5 Things To Do In Thessaloniki
Five of the top things to do and see in Thessaloniki, Greece
Thessaloniki, a beautiful seaside city in northern Greece, is home to amazing food, nightlife, and history dating back to 315 BC. Thanks to its high population of students, it was named the European Youth Capital in 2014 and still lives up to that name today. All this makes it a great place to study abroad at any time of year. With no shortage of festivals, museums, and sporting events, there is something here for everyone. No matter what your interest are, though, there are definitely some must sees to knock off your list early on!
1. See the view from the White Tower.
The White Tower is the North Star of Thessaloniki. Centuries old, it has a dark past. The tower was once a prison and called the Red Tower due to the number of victims tortured and killed there during the Ottoman Empire. Now, though, it offers a museum featured in the spiraling walkway and an amazing view of the boardwalk, water and city from the top. Plus a student ID will get you in for free! After checking out the views from the sky, hop on one of the harbor cruises to see the city from the water. If the Tower didn’t fix your craving for history, sign up for a walking or bus tour to check out all the other rich history this city has to offer.
2. Rent bikes for a sunset ride.
There’s no better place to see the sunset than Thessaloniki’s famous boardwalk. Bustling at all hours of the day, the boardwalk is a great place to relax and get some vitamin sea. Rent bikes from one of the bike rental spots located nearby and cruise along the water. If you get hungry, nighttime vendors sell nuts, cotton candy, and grilled corn on the cob. Plus there’s no shortage of seaside restaurants to stop at if you’re looking for a full meal. Fresh seafood is on every menu and comes highly recommended!
3. Visit the Walls of Thessaloniki and the Heptapyrgion.
The Heptapyrgion is part of the remnants of an ancient Byzantine era fortress on the acropolis of Thessaloniki. This is often a stop on the city history tours but it is a great place to escape the noise below. Past the high walls, you’ll find an amazing overlook of the city, which is a great photo op (especially at sunset). There are a couple of shops and a cafe at the top, so grab a frappe and some gelato and enjoy the historical views.
In case it wasn’t already obvious, there is no shortage of delicious things to try in Thessaloniki. From seafood and souvlaki to 2 euro gyros, there will be something for even the pickiest eater in your group. But don’t be afraid to try something out of your usual favorites, Greek food is known for its fresh ingredients and mouthwatering flavors so it’s the perfect place to try new things.
5. Climb Mount Olympus
You’ll have to travel a few hours outside of Thessaloniki for this one, but it will be entirely worth the trip. An overnight hike will get you to the top of this famous landmark. It is home to Zeus and his fellow Greek gods and goddesses, not to mention breathtaking views of the world below. If you have the chance, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. This is not an excursion to miss out on!