The big-hearted city of the northern Greece
The White Tower of Thessaloniki Yorgos triantafyllou
Thrace region-id="pin-13"; Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
Warm and generous, Thessaloniki is at the same time historic and avant-garde, ideal for a city break or stopover and a fascinating mix of holiday memories in northern Greece

Greece’s second city is unlike anywhere else in the country. Thessaloniki is both a sprawling urban centre and a cultural melting pot, where dreams, ideas, visions and trends percolate in an alternative, avant-garde scene. Its history is written upon everything that surrounds you, with ancient monuments (Greek and Roman) found amongst buildings that tell the story of the city’s more recent Byzantine, Ottoman and Jewish influences. 

It has become one of Europe’s coolest city break destinations (welcoming flights to its international airport throughout the year) with a well-earned reputation for food and nightlife and a colourful arts & culture scene. Galleries and museums, international cinema and arts festivals, traditional tavernas, gourmet restaurants and street food as well as exhibition and conference centres … you’ll find it all. And above all, you’ll get a Thessaloniki-sized, warm-hearted welcome from the locals.

Discover the multicultural soul of the city

Thessaloniki is, above all, a city made to be strolled. A walking tour of Thessaloniki allows you to trace the civilisations and people that have left their mark. The Palace, Triumphal Arch and Rotunda (which formed the city’s administrative and religious centre during the reign of Emperor Galerius Maximilianos in the early 4th century AD) are the preeminent legacy of Roman times. Meanwhile, the Jewish Museum recreates the life of the Jewish community in pre-war Salonica. And don’t forget to visit the former home of Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, an architectural reminder of the Ottoman occupation.

In the White Tower (one of the symbols of Thessaloniki) by the waterfront, you’ll enjoy an interactive museum tour, with each floor dedicated to a different face of the city – cultural, commercial, culinary and intellectual – before emerging on the rooftop and being treated to a 360-degree view of the Thermaic Gulf and the city landscape. 

And in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, you’ll explore the extraordinary breadth of the region’s Macedonian culture, with artefacts such as the Petralona Hoard (a collection of bronze tools dating from the 3rd millennium BC) and the gold wreaths for which the Macedonians were famed.

Explore the castles and churches of Ano Poli

Thessaloniki is small enough to walk from Aristotelous Square in the centre to the Upper Town (alternatively take a taxi or bus). Once there, spend as long as you like exploring the narrow lanes of one of the oldest districts of Thessaloniki. It is home to Venetian castles (the Trigoniou Tower and Eptapyrgio fortifications) as well as more Ottoman monuments, the Vlatades Monastery and the Byzantine churches of Osios David and Agios Nikolaos Orfanos. It is the best-preserved district of the old city, with views across the sea and (on clear days) to Mt Olympus.

Best day trips from Thessaloniki

Fill up with the energy of a vibrant city

Window shopping on Tsimiski Street, bar-hopping on Valaoritou Avenue, attending the International Film Festival in one of the warehouses of the port, listening to live music in the Ladadika district or walking through the vaulted arches and open-air markets… there are so many things do to in Thessaloniki that you’ll quickly understand why it’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve. 

There’s a youthful energy, day and night, with hidden treasure around every corner: historic cafes, cosy bars and clubs with impressive designs in renovated industrial spaces that host live rock concerts. Thessaloniki’s nightlife is legendary in Greece. If in doubt, follow the locals to their favourite haunts. There’s something for all styles and tastes. 

Get ready for foodie heaven

Leaving Thessaloniki, you’ll take with you thousands of memories and a few (worthwhile) grams of weight. High-end restaurants and trendy dining options, as well as out-of-the-way ouzeries, tavernas and all-day restaurants have made Thessaloniki a renowned foodie destination in Greece. Istanbul and Pontos, the Balkans and the Mediterranean, Macedonia and Thrace… all these cultures will make their way onto your plate.   

Thessaloniki’s cuisine is known for its meze (small plates intended for sharing) and recipes that the 1920s refugees brought from Asia Minor. They also brought the tradition of patsa (tripe soup) and Thessaloniki’s famous bougatsa (a sweet-cream breakfast pastry that can be eaten at any time of day).


Explore Macedonia and the beaches of Halkidiki

The last of your experiences in Thessaloniki isn’t in Thessaloniki at all. As Greece’s main city in the north, it’s perfectly situated for excursions into the countryside, from the beaches of Halkidiki (you can be in Kassandra, the first of Halkidiki’s three peninsula ‘fingers’, in just over 1hr) to the Royal Tombs of Vergina (the burial site of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great) an hour to the west. Other archaeological sites within striking distance include Pella, Philippi and Ancient Dion and you can go wine tasting on a tour of the vineyards around Thessaloniki. To the south, you’ll find it hard to resist the feast of activities on Mt Olympus or you could discover other little-known but utterly beautiful areas of Greece, like the Axios River Delta in Thrace, one of Europe’s richest wetlands with around 300 bird species living permanently or migrating through the area.  

7 magical getaways just 60mins from Thessaloniki

Read More Read Less

FAQs about Thessaloniki, Greece

There are multiple ways to reach Thessaloniki, making it ideal for getaways throughout the year. It has an airport with international and domestic flights and is connected to Athens by the Greek National Highway (A1) (500km, 5hr15min by car). There are also land entry points between Greece and Bulgaria at the Promachonas border station (111km, 1hr25min from Thessaloniki), Turkey at the Kipi border station (337km, 3hr20min) and North Macedonia at the Evzoni border station (81km, 1hr5min). Finally, there are regular connections from Athens to Thessaloniki by public bus (KTEL) and train (more info here).

Thessaloniki airport is 18km from the city centre (30min by car) and there are regular bus services (more information here).

Thessaloniki is worth visiting all year round, with every season offering something different. Spring and autumn are the most comfortable seasons for walking around the city and exploring the countryside (with lower temperatures and fewer people). In summer, you can combine your visit to Thessaloniki with trips to the beach and the festive spirit at Christmas is one of the best in Greece.

Thessaloniki is famous for its warm and generous locals and love of life, with creativity and great food found all around the city. It is known as Greece’s most multicultural city, with Byzantine and Ottoman influences, as well as the influence of Greeks who returned from Asia Miner after the 1922 population exchange with Turkey. It also once had a large Jewish community. There are many museums and cultural sites and one of the best nightlife scenes in Greece.  

Experience the best of Thessaloniki

The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki

A tour of the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki

Agora Modiano Food Market in Thessaloniki

A tour of Agora Modiano, the central food market of Thessaloniki

Touring the vineyards and cellars will give you an appreciation of the first rate facilities

Exploring the wine routes of Thessaloniki

If there’s a city that’s become synonymous with nightlife and entertainment, this is Thessaloniki

The best of Thessaloniki’s legendary nightlife scene

Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum

A tour of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

We start at the emblematic White Tower, the 15th century prison that is now a museum

A walking tour of historic Thessaloniki

Book your trip

All your holiday planning needs in one place, letting you book direct and benefit from official online rates


Thessaloniki Sightseeing half-day Tour

5 hours
  • star-1
  • star-2
  • star-3
  • star-4
  • star-5
2 Reviews
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Book Thessaloniki sightseeing tour and get a complete idea of the city also known as Salonica. A city of great historic importance and a crossroad...

Authentic Greek Cooking Classes at Thessaloniki

3.5-4 Hours
  • star-1
  • star-2
  • star-3
  • star-4
  • star-5
3 Reviews
Free cancellation
Cancellation 7 days or more prior to the agreed cooking class starting date: You are automatically reimbursed for the full activity price. Cancellation between 3-6 days prior to the agreed cooking class starting date: You are entitled to a 50% reimbursement. Cancellation 2 days or later (last-minute cancellations): No reimbursements will be effected.
Ready to embark on a culinary adventure? Come to the inviting and cozy atmosphere of Ammilos and immerse yourself in the art of Greek cuisine through...
7 magical getaways just 60mins from Thessaloniki
One of Europe’s rising stars, Thessaloniki holds yet another ace up its sleeve. Around an hour’s drive away are experiences that are unique for European city breakers… exotic beaches, royal tombs, an ancient palace, the mountain of the gods and wetlands a
Discover It
Boat tour which give the visitor the opportunity to admire the incomparable beauty of Lake Kerkini
The 11 most popular experiences in Thessaloniki
Discover all the best things to do on your holidays in Thessaloniki, from the cultural sites and museums to the food markets and nightlife spots
Discover It
Thessaloniki is a city that invites you to walk it every hour of the day, with tree-lined avenues and a vibrant atmosphere.

Events & Festivals

All the diary items to light up your stay
SEP '23
SEP '23

Akram Khan Company: Jungle Book Reimagined

SEP '23
SEP '23

Reworks Festival 2023

Exhibition "Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki: 60 years |60 moments"
OCT '22
OCT '23

Exhibition "Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki: 60 years |60 moments"

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
Tasting the traditional sweets of Kefalonia

Our top 9 picks for food tours and cooking classes in Greece

Discover the mouth-watering world of Greek cuisine with our selection of cookery classes and food tours in Greece.
Itineraries & road trip ideas around Greece for couples and families

Best day trips from Thessaloniki

Discover the best day trips from Thessaloniki, with half-day and full-day tours for history, food and nature lovers so you can get the most out of your holidays in Greece’s second city
Bougatsa is a delicious filo pastry pie made either sweet with semolina-cream filling and dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon or savoury with fillings such as cheese or mince.)

A foodie guide to Thessaloniki

Our foodie guide to Thessaloniki introduces you to the local food scene, with tips on what and where to eat and why Greece’s second-biggest city is one of its best culinary getaways

Nearby destinations