|Thessaloniki: the Greek mainland|
|Pros and Cons|
If you have bought a property, or live on one of the Greek Islands, why not make the most of it and take a short trip to the Greek mainland to visit one of Greece's very best cities - Thessaloniki - the jewel of the north. Famous for its lively streets, vibrant night life and cultural sophistication, it is the perfect cosmopolitan destination for any visitor. A multitude of things to see and do, wonderful restaurants and a youthful spirit make this city an appealing place to visit.
The city is full of history and although there are numerous tourist sites, the real life of Thessaloniki with most interest are the little streets in the upper part of Town. Here there are a few remaining houses which were built before the massive fires of 1917, which gutted most fo the city's architecture. It is delightful to walk through the tiny narrow little streets with the old wood houses and when you get to the top, you'll be rewarded with fabulous views over the city and to the waterfront. Even better, visit this spot in the evening to see the city lit up, sparkling beneath you and then have dinner in one of the Greek tavernas.
There are small churches in the upper part of the town, Monastery of Vlatadon and Osios David, worth visiting. Along with these, there are numerous really good museums, the Archeological Museum, Folklore and Ethnographic Musuam and even a Cinema Museum in the port.
The most well-known landmarks include:
Arch of Galerius, located by Egnatira Street. 4th Century Roman construction with figures depicting the battle with the Persians
Rotunda, Roman building originally a mausoleum
Navarino Square, excavated Roman ruins which stretch down to the sea
The White Tower, used to be a prison, now a small museum
Churches, St Sophia and Panagia Ahiropitos
Thessaloniki, on the Greek mainland has to be the ultimate 'cafe culture' city! You will certainly not run out of cafes to stop at to watch the world go by or enjoy a frappe. The cafes are resolutely full all the time with all age groups. The waterfront is the place for strolls of an evening and is littered with any number of cafes and bars: from modern to traditional.
On your visit, don't miss out on the excellent pastries. You'll find plenty of wonderful patisseries with such an array of cakes and tarts, you'll wonder how you could ever live life again without them. A real must is the choreky covered in chocolate and saraglakia, which is walnut in filo pastry soaked in honey. One of the best patisseries is Chatzis in the centre.
Eating out in the city is easy, with everything from fast food to fine restaurants: so something to suit everyone, no matter how much or how little you have to spend. Most of the outdoor restaurants are to be found near the port and the former Turkish market. Here you can discover more traditional Greek food. For lovers of fish, the waterfront area is highly popular with the locals.
Of an evening, if after dining you want to party into the night, then the city caters to all your needs. It has a reputation for a great night scene with trendy nightclubs and bars. Watch out for prices in the chic pubs, drinks can be expensive. If you are on a budget, watch for where the students are to discover how far your money can go and a more relaxed feel.
This is the ultimate laid-back yet lively city.
Shop 'til you drop
You will find an extraordinary diversity of shopping, from fruit and veg markets to high end goods.
Thessaloniki is perhaps one of the best shopping places on the Greek mainland. Our top choices for a taste of the varied shopping scene would be:
Egnatia: lots of small stores selling cheap clothes and household goods
The Open Market: fresh fruit, vegetables, fish.. This is great fun to watch the traders trying to catch the attention of passers-by with their wares
Near the Port: Tsimiski street, with all the top notch treats you could wish, one of a kind shops - retail bliss