Thessaloniki Holidays

A city that’s up-and-coming

The fun of Thessaloniki holidays makes it an easy place to love. Greece’s vibrant second city offers you an arm, shows you around, then takes you for a slap-up meal and an ouzo. This dynamic and inviting place is one of the most cosmopolitan cities, not just in Greece, but in Europe as a whole – and its reputation is on the up.

Thessaloniki holidays mean culture-packed days and fun-fuelled nights. Situated in the far north of the mainland, Thessaloniki has been at the crossroads of European and Ottoman cultures for centuries. It’s a role reflected in everything from art to museums to nightlife and local delicacies. History is written in the streets. Thessaloniki is considered an open-air museum of Byzantine art, boasting no less than 15 Unesco World Heritage sites.

There are dozens of contemporary museums (including one that focuses on basketball) and a celebrated year-round programme of festivals and events. Its restaurant scene is lively and innovative, producing some of the best dishes the country has to offer. While old warehouses are reimagined as contemporary arts and concert spaces, ancient narrow streets still flow into squares where locals sit gossiping under the shade of plane trees. Fun is a local tradition – make sure you’re there for the party.

All resorts in Thessaloniki

Three tips for a top trip

Pedal your own path

Cycling around the city is popular, with well-marked cycle lanes and a free bike-sharing system where you can get your hands on anything from four-seaters to electric bikes.

Cure a hangover

Try some ‘patsas’ – a post-drinking ritual. This soup – made from boiled hooves, tripe and calf belly, and seasoned with raw garlic and vinegar – is not for the faint-hearted.

Let it snow

It quite often snows in the winter, so consider visiting Thessaloniki between December and March to see a completely different side to this beautiful city.

Best attractions to see in Thessaloniki

Ladadika

Stroll the lively Ladadika district. All but abandoned in the 1970s, it was declared a historic monument in 1985 and Ladadika’s colourful traditional tavernas, bistros, shops and restaurants have jumped back to life.

The White Tower

Thessaloniki’s White Tower is its defining monument, built on a Byzantine fortification around the 16th century. Climb six storeys to the top to its museum to the city.

Ano Poli district

The elevated Ano Poli district escaped Thessaloniki’s 1917 fire, meaning it retained the same labyrinth of cobbled streets, pomegranate trees and authentic Byzantine and Ottoman architecture it’s had for centuries.

Your Thessaloniki questions, answered

Alas, no. However there’s a port and beautiful seafront walks – and if you need some beach time, small waterbuses make frequent journeys to nearby sandy spots.
It couldn’t be simpler. Thessaloniki airport is less than half an hour from the city centre, making this a great choice for an unusual city break.
The best time to visit Thessaloniki is typically in the summer. During this period, temperatures can reach highs of 32℃, while visitors can expect no more than one to two days of rainfall a month. However, for those looking to avoid the crowds that usually arrive with the summer, both spring and autumn can be good times to holiday. In the spring, temperatures can reach 25℃ towards the end of the season, while in early autumn, they will often reach 27℃.
The stunning resort of Halkidiki is less than an hour away, and travelling between the two is a popular option for locals and visitors alike.
Thessaloniki is well known for its history, particularly its many monuments that date back to the Byzantine era, including The White Tower and Heptapyrgion of Thessalonica. The city also has iconic places of worship, including the Church of St Demetrios and the Cathedral Church of Agia Sophia. This is considered Greece’s culinary capital, with many of the region’s dishes influenced by cuisine from the Asia Minor and Pontus periods. Today, the city is a hive of busy cafes and restaurants popular for their locally sourced food.
The nightlife scene in Thessaloniki is a great mix of options. The Beach Promenade has several lively bars and restaurants with views over the sea. Nearby, you’ll find the old town neighbourhood of Ladadika, a popular destination for an evening’s entertainment due to the area's welcoming taverns known for playing traditional Greek music. Aristotle Square in the city centre is also a much-loved spot for a night out and is often busy with both the young and old enjoying the square and its lively atmosphere.
Thessaloniki is a very family-friendly destination. Many of the city’s historic landmarks and museums are child-friendly, while the Thessaloniki Zoo is ideal for an afternoon out. A 40-minute drive from the city centre, the Dinosaur Park has a water-life park and mammoth museum, which kids are sure to enjoy. The region also has some family-friendly beaches, such as Agia Triada and Asprovalta, which have shallow waters and golden sands perfect for playing in. Many of the restaurants and cafes in Thessaloniki also cater for children, with kids menus and highchairs often available.
As Thessaloniki is quite a small city, you often don’t need a car to travel around while, for those who do fancy a day or two exploring, there is a good bus network. However, should you plan on exploring further afield, such as a visit to the region's many beaches, then hiring a car is recommended. The city has several car rental agencies, while the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia also has car-hire options.
The food in Thessaloniki is a real mix of cuisines and draws visitors from across the globe. Due to its Mediterranean location and closeness to Asia, food in Thessaloniki is often varied. Delicious desserts are particularly popular, with trigona panoramatos, triangle-shaped pastries filled with cream, a firm-favourite. Plenty of dishes also take advantage of the region’s rich history of spice, including tirokafteri, a feta dip made with paprika and spicy peppers. The city’s seaside location also means fresh fish is plentiful and often served up in many of Thessaloniki’s restaurants.