Take a trip to Thessaloniki this summer

Thessaloniki is the capital of Greek Macedonia and second biggest city that has rich history and a famous cuisine of their popular sweet desserts and dishes.

Thessaloniki  Photographer: Andrzej Wojtowlcz/Flickr/Creative Commons
Photographer: Andrzej Wojtowlcz/Flickr/Creative Commons

As Thessaloniki is known to be the second largest city in Greece, it has always had a rivalry to this day with the largest city in Greece, Athens. The rivalry started out in the ancient times when there were disagreements with leaderships between southern and northern Greece. The Athenians refused to follow King Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great as leaders. As a result, Alexander the Great destroyed cities such as Thebes, by burning them down, in order to force his leadership upon them. However, this wasn’t accepted by the Southerners, which is why they allied with the Romans with a promise of a renewed democracy. However, even though they defeated King Philip of Macedon, their choice to become allies with Romans had backfired, because the Romans then became rulers. However, the rivalry to this day is based on football fanatic team rivalries and the competition of which city is ‘better’.

Thessaloniki seafront Photographer: Anargyros Tsadimas/Flickr/Creative Commons
Thessaloniki seafront
Photographer: Anargyros Tsadimas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why not start your journey by visiting one of the most significant monuments that Thessaloniki has? In 1912, the Greeks regained power in the city along with the ownership of the White Tower of Thessaloniki. When entering the White Tower, you will be fascinated by the exhibitions they host. From learning about the history of Thessaloniki to learning about the Byzantine culture, you will surely leave the little White Tower, by learning something new.  Not only will you discover the historic White Tower, but the admission fee for the exhibitions is only 3 Euros.

The White Tower Photographer: Jamaine Jamalidean Katongle
The White Tower of Thessaloniki
Photographer: Jamaine Jamalidean Katongle

Continue your adventure by visiting the famous square in the beautiful and bustling city; Aristotelous Square. This square is the place for Christmas festivities, as they have phenomenal decorations; from giant boats lit up in gold lights that are 20 meters tall, Christmas markets, live acts, fireworks and of course, their 20 meter tall Christmas tree. Not only are their celebrations incredible during Christmas, but they celebrate New Years in style. However, Aristotelous Square isn’t only known for their entertaining celebrations, but the incredible view of the seafront that stretches throughout the city and has buildings all aligned together near the seafront. Aristotelous Square gives you the perfect opportunity to try Thessaloniki’s finest dishes and sweet desserts. Terkenlis is a popular patisserie shop that provides you with a variety of Greek traditional sweet and savoury pastry dishes, such as Tsoureki, kourabiedes and kourkoubinia.

Aristotelous Square Photographer: Lorenzo Gaudenzi/Flickr/Creative Commons
Aristotelous Square
Photographer: Lorenzo Gaudenzi/Flickr/Creative Commons

As you leave Aristotelous Square, you will come across a vibrant and modern, square that is only walking distance, called Athonos Square. The square is the heart of the city center and is known to be the best area for food. Athonos Square is a mix of both locals and tourists and conveys the history of Thessaloniki through the variety of cuisines it has that represents the several civilizations that were once in this city. As you walk up the little, alley ways from the square, you will see traditional tavernas, to modern and stylish restaurants, all aligned together with outdoor seating. This square is beautiful when visiting at night, as the little streets light up, which sets a lively and bubbly atmosphere. The dishes served in this city are usually large and satisfying, so make sure you have a big appetite and are ready to try what each cuisine offers.

Athonos Square Photographer: GiChristof
Athonos Square
Photographer: GiChristof

Stop by the beautiful and magnificent church, Hagia Sophia. The name of the church in translation is Saint Sophia and is one of the oldest and biggest, byzantine monuments that are still standing to this very day.  The building has aged, as the church is covered in faded orange and brown colours. Hagia Sophia is an important landmark that has been around since the 8th century in Thessaloniki, as the church conveys the history of invasions in the city, by the church once being converted into a cathedral and a mosque.

Thessaloniki is a fascinating and exciting city to be part of. With the ability to transition from adapting to the city life and Greek culture, to unwinding by the beach along the seafront, Thessaloniki simply cannot disappoint you.  From historic ancient grounds and byzantine monuments that have been around for centuries, to the modern and artistic scene, this city will always re-invent itself. Thessaloniki is a place that you would definitely come back to visit again; even if it’s for that sweet pastry you couldn’t get enough of!

3 thoughts on “Take a trip to Thessaloniki this summer

  1. Thessaloniki looks absolutely amazing. I’m traveling there in winter with Aegan to spend some days in Southern Europe. Thanks a lot for the nice introduction. I’m really looking forward to the trip 🙂

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