Thessaloniki City Guide
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is considered a modern metropolis. Located on the Thermaic Gulf, it is the capital of the geographic region of Macedonia. Originally called Thessaloníkē after the princess Thessalonike of Macedon, the half-sister of Alexander the Great, the area is now one of the most important trade and business hubs in Southeastern Europe.
Founded by King Cassander of Macedon around 315 BC, Thessaloniki has a rich and long history. In the Roman empire, the region became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum and during the Byzantine era and Middle Ages, it underwent through a sudden economic expansion. The city was captured by Sultan Murad II in 1430 and became one of Ottoman Empire's most important trading hubs. During World War II Thessaloniki was heavily bombarded by Fascist Italy and went through an extensive process of reconstruction and it was rebuilt with large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry.
From discovering neighborhoods and focal points in the city to exploring Thessaloniki's archaeological sites, there is something for everyone. Considered to be a history lover’s haven, the city is full with ancient structures dating back to the late 2nd or the early 3rd century AD, including the ancient forum, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda. The culture and impact of the Ottoman empire is evident due to the presence of mesmerizing Ottoman monuments scattered all over the city. Don’t forget to admire the beauty of the White Tower and the Mosques of the Hamza Bey Cami.
It is extremely easy to fall in love with this beautiful city, replete with chaos, history and culture. Revel in the marvelous charm of the waterfront area which breathes life and is great for walking and cycling. Designed by the revered architects Prodromos Nikiforidis and Bernard Cuomo, this 3.5 km long walkway is absolutely delightful and numerous tourists and locals can be spotted picnicking, riding, roller-skating or just having a gala time. Visit the sacred Monastery of Vlatadon, built in 1351, which is famous for its mesmerizing blend of history with some of the best views of the city.
Due to its close proximity to the sea, its climate displays characteristics of several climates. Winters are dry with morning frost whereas summers are quite hot with no rains.