika has become very popular in recent years as a local hangout spot, though the area was originally home to commercial facilities.

The old spaces have been turned into trendy bars and restaurants where the city’s young people often hang out.

For another great hangout spot for the young, check out the area around Rotunda and Aristotelous Square.

You will find everything from thrift shops, gyro shops, and bars to tattoo studios here, as well as plenty of people hanging out late into the night.

Visit the seaside paradise of Halkidiki

Tigana Beach in Sithonia, Halkidiki. Credit:Nicolas Hadjidimitriou /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Halkidiki is a strikingly beautiful peninsula in Northern Greece made up of three “legs”, all boasting many different attractions for travelers. Despite being one of Greece’s premier domestic tourist destinations, Halkidiki (or Chalkidiki) can be overlooked by international travelers.

Halkidiki is the perfect place to relax in the summertime, offering many opportunities for those who prefer to take their vacations in quieter, more natural surroundings.

Halkidiki is very popular among those who prefer camping holidays since it has many organized campgrounds which cater to budget-conscious travelers who enjoy their vacations immersed in nature.

Most campgrounds are placed on or adjoining one of the many beautiful beaches in the area, making them perfect for beach lovers.

Due to Halkidiki’s proximity to Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, it is a perfect getaway for those visiting Northern Greece. Halkidiki is located about 40 km (25 miles) from Thessaloniki—only a short car or bus ride away.

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