Thessaloniki is the capital of Macedonia and second largest city of Greece was the second most important city of the Byzantine Empire and is full of beautiful examples of Byzantine art and architecture.
Thessaloniki has given Greece some of its greatest musicians, artists, poets and thinkers. It has some of the most beautiful beaches and has some of the finest hotels and best restaurants in northern Greece. Home to the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the International Trade Fair and host to many cultural events, it would take pages and pages to tell you all about the city and surrounding areas and I would have to spend a year there to see it all.
The city was rebuilt in the 1920s and today Thessaloniki is a lively modern city bustling with life and movement. Large avenues, parks and squares, lines of trees that frame commercial streets with showy shop windows. Old houses, neoclassical buildings, stand side by side with modern dwellings which makes a walk through any section of the city an interesting journey. The past and present merge at old taverns, “ouzeries”, restaurants next to hotels and luxury bars, “bouzouki halls”.
The main squares are Platia Elefterias and Platia Aristotelous, both on the waterfront and alive with cafes and restaurants, children playing or people just strolling. This is the place to be in the summer at sunset if you enjoy people watching. Afterwards walk a few blocks to the Ladadika neighborhood, the old Red Light district.
If you have a few days to spare and you like cities then come to Thessaloniki. Visit the nearby beaches or wander around the city and see the Archeology museum which is according to Frommer’s, one of the best in the world. But be sure to save enough time to the cafes, restaurants, bars and ouzeries of the city where you will really feel the flavor of life in what is surely one of the most interesting and hippest places in Europe.