Getting to know Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is the second largest magical city in Greece and also one of its most beautiful travel destinations.
It is a vibrant city with many young people, cafes, tavernas and restaurants, a promenade, wide avenues, alleys, markets and historical sites.
For tourists, Thessaloniki is very different from the capital city of Athens – it is modern, cosmopolitan, and significantly richer.
Thessaloniki is today considered the metropolitan center of the entire northern Hellenic region. If Athens concentrates on classical antiquity and through its monuments is projected the spirit of ancient Greece, in Thessaloniki the richness and splendor of the Byzantine Empire are emphasized.
A trip to Thessaloniki will allow you to be impressed by the special artistic sights of the city, which include special churches, temples of the patron Agios Dimitrios, Agia Sofia, Panagia chalk and impressive historical museums.
The city is vibrant and lively, many young people fill the streets and cafes in the evening. At the end of the week, the pier is filled with the harbor in the heart of the city, the complex around which thousands of people walk back and forth on the promenade.
The symbol of the city is the White Tower built in the 15th century and located near the beach.
Flights to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia serves over 4 million passengers per year and is located 15 km from the city. There are at least five flights a week from Ben Gurion Airport to Thessaloniki, depending on the seasons. The flight from Ben Gurion Airport to Thessaloniki takes two and a half hours.
In terms of flight to Thessaloniki, you can easily find the Deal that will suit you. You can choose a direct flight from Israel or a flight with a stop. You can get to Athens and from there you can continue to Thessaloniki and thus take the opportunity to get to know another important city in Greece.
Types of holidays in Thessaloniki
Looking for a couple’s getaway, extra short and luxurious, that doesn’t require much effort? Thessaloniki is the place for you.
Thessaloniki offers a climate and natural colors that you don’t see in much of the country or the region at all. In Thessaloniki, you can find a lot of green hills (as opposed to more rocky and arid areas in the southern islands of Greece), palm trees next to pine trees, white and soft beaches and a sea of colors that are usually reserved for places on the other side of the world.
Do you fancy a family vacation? You can hang out in Thessaloniki with the kids and enjoy every moment.
In Thessaloniki, the children will be able to enjoy a visit to the city’s beaches and stroll along the renovated seaside promenade, take a two-story tour bus that runs around the main sites, visit the zoo and even visit the dinosaur park for about half an hour from the city.
Many companies conduct organized trips to Thessaloniki in all months of the year, while extensively visiting the city’s charming attractions.
And matching the trip for all ages.
Stay and accommodation in Thessaloniki
In Thessaloniki, you will find a variety of hotels of all levels and B&Bs. The best areas to visit are the city center, the old city, the promenade and the beach.
Thessaloniki offers a wide range of hotel types: Boutique hotels, Family hotels, Adult hotels, Tropical Style hotels and Club Resort Style Hotel.
Capsis (4-star) and Macedonia Palace (5-star) hotels are within the city itself,
About 2.5 km from the main street of Thessaloniki. A taxi from them to the main street will cost you about 3 euros for the apartment.
Another highly recommended hotel is Hyatt Regency, which is out of the city center but belongs to a large network that is hard to let down. The hotel (5-star class) is located about five minutes drive from the airport and about20 minutes from the center of Thessaloniki.
Another option – but more expensive and far away – is to be found in an area that is only about an hour away from Thessaloniki. It is divided into three halves, stretching from land to sea: Athos to the east, Sithonia to the center, and Cassandra to the west.
In Cassandra is a resort called Sani Beach or, in other words, Paradise.
I'm in Thessaloniki. Where should I go?
In the center of the city is the famous Aristotelous Square, where the statue of the ancient Greek philosopher dominates, but also some impressive buildings, such as the Olympic building and the “twin” building of the Elektra Palace Hotel. Shops and cafes/bars can be found in the area that is busiest in the city.
In the nearby streets of Tsimiski, Mitropoleos and ProxenosKoromilas, you will find many shops for simple and high-quality shopping.
It is worth visiting the Galleria Modiano, which is covered by a glass roof and seems to have emanated from another era, inside the Modiano Market you will find shops divided by types (fish shops, butchers and more), as well as several cafes and snack bars. At a close distance, there is Athos Street, where there are tasteful tavernas.
One of the most characteristic monuments of the city is the Arc de Triomphe of Galerius, known as the Camara. Your attention will be directed to the embossing of the monument, which numbers the triumph of Galerius in the east. Not far from the arch is the Rotunda, a round domed structure reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome.
The upper city area of Thessaloniki has important elements of the historical character of the city. A magical mixture of cobbled alleys, traditional houses and impressive monuments of the Byzantine period, we make Polly the most cohesive and colorful neighborhood of Thessaloniki.
If you start the journey from the Triangle Tower, which is the terrace of the city, you’ll understand why the upper city has been the city’s favorite neighborhood for centuries. The forest is on your left and the entire bay of Thermaikos is laid out beneath you. All this right in front of the sea and the majestic peaks of Olympus give a feeling that they are very close.
A little higher, in the thousand trees, on the famous Kadarino Hill, lies the city’s zoo. Very close to there are also the “Pasha Gardens”, the beautiful park in front of the eastern walls, which will reward you with cool moments combined with a wonderful view of the city and the sea.
I highly recommend getting out of the city limits and going to Khalidaki. About an hour’s drive from Thessaloniki, you will find the “Pearl of the Balkans” (nicknamed by the locals). This is an exceptionally magical area that combines special nature, the crystal clear sea, villages on the mountain or the beach, fishing villages and spectacular beaches which have received awards from the European Union.
Transportation in Thessaloniki
In Thessaloniki, there is an express line called X 01, which departs from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center and is active from 6:05 AM until 10:25 PM. The frequency of the line is two or three times an hour. The station can be found when you step outside the reception hall and cross the road.
The cost of the trip is about 2 euros per passenger in each direction.
The advantage of using the bus is of course the discounted price compared to renting a car or taking a taxi.
Rental companies operating outside the airport are mostly in Thermal Town and operate a pick-up and return service from the terminal to and from the offices. It is worth checking the branch’s operating hours if you arrive or return the vehicle at night and how to operate in these situations. Besides, it is worth checking the competitive prices of these companies because it is about a few minutes of travel.
Upon exiting the reception hall there is a taxi stand. There is no fixed price for the city, the price is determined by a running meter.
Depending on the location of the hotel the cost will be around 20-30 euros per day or 35-45 euros per night (between 0:00 AM and 5:00 AM).
The advantage of taking a taxi is of course a quick and convenient arrival at the hotel, without the need to drive in an area that is foreign to you.