How to spend a day in Thessaloniki …without spending!
by Wilma Leskinen, from Finland.
There is a lot to do in the city, you just have to know where to go at what time of the day. I have made you a guide on how to spend a day in beautiful city of Thessaloniki without spending that much money.
Starting from 10 o’clock (assuming that you have adjusted to the Greek ’morning’). Kamara , or the Arch of Galerius, is one of the main meeting points for students. Grab a spinach-feta pastry and some coffee and you are ready to go.
First up the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. A two-minute walk to the north end of the campus. Visit the different faculties and see the differences between the buildings. Try to guess which building belongs to which faculty before reading the sign or asking some-one. My personal top 5 faculties are the Philosophical, Educational, Economical, Chemistry and Theological . You can find a map of the campus from the administration building .
Walk downwards towards the sea. You will see on your left side the Museum of the Byzantine culture and on your right side the Archaeological Museum . If you’re a student from the EU, you get to visit these and many other museums for free. I recommend the Archaeological Museums ’Gold’-section. The exhibition was pleasant for the eye, as well as very informative!
Continuing the tour to the seafront, Paralia. You will find a massive statue of Alexander riding his horse. On a clear day you can see the mystical Olympos Mountain on the other side of the gulf. Walk along the seafront and be careful for the cyclists. This is the only place you can properly ride a bicycle, and it is convenient if you live near the Music Hall to bike to the center.
Just a minute from the statue you can see the White Tower on your right side. This is the second point where the students meet each other and even spend time in the White Tower area.
Leoforos Niki’s is known for its cafés and restaurants, but if you’re on a budget, I would not suggest to eat here. You will find a lot more traditional and inexpensive restaurant for lunch on the smaller allies that goes up from Niki's. Lunch is usually served between 12:00 and 17:00.
Aristoteles Square is the third meeting point, but mainly in the evening and night. In the day you can see a lot of tourists and pigeons there. Around the edges of the square you can find the best bakeries and cafés in the city. You should try some delicious gelato or traditional sweet pastries of Thessaloniki.
On the upper left side of the square, there is an opening to the famous Modiano Market. Time flies there, try not to make your money fly away too!
Continuing a bit towards the port you will come across the Eleftheriou Square . The square used to be the center for all merchandise, but now it is mainly a bus station, with many lines coming and going to different parts of the city.
From this square, take the bus number 23, it will go to Ano Poli, the old town. If you don’t have a monthly bus card, you can buy a bus ticket for 1€ (50 cents for students) from a kiosk nearby. Hop off on the stop called "Moni Vlatadon" , you will recognize the stop easily, after the bus has climbed for a bit it will reach a high stone wall with an arch. You can press the stop button when you see that arch, the stop is 30 meters from there to the left.
Walk along the old City Wall until you reach the view-point at the Trigono Tower . If you wish, you can come here around 20:00 to see the sunset behind the mountains, but the place is usually very crowded at that time.
It is easy to walk down, if you keep a straight course, you will reach Rotonda. This church is believed to be the temple for Zeus. There is some gorgeous mosaic on the walls and the ceiling that are worth seeing. You can see Kamara from Rotonda, and you are back to where you started.
If you still have some energy left, you should hit Ladadika, near Eleftheriou Square, for some crazy student filled parties, and clubs!