Thessaloniki is the second largest town in Greece. It is located in northern Greece and its international airport makes it a nice gateway to the northern and central part of the Greek mainland. As Thessaloniki is a town with a long history, there is much sightseeing to visit. The main sights of Thessaloniki date from the Roman and Byzantine times, and include the Roman Arch of Galerius, the Monument of Rotonda, the Church of Saint Demetrius and the Medieval Castle. The symbol - and most important monument in Thessaloniki - is the White Tower, found at the famous Beach Promenade of the city. As Thessaloniki is geographically located in a central spot of the country, it is nice as an excursion base to places like Halkidiki, Kavala, and Meteora.
In this section, you can see the best Thessaloniki Sightseeing but also things to see by location.
You can also view all things to do in Thessaloniki by category: neighborhoods, beaches, museums, and churches.
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The White Tower, standing along the beach promenade, is the symbol of Thessaloniki. Constructed in the 16th century by the Ottomans, it was used as a fortress, a prison and a university workshop. Today it hosts a museum.
Mostly known as Kamara, the Arch of Galerius was constructed in 305 AD to celebrate and commemorate the final victory of Roman general Galerius over the Persians. This victory is the main theme of the carved scenes on this arch, which was connected with the Palace of Galerius and the Rotonda. Today, Kamara is a popular passage way and meeting point in Thessaloniki.
The Rotonda (or Rotunda) is an impressive circular building in the centre of Thessaloniki. It was originally constructed by Roman general Galerius in about 300 AD and in the late 4th century AD, it was turned into a Christian church and decorated with nice frescoes. When the town was conquered by the Ottomans, Rotonda was turned into a mosque. After it was liberated in the early 19th century, it first became a church again and then a sculpture museum.
The church of Agios Dimitrios(Saint Demetrius) is the most famous church in Thessaloniki. This is the patron saint of the town and its celebration on October 26th is a local holiday. This church dates from the Byzantine Times and it has been built on the site when Saint Demetrius actually martyred. In fact, the basement of the church is the place where the saint was tortured for his faith and died.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki opened is doors in September 2006, after the restoration of the old building. Its aim is to present the way of life and socialization of the tribes that lived in Thessaloniki and the wider region of Macedonia from the prehistoric times till present. The permanent exhibitions of the Archaeological Museum are dedicated to various aspects and periods of time concerning Macedonia. The museum also organizes educational programmes for university students and kids.
The Castle of Thessaloniki is also known as Yedi Kule or Heptapyrgion. This is a fortress from the Byzantine and the Ottoman era, standing just above the Old Town (Ano Poli). It has been used as the seat of the garisson commander till tha late 19th century and as prison till 1989.
Location: Along the port
Description: The paved Promenade of Thessaloniki is the most popular spot of the town. Lined by cafeterias and bars, this relaxing promenade passes by the White Tower, the symbol of the town.
Location: In the centre of Thessaloniki, close to the waterfront
Description: Aristotle (or Aristotelous) Square constitutes the centre of Thessaloniki. This is the most famous square of the town, surrounded by Neoclassical buildings and plenty of cafeterias.
Location: On the north of the modern town
Description: The Old Town (or Ano Poli) of Thessaloniki used to be the Turkish and the Jewish Quarter. Part of this picturesque neighbourhood was destroyed in a big fire in 1917. Walking in the paved streets of the Old Town will give you a great view of the port, the modern town and the surrounding mountains.
Location: On the west side of the port
Description: Ladadika used to be an ill-famous quarter in the past, but today it has turned into apopular nightlife spot in Thessaloniki. In Ladadika, you will see paved streets, abandoned houses and renovated buildings that host cafeterias and restaurants.
Google map of Thessaloniki excursions
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