Thessaloniki is a historical port city in Northern Greece by the Thermaic Gulf of Aegean sea. The city has interesting remains of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman-era monuments. I just arrived here in Thessaloniki from Sofia, driving for about 4 hours. After settling down at the hotel, still going to have the entire afternoon to explore the city. So the best place to start my adventure is at Aristelous Square and then strolling down the waterfront towards the White Tower.

Street view of Thessaloniki
Street view of Thessaloniki

Helpful Information

Places of Attraction on The Map

Things to do and see in Thessaloniki

There are so many exciting places for sightseeing, so to cover as much as possible, I planned my first day by taking an early morning self-guided walking tour through the historic Ano Poli area in Thessaloniki. Then after late breakfast, start heading towards other parts of the town. Here are a few sightseeing activities that can be on your to-do list.

Boat tour in Thessaloniki
Boat tour in Thessaloniki

My First Stop at The Arch of Galerius

From the hotel it was a 15 minutes walk located on the same street called Egnatia. The Arch of Galerius or Kamara and the Rotunda are neighboring early 4th-century AD monuments is one of the most famous landmarks of Thessaloniki. 

The Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki

Next The Rotunda or Agios Georgios church

The oldest masterpiece in Thessaloniki, the Rotunda, is located next to the Arch of Galerius. This massive round building is also known as Agios Georgios. In earlier days, it was a Roman mausoleum, then converted to a Christian church, later a mosque.

The Rotunda or Agios Georgios church
The Rotunda or Agios Georgios church

Visit Church of St Demetrios Thessaloniki

During my early morning self-guided walking tour of Thessaloniki, I have visited many churches, The Church of St. Dimitrios is one of them. Also known as Hagios Demetrios, is quite majestic and is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki. It worth to visit this historical church while visiting this area.

Agios Dimitrios (Saint Dimitrios) church in Thessaloniki city, Greece

Saint Gregory Palamas Holy Metropolitan Church

St. Gregory Palamas Holy Metropolitan Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Thessaloniki, located right on Mitropoleos street between The Aristotelous Square and The White Tower. It was built in the late 13th-century and went through the destruction and rebuilding process thereafter. It worth paying a visit to this beautiful historical monument.

Metropolitan church of St. Gregory Palamas, Thessaloniki, Greece

Guided Tour in Thessaloniki

There are guided tours available from Thessaloniki, they usually combine sightseeing, lunch and a few sightseeing stops on the way. Get Your Guide is the one I recommend.

Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki

Only a few blocks from the Arch of Galerius, The Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest churches in the city still surviving today. It is one of many masterpieces in Thessaloniki included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list.

Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki

Ancient Theater of Thessaloniki (Roman Agora of Thessaloniki)

One of the most facinating places in Thessaloniki to visit is the ancient Roman-era forum, located at the upper side of Aristotelous square. The site is a large area, discovered by excavating up by accident in the 1960s. Its construction began at the end of the 2nd century A.D. on the site of an older forum starting from ancient Imperial times.

Ancient theater at Thessaloniki city in Greece

Visit Aristotle (Aristotelous) square in Thessaloniki

Aristotelous Square is the most famous and popular square in the center fo Thessaloniki located on the Nikis avenue by the waterfront. A worth visiting specially in the afternoon when the entire place comes to life. The outstanding views of Thermaikos Gulf, the sunset and the Olympus massif mountain range in backdrop makes it the best neighborhood to visit for a ever lasting eperience. 

Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki
Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki

The White Tower of Thessaloniki

The tower was built in 15th century in order to replace an older 12th century Byzantine fortification while it was later recontsructed by the Ottomans.
Originally it was a fort as a defense to the harbors entrance, then as a garrison and a prison. Today the White Tower and the museum is open to the public. People love the beautiful panorramic view from the tower’s highest level.

The White Tower in Thessaloniki
The White Tower in Thessaloniki

Church of Panagia Chalkeon

Church of Panagia Chalkeon, as 11th century church which was included in nthe UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988. Located across the Kapani Market just a couple of blocks from the ancient agora of Thessaloniki. It is one of the many Byzantine and Paleochristain Monuments of Thessaloniki

Church of Panagia Chalkeon
Church of Panagia Chalkeon

Vlatades Monastery of Thessaloniki

If you are visiting Upper Town (Ano Poli or Old City) then definitely you need to visit the historic Monastery of Vlatadon and the Seven Towers Fortress.

It was built somewhere between 1341 to 1371 AD one of nthe oldest and most important Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki.

Ano-poli
A view from the Ano Poli to the Lower Town of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Church of the Acheiropoietos

Another olest surviving Christian temple is Panagia Acheropoietos is a must see site while in Thessaloniki. During the 15th century Panagia Acheiropoeitos was converted into a mosque and went though a few restorations and renovations. But still several critical characteristics remain intact at a certain degree.

Church of the Acheiropoietos

Where Did I Stay In Thessaloniki, Greece

El Greco Hotel, Thessaloniki

El Greco Hotel, is centrally located in Thessaloniki, just a 5-minute walk from Aristotelous Square and a 20-minute walk from the White Tower. There are a few nice restaurants around this hotel, and public transportation is available right in front of the hotel. 

ABC Hotel, Thessaloniki

ABC Hotel is centrally located and just a few feet from Helexpo Exhibition Centre and a few museums.
All rooms at Abc have air-conditioned modern rooms, with TV, minibar, free Wi-Fi, safe and much more.

Have Local Food in Dhaka

Kanoula Mediterranean Cusine

Address: Raktivan 8, Thessaloniki,
This is a fantastic family-run restaurant that is not going to cost you a lot but will blow your mind with an Amazing traditional Greek culinary experience.

Charoupi

Address: Doxis Street 4, Ladadika, Thessaloniki for high-quality, delicious authentic food of the Mediterranean gourmet touch of the island of Crete, visit this Charoupi restaurant in Thessaloniki. I found it great that the menu consists of a limited amount of dishes, which are prepared and serviced traditionally.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Thessaloniki, Greece? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being to this country down under and want to go back again. Hope my story have motivated you to visit. 

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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