🏰 Byzantine Walls
Scattered throughout the city, you’ll find old Byzantine walls. I thought these ruins were really cool with just modern buildings and new parks built around them – so it’s not like they are being more destroyed or forgotten. You can enjoy a coffee or brunch overlooking the old walls – this was really cool.
🏰 Aristotelous Square
This is where everyone gathers at night. There is cheap food before going out. When I was there, all the locals queued up at a salad and smoothie place. Normally, I wouldn’t wait in such a long line, but my Greek friends couldn’t pass it by, so I, of course, got a salad and juice… and wow, it really was amazing! A “must try” when you’re there.
🛍️ Tsimiski Street (shopping street)
This is the main shopping street in town.
☕ Bougatsa Giannis
Must get one of the “mpougatsa” – it’s the city’s special pastry and the best one is here at Giannis (said by several locals).
Flavors: spinach, cheese, meat, or vanilla cream. I got the vanilla cream every morning and they ask if you’d like sugar and cinnamon on the top… So good!
Also, this is the cheapest place we found for Freddo Cappuccino (iced coffee that is super popular in Thessaloniki). Most are around €4+, but Giannis has them for €2.20
… Also, right next door to Giannis is a falafel place that is very good.
🏰 Waterfront Promenade
This is the main walking part on the water. In the scorching sun in the middle of the summer, it’s not ideal to walk there because there are no tress and no shade at all. However, at night, it’s nice to take a stroll there, or perhaps on a cloudy day.
🏰 White Tower
… one the East-side of the waterfront. You can go inside, but I stayed on the outside. Here’s why:
🍺 Free Boat Rides
The best way to see the waterfront, and the city from a different angle, is by boat. Across from The White Tower, there are a few big boats (silly ones that look like Caribbean island boats and others that look like pirate ships). They all offer “free” boat rides around the waterfront (about 20 minutes) if you buy a drink onboard ($9 beers – expensive for Greece)… Also non-alcoholic drinks, and smoothies… If you want no drink at all, then it’s $5 for a boat ticket.
🏰 Ano Poli (Old Town)
The old town is nice to walk around in. Small cobblestone streets, and some steep walks in some places.
🏰 Trigoniou (Chain) Tower / ViewPoint
The best view of the city!
🍺 Ladadika (historic district with bars and restaurants)
Another old part of town is Ladadika, but it has a lot of bars and restaurants scattered throughout. Again, you can see a lot of old ruins and the old walls while have a beer.
🏰 Arch of Galerius (Kamara)
Iconic monument dedicated in 303 CE featuring relief scenes of Galerius’ victory over the Persians.
(Between Ladadika and the Rotunda)
This was a cool part of town that I randomly stumbled upon my first night there. Kids play in the park, and the adults are in all the bars surrounding it having a casual beers. The bars are really cute, and there are a lot to choose from!
A neighborhood with trendy bars.
🏰 Church of Agios Dimitrios
This church is built upon the site of an ancient Roman bath house & contains Saint Demetrius’ body.
🏰 Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Personally, I didn’t go to this because the entire city is an archaeological museum – but there are some artifacts in there that I’m sure a lot of people who are into history would really love to see.
🍺 Block 33 or Principal Club Theater
Great for live music
🍺 Bit Bazaar
A colorful neighborhood with shops and cafes
☀️ Mount Olympus
The highest mountain in Greece – About a 1.5 hour drive from Thessaloniki. In Greek mythology, Olympus is the home of the Greek gods.
☀️ Beaches of Halkidiki
There are 3 peninsulas of beaches. The first and the second you’re allowed the visit, but the third one is off limits because it’s home to a lot of monks (who I guess are not allowed to see women)… If you’re a man, you’re allowed to visit, but you need to book your visit months ahead of time. For women, it’s completely forbidden.
I visited the second peninsula, which was really nice. The beaches I visited are called “Paradise Kavourotripes Beach” and “Karydi Beach.” Paradise beach really was like paradise! There was even a small bar with some chairs tucked away in the trees. I loved it.