48 hours in Thessaloniki
Pick your buys and enjoy local food & culture!
Elegant and refined, the lady of the North is a modern city full of vigour and life which welcomes those wishing to learn about its history and culture, or to have fun, relax and explore the latest trends in fashion. The city boasts twenty three centuries of fascinating history as seen in the monuments and architecture, a history which has deeply influenced the local cuisine as well; and you can get a glimpse of it all even if you stay in Thessaloniki only for a few hours.
Thessaloniki is the ideal destination if a weekend excursion or a three-day trip is what you have in mind. Here are a few tips about how to best spend your time in this city even if you only have a few hours available. Go shopping down town, take a walk along the seafront and see Kastra , enjoy the food in well-known local tavernas in the market area or along the old beachfront (Palia Paralia) and visit the city museums. Note that distances are short enough, so you’ll have time for it all and you’ll do it at an easy pace.
The locals and visitors’ favourite promenade is right next to waterfront facing Thermaikos Gulf. Originally it stretched for 1.5km along the old beachfront (Palia Paralia), from the harbour to the White Tower (previously known as Tower of the Lion). Today, the promenade area covers 4km as it stretches along the New Beachfront (Nea Paralia) past Makedonia Palace Hotel, and up to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. A walk by the seafront early in the day or in the evening is now even more enjoyable than it was in the past as the whole area has been reconstructed and new theme parks have been built along Nea Paralia, with fountains and impressive sculptures such as the well-known Umbrellas by Zongolopoulos.
A walk by ‘Kastra’ has a charm of its own as the old fortified city walls stand intact along the old town perimeter; from the top, the city view is amazing. In the Old Town (the Upper part) you will see the traditional old houses, the Byzantine Bath house (the only one still defying time), as well as some great cafés and restaurants where you can sense the atmosphere of bygone times.