Thessaloniki shimmers with its own brand of easy-living spirit -all you need to do is let yourself go and have fun. An impressive mix of gastronomic cultures, a rich and varied nightlife, a great history to explore on every step of the way. Do not forget to try the wines!
Don’t rush. Walk. Thessaloniki’s chilled-out attitude is your passport to true relaxation: admire the magnificence of the sea while drinking a coffee at one of the local cafés; catch impro jazz sounds or alternative beats at the hip downtown bars; sample delicious Mediterranean dishes at one of the many picturesque tavernas... Just take your time and enjoy!
City-break lovers will be amazed by the great choice of nightlife on offer, mixing traditions, cultures, the past and the present. Traditional Greek music halls, live music bars, buzzing new venues showcasing the best live acts every night of the week, whatever you’re after, you are sure to find it here. Have a late-night seafood feast at Perea and Aretsou by the seaside, indulge in an oriental sweet at Ano Poli (the old citadel) or wander down to Valaoritou street -the city’s latest hotspot- where you can hang out with people from all walks of life till the small hours. Sounds nice!
ALL KINDS OF TUNES
Cozy little coffee shops and bars in the city centre and the Ladadika port district welcome their guests with all kinds of tunes –from jazz to house, to pop and balkan ethnic- the beats just keep on coming. Breathe. This is the place up north for you to unwind. People’s kindness –their eagerness to help you whenever you need it– will embrace you, making you feel at home, as though among loved ones. The city itself puts you at ease, connecting you to all the places you want to explore via a modern airport, a central railway station, buses and taxis, taking you –within minutes– to the location of your choice: to the city centre for some shopping therapy or to one of the local malls offering a wealth of entertainment venues.
SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP!
Thessaloniki is a paradise on earth for eternal style lovers! The city centre shops in Tsimiski street, Proxenou Koromila street, Mitropoleos street, Egnatia street as well as the two City Centre Shopping Malls, offer a great variety of clothing, shoes and accessories, the creations of international and local brands. A favourite destination among locals is also the Mediterranean Cosmos mall, in Pilea, which combines shopping with recreation in its restaurants, coffee-shops, cinema and bowling alleys. Do not forget to cross the street and explore the Magic Park theme park which boasts roller coasters, rides, a flight simulator, a bungee trampoline, a carousel and much, much more!
Every experience in Thessaloniki starts with a “kalimera” (good morning) and a big bright smile! One thing you will always remember of your time here is the warm hospitality. The hotels offer top-class accommodation, while the people of Thessaloniki are always there to help new city-explorers! The convenience of our urban transport – buses and the metro that is coming soon – adds that extra something that makes you feel at home and allows you to experience all the joys Thessaloniki has to offer.
PEOPLE WITH A BIG HEART!
The people create the warmth reflected by Thessaloniki. Smiley, good natured, carefree and always there to help, the people of the city surround you with warmth so you do not feel like a stranger but an old friend coming back to their hometown. Everybody, from the hotels’ concierges, the bus drivers, the restaurant staff or people on the street, will always welcome you with a big bright smile.
The streets you walk down today still echo with the gallop of ancient legends such as King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. This is the co-reigning city of the Byzantine Empire –in our thousand year old churches you will still hear the same hymns and psalms today. Go back to the Ottomans’ prime in the 16th century, and feel the tides of change as western ideas merge with eastern traditions in this major urban centre. Thessaloniki is the theatre in which the awe- inspiring play of history is performed by a constant movement of cultures. Rejoice in it.
CULTURE OF TASTE
The city is a treasure trove filled with an amazing variety of tastes. Enjoy the local delicacies, bougatsa, koulouri and galaktoboureko, to get a delicious insight into the city spirit. Eastern and western cultures mix in traditional Greek dishes -for lunch or dinner- ideally enjoyed at a local taverna, while gourmet cuisine is also on offer in sumptuous city centre restaurants. No matter where you are in Thessaloniki and what time of day it is, the choices are there for you to explore!
Gourmet restaurants are very popular. The city’s chefs whip up international delights with a contemporary twist scaling new heights in European haute cuisine. Explore the tastes the city is proud of in the city centre, or along Aristotelous street and down its side streets. taste’s good!
The wine roads are a series of suggested routes that give you the chance to experience the production process of local wines, taste them and meet their creators! Take one of the eight organized routes that cross Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus and Thrace, stop at the suggested vineyards, enjoy a glass of wine and admire the majestic natural scenery. It is an aromatic voyage of discovery for the taste buds -one you should not miss out! eat, drink, be merry!
Search out small local tavernas while wandering around the picturesque side streets of Athonos square and Ladadika, in the city centre, or while admiring the monuments of Ano Poli, and order ouzo and meze, to savour a fully authentic local experience. Do not miss out on local “gyros” or the famous “souvlaki” (succulent meat slow-roasted and sliced from the spit or skewered and grilled). You will find them on sale at every turn!
A COLOURFUL PRESENT
Thessaloniki’s legendary past and its unique mix of cultures shape a lively present; a strong student community and teams of young creatives keep the city spirit fresh –the reason Thessaloniki will be the host of the European Youth Capital 2014! New ideas are visible all around and it could not be any other way given that the city is part of the European Union’s Innovation Zone and a centre of major international institutions. The city of number ones –the first ever radio show and TV broadcast in Greece took place here– also hosts a great variety of international events –Thessaloniki International Film Festival brings together movies from all around the world– forming a place full of art.
A FAVOURITE LOCATION FOR NATURE LOVERS!
The National Park of Axios-Loudias-Aliakmon as well as the lakes Volvi and Koronia come together to form a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Suggested eco routes along coastal areas as well as through the forests create great opportunities for walking and bird watching. The idyllic natural environment is the ultimate place for tranquility and a relaxed mini-break from the city buzz.