About Thessaloniki

  • A panoramic view of Ano Poli (the Old City) in Thessaloniki
  • Panoramic view of Aristotelous, at the heart of Thessaloniki city, Greece
  • A view of Thessaloniki
  • International film festival of Thessaloniki
  • Ladadika in Thessaloniki
  • Rotonda church in Thessaloniki
  • The Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki
  • The old harbor of Thessaloniki
  • The port of Thessaloniki at night
  • Thessaloniki port
  • Thessaloniki's waterfront at sunset
  • Umbrellas at Thessaloniki port
  • View of the White Tower from above
  • Τhessaloniki Port
  • Alexander the Great statue in Thessaloniki
  • Thessaloniki port at night
  • Thessaloniki aerial

Established in the 4th c. BC, Thessaloniki has always maintained its urban character and remained a civic center and hub of the region. The city’s centuries-old multicultural history has been associated with great empires, such as the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. The town was also greatly influenced by many ethnic and religious groups (Jews, Latins, Armenians and others) as well as Greeks from Constantinople, Pontus [modern-day northeastern Turkey] and Asia Minor [a.k.a. Anatolia]. The numerous monuments, dating to various historical periods, coexist in a singular and charming way and manifest Thessaloniki’s historical multicultural and cosmopolitan nature. Nowadays, the historic capital -by right- of Macedonia, the land of Alexander the Great, has evolved into a modern and particularly charming metropolis. A multitude of monuments and cultural assets and the town’s traditional ways exist in harmony with modern trends and high quality infrastructure, the relaxed atmosphere, the spirit of hospitality, the vitality of the locals – particularly the young – setting the pace of town life, the diversity of artistic events, the long list of choices for entertainment, the exceptional culinary tradition, and the fresh breezes coming from the seafront and the coolness of the northwest wind, Vardaris. Thessaloniki is situated at the heart of an extensive area of incomparable historical monuments and natural assets and provides the opportunity to visit archaeological sites known the world over (Ancient Pella, Vergina, Dion, Petralona Cave and so on), to areas of exquisite nature (river deltas, lakes, Mt Olympus), to the monastic state of Agion Oros [the Holy Mountain better known as Mount Athos] as well as to Halkidiki, a famous tourist destination. Of course, there is always an opportunity for sports (swimming, skiing, golf and so on) or to indulge in health tourism (hot springs and spas). In short, Thessaloniki is a city that caters to even the most demanding needs year round.

  • Thessaloniki was the European Youth Capital for 2014 and a former European Capital of Culture.
  • Fifteen of the city’s monuments are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites.
  • In 2013, Thessaloniki was listed as one of the National Geographic’s 20 ‘Must-See’ places in the world, and has been ranked 5th in Lonely Planet’s World’s Top 10 party cities
  • The city hosted a number of sports events during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
  • Best-selling author Victoria Hislop’s novel "The Thread", takes the history of Thessaloniki over the last 100 years as a backdrop.


Thessaloniki Unesco City
Fifteen early Christian and Byzantine Churches, Baths, walls and towers are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites.

Unesco Monuments

29 Museums
Thessaloniki was the European Capital of Culture in 1997 and remains a city with intense cultural activity.

museum picture.jpg

A mosaic of Monuments
Outdoor sculpture provides its own artistic and historic touch to Thessaloniki’s cultural identity.


Mount Athos
Mount Athos is a self-governed peninsula in Greece that’s home to 20 monasteries and some 2,000 monks. Since the 9th century, 1,000 divine liturgies have been performed daily on the Christian Orthodox peninsula. Men only.

Mount Athos

Heritage of Alexander the Great
Vergina and Pella, the seat of the Alexander the Great, remains of the royal palaces, tombs and golden treasures await discovery.

Alexander the Great

The best seafront in Europe
Stroll or ride along the longest urban seafront in Europe. Thessaloniki Port to Thessaloniki Concert Hall provide 5 km of seafront to stroll along with magnificent views of Mt Olympus, the sunset and the natural Greek flora.


A great shopping destination
Thessaloniki welcomes visitors from the whole of northern Greece, as well as the Balkans, due to its wide range of products offered in the marketplace, for all tastes and budgets!


Gastronomic capital of Greece.
The gastronomic identity of Thessaloniki is shaped by local flavors enriched by the cultures that have passed through the city and the recipes introduced by Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Pontos and Eastern Thrace.


Nightlife in Thessaloniki is an experience with countless options for dining and entertainment! The National Geographic included Thessaloniki in the top-ten list of cities with the best nightlife worldwide!

Night Life

Sea & Sun
Hundreds of beaches within an hour’s drive from the city center provide a different atmosphere. A sandy beachfront offers a hidden paradise in a valley of olive groves in Chalkidiki and at the foot of the divine Mount Olympus.


Download the City Guide for detailed information about the city’s sightseeing & useful information.

1. Getting around the city

Thessaloniki is easy to get around in, as everything is 30 minutes away from the center by public transportation.

The best way to get to know with the historic center is by strolling around the UNESCO monuments, the market, the traditional tavernas, and along the seafront to enjoy a beautiful sunset. The distance between them is no more than a few minutes’ walk. Public buses and taxis are the main means of transportation in Thessaloniki, while bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years. The picturesque boats and the alternative Segway, complete the list of transportation options during the summer period.

Bus Public Transport
The Organization of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki (O.A.S.TH.) is the second largest in Greece and connects the entire city via a dense network of bus routes. You can purchase tickets at the O.A.S.TH.’s ticket booths, the 1,200 shops that stock tickets or from the vending machines inside the buses. Free service is offered to people with special needs.

Try taking the “No 50 Cultural Route”, departing from the White Tower. It passes through the monuments, important buildings, old neighborhoods, narrating the historic wealth of Thessaloniki over time. Both optic and acoustic information is available for passengers, in Greek and English.

All necessary information concerning timetables, bus tracking in real time, route duration, best routes etc, is available on the official page of O.A.S.TH. Standard adult tickets: €1.00 and €1.10 when purchased from ticket machines on the buses (for one trip). For up to 2 trips within seventy (70) minutes from the time of issue the ticket is €1.20. Travel cards of various durations are also available.


Thessaloniki sightseeing
The Thessaloniki sightseeing company offers tours around the city on its open deck busses. It is a 70 minute tour, departing from the White Tower, with 8 stops at the most important tourist attractions, and due to its frequency you can visit any other historic monuments or places of interest (frequency of arrival 30-80 minutes depending on the season). Commentary is available in 11 languages (Greek, English, German, Russian, Serbian, Jewish, Turkish and Romanian).


Τhere are approximately 2,000 taxis in Thessaloniki with 24h service taxi ranks in many city spots and in many departure areas such as the airport, the train station, the Macedonia Intercity Station and the port.

Cost of various routes:
Macedonia Airport – historic center and vice versa: approximately 18 euros.

Macedonia Intercity Station – historic center and vice versa: approximately 7 euros.

Train Station – historic center and vice versa: approximately 5 euros.

A double fare is charged between midnight and 05:00 am.

Thessaloniki’s taxis are blue with a white roof.

Discover Thessaloniki by bicycle! City touring becomes even more enjoyable through a network of marked bicycle lanes. The Municipality of Thessaloniki bike sharing system named I-BIKE, or THESSBIKE company, provides eight stations and a fleet of 200 bicycles, including two-seat, four-seat, electric bikes and vehicles for the handicapped.


Thessaloniki City Map

2.    Climate

Thessaloniki has a Mediterranean climate partly affected by the mainland.

The rarity of extreme weather conditions and the mild temperatures of all four seasons, provide the perfect opportunity for residents and visitors to take pleasure in the beauty and colors of each shift in the urban landscape.

In September the average temperature is 25°C with average humidity 47%.


3.    Currency / Banking / Shopping Hours

Greece is a member of the Eurozone and the euro is the official currency.

You can buy euros from banks, exchange offices in the city center and the airport "Macedonia", while foreign exchange services are offered in many hotels.

The opening hours of banks accepting foreign currency are:

Monday-Thursday: 8:00 -14:30 & Friday: 8:00 -13:30.

Shopping hours

The shops’ opening hours are not pre-determined.

In general terms, the regular shopping hours on weekdays are 09:00 – 21:00 and Saturdays 09:00 – 15:00.

Malls and large stores operate:

  • Monday-Friday: 09:00 – 21:00
  • Saturday: 09:00 – 18:00 or 20:00

Shops, boutiques and other commercial markets, operate:

  • Monday/ Wednesday/ Saturday: 09:00 – 15:00
  • Tuesday/ Thursday/Friday: 09:00 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 21:00


4.    Time

Thessaloniki, like the rest of Greece, belongs to the Eastern European Time Zone and is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2). Like most European countries, Thessaloniki implements daylight saving time.


5.    Useful Phone Numbers
  • Thessaloniki area code (30) 2310
  • European Emergency Number 112
  • Police 100
  • Tourist Police (+30) 2310554874
  • Fire Department 199
  • Ambulance 166
  • Port Authority (+30) 2310593134
  • Traffic Police (+30) 2310250740
  • Railway Customer Service Centre 14511
  • Urban Transportation 11085
  • Intercity coaches (+30) 2310595400
  • TAXI 18300, 18180, 18288
  • Airport (+30) 2310985000
6.    Dining and Nightlife

Aristotelous Square: the square is 100 meters wide, surrounded by monumental buildings, opening onto the waterfront and the city’s seafront avenue (Nikis avenue), where cafes, trendy bars, restaurants and street performers can be found.

Navarinou Square: Popular university student’s haunts (open-air cafes overlooking the ruins of the imperial palace).

Valaoritoy district: The new trendy neighborhood with restaurants, bars and live music scenes.

Bar rows in the city center – cluster of bars with distinct character can be found at Lori Margariti, Nikiforou Foka, Zefxidos and Valaoritou streets.

Waiter Tips
Tipping is not obligatory, but always welcome!


7.    WI-FI Hot Spots

Surf, upload, share, get informed, Free!

The Municipality of Thessaloniki offers the possibility of free wireless internet access from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops in places of economic, tourist and social interest of the city (the network will soon be extended to other parts of the Municipality of Thessaloniki).

The free wireless access points are:

  • Mina Patrikiou Square
  • Municipal Swimming Pool
  • Floricultural park
  • New City Hall
  • Tsimiski Avenue – Angelaki Street
  • Entrance of Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)
  • N.Germanou Street - Entrance of the Municipal Garden Theatre
  • Society for Macedonian Studies
  • White Tower Square
  • Romfei square
  • Aristotle Square

But even if you move outside of free Wi-Fi hotspots, you can connect to any of the hundreds of cafes, restaurants and such like in the city, offering free Wi-Fi access to their customers!


Thessaloniki welcomes you