Difference between revisions of "Thessaloniki"

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There are many hotels in the area a few blocks north of Aristotelous square in the city center. Some of these are a bit upmarket, but if business is down it is worth shopping around - they might give you a good discount, rather than turn you away.
There are many hotels in the area a few blocks north of Aristotelous square in the city center. Some of these are a bit upmarket, but if business is down it is worth shopping around - they might give you a good discount, rather than turn you away.
* <sleep name="El Greco Hotel" alt="" address="23 Egnatia Street." directions="5 minutes walk from Aristotelous Square on Egnatia Street" phone="+30 231 0520620" url="http://www.hotelelgreco.gr" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="40.63908" long="22.93806" email="[email protected]"> 3 star hotel in the heart of Thessaloniki. Free Parking lot, free WiFi and free Airport Pick-Up.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Heaven Hotel" alt="" address="Tagarades, Thessaloniki, Macedonia" phone="+30 239 2072701" url="http://www.heavenhotel.gr" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]"> Between the verdurous hills of Tagarades with panoramic views of the city and Thermaic Gulf.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Heaven Hotel" alt="" address="Tagarades, Thessaloniki, Macedonia" phone="+30 239 2072701" url="http://www.heavenhotel.gr" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]"> Between the verdurous hills of Tagarades with panoramic views of the city and Thermaic Gulf.</sleep>
* <sleep name="El Greco Hotel" alt="" address="23 Egnatia Street." directions="" phone="+30 231 0520620" url="http://www.hotelelgreco.gr" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]hotelelgreco.gr"> 3 star hotel in the heart of Thessaloniki. Parking lot and free WiFi.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Zaliki Boutique Hotel" alt="" address="6 Gr. Zaliki" directions="2 minutes walk from Aristotelous sqaure" phone="+30 231 0226400" url="http://www.zalikihotel.gr" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="40.63849" long="22.94253" email="[email protected]zalikihotel.gr"> Luxurious Boutique Hotel next to Aristotelous with free parking, free airport pickup and free WiFi.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Rotonda Hotel" alt="" address="97 Monastiriou Street" directions="" phone="+30 231 0517121" url="http://www.hotelrotonda.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="40.64563" long="22.92512" email="[email protected]"> Entering the city of Thessaloniki with free parking, free airport pickup and free WiFi.</sleep>
* <sleep name="City Hotel" address="11 Komninon St." phone="+30 2310 269421" email="" url="http://cityhotel.gr/ct/index.asp">4 star.</sleep>
* <sleep name="City Hotel" address="11 Komninon St." phone="+30 2310 269421" email="" url="http://cityhotel.gr/ct/index.asp">4 star.</sleep>

Revision as of 14:54, 30 March 2013

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is the city's landmark

Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, Selanik in Turkish and Солун, Solun (Солун) in South Slavic languages) [27], also known as Thessalonica (pron.: /ˌθɛsəlɵˈnaɪkə/ or pron.: /ˌθɛsəˈlɒnɪkə/) and Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia.

At about about a million inhabitants, it is considered Greece's cultural capital, renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general and has recently been ranked by Lonely Planet as the world's fifth-best party city worldwide. More importantly, it is also a city with a continuous 3,000 year old history; preserving relics of its Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman past and of its formerly dominant Jewish population. Many of its Byzantine churches, and a whole district of the city in particular, are included in UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Get in

By plane

Thessaloniki is served by Macedonia International Airport (IATA: SKG) for international and domestic flights. The airport lies 15 km southeast of the city center and is connected directly with the following national and international destinations:


There are daily flights from Athens airport by Olympic Air [28] and Aegean Airlines [29] (50 minutes). During summer, both Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines have direct flights daily from Rhodes, Crete (Heraklion and Chania), Mykonos and [Santorini]]; while Aegean Airlines also serves flights from Corfu.

Astra Airlines [30] has scheduled flights from Chios and during the months of July and August there are scheduled flights from Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Crete (Chania and Heraklion), Karpathos, Kythira and Zakynthos.

  • Germany, Austria, Swiss
  • United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway
  • France & BeNeLux, Italy
  • Balkans &amp Eastern Europe
  • Cyprus

Connection to the city center

The airport is served on a 24-hour basis by OASTH (Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization), with bus numbers 78/78A/78N providing direct access to the central passenger railway station of Thessaloniki, at Monastiriou st 28, and to the Macedonia InterCity Bus Terminal (KTEL), which lies in the west side of the city, at Giannitson st 194.

Bus number 78 has a frequency of between 15 min and 30 min during the day, while number 78A terminates at A.S. IKEA bus terminal, in the city's east. At night, the bus number changes to 78N and runs every 30 min through Thessaloniki, between the airport and Macedonia InterCity Bus Terminal (KTEL). (00 and 30 minutes past the hour from KTEL Bus Terminal, 20 and 50 min past the hour from the Airport).

The ticket costs €0.90 (see Get around: By bus) and the ride takes about 40 min from the airport to the city center. Concessions are available for students and seniors, were the tickets cost half price. Ticket machines are located on all buses but they do not give out change; while tourist info and ticket booths are located at the the central bus stations. Free Busline charts can also be found there.

Furthermore a tourist information office is located at Tsimiski st 136, a few minutes from the city's main landmark, the White Tower, and is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and 8:30am to 2pm on saturdays.

Taxi's from the airport to the city center cost about €15-20. Taxis are hard to find during peak hours between 7 to 8am, 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm, so plan early.

By train

Regional train services within Greece (operated by TrainOSE, the Hellenic Railways Organization's train operating company), link the city with other parts of the country, from its central railway passenger station, called the "New Railway Station" located at the western end of Thessaloniki's city center.

  • New Railway Station (Νέος Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός), Monastiriou St 28, City Centre, Infoline telephone number: 1110, [1].
  • TrainOSE travel service (Thessaloniki TrainOSE travel service No. 4), 18 Aristotelous Str., +30 2310 598120, [2]. Recorded information about train departures are provided by Trainose, call 1440 for domestic departures from Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki is served daily with the commuter rail servises of Proastiakos to Katerini-Larissa and Veroia-Edessa, and 6 InterCity (IC) trains and 1 night-train to Athens (via Platy-Katerini-Larissa-Palaiofarsalos-Domokos-Leianokladi(Lamia)-Leivadia-Thiva-Oinoi-SKA-Athens (approx 5h20min)). 2 regional trains provide daily services to Kilkis-Serres-Drama-Xanthi-Komotini-Alexandroupoli and 1 to Karditsa-Trikala-Kalampaka.

International connections to Sofia, Bucharest, Belgrade and Istanbul have been suspended in February 2011. A weekly train to Skopje came back in the Spring of 2012 but was cancelled again in August 2012.

There are normally employees at all major stations to facilitate transportation of disabled persons. Smoking is prohibited in all trains.


Be aware of these discounts and insist on them even if the TRAINOSE employee does not mention them at first.

  • Children (ages 4-12) get a 50% discount.
  • Youth under 26 and elderly over 65 get a 25% discount (not available on InterCity trains to Athens).
  • Disabled people and their escort get a 50% discount.
  • Groups get a 30%-50% discount.

By bus

Thessaloniki is connected via the intercity KTEL bus network of Greece with every corner of country.

  • Macedonia InterCity Bus Terminal (KTEL), Giannitson st 194 (In the west side of the city), +30 2310 595408, [3].
  • OSE Travel Service (Thessaloniki OSE travel service No. 4), 18 Aristotelous Str., +30 2310 598120. Information regarding time-tables of foreign buses is available from OSE/HTO: +30 210 5298739, 30 210 5298740, +30 210 5135768, +30 210 5135769
  • Buses for the popular tourist region of Chalkidiki depart from KTEL Chalkidikis Bus Terminal, located in the east side of the city, in the suburb of Pylaia. (Fastest way to get to this terminal from city center by taking bus number 45)

KTEL Buses from/to Athens make the trip from/to Thessaloniki in about 6 hr 30 min, including a 20 min stop at a roadside restaurant with toilet facilities. Buses are air-conditioned.[31]


There are a number of weekly departures to Belgrade (Serbia) in Thessaloniki and Athens, in the arrangement of the Greek and Serbian Agency. Ticket price in one direction from Thessaloniki to Belgrade is about €45. From Belgrade to Thessaloniki and the rest of Europe there are plenty of bus connections from the main bus station in Belgrade (or agencies).


There are a number of buses to Thessaloniki and Athens, every day, departing from most major Albanian cities. You can catch a bus from Tirana or Shkodra and travel all the way south, making stops in most major Albanian and Greek cities. Since buses stop to pick up and drop passengers in most major cities, you can catch the bus at those cities en route.


A number of local travel agencies in Skopje also arrange transport to Thessaloniki daily by car or minibus. These generally leave around 5AM, and cost around €25 for a day return (returning at 5PM) or a single (i.e. €50 if you want to come back on a different day from when you leave!) The travel agent at the back of the shopping mall by the Central Square arranges this departing from beside the Holiday Inn. Others depart from the bus station, or other locations around the city.

Simeonidis tours, N⁰ 14, 26th October St, [32]. Their bus leaves at 5:30PM from Thessaloniki everyday except Sundays, and it takes about 5 hr to Skopje. There is one bus daily departing for Thessaloniki from the central bus station in Skopje. It departs at 6AM. Reservations are recommended.

By car

  • Athens about 5 hr (via the A1/E75 motorway)

One of the burdens for visitors and inhabitants alike is finding a parking place in the Tessaloniki Urban Area, so be prepared to either spend a lot of time looking for a space, or pay for space in the parking facilities, with prices starting from €4 for 3 hr. Don't assume you're safe from paying a fine just because locals flagrantly flout parking laws. Traffic congestion is a problem, largely due to double-parked cars, but generally fellow drivers and passers-by are helpful in showing you the way if you get lost.


View of the port and part of Thessaloniki's city center

Thessaloniki lies on the northern fringe of the Thermaic Gulf on its eastern coast and is bound by Mount Chortiatis on its southeast. The metropolitan area of the city extends around an area of 1,455.62 km2 (562.02 sq mi), which includes many beachside and hilly suburbs, while its densest part, which makes up the urban area of the city and what Thessalonians usually refer to as the "City of Thessaloniki", can be divided roughly into 3 parts, the northwestern, the central and the southeastern.

The central part, corresponding to the region that is inside the the Byzantine walls, forms the oldest part of the city and is divided in two parts, the central commercial and historic city center, were most tourist sites and interests, entertainment and educational facilities are located; and Ano Poli (also called Old Town and literally the Upper Town), the heritage listed district north of Thessaloniki's city center that was not engulfed by the city's great fire of 1917 and was declared a UNESCO heritage site.

The city center is bounded by the sea in the south, Olympiados street in the northeast (from which then the upper town begins), Bardariou (aka Dimokratias) square in the northwest and in the southeast by the University campus of the Aristotle University and the facilities of Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center.

Most roads in the city center are either parallel, or vertical to the sea. A simple rule that helps the visitor is that if the a street goes downhill, by following it, it will lead you to the sea. The biggest parallel streets to the sea starting from the sea are Nikis, Tsimiski, Ermou, Egnatia, Agiou Dimitriou and Kassandrou avenues. The important vertical to the sea streets, starting from northwest are Ionos Dragoumi, Venizelou, the pedestrian Aristotelous and Hagia Sophia and Ethinikis Amynis avenues.

Get around

By bus

Public transport in Thessaloniki is served by buses, operated by the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH)[33] which runs a fleet of 604 vehicles on 75 routes throughout the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area. Tickets for the buses can be bought on the bus, at a Periptero (kiosk), which are located all around the city, and at an OASTH info point. OASTH services operate from 5 a.m. until right after midnight, while some lines have expanded timetables until 1 a.m. Line 78N to the airport, operates 24 hours and passes through Egnatia street.

There are three types of tickets:

  • One journey ticket: Costs €0.80. Valid for one journey on any busline.
  • Two journeys ticket: Costs €0.90. Valid for two journeys within 90 min.
  • 24 hr ticket: Costs €4. Valid for unlimited journeys on any busline

Tickets bought inside the bus cost €0.10 plus. 24 hr tickets are only sold at OASTH info points.

Tickets need to be validated every time you get on a bus, except the 24 hr ticket, which is validated once for use within 24 hours. A 24 hour ticket is more convenient for tourists that want to move around the city, throughout a whole day and get to the airport next morning all on the same ticket.

1, 3 and 12-month cards for unlimited journeys are also available, while maps of the bus routes are available on the OASTH website. [34]

Tourist lines

OASTH also operates a tourist line, (Bus number 50 (Cultural line)) and follows a figure-of-8 route past all the major tourist sights of the city. There is an English speaking guide aboard, who provides maps and information. The whole route takes 50 min, and it departs every hour on the hour from the White Tower. A ticket on this line costs €2. Several private tour buses also depart from the same area and follow a similar route around all major tourist sites.

By rent a car

If you want to travel by car in the city, rental companies can be found at the airport, while throughout the city there are a variety of car rental companies.

  • Ride and Drive, [35]
  • Pop's Car Rental Greece, [36]
  • Thessaloniki Car Rental, [37]
  • Morphis Car Rental, [38]
  • HolidaysCAR car rental, [39]



The northernmost Byzantine walls of the city and parts of the western walls are still standing, as is the city's symbol - the White Tower, one of the 16th Century. AD fortified towers - which is the only surviving tower on the seafront. The rest of the walls are in the picturesque Upper Town which offers a spectacular view over the bay, especially in the late afternoon. Take a walk along the enormous seafront promenade (about 12 km altogether). See the the Roman Forum excavations.

Visit the upper town for its traditional old houses, small cobbled streets, Byzantine citadel, the Eptapyrgion fort.

The very lively and youth-oriented international film festival[40] is held in November, the International Trade Fair[41] in September.

On no account should you miss the Byzantine churches built between the 5th and 14th century ACE, such as Agios Demetrios, (7th Century. ACE) and Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdome, 9th Century. ACE), and many lovely smaller ones in the upper town (St Nicolaos Orfanos is particularly worth a look for its frescoes), which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of them, the Rotunda, started life as a Roman temple of Zeus, built by ceasar Galerius, and is almost as old as the Pantheon in Rome. Next to the Rotunda, see the Arch of Triumph of Galerius and the ruins of his palace.

The Agia Sofia church

The city is also known as "the mother of Israel", due to the once flourishing Jewish community here, which existed from the Roman period and grew substantially after the Ottoman Empire took in Jewish refugees expelled Spain, Portugal, and Spanish territories in Italy; these Jews are known as "Sephardim". Sephardi Jews formed a significant percentage of the city's population and infrastructure until World War II, when, in spring 1943, almost all were deported by the Nazis to the extermination camp at Auschwitz, never to return. However, there are still two Synagogues, and you can see the Jewish Museum.

Also interesting are the Turkish public baths Bey Hamam, the Bezesteni (Ottoman closed market for jewellery and precious materials) the Alatza Imaret (Ottoman poorhouse) and Hamza Bey Camii (both restored and used for exhibitions).

The traditional central food market, with hundreds of stalls selling meat, fish, fruit, vegetables (sometimes cheek-by-jowl, an unnerving experience for North Americans), cheap clothes and shoes, flowers, herbs and spices, between Aristotele Square and Venizelou street.

Aristotelous Square-the biggest of the city-and the promenade with its cafes and restaurants.

Museums and galleries

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Museum of Byzantine Culture

Due to the city's rich and diverse history, Thessaloniki houses many museums dealing with many different eras in history. Two of the city center's most famous museums include the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture, which also the buildings themselves serve as points of architectural interest.

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki was established in 1962 and houses some of the most important ancient Macedonian artifacts, including an extensive collection of golden artwork from the royal palaces of Aigai and Pella. It also houses exhibits from Macedon's prehistoric past, dating from the Neolithic to the Bronze age.

The Museum of Byzantine Culture is one of the city's most famous museums, showcasing the city's glorious Byzantine past. The museum was also awarded Council of Europe's museum prize in 2005. The museum of the White Tower of Thessaloniki houses a series of galleries relating to the city's past, from the creation of the White Tower until recent years.

Other museums of the city include the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum, in southeast Thessaloniki and is one of the most high-tech museums in Greece and southeastern Europe and the Atatürk Museum the historic house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern-day Turkey, was born.

  • Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum. [42] Andronikou street 6. Covers the history of Macedon from prehistory to Roman times.
  • Museum of Byzantine Culture. Stratou avenue 2. [43] Award-winning museum (2005 - best Museum of Europe).
  • Museum at the White Tower [44] Located inside the city's most famous landmark on the waterfront.
  • Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum. [45] Located in the city's southeast suburbs, it houses a 150-seat digital planetarium, a 300-seat Cosmotheatre with the largest flat screen in Greece, a 200-seat amphitheater, as well as a motion simulator theater with three platforms, 3-D projection rgearding items exhibited.
  • Atatürk House. Agiou Dimitriou avenue. The house were Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern-day Turkey, was born.
  • Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. Upper side of the Fairground at Egnatia st 154 [46]
  • Teloglion Foundation of Art. Located across the university campus of Aristotle University, on Agiou Dimitriou avenue.
  • Olympic Museum. [47] Tritis Septemvriou & Agiou Dimitriou avenue. (300m to the east of the Teloglion Foundation of Art). Sports related.
  • Museum at Aghios Demetrios. Agiou Dimitriou avenue.
  • State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki. [48] Kolokotroni 25, Stavroupoli district.
  • Museum of Ancient Greek, Byzantine, and Post Byzantine Musical Instruments. At Katouni 12, in Ladadika district.
  • Museum of Cinematography in Thessaloniki. [49] Harbor, Warehouse A.
  • Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace. [50] Vassilisis Olgas St 68.
  • Jewish Museum. [51] Agiou Mina St 13.
  • Municipal Gallery of Art. Vassilisis Olgas St 162.

It is also useful to keep an eye on the website Museums of Macedonia [52] covering the whole region.


The city has always been known between Greeks for its vibrant city culture, including having the most cafe's and bars per-capita than any other city in Europe (see: Drink); and as having some of the best nightlife and entertainment in the country, thanks to its large young population and multicultural feel. Trendy bars are scattered throughout the city and cater for all tastes, with many located on pedestrianized streets or along the coast, with sea views; while daily happenings and events take place throughout the city everyday.

Thessaloniki is also known for its picturesque uninterrupted promenade/waterfront, spanning for about 4.5 km from the old port to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. From the White Tower, the waterfront gets considerably bigger (called Nea Paralia) and along with the seaside walk, features 13 thematic gardens. During summer it is full of Thessalonians enjoying their long evening walks (referred to as "the volta" and is embedded into the culture of the city). There you will find people selling all kinds of food, bike riding, skating, fishing and a generally lively atmosphere with font the Thermaic Gulf and the port.


The Thermaic Gulf is a challenging place for yachting and sailing. Many days there are strong North winds but with low waves, making sailing a fun and joy for all sailors. There are three sailing clubs in Thessaloniki and world championships take place in the city every year. Thessaloniki has several marinas, most notably in Kalamaria, southeast of the city center, while a new one is proposed to be constructed right at the city center that will contain 182 mooring places. There are also many Yacht charter companies renting sailing yachts.

  • Discovery Yachting, Thermaikou 21, +30 2310 343251,+30 6948 388098 (), [4]. Bareboat charter or skippered sailing yacht, also night time tours.


Thessaloniki is a major center of education for Greece. Two of the country's largest universities are located in central Thessaloniki: Aristotle University and the University of Macedonia. Aristotle University was founded in 1926 and is currently the largest university in Greece by number of students, which number at more than 80,000 in 2010, and is a member of the Utrecht Network.

Numerous public and private vocational institutes (IEK) provide professional training to young students, while a large number of private colleges offer American and UK academic curriculum, via cooperation with foreign universities. In addition to Greek students, the city hence attracts many foreign students either via the Erasmus programme for public universities, or for a complete degree in public universities or in the city's private colleges. As of 2006 the city's total student population was estimated around 200,000. Its young population and atmosphere provides for many learning opportunities, with classes and workshops on all interests being held all over the city.




Thessaloniki is renowned for its major shopping streets and lively laneways. Tsimiski Street and Proxenou Koromila avenue are the city's most famous shopping streets and are among Greece's most expensive and exclusive high streets; there one can find various fashion shops of international brands, boutiques and high end international department stores. For cheaper clothing, check out Egnatia street.


As Thessaloniki is considered the cultural capital of Greece, the city has also become a regular fixture for the book trade and booklovers. An International Book Fair [53] is held annually in late spring at the waterfront, there people can find books from new authors and on all topics.

Some of the city's best book stores, and places were you can find maps in various languages include:

  • Ianos bookshop, Aristotelous Sq, (city centre). Books & art-objects, cultural events.
  • Papasotiriou bookstore
  • Eleftheroudakis bookstore
  • Traveler map store
  • Maliaris-Pedia bookstore


Due to the fact that Thessaloniki remained under Ottoman rule for about 100 years more than southern Greece, it has retained a lot of its Eastern character, including its culinary tastes. Spices in particular play an important role in the cuisine of Thessaloniki, something which is not true to the same degree about Greece's southern regions. Greeks consider Thessaloniki a gourmet city - but bear in mind that this refers to the excellent local specialities and cheap-and-cheerful ouzo taverns rather than to haute cuisine or a range of foreign restaurants. The latter are best avoided in Thessaloniki.

Sweets and pastries

For any traveler to Thessaloniki, a Greek will usually mention how they expect you to bring back sweets from the city, as it is known for having some of the best in the country. Throughout Thessaloniki anyone can find a variety of places that sell: Tsoureki, a plaited sweetened bread, deserts such as Baklava and Galaktoboureko; and Bougatsa, the most famous pastry of Thessaloniki, with cream (sweet) or cheese (savoury) filling, which was invented in the city and has spread around other parts of Greece and the Balkans as well.

Some shops, where you can find the best sweets and pasties the city has to offer, include "Nikiforou" on Venizelou street, "Terkenlis" famous for its Tsoureki and "Chatzis" famous for its Baklava, but fame has not made it any better - it has become overpriced and not as good as in previous years.

  • Chatzis. [5] is famous for its collection of Greek Asia Minor sweets (politika glyka) originating from Istanbul.
  • Terkenlis. [6] is famous for its variety of "tsoureki", a sweet bread much like brioche but containing spices too, covered and filled with several combinations of chocolates/creams/nuts, etc.
  • Elenidis. [7] is considered the expert in "trigona" (triangles made of sfoglia, filled with cream).


For a carnivore's treat, places that serve, Gyros and Souvlaki with pork and chicken, are scattered all around the city. This is the best calories per money option, since with less that 3 euros you get a meal that, although not that healthy, can keep you going for many hours. Some of the best souvlaki meals at very affordable prices can be found at a place called "Derlicatesen".

Local specialities include Soutzoukakia, minced meat pellets that are either grilled (at the central market or rotisseries) and topped with chilli pepper flakes, or cooked in tomato and cumin sauce (Smyrna-style); and Patsas, a tripe soup, best tried late at night (or early morning). For seafood, in Thessaloniki you can find Gemista kalamarakia (Stuffed squids), Mydopilafo (rise with mussels) or Mydia saganaki (mussels in tomato sause).

Fast food and snacks

  • The traditional fast food of Thessaloniki includes sandwiches with Gyros (pork meat), Souvlaki or Soutzoukaki, offered in many stores for a little over €2.
  • Goody's. is the Greek fast-food chain, actually preferred by Greeks over other fast food restaurants such as McDonalds. There you can find classic hamburgers, also Gyros, pasta, and salads.
  • Crepes can be found in many stores all around the city. The best can be found at Gounari street, near Navarinou square, that is popular with the city's student population.
  • During the winter you can try roasted chestnuts (Kastana in Greek) that are sold from carts.
  • During the summer one can buy boiled or roasted corn on the cob that is sold from carts, which cost €1-2.
  • You can try Stafidopsomo, a small bread with raisins, or Koulouri a donut-shaped small bread with sesame. You can find them sold in bakeries or on carts, costing around €0.5.
  • For breakfast Bougatsa, can be found in nearly every pastry shop around the city and can be accompanied with a cacao milk or coffee. Prices range from €1.8 - €2.3, for a plate of Bougatsa.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under €15
Mid-range €15-€20
Splurge €20-€30 and upwards

Most tavernas and restaurants located all around the city of Thessaloniki offer very affordable prices. Most can be found concentrated in areas listed below, that also serve as points of interest for any traveler into the city, where you can experience a lively atmosphere at night with the local population.


Thessaloniki's Ladadika borough is a particularly busy area in regards to Thessalonian cuisine, with most tavernas serving traditional meze and other such culinary delights. Right next to the port and around Morichovou square, it is full of restaurants, bars and nighclubs.

  • Ellinikon, Ladadika (Morichovou Sq.). Offers 'appelation d'origine' local delicacies.

Athonos Square

The area between Athonos square and Aristotelous street is full of taverns of which many are frequented by mostly young Greeks and tourists. Prices are usually low and the quality can vary greatly from tavern to tavern. Several restaurants have a small band playing local live music. Better to move around before sitting to eat, not only to choose the place, but to take a look at the old shops in the area selling fruit, spices, handmade small furniture etc. Many of the taverns in the area are tourist-traps, so choose a tavern where you see locals and preferably older people.

  • Vrotos, (Near Athonos). Ouzo restaurant (ouzeri). 25% more expensive than others in this region, but top quality.

Bit-Bazaar and nearby streets

During the day the area hosts antique shops and cheapjacks selling anything useful or useless one can imagine. In the evening it turns into a lively (and noisy) student hang-out and can get very crowded on warm nights. Most of the shops offer cheap wine, ouzo, beers and Mezedes, appetizers that accompany your Ouzo or Tsipouro with a battery of small dishes - by far the best way to eat in Thessaloniki.

  • Evi Evan, Olympou 68-Bit-Bazzar.
  • Glykia Symoria, Ioustinianou and Zaliki 1.
  • Selini, Bit-Bazaar, +30 2310 221778.
  • To floro ke to laio, Baltadorou 11 and Benizelou.

Ionos Dragoumi

  • Agora, (Off Ionos Dragoumi). Ouzo restaurant (ouzeri) in one of the most interesting old downtown areas

Kastra (Ano Poli)

At Ano Poli (also called Old Town and literally the Upper Town), the heritage listed district north of Thessaloniki's city center, many quality restaurants can be found next to the Byzantine walls, and some with views overlooking the city.

  • Pyrgos, Kastra (Ano Poli). A brasserie.
  • Makedoniko, Kastra (Ano Poli).

Tsinari (Ano Poli)

An old district of Ano Poli hosting the eponymous tavern, along with some others.

  • Ano Poli, Tsinari-(Ano Poli). Tavern


  • Pire kai vradiazei (Πήρε και βραδιάζει), Omirou 7 (Off Theagenio Hospital). Great Taverna, unique style, good food and some days (Thur-Sun) live music
  • Tombourlika (Τομπουρλίκα), Navmachias Limnou 14 (Off Vardaris Sqare), +30 2310 548193. Great traditional ouzeri, with fresh fish and meat dishes and live rembetico music
  • Tsarouchas (Τσαρούχας), Olymbou 78 (Off Ancient Forum). all night and morning open. is for those of you with adventurous tastes, preferably to go after a hard night's drinking, for a "patsás" (tripe) soup - a delicious way to prevent a hangover.
  • Toicho-Toicho, Polydorou 1 (Ano Poli (Kastra)). An hipster hang-out, nice atmosphere, very expencive for the quality provided
  • Kamaras, (Near Rotonda). Great traditional dishes.
  • Lila Cafe Bistro, Diogenus 23 (Ano Toumba district), 30 2310 947377. Traditional pies and sweets, croissant and dishes accompany the coffee or your drink. Porcelain miniatures and collective drinks are available for originally gifts.
  • Pizza da Pepe, Stefanou Tatti 10 (side street of Egnatia, near the Aghia Sophia Church), +30 2310 242407. For the best pizzas in town head here.
  • Myrsini, (behind the State Theatre Etairia Makedonikon Spoudon). Good Cretan restaurant.
  • Apo Dyo Horia, (Navarinou Square). Cretan and Pontian restaurant. Here, order raki rather than ouzo or tsipouro.


  • Odos Aristotelous (Lepen), Odos Aristotelous. Most Salonicans know it as the "Lepen"
  • Krikelas, Ladadika (near Morichovou Sq.).
  • Zythos-Dore, (White Tower Square). An upmarket brasserie with a wide range of specialties and interesing ambience.


Thessaloniki has a very active nightlife scene and only recently it is starting to become exposed internationally, with Lonely Planet listing Thessaloniki as the world's fifth-best "ultimate party city".

Cafe-bars are scattered throughout the entire city, which create a lively atmosphere everywhere you step and you can have a drink whenever you want, while trendy bars line up along Thessaloniki's entire waterfront from the old port, along Nikis avenue and down to "Krini", a southeast coastal district of the city.

Thessaloniki also offers a wide variety of nightlife, from small to huge nightclubs with dance music, bars dedicated to rock music, jazz clubs and Bouzoukia, where you can experience Greek music and dancing. Large entertainment venues of the city include Pyli Axiou and Mamounia, at Vilka (which are housed in converted old factories). During summer, one can also find beach bars with lively music and serving drinks throughout the whole day and night, located at the city's southeast suburbs. The city's most known nightlife district is "Ladadika", there together with the many tavernas and restaurants, you will find the most known nightclubs and bars housed in old warehouses next to the port, while in the area around the Kamara (the Arch of Galerius) is home to many cheaper cafe's and bars, popular with the city's student population. Areas were most of Thessaloniki's nightlife is located at are listed below.

Aristotle Square (Aristotelous)

Being the center of the city, some of the most popular cafes and bars are located there. One can find quiet cafes or noisy ones that usually preferred by younger people. Breakfast is also served, some restaurants are also available.

Nikis avenue

Thessaloniki's central seafront avenue is full of cafeterias usually crowded around the clock, available for coffee in daytime and beer or drinks at night. Many bars also feature balconies with views towards the sea.

Ladadika district

A street in the Ladadika neighbourhood
The southeast coast of Thessaloniki is lined with cafes, bars, entertainment venues and marinas
coast of Peraia, a southeast suburb of the city with views towards Thessaloniki

At the west side of the center lies the picturesque district of Ladadika (meaning: oil stores). Named this way by the many stores selling oil arriving from the adjacent port of Thessaloniki. Formerly a notorious district, it is today the city's most lively and vibrant areas, were renovated old stone build warehouses host some of the most known nightclubs with all sorts of music, including traditional Greek bouzoukia. Although not the favorite by Thessaloniki’s highest class (modern bouzoukia are not considered a classy kind of entertainment), they are definitely worth a visit for any traveler. Delicate restaurants and Greek taverns serving drinks are located around Morichovou square, and are also popular during lunch time.

Proxenou Koromila St

Parallel to the seafront Nikis avenue is Proxenou Koromila street and at night many cafes and bars spill out on to the streets. A few trendy jazz clubs can be found here.

Iktinou pedestrian

Another place in the city with cafes, bars and a couple of restaurants, that spill out onto pedestrianized streets. A popular hangout by many Thessalonians.


Aretsou is located in the southeast part of the city, in the suburb of Kalamaria. Home to high end bars, cafés and entertainment venues, most notably on Plastira street, along the coast; featuring loud music and hosting many young people.


A place in Kalamaria with delicate bars, restaurants and pizzerias. All of them along Sofouli street, right next to the seashore and nearby the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. "Shark", one of the most exclusive nightlife venues of the city is also located in this area with views of the sea and central Thessaloniki.

Boat bars

For a drink on a boat, there are many "floating bars" that depart every 2hrs or so from the White Tower, and make a short trip around Thermaic Gulf, where you can enjoy evening and late night views of the city. Most of them play ethnic and alternative foreign music.

Mylos and Vilka

A set of high-range café, bars, restaurants, ouzeris some with live music located at the city’s west. Also hosting concerts, events, exhibitions, music bands, famous greek artists etc.

Valaoritou and Syggrou

Over the last 2 years a lot of Thessaloniki's nightlife has moved in these areas of the city center. The old industrial center has become a place for entertainment for everybody, with many bars, clubs and cafes that may remind you of Berlin, or London.


A beer in Thessaloniki costs €4-6, an alcohol drink €7-10 and a coffee around €2.50-5.



  • Little Big House Hostel, 24 Andakidou Street, +30 231 3014323 (), [8]. This is a brand new (and the only) hostel in Thessaloniki run by a brother and sister who are absolutely terrific hosts. They have 5 gorgeous rooms in a reconstructed house, each room with private bathroom, kitchenette and big lockers. There is also a common room/kitchen and a nice, cozy garden area with tables and chairs. Welcome drink, maps of the city, wifi and linens, tea and coffee are provided free. Laundry and breakfast for €2. €17 for bed in 6-person dorm, €19 for bed in 4-person dorm.
  • Backpackers refuge, +30 698 3433591 (), [9]. Near the city center (5' bus ride), the waterfront (7' on foot) and well connected to the train station, bus station and the airport. 24 hr hot water, free linen, washing machine, kitchen, free city map, info and activities in northern Greece. Pick up and other transport options, free internet. Only a small capacity and advanced booking is recommended as staff are not present around the clock. 6 bed dorm €15.
  • Studios Arabas, Sachtouri 28 (Σαχτούρη 28), +30 697 381 7188. €11.50 for dorm. (40.644267,22.944088)
  • The Tourist Hotel, Mitropoleos Street. Right in the center, cheap, clean and welcoming. €75 for a double room incl breakfast.
  • Rex Hotel. Cheap hotel opposite the train station towards the city center. Only a 5 min walk from train station. Not great, but adequate. Two-bedroom in peak season €60.
  • Hotel Acropoli. Close to the train station. Clean but shabby rooms, most with a balcony. A triple costs €80 or €60 for a double.
  • ''Kripis Studio'' Thessaloniki Ano Poli, Akropoleos 28c (P.C. 54634), +30 697 227 8068 (), [10]. Studio for one or two persons in the Ano Poli (Old City) – Upper Town. The studio is furnished (bed, closet, table, kitchen with fridge and oven, washing machine,free Internet wifi,hair drier,Tv). Minimum stay 4 nights. Price 25 euro per night. http://www.kripis.gr/ANOPOLI.en.aspx (40.640144,22.956026)


There are many hotels in the area a few blocks north of Aristotelous square in the city center. Some of these are a bit upmarket, but if business is down it is worth shopping around - they might give you a good discount, rather than turn you away.

  • El Greco Hotel, 23 Egnatia Street. (5 minutes walk from Aristotelous Square on Egnatia Street), +30 231 0520620 (), [11]. 3 star hotel in the heart of Thessaloniki. Free Parking lot, free WiFi and free Airport Pick-Up. (40.63908,22.93806)
  • Heaven Hotel, Tagarades, Thessaloniki, Macedonia, +30 239 2072701 (), [12]. Between the verdurous hills of Tagarades with panoramic views of the city and Thermaic Gulf.
  • Zaliki Boutique Hotel, 6 Gr. Zaliki (2 minutes walk from Aristotelous sqaure), +30 231 0226400 (), [13]. Luxurious Boutique Hotel next to Aristotelous with free parking, free airport pickup and free WiFi. (40.63849,22.94253)
  • Rotonda Hotel, 97 Monastiriou Street, +30 231 0517121 (), [14]. Entering the city of Thessaloniki with free parking, free airport pickup and free WiFi. (40.64563,22.92512)
  • City Hotel, 11 Komninon St., +30 2310 269421, [15]. 4 star.
  • Kinissi Palace, 41 Egnatia and Syngrou St, +30 2310 508081. 4 star.
  • Le Palace, Tsimiski (2 blocks N of Aristotelou). Very nice double rooms The price posted in the room is over €180, although it is possible to haggle down to as low as €60 including breakfast if business is down.
  • Hotel Luxembourg, Komninon 6, +30 2310 252600, [16]. 3 star.
  • Hotel Olympia, Olympou 65, +30 2310 36 466, [17]. Boutique hotel in the center of Thessaloniki.
  • Tobacco Hotel, Aghiou Dimitriou street, [18]. 4 star boutique hotel (formerly a tobacco warehouse).
  • Queen Olga Hotel, East Thessaloniki.
  • Kapsis Hotel, 2, Oplopiou & Katouni Streets, +30 2310 232221. 5 star.
  • Hotel Philippion, Seich Sou Forest, +30 2310 203320 (), [19]. 4 star hotel located in the heart of the Seich Sou forest national park, with overlooking views of Thessaloniki and Thermaic Gulf.
  • Park Hotel, 81 Ionos Dragoumi, +30 2310 524121, [20]. Good breakfast buffet and reasonable prices. Located near the old Administration building.
  • Hotel Byzantio, West Peripheral of Thessaloniki, +30 2310 690000 (), [21]. In an all green setting with sparkling water from the surrounding mountains, just a few meters from the water mills, on an area of 5.5 acre.


  • Electra Palace Hotel Thessaloniki, 9, Aristotelous sq., +30 2310 294000 (), [22]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. 5 star hotel in the heart of Thessaloniki. 130 rooms and 8 suites, some of them with view to Aristotelous square and the sea. The "Orizontes Pool Bar & Restaurant" provides superb view of the Thermaic Gulf.
  • Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, 13 km Thessaloniki-Perea, +30 231 040 1234 (), [23]. 5 star hotel with 2 ballrooms, 5 meeting rooms and 3 boardrooms. 2 km from the largest casino in Europe.
  • Porto Palace Hotel, 65, 26th October Avenue, +30 231 0504504 (), [24]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Porto Palace Hotel is located at the west entrance of the city, near the port of Thessaloniki. It has direct access to the new financial district and it is just 5 min away from the city center and the shopping area.
  • Domotel Les Lazaristes Hotel, Kolokotroni 16, 56 430, +30 2310 647400 (), [25]. Nearby a major cultural center of the city. The State Museum of Contemporary Art inspired its design philosophy.
  • Mediterranean Palace Hotel, 3, Salaminos & Karatassou Streets, 54626 Thessaloniki, Greece, +30 2310 552554 (), [26]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. 5 star hotel with views of Thermaic Gulf. (40.6358571,22.9357630)


There are many internet-cafes scattered throughout Thessaloniki, while a visit to most restaurants, bars and cafes in the city offer free wireless internet (WiFi). Several payphones are also located around the city and cards can be purchased for them from a Periptero (kiosk).

Stay safe

Thessaloniki is regarded a safe city but one should watch his/her pockets and travel documents, as pickpockets are not rare, especially on buses during rush hour. Also try and avoid the west area from the city center, and south of the Railway station, and especially at night on foot, as it has become a notorious area of the city. The police number of Thessaloniki is: 100

Stay healthy

Tap water is safe and that's what people of the city drink, but in some places in the city center you might get a slight "taste" from the water, due to old pipelines in the buildings. For peace of mind, you might want to buy bottled water. Greece is also a sunny place and if your skin is light-colored, intense sunlight can be a serious danger. Use sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.



  • Al-flag.png Albania: 10 Odysséos , ☎ +30. 2310 546656
  • As-flag.png Australia: 46 Kifissías St, Kalamaria, ☎ +30 2310 482322
  • Be-flag.png Belgium: 4 Dodekanísou St, ☎ +30 2310 538137
  • Bu-flag.png Bulgaria: 1 Abbot St, ☎ +30 2310 829210
  • Ca-flag.png Canada: 17 Tsimiski St, ☎ +30 2310 256350-1
  • Ez-flag.png Czech Republic: 8 Plutarchou St, ☎ +30 2310 266415
  • Ci-flag.png Chile: 6 Karólou Dil St, ☎ +30 2310 237272
  • Cy-flag.png Cyprus : 37 Nikis Ave, ☎ +30 2310 260611
  • Da-flag.png Denmark: 26 Komninón St, ☎ +30 2310 284065
  • Fi-flag.png Finland: 7 Thessaloniki-Oraiokastro Rd, Oraiokastro, ☎ +30 2310 697302
  • Fr-flag.png France: 8 Makenzy King St, ☎ +30 2310 244030
  • Gm-flag.png Germany: 4a Karolou Dil St, ☎ +30 2310 251120
  • Hu-flag.png Hungary: 3 Fragkon St, ☎ +30 2310 555049
  • In-flag.png India: 12 Prasakaki St
  • Ja-flag.png Japan: 45 Fillipou St, ☎ +30 2310 286390
  • Lg-flag.png Latvia: 34 Mitropoleos St, ☎ +30 2310 277463
  • Lh-flag.png Lithuania: 8 Komninon St, ☎ +30 2310 268110
  • Lu-flag.png Luxemburg: 26 Komninon St, ☎ +30 2310 248065
  • Mx-flag.png Mexico: 311 Monastiriou Ave, ☎ +30 2310 270206
  • Nl-flag.png The Netherlands: 26 Komninon St, ☎ +30 2310 284065
  • No-flag.png Norway: 12 Makenzy King St, ☎ +30 2310 526333
  • Pe-flag.png Peru: 192 Monastiriou Ave, ☎ +30 2310 566737
  • Rp-flag.png Philippines: 22 Dodekanisou St, ☎ +30 2310 556161
  • Po-flag.png Portugal: 3 Vassileos Konstantinou St, ☎ +30 2310 228138
  • Pl-flag.png Poland: 78 Tsimiski St, ☎ +30 2310 288205
  • Ro-flag.png Romania: 16 Santas St, ☎ +30 2310 340088
  • Ru-flag.png Russian Federation: 5 Dimosthenes St, ☎ +30 2310 257507
  • Flag of Serbia (state).png Serbia: 4 Komninon St, ☎ +30 2310 244266
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden: 26 Komninon St, ☎ +30 2310 284065
  • Sz-flag.png Switzerland: 47 Nikis Ave, ☎ +30 2310 282214
  • Sp-flag.png Spain: 9 Victor Hugo St (Victoros Hougo), St, ☎ +30 2310 515391
  • Tu-flag.png Turkey: 151 Agiou Dimitriou Ave, ☎ +30 2310 965070
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom: 21 Aristotelous Sq, ☎ +30 2310 278006
  • Us-flag.png United States of America: 43 Tsimiski St, ☎ +30 2310 242900

Get out

Thessaloniki's proximity to places such as the national parks of Pieria and beaches of Chalkidiki often allow its residents and visitors to the city to easily have access to some of the best outdoor recreation in Europe. Some classic trips out of Thessaloniki include:

  • Any visit to the 500 km of wonderful beaches, on the two first fingers of Chalkidiki peninsula, where many Thessalonians (and tourists) spend their holidays there (The third finger is the monastic community of Mount Athos). In the summer, the Armenistis campground on the Sithonia peninsula stages concerts and other events. You can also check out the jazz and classical concerts that take place during summer at Sani (Kassandra peninsula). Try to schedule your visit during summer so that you're not driving back to the city on Sunday evening, when you will always find heavy traffic from people returning back into the city.
  • Mount Olympus coast, towards Platamonas, a very scenic region which has fallen out of favour with the trendy set but has lost no business - it is now mainly catering to tourists from Eastern Europe.
  • Pella, the ancient Macedonian capital, during the time of Alexander the Great.
  • Vergina, the spectacular site of the Macedonian royal tombs.
  • Dion, a beautiful archaeological site near Mount Olympus.
  • Prespa and Doirani lakes near the borders with Albania and Republic of Macedonia. The national parks there offer an austere and evocative Balkan landscape and plenty of bird watching.Create category

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!