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Thessaloniki

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Travel Guide Europe Greece Thessaloniki

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Introduction

Thessaloniki - 3

Thessaloniki - 3

© All Rights Reserved genmtl

Thessaloniki is a city in the north of Greece. It is the country's second largest city. The population of the "Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area" has reached a total of 1,006,730 inhabitants in 2011.

Thessaloníki is considered by many the most vibrant city in Greece. It is not a coincidence that almost every visitor falls in love with this city. It is in fact a youth capital for all age ranks that combines history of thousands of years, culture, entertainment and good food!

You can take a stroll in Thessaloniki's recently renovated port, wander around the small paved alleys in "Ano Poli" (Upper Town) staring at the unique view of the city, drink a coffee in one of the city's numerous cafes by the sea, visit some of the 22 interesting museums, enjoy a couple of the country's most delicious dishes at Ladadika area and last but not least observe it's residents who are known across the country for their loose attitude towards life itself.

Don't forget to have a drink or two together with the locals in Valaoritou area and of course, take a long walk on the paved alleys of the Jewish market near the famous Aristotle Square; this walk will be unforgettable.

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Sights and Activities

  • The White Tower of Thessaloniki - The tower was built in the 15th century in order to replace an older 12th century Byzantine fortification while it was later recontsructed by the Ottomans. It was used as a fort enhancing the harbors defences, as a garrison and a prison. Because of its fame as a notorious prison it was also known as "Tower of Blood" (Kanli Kule) or "Red Tower". It was renamed to White tower (Torre Blanca) after it was whitewashed possibly in 1891. It was surrounded by long defensive walls that were enclosing the area and were capable of supporting heavy guns. These walls were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, while it is unclear whether they were part of the original construction or a later addition destined to further enhance its defensive features. Today the tower is open to the public while the visitors will have a chance to enjoy a wonderfull panoramic view from its highest level. A very beautiful and informative museum inside the monument is dedicated to the city's history, its multicultural spirit and several other aspects of Thessaloniki. Nowadays the tower has been remodeled as a museum. Every floor is dedicated to a specific theme (like: trade in Thessaloniki or entertainment in Thessaloniki throughout the ages). English audio guides are provided free of charge. Visitors are allowed to go on top of the tower to enjoy a very good 360° view over the city. Address: Odos Nikis and Odos Pavlou Mela, Thessaloniki, Greece, Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 8:00am - 7:30pm, Price: Budget (€3 in 2012)
  • Ataturk Museum - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born in this house in Apostolou Pavlou St. in 1881. In 1935 the Thessaloniki city council decided to give the building to the Turkish State which afterwards converted it into a museum dedicated to the life of the founder of Modern Turkish State. It has three floors and a courtyard. After extended repairs and restoration efforts in 1981 it is now housing the Kemal Ataturk museum, while it was repainted to its original pink colour. Most of the furnitures and personal objects placed inside the house are authentic while the missing items were replaced with other from Kemal’s mausoleum and Top Kapi in Instanbul. Several photographs decorate the interior walls depicting Kemal Ataturk in various important periods of his life. Address: 75, Apostolou Pavlou St, Thessaloniki , Macedonia, Greece, Hours: Daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm

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Weather

Thessaloniki has a typical Meditarreanen climate with warm and dry summers and mild but wetter winters. Still, the average annual amount of precipitation is just around 450 mm, making it a relatively arid climate as well. Most of the rain falls from October till January. Summers are driest. The average temperature in summer is around 30 °C during the day and around 18 °C at night. Winters see highs of around 10 °C with nights just above zero.

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Getting There

By Plane

Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG) is located about 15 kilometres from Thessaloniki's city centre. It is the third biggest airport in the country, after the ones in Athens and Heraklion and is the main gateway to the north of the country. Several dozens of airlines serve destinations mainly throughout Europe and a few outside the continent.

Aegean Airlines flies to/from Athens, Chania, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Heraklion, Larnaca, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, Mytilene, Nuremberg, Rhodes and Stuttgart and seasonally to/from Kos, Milan-Malpensa, Mykonos, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Saint Petersburg, Santorini and Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion.

The low-cost airline Ryanair offers flights to and from Thessaloniki. Destinations include Bremen, Brussels-Charleroi, Chania, London-Stansted, Milan/Bergamo-Il Caravaggio, Paphos and Rome-Ciampino, and seasonally to/from Bologna, Girona, Hahn, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Oslo-Rygge, Stockholm-Skavsta and Airport Weeze.

It is linked to the city centre by a 24-hour OASTH bus service (78 & 78A during the day and 78N during the night). A Thessaloniki Metro extension to the airport is currently under consideration.

By Bus

The private bus company KTEL drives to and from various destinations in Greece. The buses arrive and depart from the bus terminal (station: Macedonia).

By Train

There are daily regional trains to Veroia-Edessa and Katerini-Larissa, six InterCity (IC) trains and one night-train to Athens via Platy-Katerini-Larissa-Palaiofarsalos-Domokos-Leianokladi(Lamia)-Leivadia-Thiva-Oinoi-SKA-Athens, two trains to Kilkis-Serres-Drama-Xanthi-Komotini-Alexandroupoli and one train to Karditsa-Trikala-Kalampaka.

By Car

It's about 5 hours by car to Athens, 4 hours to Sofia and 6 hours to Tirana.

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Getting Around

By Foot

Walking is the best way to get to know Thessaloniki. Visit the Old Town, the centre of the town, the port and of course the coastal line with the great sunset views. These are some of the best places in Thessaloniki and a really great way to spend your day.

Public Transport

Taking a bus is the best way to move inside the city except when visiting the Upper Town ("Ano Poli") and the Castles area. You can buy a ticket for a single route (€0.80/€0.40 for students) or a 90-minute ticket for 2 routes (€0.90/€0.50 for students).

We reccomend the one day ticket which is valid for 24 hours. Tickets can be found in the kiosks of OASTH (Organization of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki city) and most privately owned kiosks scattered all around the city (the known "Periptera"). You can buy a ticket from an automatic seller inside the bus but beware that the price is increased by 10 cents. Dont forget! The automatic seller doesn't give change.

For a more complete experience, we recommend you using the Cultural Transfer Line of OASTH, which will enable you to visit some of the major tourist attractions of Thessaloniki. Using the public transportation system, you will save time and money while you will be more friendly to the environment.

By Car

You can rent a car to go right outside the city and visit the museum and planetarium "Noesis" or one of the biggest malls in the Balkan region, named "Mediterannean Cosmos" for shopping or cinema. There you will enjoy your movie on one of the biggest screens in Europe.

Spend some time and read more about all the places that you can visit places near Thessaloniki. The crystal clear beaches of Chalkidiki, the Royal Tombs and The Macedonian Museum in the city of Vergina or the museum of Pella. You can go skiing in 3-5 Pigadia and Kaimaktsalan or Seli in Vermio, visit the beautiful lake Kerkini in Serres, or even go for fur-shopping in Kastoria town.

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Eat

Thessaloniki Café

Thessaloniki Café

© All Rights Reserved Niels1303

  • Foul tou Meze - This restaurant with its very charming interior mainly attracts local people. The staff speaks enough English to take your order and they also provide you with an English translation of their menu. They offer a lot of different dishes from fish to meat and even vegetarians have their fair share of choices. I personally really liked the meatballs with tomatoes. This place also offers an incredible amount of different Ouzos, the famous greek alcohol. Address: Katouni 3, Thessaloniki, Phone: +302310513821, Hours: 12:00pm - 1:00am, Price: Average

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Drink

There are many options available depending on what you are looking for. Ladadika area and Bit bazaar are some of the most popular places when it comes to sofisticated bars and pubs or traditional little taverns respectively. You can also try having a look all around Rotonda near the Aristotle University where because of the college community there are several small taverns and cozy bars that offer red wine or retsina. A couple of alternative destinations would be the coastal avenue "Leoforos Nikis" or going west of the city centre the popular "Valaoritou" street, which is full of all kinds of bars that turn into a club after midnight.

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Shopping

You should definitely visit Tsimiski Avenue in the city centre. It is by far the most popular commercial street of Thessaloniki with hundreds of fashion stores and boutiques. Many famous brands have their local branches there. A good alternative option would be "Mitropoleos" street. located on the south of Tsimiski Avenue, while it is heading west in a similar way.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Alexandria Hotel18 Egnatias StreetHOTEL80
Atlantis Hotel Thessaloniki14,Egnatia str.Hotel75
Santa Beach HotelLambraki 2 Agia TriadaHotel-
Hotel Kornilios10 km. Neas Chalkidonas- VeroiasHOTEL-
Hotel Rex Thessaloniki39 Monastiriou StrHotel81
Pension-Tzitzifies39 thermaikoy str,Agia Triada 20 mitrp.iosifHotel80
Thessaloniki Studios ArabasSachtouri 28Guesthouse83
RentRooms ThessalonikiKonstantinou Melenikou 9 ThessalonikiGuesthouse85
Hotel Alexander InnStavrosHotel86
Hotel Aegeon19th Egnatia StHotel85
Studios ArabasSachtouri 28. Ano PoliHostel82
Gkeea HotelIerissosHotel-
Hotel AvraAmpelokipon 2, Str, PereaHOTEL83
Emporikon Hotel14 Sigrou & Egnatia Str.Hotel-
Amaris Wishes HotelAg Nikolaos Methoni PieriasHOTEL-
Olympia Hotel-Thessaloniki65, OlympouHotel-
City Hotel-ThessalonikiKomninon Street 11Hotel-
Tourist Hotel21, Mitropoleos StreetHotel-
El Greco HotelEgnatias 23Hotel77
Little Big HouseAndokidou 24,Hostel89
Luxembourg Hotel6 Komninon Str.Hotel-
Hotel Kastoria - ThessalonikiLeontos Sofou 17 Egnatia 24HOTEL74
Thessaloniki Flatsypourgou filippou dragoumi 24APARTMENT-
Colors Budget LuxuryValaoritou 21HOTEL78
Hotel Nefeli-SkyrosPlagiaHOTEL-
Hotel AnessisOktovriou StreetHotel-
Pantheon - HermesSelefkidon 12Hostel-
Plaza Hotel ThessalonikiDoxis & Paggaiou 5HOTEL-
Vergina HotelMonastiriou 19HOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet access is widely available throughout the country. Almost all hotels provide internet access, either free or paid. Local coffee shops usually offer free Wi-Fi access, as many other public places do. Feel free to ask for the password, if the network is locked. Internet cafes however tend to be expensive, about €1.5-2 per hour.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The cheapest way to call someone abroad is to use a pre-paid calling card and call from a land line anywhere (also from your hotel room). Pre-paid calling cards are sold in many shops and kiosks. The calling card is not much more than a phone number and a pin code, which you dial prior to dialing the usual phone number. If you want to call internationally, ask for an international calling card. For one euro you can call for about 45 minutes, so buy a card in the cheapest value (which is about €3). Calling someone for half an hour is cheaper than sending one email from an internet café. Cards expire usually 90 days after first use. You can also use this pre-paid calling card at public phone boxes, which are widely available.

Mobile phones are prevalent in Greek's communication, and if you need to talk with your co-travelers it is advised that you buy a local prepaid plan instead of using roaming, as it is far cheaper. There are at least three mobile carriers, Cosmote, Wind and Vodafone all of which require by law presenting some form of identification in order to activate your prepaid plan. Choose whichever has better reception in your area, keeping in mind that GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100 bands are supported. Data usage is cheap, costing about €3 per 100 MB. Ask the mobile carrier for more information.

Post

Hellenic Post is the Greek postal service. On their website you find more information about options to send letters, postcards and parcels and there is a search function regarding post offices and post boxes. It also has information on services like paying bills, transferring money, financial products etc. Greek post codes are five digits long and are usually written as follows; 123 45. The first three digits are used to identify the city, municipality or prefecture, for example the digits between 100 and 180 relate to the city of Athens. The last two digits identify a street or part of a street. Most post offices are open Monday to Friday from 07:30-14:00, although the largers ones usually have longer opening hours. For sending packages, you can also use international courier services like DHL, UPS or TNT.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 40.625035
  • Longitude: 22.972547

Contributors

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Thessaloniki Travel Helpers

  • inthessaloniki

    We created the most complete online guide of Greece’s second biggest city.

    Here you’ll find everything you need to know about Thessaloniki.

    If you’re planning a visit to our beautiful city, this is THE place for all the tourist info you’ll need about monuments, museums, churches.

    We’ve also gathered for you a list of the best places to eat, drink and go shopping, depending on your wallet. And if by any chance you’re the kind of person that prefers discovering a place on foot, Thessaloniki is just the place for you! Take a look at our walking routes and bus tours sections for more info.

    Once ready to look for accommodation and make your transport reservations, profit from our booking services and car rent sections for the lowest prices possible. Have fun!

    Ask inthessaloniki a question about Thessaloniki
  • AlexanderHaus

    I am a local there and we operate a small hotel, so we are accustomed and always happy to helping out visitors of our region.

    Ask AlexanderHaus a question about Thessaloniki

This is version 72. Last edited at 8:41 on May 30, 13 by Utrecht. 45 articles link to this page.

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