VISIT THE OLD TOWN OF THESSALONIKI (ANO POLI)
The Old Town is the oldest district in Thessaloniki and the only part of the city that survived the great fire of 1917. If you want to take a break from the bustling rhythms of the city center and explore Thessaloniki’s fascinating past at a leisurely pace, the Old Town is the place to go. The town’s Ottoman houses and stone-paved streets are saturated with history and the local tavernas are the ideal place to experience the culinary traditions of Asia Minor and Macedonia. Finally, head toward the Byzantine walls and find a vantage point atop the Eptapyrgio fortress to enjoy spectacular views to the city.
ENJOY THE NIGHTLIFE AT LADADIKA
The historic area of Ladadika was once a food market that was slowly abandoned following the great fire of 1917. Ladadika was declared a heritage site in 1985 in order to preserve its unique architecture. Many bars, restaurants, and tavernas set up shop in its colorful neoclassical buildings, bringing new life into the long-deserted area. Today, Ladadika is the premier nightlife spot of Thessaloniki, an amalgamation of past and present, gathering locals and visitors alike to enjoy its unique vibe.
EXPERIENCE THE THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF)
Every November, Thessaloniki is transformed into a hub of creativity and vibrant artistic expression. The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has humble beginnings, starting out as the Greek Film Week in 1960, yet managing to reach international status within three decades. Currently, the TIFF is the most prestigious film festival in southeastern Europe featuring film productions from all around the world, notable guest appearances, masterclasses, panel discussions, and a multitude of other activities relevant to the art of filmmaking.
VISIT LOCAL FOOD MARKETS
Stimulate your senses in one of the city’s food markets. Kapani, the oldest open food market in the city, sells locally sourced fresh produce. Here you’ll see food vendors passionately advertising the quality of their merchandise. Then head towards Modiano Market where you’ll be swept away by the aromas of freshly ground coffee and exotic spices. Get a table in a nearby meze shop and engage in some leisurely people watching.
VISIT THE MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY
The Municipal Art Gallery hosts art pieces by both local and international artists. It is housed in Villa Bianca, a beautiful house and one of the best examples of eclecticist architecture in Thessaloniki. Don’t miss the chance to explore its collection during your stay.
DISCOVER THE ANCIENT WONDERS OF VERGINA
Vergina is a famous archaeological site in Macedonia and the location of the first Macedonian capital known as Aigai. It is here that the first palaces of the Macedonian kings were built and where the foundations of the ancient Macedonian state were established. Explore the citadel with its five towers, the ancient theater, the royal tombs of the Great Tumulus, and the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai that houses artifacts discovered inside the royal tombs.
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO PELLA
Pella became the capital of the kingdom of Macedonia in the 5th century BC. Discover the fabulous mosaics depicting god Dionysus and the abduction of Helen of Troy in the ruins of the ancient homes and the royal palace where Alexander the Great grew up. Finally, visit the Archaeological Museum of Pella, home to some well-preserved paintings and mosaics that were found inside the mansions of the ancient capital.
The picturesque Louloudadika district is located just a few steps away from Modiano Market. The area got its name from the small flower shops that adorn its sidewalks and fill the air with fragrant aromas. Louloudadika is especially charming under the morning sun, so visit early in the day and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the area’s quaint cafeterias.