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The sights of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki in Greece is a real find for tourists. Here you can visit the unique ancient sites, relax with children on the beach and go shopping in the many stores. Consider the most popular attractions of Thessaloniki, their photos and descriptions.

Top 7 Sights of Thessaloniki

The most famous sights of Thessaloniki can be seen in one day. Of course, for a tour of the entire beautiful city, this is too little. But if you are passing through Thessaloniki, do not miss this chance, because the main sights can be visited in the framework of a day tour. Tour of Thessaloniki – City Guide.

Byzantine temples of the center

In the heart of the city are three amazing Byzantine churches. They are surrounded by modern neighborhoods and you just can’t walk past them. These buildings have a rich history and unique architecture, if you come to Thessaloniki for the first time, be sure to visit these sights.

The Church of St. John the Baptist. Sophia

Church of St. Sophia - Thessaloniki

The first mention of the church dates back to the 8th century. It is an ancient Orthodox church that is now a World Heritage Site. During Ottoman rule, the church was turned over to Muslims and housed a mosque. But fortunately when the temple was re-equipped all the valuable frescoes and paintings were simply covered with a layer of plaster, and it was possible to restore them after the temple returned to Orthodoxy. Today all this splendor is available for viewing by tourists.

Panagia Chalkeon Temple

Panagia Chalkeon Temple - Thessaloniki

This Byzantine church also endured Ottoman rule, when all the temples of the city suffered the sad fate of being converted into mosques. The temple is recognized as a world heritage site and is now under the protection of UNESCO. The date of construction of the temple is believed to be 1028. The inscription on the entrance gate speaks eloquently of its creation, stating that this place had previously been desecrated, but was now dedicated by Christopher to the Shrine of Our Lady, for the remission of his and his family’s sins.

The decoration of the church has preserved unique icons and frescoes, which have no analogues in the world.

The Church of St. John the Baptist. Dmitry

The Church of St. Demetrius in Thessaloniki

According to legend, the temple was erected on the site of the death of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki, who perished during the reign of King Diocletian. At first a small chapel was erected here, but over time the temple developed and was completed. However, earthquakes and fires at the end of the 7th century razed the temple to the ground and then, the inhabitants decided to build a large five-nave temple in its place.

The church is famous for its unique frescoes, rich decoration and Byzantine splendor.


The waterfront in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a tax-free port. There’s no charge for taking goods in or out. That is why merchant ships from Europe and the Balkan countries often call at this port. The waterfront is the heart of the city, where tourists and locals love to stroll. Along the entire promenade are small stores with local souvenirs, restaurants and entertainment venues.

A special attraction of the walk added street musicians, who for a small fee are ready to organize this author’s concert!

White Tower

The White Tower, a landmark of Thessaloniki

The White Tower is a symbol of the city. This structure is more than 500 years old. The tower was built by the Ottoman wars to protect the city from enemy attacks from the sea. Later, the tower served as a barracks for Turkish soldiers and later became a prison and the last resting place of Greek patriots. A 27-meter-high structure of solid brickwork separates the old part of the embankment from the modern one.

Today there is a museum of Byzantine culture, where you can see with the help of modern multimedia equipment all the stages of development and formation of Byzantium.

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki has a unique collection of the oldest archaeological finds from the Neolithic period. The museum galleries display weapons, ancient sculptures, household items and other interesting exhibits discovered by Greek archaeologists. The Golden Hall attracts special attention. Gold jewelry, medals, and coins found during excavations of the royal family graves are collected here.

What is surprising in the Golden Hall is the coffin made of solid gold. Historians claim that King Philip II of Macedonia was buried there. Today, his remains have been reburied and his coffin is on display in a museum.

Military Museum

The War Museum of Thessaloniki

This museum represents the period of Greek patriots’ struggle for state freedom from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of World War II. Here you can see weapons, ammunition, awards and numerous models of warships. This period is of particular importance to the country, for thanks to the rejection of the struggle of the patriotic party, Greece became a free and independent state, preserving its culture and customs.

In front of the entrance to the museum are military aircraft, armored vehicles and samples of naval weapons.

Technology Museum

The Museum of Technology - an interesting place in Thessaloniki

This is a modern complex, which presents the achievements of mankind from ancient times to the present day. A visit to the museum will be interesting for both children and adults. A planetarium, a technopark and a space theater are located on a huge territory. A virtual reality simulator, where children and adults can take a fascinating journey into the past and the future, attracts special attention.

After the tour you can go to a local restaurant and buy unique scientific publications in the bookstore.

Beaches in Thessaloniki

Beaches in Thessaloniki, Greece

For many tourists visiting Thessaloniki for the first time, it is a surprise that bathing in the sea within the city limits is prohibited. Many people are just perplexed how you can not swim in the sea, if there is one. According to the authorities, the coastal waters within the city are too polluted by numerous ships and barges, and therefore tourists are invited to go out of town for bathing.

The suburban beaches of Solonik are only a half-hour drive or bus ride away. You can get here by public transport at the same rate as the fare within the city. City beaches include Mahiniona, Triada, Perea and Agia.

The beaches are clean and well maintained. Here you can not only swim in plenty, but also try your hand at surfing or diving.

Beaches in Thessaloniki, Greece

However, there are other beaches near Thessaloniki. The coastal strip of the peninsula of Halkidiki is a stunning landscape and azure sea. These beaches are considered a real attraction in Greece. There are regular buses, the fare which will cost you from 5 to 15 euros, depending on the distance from the beach. The trip takes up to an hour and a half, so you should leave early in the morning.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in Halkidiki are Nea Potida, Afitos, Chaniuti, Psakoudia and Marmaras.

Where to stay in Thessaloniki?

Where to stay in Thessaloniki

In this city you can find housing for all budgets. Numerous hotels are ready to accommodate tourists at any time of day, providing excellent service, food and comfort at a reasonable price. Five-star hotels are located on the coastline and have their own beaches. However, if you want to save money, choose hotels 3-4 stars within the city.

Despite the stardom in all hotels in Greece is organized by an excellent service. Hoteliers wage a real war to attract customers, and therefore in any hotel you will be welcomed as the dearest guest.

The most popular five-star hotels among our tourists:

  1. Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki. The 5-star hotel fully justifies its status. Magnificent rooms, excellent service and many additional options allow you to stay in the hotel with special comfort. Here you can visit the spas, take a sauna, swim in the pool and dine at the fine restaurant.
  2. Minerva Premier Hotel. Marble Hotel, as it is called by those who had the chance to rest in this hotel. The magnificent marble decoration is striking in its richness and gives the impression of being in a royal palace. The hotel has its own travel agency, where you can order any tour of the main attractions of the city.
  3. The Bristol Hotel. The rooms of this hotel are a journey back in time. Unique retro interiors will delight fans of the classics. Each room is not like the next, and therefore even a walk around the hotel is equal to a real excursion. Despite the retro style, the hotel is equipped with the latest technology. Rooms have everything you need, and staff, especially welcome Russian-speaking tourists.

Video tour of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the capital of Macedonia and one of the most visited resorts in Greece. According to tradition, this city was founded in the 4th century BC in honor of the wife of King Cassander. The woman was famous for her beauty, and the king ordered the establishment of a city as beautiful as his wife. The city was named after a beautiful queen whose name was Thessalonica.

Useful information about Thessaloniki

When going to Thessaloniki do not forget that in this port city there are no beaches for bathing. So if you plan to sunbathe and swim, immediately include a trip to the suburban beaches in your travel plan. If you want to spend every day by the sea, buy a hotel near the city, which has its own beach.

Thessaloniki is a city rich in attractions. If you want to explore the main of them on their own, the hotel can take a brochure with descriptions and photos, on which you can easily make your own route.

Guides advise to travel around the city on foot, because at every step there are amazing sights.

When booking a hotel, take a room with single meals, because the city has a huge number of cafes and restaurants, which would be a crime not to visit. Delicious cuisine and very reasonable prices allow the whole family to eat in the city without breaking the budget.

Any excursion can be purchased at the hotels. Professional guides will tell you the history of the sights and show you the most interesting places. However, it is rational to buy tours to visit the sights near Thessaloniki, you can travel around the city on your own.

Useful information about Thessaloniki (Greece)

Despite the safety of the city is better not to take large sums of money and original documents. All this can be left in the hotel safe. However, always carry copies of your documents with you in case they are checked by the local police.

In addition to sightseeing and recreation Thessaloniki is a great place for shopping. In the local markets you can buy almost everything, but do not forget to haggle. Local sellers are willing to cut the original price in half for a persistent buyer. Here you can buy both antique household items and intricate trinkets of local craftsmen.

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