There are huge celebrations that take place in Thessaloniki on October 26, as it marks the Feast Day of Agios Dimitrios, the protector and Patron Saint of the city, as well as the Liberation of Thessaloniki by the Greek Army, which took place on this day in 1912. To honour this festive day, we’ve put together the Top 26 things to do when visiting Greece’s co-capital.
1. Take a long stroll along Nea Paralia, the city’s much-loved waterfront.
2. Make sure you stop off at Thessaloniki’s Concert Hall, where one of the buildings was created by famous Japanese architect Arata Isozaki- it’s a strikingly contemporary structure with impeccably simple geometry.
3. Along the way you will come across a few parks, sit down and enjoy a little picnic at Rose Park or the Sound Park.
4. As you walk along Nea Paralia you will also discover art installations including the popular Ombreles, which has become one of Thessaloniki’s most Insta-worthy spots.
5. Shop till you drop along Stsimiski Street, where you will find a range of boutiques featuring all the latest shoes, accessories and clothes.
6. And if you are looking for some upmarket labels make sure to hit Nikis Ave. and Mitropoelos St, with many boutiques that stock local and international luxury brands.
7. Discover stunning mansions on Vasilissis Olgas Avenue, which is lined with prestigious properties built in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
8. Eat your way around Thessaloniki! And first, you must try the city’s famous bougatsa at- Bantis: operating since 1969, Serraikon: one of the oldest bougatsa shops in town, or Yiannis: open all day and night.
9. Then head to Ladadika for some traditional tavernas or to the seaport for some great fish.
10. For some authentic local dishes we recommend Pezodromos Restaurant, which serves fresh seafood and Sebrico for gourmet Greek with a Cretan twist.
11. The Culinary Market is a must for discovering local delicacies, herbs, honey and oils, which you can take home.
11. One of the best bakeries in the country is Ble, serving artisan bread, homemade pies and other sweet treats.
12. Sticking to sweets, another famous delicacy to try here is Trigona, a triangle pastry filled with custard- for this you must head to Elenidis.
13. And you can’t leave the city without trying the popular Tsoureki (a Greek brioche-style bread) from Terkenlis.
14. Thessaloniki is coffee central and we suggest you try Valenio, CinCin, and Nooon, which is in the heart of the city and a favourite amongst locals and visitors who enjoy the buzzing atmosphere, stunning décor, and great espresso.
15. If you can only get to one we suggest you make that Ypsilon, which has been named one of the coolest cafés in the world.
17. And we have to give a special mention to Sinatra Espresso Wine Bar, which is a nice and cozy spot for a glass or two.
18. And if you are after an all-day bar check out Local Thessaloniki, which is open for brunch, lunch and dinner!
19. For an outdoor experience head to Palio Hamam, with a great rooftop bar, which is transported into a more cozy atmosphere over the cooler months.
20. For the view of all views (from up high) head to Electra Palace’s Orizontes Roof Garden bar, which overlooks Aristotelous Square.
21. And speaking of views- make your way up to Kastra (castles), which also offers some of the finest glimpses in town. Just sit on one of the benches and watch the sunset.
22. For a real cultural experience head to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, which is one of the largest museums in Greece.
23. Although this is an obvious one, we can’t not mention The White Tower, which is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city- this just can’t be missed.
24. And discover many treasures at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, where different aspects of a specific historical period of Byzantium are highlighted.
25. For a modern museum head to Toss Gallery and Nitra Gallery, where you can browse artworks and exhibitions by featured artists.
26. Also make your way to the Jewish Museum, which features several exhibits and photos for visitors to view the religious and everyday life of the Jews of Thessaloniki up to WWII.