What to do in Thessaloniki – Best walking districts
If you are wondering what to do in Thessaloniki, keep reading! Here are the 5 walking districts, all different to each other and all really unique and beautiful. Are you ready to explore the city on foot?
The Old Upper Town of Thessaloniki is the number one place you should walk around when in the city. Strolling Ano Poli is one of the things locals love doing in their free time, when the weather is good. Don’t be afraid you might get lost in it, as you will be able to reach the city center again just by walking back downwards. Explore the stone-paved alleys between the two-storied houses that survived the great fire of 1917. Visit “Eptapyrgio” the city’s Acropolis and the fortress of “Trigonion Tower” for the best views of the city. Look for the church of “Agios Nikolaos Orphanos”, with the beautiful hidden garden, and for “Osios David”. The latter is a lilliputian monastery from the 5th century, with exquisite frescoes and mosaics, and an adorable patio overlooking the city.
Did you know that Thessaloniki has the largest suburban forest in Greece? If not, get the chance to walk under the pines, cypresses, cedars and oaks that cover its 30.000 acres. Locals enjoy taking a break from the cityscape to walk, hike, run and bicycle or just have a picnic in the forest of Seih Sou. In Turkish it means the Sheikh’s water, and it was named after a spring that still exists in the area. Seih Sou used to be a vital place for Thessaloniki’s agriculture, with small livestock and crop farms supplying goods to the food markets. So, look for small wells and the forgotten sheds, popping out of the vegetation.
Walking from Thessaloniki’s port to the Concert Hall, is the ultimate way to see the beauty of this city. By strolling next to the water you can enjoy the view to Thermaikos gulf and beautiful sunsets. On weekends, locals come here to meet friends and enjoy the light and the open view to the sea. From the port to the White Tower you will find many cafés for a frappé or an evening drink. And from the White Tower to the Concert Hall the parks, trees and playgrounds provide a nice chance for a break. You shouldn’t miss taking a photo at the statue of Alexander the Great and the famous “Umbrellas” sculpture.
In a 25 minutes ride from the city center you will find yourself at the dam of Thermi, a serene place in nature. The dam was built in 1993 by the municipality of Thermi, creating an artificial lake and a wonderful place for a quiet walk. Ducks, cormorants, herons and a few more bird species live in and around the lake, along with turtles and frogs. The 50 acres of the park are covered with pines and cypresses, providing a naturally cool place during the hot summer days. You can have your own picnic or a light meal at the café inside the park. Have a look at the lake from the observation spot and don’t forget to take your camera with you; you never know when you might see a cormorant landing in the water.
In case you are still wondering what to do in Thessaloniki, this is another surprise you will love to discover. Within 8 kilometers from the city is one of the most important national parks in Greece, the Axios Delta National Park. This wetland and its ecosystem is a real natural treasure! During your walk here there’s a strong chance of meeting the herd of water buffalos, cooling their bodies in the river. At the northern gate of the National Park lies the lagoon of Kalochori. Among the many bird species living in the area, a number of refugee flamingos spend their winter here. The scenery becomes extraordinary when hundreds of pink flamingos stand in the swallow waters of the lagoon.