Thessaloniki. Not the most commonly known place to visit when you consider going to Greece. Most people automatically think of going to Athens or the Greek Islands. While I'm sure that these are great places to go, there is another city that I suggest visiting on your trip to Greece! I have been to the beautiful city of Thessaloniki twice, and absolutely loved it. Thessaloniki is in Northern Greece on the Aegean Sea. Here are five reasons that I think you should visit Thessaloniki:
1. The Food
Now, go to Europe and you're going to find great food, that's just a give-in. Food in Thessaloniki is top notch. You can get a Gyro almost anywhere or grab souvlaki from the delicatessen. You could go for some greek pizza for 79cents at Pizza Chris or a dessert crepe at Navarino. Also, you can find the best Baklava in the world in this city. Not to mention that Greek coffee/frappes/lattes are the best I've ever had. There are endless possibilities for amazing food in this city, try everything! It's all so good. Don't forget the Moussaka!
2. The People
I'm sure that people all over Greece are amazing, but I've found some of the kindest and most genuine people I've ever met in Thessaloniki. The first time I went, my friend Alex (whom I still keep in contact with) took 7 hours out of his day to show us around the city after just meeting us. The people of Thessaloniki like to have fun and they LOVE talking to Americans. It is so much fun to talk to them and learn a little bit about their culture.
3. The Culture
Speaking of culture... The life in Thessaloniki is so fun. They stay up late, and get up late. The first time I went to the city, I stayed up until 4 am one night because my whole traveling group was out learning traditional Greek Dancing and eating our weight in that amazing food I told you about. It is such a young, fun, vibrant city... and you truly get a sense of that when you visit.
4. The Sights
Now, any good city has to have some incredible things to see right? The most known landmark of this city is the White Tower, which is an old prison turned into a museum. There is Aristotle Square, which is probably my favorite part of the city, lined with shops and restaurants galore. You can hike up to Heptapyrgion which is an ancient castle over looking the whole city. You can go visit and go inside the Rotunda which is an ancient church and mosque and walk right down the road to see the Kamara Arch. You can also tour and go into the countless Greek Orthodox Churches in the city. Not to mention that the ancient city of Philippi is a couple of hours from the city and absolutely worth a trip to see!
5. iHeart Cafe
My friends, Tony and Jamie Sebastian own and run a cafe right next to the Rotunda and it is the best place to be in the city. They've been voted the #1 cafe in the city a few times and have some of the best drinks around. Tony and Jamie are incredible people who do so many awesome things in the community of Thessaloniki and I hope that you will go visit them at iHeart if you do find yourself in Thessaloniki!
Well friends, those are my 5 reasons that I think you should go visit Thessaloniki on your trip to Greece!
If you're still not convinced, take a look at the pictures below :)