Day 1 in Thessaloniki

Welcome to Thessaloniki! Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!

Start your day at the waterfront of Thessaloniki, easily one of the most festive anywhere in Europe. The promenade is alive with restaurants, bars, boutiques, cafes and sights. This is a great place to grab some lunch and get your bearings of the city.

Take a stroll along the 3 mile long waterfront trail, feel the pulse of the city, see historical sights and the more artistic side of the city. View the 20 ft tall monument of Alexander the Great riding his horse `Voukefalas`, one of the most famous horses of antiquity. Further along the boardwalk, you’ll see the `Umbrellas`, by Greek sculptor Giorgios Zoggolopoulos. Award-winning, it consists of a static group of floating umbrellas that stand 42 ft tall. It is easily one of the most photographed pieces in the city.

While you`re near the water, head up the historic six-storey White Tower, the iconic symbol of Thessaloniki. The Tower was used by the Ottoman Turks as a fortress and a prison. In 1826, at the order of the Sultan Mahmud II, there was a massacre at the tower and in turn, it acquired the name `Tower of Blood`. When the city was taken over by the Hellenic State, the tower was whitewashed, a symbol of cleansing and rebirth. These days the White Tower is open to the public and is home to exhibits and a timeline illustrating the city`s history. Head to the roof and enjoy the lovely vistas.

Continue on familiarizing yourself even more by following the old city walls off-the-beaten-track. It`s like taking a trip back in time and experiencing what the city used to look and feel like. The city itself has been fortified since the 4th-century. The walls are a late Roman style construction consisting of ashlar masonry and brick.

As the evening approaches head to the Upper Town, also known as the Old Town. It`s the part of the city that survivied the Great Fire of 1917. Upper Town features the city`s rich past, traditional and preserved structures from a time long ago, including small stone-paved streets, charming squares and houses in both greek and Ottoman architecture.

At the top of Old Town sits the Acropolis of Thessaloniki. Inside the Acropolis, you`ll discover the Heptapyrgion, the city`s main (Seven Tower) fortress. It`s a great place to learn about the city`s past all while enjoying stunnings views of the entire area. You`ll also find lovely cafes, restaurants and taverns around the fortress, a great spot to relax over a delicious dinner and take it all in. You`ll notice the entire area in the old Thessaloniki district comd alive at night as bars, restaurants and clubs open up and close at dawn.

Day 2 in Thessaloniki

Rise and shine! Grab some breakfast before heading out for more exploration on the second-largest city in Greece. Start your day at the Roman Forum, also known as `Ancient Agora`, located just a few blocks away from aristotelous square in the middle of the city. The Forum (Agora) was constructed by the Romans in the late 1st-century AD. Along with the Galerian Palace Complex it was the center of political and public life in Thessaloniki. Visiting the Forum is a great chance to step back in time, it is well preserved and provides you an idea of the Roman period in the city.

After, head over to Agios Dimitrios Church and Crypt, a UNESCO site just a short distance from the Roman Forum. This gorgeous church is awe-inspiring. Dimitrios is a patron saint of Thessaloniki, so a lot of attention was paid to make this church as majestic as possible. There are lots of amazing artifacts to see and a serene place to reflect and pray.

Next, spend some time at the historic house museum of Atatürk. The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Tukey, Mastafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born here in 1881. He is considered one of the most important and historic personalities of Turkey. The house has three floors and a courtyard with most of the furnishings and personal objects inside the house being authentic.

Enjoy some time discovering the Rotunda, another UNESCO site in the city, it was built in 306 A.D by the Romans. The building has a circular plan, which is sometimes covered by a dome. The Rotunda is quite similar to the Pantheon in Rome in that it has an oculus on the top. Both Rotundas have been built in Roman times and one in Thessaloniki has gone through different stages, it used to be a temple, a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, a Christian church and it is now a monument. This is a must see for ancient history buffs!

Lastly, end your afternoon at the Archaeological Museum, one of the largest museums in Greece and the one of the most beautiful and important museums of the city. Due to the city`s rich Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine history the museum hosts a variety of exhibits that will impress every visitor. Offering beautiful samples of Roman archeticture, unique colorful mosaics, sculptures and jewellery from the Greek Classical and Hellnistic period.

Also, the Byzantine Museum is just a short walk from the Archaeological Museum. The museum is packed with incredible artefacts - collections of sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, icons and inscriptions from the Byzantine period. It`s brilliantly laid out and cleaverly designed to lead you through the different ages of the Byzantine period.

After a busy day of sightseeing, we recommend taking in a play or concert at one of the city`s many theaters, concert halls, and nighclubs with live entertainment. Grab dinner at any of the numerous taverns and ouzo restaurants throughout the city. If you`re trying to taste the cuisine of Thessaloniki you must order Soutzoukakia and have some pita and yogurt with it – delicious! A great spot to go is the Ladadika district, the ultimate area for night entertainment. The pedestrian area is flooded with sounds from all musical trends, as well as many restaurants and bars.

Day 3 in Thessaloniki

On your last day in Thessaloniki, this is the day to take advantage of being on vacation and spend some time strolling, wandering, and browsing. Start your day by taking in the city`s markets: the Modiano, the open-air food market on Athonos Square, the Kapani (Vlali) is the oldest open market of the city, and Bezesteni markets, which all blend into each other. A walk in thess market is a chaos of senses overload that will make you feel the spirit of the city. Expect to see colorful spices from all over the world, find items that you didn`t know existed and inhale aromas that will make you want to sample everything you see.

Enjoy the rest of your day browsing through some of the shops and galleries along Eganatia, Tsimiski, Aristotelous, Ayias Sofias, and pedestrinized Dimitriou Gounari streets. Tsimiski Avenue in the heart of Thessaloniki, it contains many boutiques, fashion shops, delicatessens and large bookstores amongst other things. `Plateia` (Plaza) shopping mall, with the famous `Odeon` multiplex cinemas, is also located on Tsimiski Avenue, near Aristotelous Square. Moreover, Tsimiski Av. hosts many large and impressive department stores like `Nottos Galleries`. If lucky, you may discover some brand names at real bargain prices here. While walking this Avenue you`ll most likely be accompanied by live music, since many local and some foreign less known bands perform on Tsimiski Avenue.

When you`ve finished shopping and wandering through the city, head to the waterfront for sunset to enjoy your last dinner at one of the many beautiful restaurants located here.

Additional Days in Thessaloniki

Should you be able to spend additional days in Thessaloniki, you may want to head out of the city to see some of the sites elsewhere. About 50 miles southwest of Thessaloniki, Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece. It features in Homer`s Iliad as the home of the gods, who were known as the Olympians. This mighty massif covers an area of about 12 miles across and climbs steeply towards the summit, reaching its highest point in Mítikas at 1.8 miles. Though the highest ridges are difficult to climb, the most northerly peak offers easier access. South of Mount Olympus, the Vale of Tempe is where the river Piniós (Peneios) flows to the sea and is the principal route into central Greece from the north.

Nature lovers may also want to visit Lake Vistonida near the town of Porto Lagos, about a two-hour drive from Thessaloniki. This wetland area attracts vast flocks of migrating birds and is perfect for bird watching with more than 300 different species recorded here.

Alternatively, if the weather is nice, you may want to do as the locals do and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. Epanomi is a great sandy beach easily accessible by bus. Agia Triaa is another beach (about 40 minutes away) that is a Blue Flag beach. The Halkidik Peninsula, a popular holiday spot, famed for its turquoise waters, is located furthest east, but definitely doable for a day trip (about 1.5 hours away).

Your Last Day in Thessaloniki

Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.