Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, in northern Greece is the country's second largest city. In the far north, not too far from teh Macedonian border lies this lovely artistic and incredibly vibrant city. A relaxed way of life, where coffee and cigarettes in the sun is practically their religion, it is a brilliant place for young people or groups of friends. Seeped in history, with remnants of WW2 everywhere and of course the iconic White Tower, it is full of cafes, bars, lots of shops and a very bright cheerful atmosphere. It may be a small city but it is mighty and there are plenty of ruins and historical sites to see. The sightseeing bus is €10 per person and takes you to the big sights but possibly isn't the best value, as it seems to miss out some huge churches and monuments but you could pick the nearest bus stop and explore fully on foot; although my tired body did not allow it.



What To See

The White Tower is a historical point in the city and is beautiful. You can enter the tower and climb the stairs to the top to see the view of the sea and the city. Castro is also a brilliant place to see for views, you can hop on the city tour bus (€10 for the day) to see the sights, although it doesn't stop at many great places, it is a good way to get around if your time is limited there. At Castro there are little neigbourhoods to explore and a few ruins, including cafes and taverns with great views. The shopping area is huge in Thessaloniki. It is one long main street with boutiques and high street names, that make it a great stop off for shopping and treating yourself. I saw quite a few beautiful bag shops, good quality at good prices, it really was impressive for shoppers and can see its attraction for that alone. The main shopping street is on Tsmiski. If you take a walk along the waterfront, there are little gardens and artwork dotted around. It is very interesting for those who enjoy a little bit of culture and art. The city is famous for its students, so it's lively and always something going on!

















The history of Thessaloniki is very fascinating and you will notice the architecture is slightly different to the south and the islands. It is stone mostly and has a definite influence from it's Macedonian roots. Of course, there was a large Jewish community and there is one lasting synagogue in the city from WW2 when sadly most of the Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. The holocaust memorial is not too far from Aristotelous Square on the main road.

Where To Stay 

I stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel. It was my second stay at an Electra hotel, as I have been to the one in Athens before and loved it. The location was perfect in Aristotelous Square, near to all the shops, all the cafes and within walking distance of the sea edge and the White Tower. There are lots of affordable hotels in Thessaloniki, many are based right in the city centre, but beware, it is a very LOUD city!! There are bikes, street noise, workers noises right through until about 4am and then it seemed to settle a little until about 7am but it's such a vibrant city, I found it to be even more noisy than Athens, but perhaps that was partly bad luck! There are some other 4 star alternatives for people who like a nice home away from home with all the comforts, including the City Hotel which is artistic and I passed it on my walk and it is stylish and very boutique feeling (would be good for couples!)

I took this photo from the breakfast suite of the Electra Palace - those skies! So moody yet so beautiful!



My ultimate travel companion was this amazing heavy duty yet still soft bag from Rox and Ann
What Is Accessible From Thessaloniki

The answer is quite a lot! Down the coast, you have the beautiful resorts in Halkidiki, around an hour or so away, with beautiful hotels and stunning beaches, which are becoming very popular with holidaymakers in recent months. Also, there are plenty of your companies in the city which can take you to the nearby Mount Olympus and Meteora (I was highly impressed) which are all magical wonders of this fantastic country!

So why not make this charming, small and friendly little city your next city break!





1 comment:

Post a Comment