If you’ve only visited Athens and the islands on your travels through Greece, you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful destinations of the country: Greece’s second-biggest city, Thessaloniki.
Singers and poets have written about the city’s beauty for centuries, and the area has a lot to offer travelers in addition to its classic history and architecture. So here are some reasons why you should discover mesmerizing Thessaloniki this summer!
Experience the Incredible Nightlife
Thanks in part to its large student population — Thessaloniki has some of the best and biggest universities in the country — the city has some of the greatest nightlife in the Balkans. Whether you want a cozy night at the small bars along Nikis Boulevard, or barhopping at the nightlife hotspot by Valaoritou and Syngrou roads, or dancing all night out at Mylos Warehouse, Thessaloniki has something to offer you.
Stroll Down the Old Waterfront
This stunning, historic part of the city by the water is perfect for evening strolls and daytime exploration. Don’t forget to stop and admire Thessaloniki’s famous White Tower, and grab some snacks from the street vendors.
Experience the Incredible Museums and Culture
Thessaloniki has a reputation as a highly artistic city with plenty of events and institutions to keep art, history and film aficionados occupied. Definitely check out the Museum of Byzantine Culture and outArchaeological Museum, but don’t forget to visit the smaller museums like the Folk and Ethnographic Museum and the Teloglion Foundation of Art. If you are in town in November, get tickets to the International Film Festival in Thessaloniki that takes place every year.
Taste the Local Sweets
Throughout Greece, Thessaloniki is especially known for its sweets, such as the tsoureki from a shop named Terkenlis. Local shops sell plenty of Eastern desserts, and the city is famous for its bougatsa — try some along with strong local coffee in one of the many hip coffee shops around town.
Stay at the Luxurious Grand Hotel Palace
As one of the top-rated hotels in the city of Thessaloniki, the Grand Hotel Palace is a favorite choice for visitors who want a luxurious retreat to retire to at the end of a long day of sightseeing. The spacious, exquisitely decorated rooms with private balconies and plush bedding will help you relax and unwind, while the gourmet on-site restaurant, full-service spa and fitness center will cover all of your other needs so you don’t have to lift a finger on your vacation.
Explore the Alternative Side
Neighborhoods like Ladadika have become very popular in recent years as local hangout spots, though the area was originally home to commercial facilities. The old spaces have become trendy bars and restaurants where the city’s young people often come to hang out. For another great young hangout spot, check out the area around Rotunda and Aristotelous Square. You will find everything from gyro shops and bars to tattoo studios here, as well as plenty of people hanging out late into the night.