In the Nymph of the North attractions and options are many, while you will ideally need 5 days to discover it. The city offers unique moments to fans of history, art and architecture, while it manages to also capture the interest of children with the activities and museums it offers. A visit to NOESIS and the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, a bike ride or one with the cultural bus line, Thessaloniki will always offer more than one reasons to visit it…
Noesis, the Balkan’s most modern technology museum, makes for an alternative type of activity in the city. This is the best family option, as kids can play, experiment and gain new knowledge and experiences, inside a clean and well-maintained space. The center includes the interactive science museum (like Nemo), the temporary exhibition, the “green” room, the technology, transportation and ancient Greek technology halls, as well as those who offer special shows (Planetarium, Cosmotheater, Simulator). Notice: The shows should not be put on the sidelines, as they offer some unique experiences. The best* day/time is Sunday at 12 in the afternoon. Are you ready to sharpen your brain and spend a few constructive hours, learning through a game of knowledge?
Note: Do not skip the Planetarium. It is an extraordinary experience..! Follow our many Tips.On weekdays, you should be very patient, as the center is bustling with students that are on school field trips.
Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: Tuesday-Friday 09:00-15:00, Saturday 13:00-21:00 & Sunday 11:00-19:00
Cost: 6€ for Museum & temporary exhibition + 10€ for 2 extra shows + 12€ for 3 extra shows + 14€ for 4 extra shows (15% discount Reduced ticket, for students, unemployed and special groups)
The know it all says: The center operates on solar power!
This may be the most fun way in which you can meet the city’s most important attractions. The double-decker bus is parked in front of the White Tower and awaits to take you on a tour, through a pleasant ride, to the church of Hagia Sophia, the castles, the port, the narrow streets of the old city and other historically interesting spots (8 stops). Every passenger has the chance to gather some general and historical knowledge about the city, via the audio tour (in 8 languages). Opt for the left seats of the upper level, as you will be able to see most attractions clearly from there, without worrying about hurting yourselves! The best day/time to enjoy a ride is on weekends, around 12:00.
Important: Ideal if it is cloudy. Avoid it if it’s raining.
Suggested visit time: 70 minutes
Open: Everyday March-May 10:00-18:00, June-September 10:00-20:00, October 10:00-17:00, Closed: November-February
Cost: Unemployed and students of the E.U. get a discount of 2€, on the condition that they do not hop off and on at any stop.
The know it all says: It travels across almost 15km of historical route!
It is a museum with more than 10,000(!) heirlooms, from the pre-revolutionary period up until the war of Cyprus in ’74. The oblong building is consisted of four rooms, which are cleverly divided, while information is provided in three different languages (GR, EN, RUS). It is also worth noting that all spaces are clean and it is completely quiet. On the first floor, there are two rooms with heirlooms from the First and Second World Wars, the Revolution of 1821, the Macedonian Fight, as well as interesting information about war in general. On the ground floor you will find the hall dedicated to decorations, weapons and ammunition, while at the basement there is the hall with the vigorous life of the singer of Victory, Sophia Vembo. Finally, in the courtyard you will see land and air military vehicles, and thus completing a full tour. Make sure you visit it on the afternoon of a weekday, so that you find the smallest possible crowd.
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Every day, Winter Schedule: 09:00-17:00 & Summer Schedule 09:00-19:00. On Sundays it closes 2 hours earlier. Closed: January 1st, Holy Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday & Monday, May 1st, December 25th-26th
Cost: General entrance 4€, Reduced 2€
The know it all says: The permanent collections are based solely on donations that have been made by private collectors!
Do you want a bike? In this case, ThessBike provides endless cross-pedaling next to Thermaikos Bay and elsewhere. The bike-renting company provides a wide variety of two-wheeled trekking bicycles, as well as four-wheeled family bikes, at a low cost. All vehicles are well-maintained and provide much safety to old and young riders. It is important that you can get or return your bike to the automatic electronic stations, even if the conventional ones have closed. If you are in good shape, start at the magical seafront and follow the trail to the castles. Finally, it is worth mentioning that many cars are parked on the bike lanes, making the cyclists’ movement hard and putting their safety at stake…
Note: An ID is required to issue a card. Also, before leaving, return the card so you can take back the security deposit money.
Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: Every day 08:00-00:00
Cost: 3€ for the card + 1€ for every hour
The know it all says: Thessaloniki’s seafront bike lane has been called as one of Europe’s most beautiful routes (for bike riding)!
Thermi’s Dam is perfect for the ideal excursion and is only 25 minutes away from the city center. You can access it by car or bike, as long as you are already in Thermi. It is a great place for couples, groups of friends and families, who would like to relax and take a walk in nature. Along the trail, you will find benches and kiosks, where you can have picnics, an organized playground and a cafeteria, where you can have some coffee and enjoy a quick snack. Make sure you go to the pier and take delight in the peacefulness of nature, having the water below your feet. As long as you have spare time and a means of transport, this place will gift you with lots of wonderful moments, taking you away from the city’s busyness. The ideal seasons to visit it is during spring and summer.
Important: You are going to find large crowds on any sunny weekend of the year.
Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
The know it all says: It is a sanctuary for 75 bird species!
The second most famous tower in the country belongs to the telecommunications company of OTE. It is located in the heart of the city, inside the site of the international exhibition center and it is visible from many spots, due to its 76-meter height. Its uniqueness is based on the fact that it rotates*, and thus offering a different view of the city, every minute! A full rotation lasts for about an hour and ten minutes, which is enough time for you to have your coffee/drink or dine at the polished Skyline Bar. The free entrance gives everyone the opportunity to admire from above the White Tower, the castles, the seafront, the campus and the war, archaeological and byzantine museums. Visit it before sundown, so you can see all the colors embracing the city, but also admire it covered in its dark veil.
* It moves with a speed of 5 degrees per minute, so that the people inside do not get dizzy.
Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
Open: Every day 10:00-02:00
The know it all says: The first shows (in black & white) of the Greek National Television were broadcasted from the tower!
The beach is at the area of Nea Krini, on the south-east part of the city and it makes for a fun excursion. Start your walk by gazing at the sea from the “balcony” (upper level), take the pleasant route among the trees and pick one of the many benches to rest on. Then, go down to the marina where you will find a mini amusement park, the cafeteria and the playground next to the sea. The seafront (lower level) is also ideal for a bike ride, a walk or some jogging. During the summer months there are various events being held, while throughout the year the dozens of boats/sail boats work as an inspiration for artists and couples in love, who sit next to them. Finally, it is worth mentioning that along the seafront street (N. Plastira) you will find lots of cafés, taverns, fast-food restaurants and sweet shops. The best period to visit it is May to September.
Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
The know it all says: The marina has 242 spots for boats up to 30 meters long!
The next suggestion comes from the world of shopping and reminds something of the Mediterranean, as its name states. It is 11 km away from the city center and access to it can be achieved via car, taxi or bus. The mall has more than 160 stores for clothes and all kinds of products, 11 movie theaters and a specially designed dining area, where you can enjoy a meal, some dessert or a cup of coffee. Inside the mall, there are events held for all ages, in which you can participate! Both its interior and exterior spaces are extremely well-kept and clean, with the mall’s main concern being the customers’ comfort. The only disadvantage is the parking lot’s fee, which may be small, but it is unnecessary for such a place.
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Every day 09:00-02:00 (supermarkets & commercial shops. Closed on Sundays)
Cost: Free (unless you have a car; otherwise, you have to pay 1.5€)
The know it all says: It attracts almost 8.000.000(!) visitors yearly!
With their motto being “If you don’t walk, you cannot discover a city”, Thessaloniki Walking Tours offers a wonderful walk in the city. And to be exact, not the same walk, but a different one each time! Presenting targeted themes, the tour gives you the chance to discover some hidden secrets and places you have not heard of, and taste traditional Thessalonikian recipes. The walking tours take place in groups of 20-25 people, 1-3 times a week, during the months that the weather allows it. The drive, love and zest of those who are involved in this activity are what make it stand out and bring it high on people’s preference. The experienced guides have a lot to reveal…are you ready to listen.
Suggested visit time: 2-5 hours
Open: See the schedule
Cost: It varies, depending on the walk.
The know it all says: In the city there are secrets of thousands of years, hiding before our very eyes!
The modern side of the city is an alternative source for knowledge and spectacle. The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art is located inside the International Exhibition Center and it is open only 4 days a week. Its exterior space is decorated with many works of contemporary art, while inside you will find the permanent as well as the temporary exhibition with different themes, depending on the time period*. The works of modern art (paintings, sculptures, constructions) included in the permanent exhibition, radiate the museum’s extraordinary character, providing every visitor with the opportunity to interpret them in their own, special way. Besides, according to the great Greek poet Kavafis, the public’s eyes cannot grasp what the artist is seeing (free translation). Finally, the museum becomes even more colorful with the various educational, historical and musical events that are being held from time to time.
*During the time of our visit, it was dedicated to Yoko Ono.
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Thursday 10:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 10:00-19:00 & Sunday 11:00-15:00 Closed: Monday-Wednesday
Cost: General entrance 4€ – Reduced 2€
The know it all says: In the museum’s basement you will find the only ancient cobbled street of Thessaloniki!
The Cultural Route is the easiest and cheapest way to meet the city. Through a route that starts and ends at the White Tower, you have the chance to discover 50 sites of historical interest. Furthermore, the live tour (Greek & English) conducted by one of OASTH’s (Organization of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki) guides provides even more information about the city. A major disadvantage of the Cultural Route bus is that it is closed, which makes it really hard to take pictures. Take the ride in the afternoon hours in order to avoid the tourist traffic.
Advice: You can get tickets from inside the bus without any extra charges. Prefer the back seats for a better field of vision.
Suggested visit time: 1 hour
Open: Every day June-September 08:00-21:00, October-May 09:00-16:00
Cost: General entrance 2€, Reduced 1€
The know it all says: The Cultural Route passes through the history of 17 centuries!
One more ancient monument is located in the center of Thessaloniki and it is none other than the famous Greek-Roman Forum. It has been standing there for more than 23 centuries and, before being turned into a gathering point for Thessalonikians, it used to house ceramists’ and other merchants’ workshops. Nowadays, the site looks nothing like the old Agora, as the only features than stand out among the ruins are the Crypt, the conservatorium and the museum. In the summer, on the courtyard’s loan, picnic nights are organized, with music melodies, wine, a romantic attitude and Thessaloniki’s moon keeping everyone company. The Forum is not very popular, so you will not meet a lot of people, no matter when you visit it. Nonetheless, prefer to do so on a clear, sunny day.
Suggested visit time: 30-40 minutes
Open: Every day 08:00-15:00
Cost: General entrance 4€, Reduced 2€, Free for Students-Unemployed
The know it all says: Some of the Forum’s sculptures were transferred to the Louvre Museum by Frenchman E. Miller in 1864!
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