Culture - Sights

A journey into culture

Thessaloniki is considered the cultural hub of Greece. There are many monuments and sights of interest, which reflect the town’s long history and cultural heritage. 

Some of the most representative sights and points of interest of Thessaloniki are:

White Tower: The city’s landmark dominates in the waterfront. It was part of the city’s walls and was built in the 15th century by the Ottomans. Today it houses an exhibition that presents aspects of Thessaloniki’s history from the city’s foundation in 316/15 B.C. and up to this day.

The 15 Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO: Namely these are The City Walls (4th/5th centuries), The Rotonda of Saint George (4th century), The Church of the Acheiropoietos (5th century), Latomou Monastery (6th century), The Church of Saint Demetrios (7th century), The Church of Hagia Sophia (8th century), The Church of Panagia Chalkeon (11th century), The Church of Saint Catherine (13th century), The Church of Saint Panteleimon (14th century), The Church of the Holy Apostles (14th century), The Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos (14th century), The Church of the Saviour (14th century), Vlatades Monastery (14th century), The Church of Prophet Elijah (14th century), Byzantine Baths (14th century).

The Arch of Galerius or Kamara: The most distinctive Roman structure of Thessaloniki was build in the 4th century to commemorate the victory of the Roman Emperor Galerius against the Persians.

Thessaloniki Concert Hall: It is located in the waterfront and hosts various events, such as theater, concerts, cultural and art exhibitions etc.

Nea Paralia (waterfront): One of the favorite destinations for Thessalonians and tourists. The city’s waterfront is 3.5 klm long, has 12 thematic parks and the magnificent statue of Alexander the Great riding his horse Voukefalas.

Thessaloniki Science Center & Technology Museum (NOESIS):A Planetarium, a Cosmotheater, a motion Simulator are some of the facilities. The center also hosts the Museum of Technology and various permanent and periodical exhibitions.

Seaside Locations

Aside from the beautiful area of Halkidiki with its breathtaking beaches, there are many beautiful beaches much closer to the city of Thessaloniki:

Stavros Thessaloniki: One of the most popular tourist resorts of Thessaloniki, which is characterized by natural beauty, crystal clear waters and numerous options for lovers of adventure and water sports.

Nea Michaniona: Near the city, lies New Michaniona, an area famous for the crystal clear waters and the excellent sea food.

Perea: Located two kilometers outside Thessaloniki, is the long sandy beach of Perea, which is mainly known for its amazing fish restaurants.

Olympiada: Two beautiful beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters.

Epanomi: The highlight of this beach are the remains of a ship that sank more than 40 years ago. There are also tennis and volleyball courts in the area.

The city

Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece and the capital of the Region of Central Macedonia.

It is said that the city was founded in 316/15 BC by Cassander, King of Macedonia, who named the city after his wife and, Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki was the daughter of Philip II of Macedon and sister of Alexander the Great.

During the Roman Period, the city of Thessaloniki became the capital of one of the four Roman regions of Macedonia and was ruled by a Roman Praetor. Tradition has it that Apostle Paul preached Christianity in the area during his second missionary tour. During the Byzantine era Thessaloniki was considered the second most important city after Constantinople, due to its strategic position (its Port is the gateway to the Balkan Peninsula).

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and during the First Balkan War in 1912, Thessaloniki became part of the newly born official Greek State. In 1917, the largest part of the city was destroyed by what is known today as the Big Fire of Thessaloniki.

The massive population exchange that followed the Asia Minor disaster changed the face of the city completely. Refuges from Smyrna, the Coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea and Pontus  Minor arrived in Thessaloniki, which doubled in size.

A black page in the city’s history is the extermination of the largest portion of the Jewish Population during the Nazi Occupation (1941-1944). Up to the second World War Thessaloniki had one of the largest and most thriving Jewish Communities in Greece.


There are more than 30 Museums and Galleries in Thessaloniki the most important of which are:


Archaeological Museum: The history of Ancient Macedonia is presented through magnificent artifacts, dating from the pre-historic era to late antiquity. The Archaelogical Museum of Thessaloniki is one of the largest Museums in Greece.

Museum of Byzantine Culture: A large collection of artworks dating between the 2nd and 20th century AC reveals aspects of the Byzantine and the post-Byzantine culture from the city of Thessaloniki and the Region of Macedonia in general.

State Museum of Contemporary Art:A dynamically developing museum that promotes modern and contemporary art, through its temporary exhibitions.  One of the most important collections of the Museum is the Costakis Collection, which consists of 1275 artworks of prominent Russian Avant Garde artists.

Gallery of the Society for Macedonian Studies: The developments in modern since 1850 can be viewed through the 300 paintings, sculptures and engravings that comprise the Gallery’s permanent collection.

Museum of Ancient, Greek, Byzantine Instruments: More than 200 musical instruments used in Greece from the Bronze Age to the early 20th century are exhibited in the Museum. The Museum is located in the historic district Ladadika of Thessaloniki.

Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki : Aspects of the daily, financial and religious life of the pre-World War II Jewish community of Thessaloniki is presented through various relics, books written in the Hebrew language, photographs and documents.

For additional information visit Thessaloniki’s Official Site


Thessaloniki is a known shopping destination.  Apart from the shopping centers and malls the city has many smaller independent stores and boutiques that extend in commercial streets in the city center.

Thessaloniki, however, is ideal for those who wish to experience authentic shopping. In the city’s open markets visitors can purchase rare spices, fruits, vegetables and various local delicatessens. The most known traditional markets of the city are the open public market of Kapani and Modiano Market, which are both located down-town Thessaloniki.

Restaurant & Cafe

Thessaloniki is one of the most known cities in Greece for its gastronomy and night life.  Some interesting proposals are:

Aristotelous Square , is the most known meeting point of the city and an ideal starting point for those who wish to become acquainted with Thessaloniki’s everyday life.

Tsimiski Street, is the most known and crowded Avenue of Thessaloniki, with many stores and various entertainment options.

The harbor which is an ideal option for a stroll, an afternoon coffee or a light meal. Two of the city’s museums are located within the harbor: The Museum of Photography and Thessaloniki Cinema Museum.

Nikis Avenue the city’s beach front with many dining and entertainment options.

Ladadika,one of the most famous traditional districts of Thessaloniki with many small restaurants and bars.

Athonos Square,a traditional part of the city with many tavernas and stores that sell local products and delicatessens.

Valaoritou Street, a vibrant part of the city’s night life, with many night clubs and bars.


An endless journey in history and nature

Macedonia is a region of great natural beauty. The endless coastlines of sandy lace beaches with crystal clear blue waters mingle with a wild landscape of lush mountains with modern ski resorts. It is also a place with a very long history, in which traditions, customs and folk culture are present in every aspect of modern life. Macedonia therefore is a magnificent tourist destination for travelers eager to explore and discover its beauties.

Some of the many places of interest of the Region of Macedonia are:

  • Vergina: The Royal Tombs of the Ancient Necropolis of Aigai burial site of King Philip II.
  • Veroia: “St Paul’s Tribune”, a religious monument at the spot where Paul the Apostle preached Christianity.
  • Naoussa: the Thicket of Agios Nikolaos an earthly paradise located 3klm from the town of Naoussa.
  • School of Aristotle: The place that accommodated the school in which the Ancient Philosopher Aristotle taught young Alexander the Great in the mid 4th century b.C. It is located in the area “Isobria” of Naoussa .
  • Edessa: known mainly for its spectacular waterfalls, which are the largest in the Balkan Peninsula.
  • Pella: The Ancient capital of Macedonia with its Archaeological site, the Macedonian tombs and its museum.
  • Petralona of Halkidiki: The cave of Petralona with impressive stalagmites and stalactites is mostly known for the skull that was discovered in it, which is considered to belong to the oldest European hominid ever found and is approximately 700.000 years old.
  • Mount Olympus: The highest mountain in Greece is known worldwide as the home of the Ancient Greek Gods of Olympus. Located about 80klm southwest of Thessaloniki, it is a place of outstanding natural beauty, visited by thousands of people every year.
  • Ski Resorts: Though most people relate Greece with its islands, its blue sky and its endless beaches, it is also a land of mountains. There are a lot of ski resorts in the broader region of Macedonia, such as Elatochori on Mount Olympus, , 3-5 Pigadia and Seli on Mount Vermio, Voras on Mount Kaimaktsalan and many more.
  • Nymfeo: A small and beautiful village listed as a traditional settlement in the prefecture of Florina (Western Macedonia). Don’t omit to visit the Environmental Center of Arcturos, which focuses its efforts on saving the populations of the Brown Bear.
  • Drama: The city’s highlight is the Park of Agia Varvara, which extends in an area of 60 acres.
  • Prespes: In Northern Greece an undefined borderline between three countries: Greece, Albania and FYROM. The area is known for its two high- altitude lakes the Great and Small Prespa Lake and which constitute a landscape of magnificent beauty.
  • Kastoria: A city with a large tradition in the fur clothing industry which extends in the Western shore of Lake Orestiada. Lake Orestiada, most commonly known as The lake of Kastoria, has been proclaimed a “Monument of Natural Beauty”.
  • Kavala: Home of the most important Archaeological site in Eastern Macedonia, known as Philippi, with characteristic monuments of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian Periods.
  • Pozar Thermal Baths: At the foot of Mount Kaimaktsalan lie the hot springs and the Thermal Bath Facilities of Pozar , known for their beneficial for human health effects


Monasthriou 18, 54629 Thessaloniki
Tel.: +30 2310 596800
Fax: +30 2310 510555