For a long period of time I wanted to visit Greece. This year we somehow managed to get there. As cheapest flights from Paris were into Thessaloniki, we kinda went with the flow and decided to visit Thessaloniki too. Hence, here’s my Thessaloniki travel guide.
- Before you start, here’s my recommendations for Piraeus
Thessaloniki travel guide
Thessaloniki is one of the important cities of Greece. And even though it is not as beautiful as the dreamy Greek islands, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Historically, Thessaloniki played an important role. It was funded and developed in Hellenistic era. It knew the Roman invasion. After the fall of Roman Empire it survived repeated barbarian invasions from the Byzantine era. And its architecture changed during the Ottoman occupation.
Today you can see every era only by walking around the city. Here’s my Thessaloniki travel guide for a walking visit.
Stroll by the sea
Start your visit with a stroll by the sea. Of course, you cannot miss the monument of Umbrellas, a modern symbol for Thessaloniki.
The White Tower
Continue your walk by the sea with a quick stop at White Tower. This monument was adopted as the historic symbol of the city. Previously the tower served for a prison and a place for public executions during the Byzantine era. In addition, you can learn about its past with a visit inside.
Afterwards, take the perpendicular pedestrian street that brings you straight to the Roman Agora. This archaeological site is preserved between the apartment buildings.
The Rotunda of Galerius
From this place continue your walk through the pedestrian area to the Rotunda. But just before reaching this circular building used as temple, mosque and church, stop by the Arch of Galerius. The Arch depicts scenes of Galerius Emperor’s wars and Roman personalities.
Ano Poli or The Upper Town
Continue your walk with an ascension through Ano Poli, or the Upper Town. As the name suggests, this area of the city is on altitude. The structure of this part of the city remained unchanged through the Ottoman era.
From Thesaloniki travel guide we cannot skip the fortress of Eptapyrgio which dominates Ano Poli. This fortress is the Acropolis of the Byzantine and Ottoman era.
Once on top of the city, take a moment the enjoy the view of Thessaloniki and the sea. Next, start climbing your way down along the battlements of the fortress.
These are the main attractions from my Thessaloniki travel guide. But of course, there’s much more there to see and experience by yourself. For instance:
- let your steps wander on the narrow streets of Ano Poli
- enjoy an original tramway ride with an old tram
- take a walk on the pedestrian streets of Thessaloniki
- visit many churches inside (Beware: wear decent clothes! Girls, cover your shoulders! Also, they may ask you to wear a long skirt when entering the church. If they do, you can borrow one at the entrance.)