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Cheap flights to Thessaloniki

We all know about Athens, but if you are looking for a real flavour of Greece you should head to the country’s second city Thessaloniki. Well, it was named after the sister of Alexander the Great and you can’t get much more Greek than that.  As all proud inhabitants will happily inform you,

Thessaloniki differs from busy and bustling Athens with its elegance and style – let’s just say designer clothes and beautiful people rule in this town. Yet despite its age – Thessaloniki is an old city having been founded way back in 315 BC – the city scrubs up very well and is today a modern one of large avenues, parks and squares, tree-lined streets, and Neoclassical and contemporary buildings.

History buffs will love this place: there aren’t many cities that can boast to having lived through the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, so there is lots to see. If you like your old Byzantine churches with beautiful frescoes, or ancient Roman ruins, you’ll love it here. 

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Shopping


Tserlidis (tserlidis.gr) is a huge produce shop on the seafront, selling a vast array of mostly nut-based products, some of which you can see being presented on huge conveyor belts.

Sightseeing


The 58th prestigious Thessaloniki International Film Festival (www.filmfestival.gr) takes place at various venues between Nov 2-12. It showcases cutting edge cinema from around the world and is attended by distinguished directors and actors.


To get a real taste of Greece, visit the 2nd Gourmet Olive and Delicacies Exhibition, to be held between May 5-7 at Lab'Attoir, a new exhibition space in a converted warehouse. http://www.labattoir.org


The 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (http://tdf.filmfestival.gr/) takes place at various venues around the city from 3 to 12 March, showcasing cutting edge documentary features from around the world.

Key Areas


The side streets around the gigantic Roman Rotunda and Arch of Galerius are filled with interesting shops and great little cafés to unwind in and people watch.


Modiano Market is wonderful slice of the old Jewish part of Thessaloniki, right in the heart of the city. Selling all sorts of produce from olives and spices to whole pigs and swordfish, complete with sword, it's a highly photogenic spot.

Day Trips


If it gets to sticky in the summer heat, you might want to escape for a swim by taking a tour of Kassandra, the closest prong of the Halkidiki peninsula, which is blessed with numerous lovely beaches.


If you are male, you can get a permit from the Pilgrims' Bureau (tel 2310 252 578; apply well in advance) to visit and be hosted at the beautiful monasteries of tranquil Mount Athos. Ladies and casual visitors can get a close look by boat tour from Ouranoupoli.

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