one day in Thessaloniki, local market

One day in Thessaloniki… where to go and what to do!


Thessaloniki will steal your heart. Promise! You may be just passing through or spending a day away from the beautiful beaches of Halkidiki, and you wonder: where to go and what to do? Here’s how to make your one day in Thessaloniki count.

How to start the day, Thessaloniki style

The city is known for its lovely people, its laid back daily life and … frappé. Start your day out with sipping this special type of cold coffee that was accidentally invented when someone had no access to hot water. Since sipping frappé takes time (actually, some people carry theirs around all day), why not visit one of the cafes at the Promenade and enjoy the view of Thermaikos Gulf? On a clear day, you can spot Mount Olympus in the distance.

one day in thessaloniki white tower

Local colors, sounds and scents at Thessaloniki markets

Pass from Aristotelous Square, the beautiful central spot with its impressive architecture that is a popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Then head towards Kapani Market, which has been the central market ever since Ottoman times. The lively and inviting atmosphere with vendors loudly advertising their produce makes you want to spend the whole day there. Colorful, genuine and local: it’s a good thing we have digital cameras, because an old style film would be full in no time! By the way, don’t forget to stock up on spices to give your meals that little extra spark when you get back home. (Tip: take home some oregano and bukovo – you can thank us later).

one day in Thessaloniki Kapani market

Thessaloniki churches and monuments

If you manage to break away from the market, move on towards Aghiou Dimitriou Street and Aghios Dimitrios Church. This impressive church started out as a small chapel that was built over Roman baths in the 4th century A.D. During the Ottoman period, many wall paintings and mosaics were destroyed. In 1917 a big fire caused tremendous damages, but a positive side effect was that it revealed older mosaics. It is the most important church in Thessaloniki since Aghios Dimitrios is the city’s patron. The church showcases various styles of religious art, making it a popular place for worshipers, history lovers and art specialists. (Did you know that there is a large tunnel system under the crypt that connects the church with the Rotonda and other Roman buildings?)

A little bit further to the east, you arrive at Aghios Georgios church, better known as the Rotonda. This beautiful example of Roman architecture stems from the 4th century A.D. It has beautiful, sculpted decorations that not only tell us about the power and triumph of Rome, but also about the emperor and his family.

one day in thessaloniki

Nearby, on Egnatia Street, you can admire the Galerius Arch. Roman Emperor Galerius commissioned it to celebrate the victory against the Sassanid Persians in 298 A.D. and it displays beautiful reliefs.

The best end to your one day in Thessaloniki

If you move further towards the seaside, you arrive at the famous White Tower, the city’s most prominent landmark. A beautiful museum inside reveals more about its interesting history and a spectacular view of the city on the top floor is the cherry on the cake. This is definitely a must-visit place for your one day in Thessaloniki.

During your one day in Thessaloniki you can discover the delights of Greek cuisine at almost any restaurant. And of course you will taste some ouzo or tsipouro. If you prefer to have a quick bite and continue discovering the sights, try a delicious souvlaki. A beer from one of the many Greek microbreweries goes very well with this Greek healthy ‘fast food’. If you have plenty of time, relax and plan your Next One Day in Thessaloniki! ‘Halara’! (Take it easy!)

When will you be back? We will be happy to show you around!



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