Thessaloniki in one day (in the summer)
by Wilma Leskinen, from Filand.
This article will help you in how to see and experience Thessaloniki in one day. If you have the possibility to stay longer in Thessaloniki, I would recommend that, but for a friend visiting, or just a quick weekend-getaway this article will guide you to the must-see places on a schedule.
The key here is to wake up early, not just for having more hours to spend, but also to escape the midday heat. With this tour you will see the best of many worlds, you get the shopping, the beach, the history and last, but definitely not least, the people.
First stop is at Trigono Tower, up on the hill. I would suggest for you to take a taxi there. You can also find a bus that goes near-by, but if the bus doesn’t have air-conditioning, it’s going to be a long and sweaty ride. The panorama-view will help you get a better picture of the whole city. It is easy to come down by foot. To Rotonda you walk approximately 10 minutes and you get to see multiple small side alleys with flower decorations, playing children and old architecture.
Rotonda is believed to be a temple for Zeus, but it was used as a church and a mosque in the past. The beautiful mosaic on the ceilings and walls makes this circular building a must-see. Only 2€ to get in! Continuing the walk downwards, another 10 minutes and you’ll arrive at the seafront.
By the seafront is the famous White Tower. You can climb up with 4€. On the way up, you will learn about Thessaloniki’s and the White Tower’s interesting history on the different floors. On the last floor, you can buy unique souvenirs back home. On the balcony you see the city again, but from a different perspective. You can try to find Trigono Tower in the landscape!
Walk along the sea, towards the port in the north. The avenue, Leoforos Niki’s is filled with cafe’s and restaurant’s, but if I were you, I would wait to the port.
The Kitchen bar, is a well-known restaurant with a huge terrace outside. Eat some brunch there before catching the boat to Peraia. The boat departures 20 meters from The Kitchen Bar at 11:00 and 12:30, depending on how early you started the tour.
Thessaloniki Waterways sells boat rides to Thessaloniki’s beaches in Peraia. Takes around an hour and costs 3€. You definitely get the authentic boat feel, because this boat is used by the locals. Take a sit on the deck or inside and enjoy the clear blue water!
Arriving to the beach, there is a lot of different options for sunbathing. Usually you have ‘rent’ a chair, or order something from a cafe to use their chairs. But once payed, you can use it as long as you want to.
When you want to leave the beach, I would recommend to take the bus back to the city, if you would like to do some shopping. By walking to the main road in Peraia, Antheon, you can catch the bus number 72 to IKEA. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes. In the same area as IKEA, you can find JUMBO, a huge store for knick-knacks and household items for extremely cheap, Kotsovolos for technology and electronics and Moustakas for every kind of toy or game!
From IKEA again, catch a bus number 2K or 3K to the center. The drive takes 25 minutes.
When the sun is setting, I would suggest to visit the Sky Café. This cafe serves the finest wines and beverages and the Café rotates! It makes a full turn in 1 hour. Make sure to be early to get the best seats.
When the sun has gone down, you can with good conscious, just relax and wait until the stars come out. You can truly feel the Greek magic when looking at the stars!