Thessaloniki: Wikis


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Aerial view of Thessaloniki's port
Aerial view of Thessaloniki's port
Flag of Thessaloniki
Seal of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is located in Greece
Coordinates 40°38′N 22°57′E / 40.633°N 22.95°E / 40.633; 22.95Coordinates: 40°38′N 22°57′E / 40.633°N 22.95°E / 40.633; 22.95
Country: Greece
Periphery: Central Macedonia
Prefecture: Thessaloniki
Districts: 16
Mayor: Vassilios Papageorgopoulos  (ND)
(since: 1 January 1999)
Population statistics (as of 2001[1])
 - Population: 363,987
 - Population: 763,468
 - Area: 93.174 km2 (36 sq mi)
 - Density: 8,194 /km2 (21,222 /sq mi)
 - Population: 800,764
 - Area: 2,928.717 km2 (1,131 sq mi)
 - Density: 273 /km2 (708 /sq mi)
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0 - 20 m (0 - 66 ft)
Postal: 53x xx, 54x xx, 55x xx, 56x xx
Telephone: 231x
Auto: Ν

Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, IPA: /θesaloˈnici/), Thessalonica, or Salonica is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of Macedonia. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally "co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a population of 363,987. The entire Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 763,468.[2]

Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and its southeast European hinterland. The city hosts an annual International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.[3]

Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessalonika, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures.



All variations for the city's name derive from the original (and current) appellation in Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, literally translating to "Thessaly-victory" and in origin the name of a princess, Thessalonike of Macedon, who was so named because she was born on the day of the Macedonian victory at the Battle of Crocus Field.[4] The alternative name Salonica, formerly the common name used in some western European languages, is derived from a variant form Σαλονίκη (Saloníki) in popular Greek speech. The city's name is also rendered Thessaloníki or Saloníki with a dark l typical of Macedonian Greek.[5][6] Names in other languages prominent in the city's history include سلانيك in Ottoman Turkish and Selânik in modern Turkish, Solun (Cyrillic: Солун) in the Slavic languages of the region by which it is still known in Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian to this day, Sãrunã in Aromanian, and Selanik/Salonika in Ladino. It is also known as 'Thess' by Anglophonic diaspora Greeks who returned to Greece and by the troops of the international forces stationed in the various ex-Yugoslav territories who visit the city for their breaks from duty.


The Roman odeum in the Ancient Agora of Thessaloniki, c. 2nd century, CE.
A 7th century mosaic from Hagios Demetrios representing St. Demetrius with children.

The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and twenty-six other local villages[7] He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great (Thessalo-nikē means the "Thessalian victory")[8] (See Battle of Crocus field). It was an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, Thessalonica became a city of the Roman Republic. It grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia and facilitated trade between Europe and Asia. The city became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia.

When in 379 the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloníki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum.[citation needed] The economic expansion of the city continued through the twelfth century as the rule of the Komnenoi emperors expanded Byzantine control to the north. Thessaloniki passed out of Byzantine hands in 1204, when Constantinople was captured by the Fourth Crusade. Thessaloníki and its surrounding territory—the Kingdom of Thessalonica—became the largest fief of the Latin Empire. It also was ruled by the Despotate of Epirus between 1224 and 1246, and was a vassal state of the Second Bulgarian Empire between 1230 and 1246.

The city was recovered by the Byzantine Empire in 1246. In the 1340s, it was the scene of the anti-aristocratic Commune of the Zealots. In 1423, the Despot Andronicus who was in charge of the city handed it over to the Republic of Venice in the hope that it could be protected from the Ottomans (there is no evidence to support the oft-repeated story that he sold the city to them). The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on 29 March 1430.[9] Murad II took Thessaloniki with a brutal massacre[10] and enslavement of roughly one-fifth of the native inhabitants.[11] Upon the capture and plunder of Thessaloniki, many of its inhabitants escaped,[12] including intellectuals Theodorus Gaza “Thessalonicensis” and Andronicus Callistus.[13]

Theodorus Gaza (c. 1400–1475) called "Thessalonicensis"[14] was a Thessaloniki born Greek Macedonian humanist of the 15th century.[15]

During the Ottoman period, the city's Muslim and Jewish population grew. By 1478 Selânik (سلانیك) – as the city came to be known in Ottoman Turkish – had a population of 4,320 Muslims and 6,094 Greek Orthodox, as well as some Catholics, but no Jews. By ca. 1500, the numbers had grown to 7,986 Greeks, 8,575 Muslims, and 3,770 Jews, but by 1519, the latter numbered 15,715, 54% of the city's population. The invitation to Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, was an Ottoman demographic strategy to prevent the Greek element from dominating the city.[16]

By the 1680s, about 300 families of Sephardic Jews, followers of Sabbatai Zevi, had converted to Islam, becoming a sect known as the Dönmeh (convert), and migrated to majority-Jewish Salonika. There they established an active community that thrived for about 250 years. Many of their descendants later became prominent in trade.[17]

Selanik was a sanjak capital in Rumeli Eyaleti (Balkans) until 1826, and subsequently the capital of Selanik Vilayeti (between 1826 and 1864 Selanik Eyaleti) This consisted of the sanjaks of Selanik, Serez and Drama between 1826 and 1912[citation needed]. Thessaloniki was also a Janissary stronghold where novice Janissaries were trained. In June 1826 regular Turkish soldiers attacked and destroyed the Janissary bases, an event known as the The Auspicious Incident in Turkish history.

From 1870, driven by economic growth, the city's population expanded by 70%, reaching 135,000 in 1917.[citation needed]

During the First Balkan War, on 26 October 1912 (Old Style), the feast day of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessalonika.

In 1915, during World War I, a large Allied expeditionary force landed at Thessaloniki as the base for operations against pro-German Bulgaria. This culminated in the establishment of the Macedonian or Salonika Front.[citation needed] In 1916, pro-Venizelist Greek army officers, with the support of the Allies, launched the Movement of National Defence, which resulted in the establishment of a pro-Allied temporary government that controlled northern Greece and the Aegean, against the official government of the King in Athens.[citation needed] This led the city to be dubbed as symprotévousa ("co-capital").[citation needed] Most of the old town was destroyed by a single fire on 18 August [O.S. 5 August] 1917,[citation needed] which was accidentally sparked by French soldiers in encampments at the city. The fire left some 72,000 homeless, many of them Turkish, of a population of approximately 271,157 at the time.[citation needed]

The Metropolitan Church of Thessaloniki, Saint Gregory Palamas.

During World War II, Thessaloniki fell to the forces of Nazi Germany on April 22, 1941, and remained under German occupation until October 30, 1944. The city suffered considerable damage from Allied bombing. In 1943, 50,000 of the city's Jews were deported to concentration camps, where most were murdered in the gas chambers.[18] Eleven thousand Jews were deported to forced labor camps, most of whom perished.[18] One survivor was Salamo Arouch, a boxing champion, who lived at Auschwitz by entertaining the Nazis with his boxing skills.[18]

Thessaloniki was rebuilt after the war with large-scale development of new infrastructure and industry throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On 20 June 1978, the city was hit by a powerful earthquake, registering a moment magnitude of 6.5.[citation needed] The tremor caused considerable damage to several buildings and ancient monuments; forty people were crushed to death when an entire apartment block collapsed in the central Hippodromio district.[citation needed]

Early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988. Thessaloniki was the European Capital of Culture in 1997, when it sponsored events across the city and region. In 2004 the city hosted a number of the football (soccer) events, forming part of the 2004 Summer Olympics.


Thessaloniki was hit by strong earthquakes in 620, 667, 700, 1677, 1759, 1902, 1904, 1905, 1932, and 1978. The event of 1978 measured a 6.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.[19]


Thessaloniki lies on the northern fringe of the Thermaic Gulf, on its western side. The city has a Mediterranean to Mid-European Temperate climate. Annual rainfalls are about 410–450 mm.[citation needed] Snowfalls are sporadic, but happen more or less every year.

The city lies in a transitional climatic zone, so its climate has displayed characteristics of continental and Mediterranean climate. Winters are relatively dry, with common morning frost. Snowfalls occur almost every year, but usually the snow does not stay for more than a few days. During the coldest winters, temperatures can drop to -10C°/14F (Record min. -14C°/7F).[citation needed]

Thessaloniki's summers are hot with rather humid nights. Maximum temperatures usually rise above 30C°/86F, but rarely go over 40C°/104F (Record max. 44C).[citation needed] Rain is seldom in summer, and mainly falls during thunderstorms.

Climate data for Thessaloniki
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.9
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 40
Source: Weatherbase[20] 2009-02-01


Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. It is an influential city in northern Greece and the capital of Central Macedonia Periphery, Thessaloniki Prefecture. It is also at the head of the Municipality of Thessaloniki.


Part of Aristotelous Square in central Thessaloniki.
The Arch of Galerius (Kamara) stands on Egnatia Avenue.
The Residence of the General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace.Architectural project of the Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli. Agiou Dimitriou Street.
Art Nouveau building at the center of Thessaloniki.

Architecture in Thessaloniki is the direct result of the city's position at the centre of all historical developments in the Balkans. Aside from its commercial importance, Thessaloniki was also for many centuries, the military and administrative hub of the region, and beyond this the transportation link between Europe and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine).

Merchants, traders and refugees from all over Europe settled in the city. The early Byzantine walls were moved to allow extensions to the east and west along the coast. The need for commercial and public buildings in this new era of prosperity led to the construction of large edifices in the city centre. During this time, the city saw the building of banks, large hotels, theatres, warehouses, and factories. The city layout changed after 1870, when the seaside fortifications gave way to extensive piers, and many of the oldest walls of the city were demolished including those surrounding the White Tower.[citation needed]

The expansion of Eleftherias Square towards the sea completed the new commercial hub of the city. The western districts are considered as a working class section, near the factories and industrial activities; the middle and upper classes gradually moved from the city-centre to the eastern suburbs, leaving mainly businesses. In 1917, a devastating fire swept through the city and burned uncontrollably during 32 hours.[citation needed] It destroyed the city's historic center and a large part of its architectural heritage.

A team of architects and urban planners including Thomas Mawson and Ernest Hebrard, a French architect, chose the Byzantine era as the basis for their (re)building designs. The new city plan included axes, diagonal streets and monumental squares, with a street grid that would channel traffic smoothly. The plan of 1917 included provisions for future population expansions and a street and road network that would be and still is sufficient today.[citation needed] It contained sites for public buildings, and provided for the restoration of Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques. The whole Upper City, near the fortifications, was declared a heritage site. The plan also included a site for the campus of a future University of Thessaloniki, which has never been fully realised, although today's University campus incorporates some of Hebrard's ideas.

An important element of the plan was to achieve a fine balance between contemporary urban planning and architectural ideas, and the city's tradition and history. These plans have not been fully implemented, and the city still lacks of a full administrative district. Nevertheless, this aspect of the plan influenced a number of building and planning decisions throughout the 20th century, with inevitable adaptations to service the population explosion of the last 50 years.


The building of Bank of Greece in Thessaloniki

Thessaloníki is a major port city and an industrial and commercial centre. The city's industries centre around oil, steel, petrochemicals, textiles, machinery, flour, cement, pharmaceuticals, and liquor. Being a free port, the city functions as the gateway to the Balkan hinterland. The city is also a major transportation hub for the whole of south-eastern Europe, carrying, among other things, trade to and from the neighbouring countries. A considerable percentage of the city's working force is employed in small- and medium-sized businesses as well as in the service and the public sectors.

In recent years, the city has begun a process of deindustrialisation and a move towards a service based economy. A spate of factory shut downs has occurred in order to take advantage of cheaper labour markets and more lax regulations. Among the largest companies to shut down factories are Goodyear,[21] AVEZ (the first industrial factory in northern Greece built in 1926),[22] and VIAMIL (ΒΙΑΜΥΛ).


Aerial photo of the eastern districts of Thessaloniki and Kalamaria, a city's suburb.
The Jewish Cemetery of Thessaloniki in the late 19th century.
The colourful shopfronts of the central district of Ladadika which used to be the Jewish quarter.

Although the population of the Municipality of Thessaloniki has declined in the last two censuses, the metropolitan area's population is still growing, as people are moving to the suburbs. The city forms the base of the metropolitan area.

Year City population Change Metro population
1981 406,413 - -
1991 383,967[23] -22,446/-5.52% -
2001 363,987[23] -19,980/-5.20% 1,057,825[23]

The Jews of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki's Jewish community was largely of Sephardic background, but also included the historically significant and ancient Greek-speaking Romaniote community. During the Ottoman era, Thessaloniki's Sephardic refugee community comprised more than half the city's population and the Jews were dominant in commerce until the Greek population increased after 1912. Within the interwar the Greek state granted the Jews the same civil rights as the other Greek citizens.[24] Many Jewish inhabitants of Thessaloniki spoke Ladino, the Romance language of the Sephardic Jews[citation needed].

A great blow to the Jewish community of Thessaloniki came with the great fire of 1917, which left 50,000 Jews homeless.[25] Some Jews emigrated to other parts of Europe. The arrival of 100,000 Greek refugees settling in and around Thessaloniki after the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1923,also reduced the proportions of the community. During the interwar period they represented about 20% of the city's population.

In March 1926, Greece had re-emphasised that all citizens of Greece enjoyed equal rights, and a considerable proportion of the city's Jews stuck by their earlier convictions thought they should remain. By 1944 the great majority of the community firmly identified itself as both Greek and Jewish. According to Misha Glenny, these Greek Jews had largely not encountered "anti-Semitism as in its North European form.[26] By the mid 1940s the prospect of German deportation to death camps was repeatedly met with disbelief by an increasingly well integrated Greek Jewish population. Mordechai Frizis nevertheless became one of the leading Greek officers of World War II.[27]

The Nazis exterminated approximately 96% of Thessaloniki's Jews of all ages during the Holocaust. Today, there is a community of around 1000 in the city , and there are communities of descendants of Thessaloniki Jews – both Sephardic and Romaniote – in other areas, mainly the United States and Israel.

Jewish Population of Thessaloniki[24]

Year Total Population Jewish Population Jewish Percentage Source
1842 70,000 36,000 51% Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer
1870 90,000 50,000 56% Greek schoolbook (G.K. Moraitopoulos, 1882)
1882/84 85,000 48,000 56% Ottoman government census
1902 126,000 62,000 49% Ottoman government census
1913 157,889 61,439 39% Greek government census
1917 271,157 52,000 19% J. Nehama, Histoire des Israélites de Salonique, t. VI-VII, Thessalonique 1978, p. 765 (via Greek Wikipedia): the population was inflated because of refugees from the First World War
1943 50,000
2000 363,987[23] 1,000 0.27% (post-Holocaust)

Historical ethnic statistics

The tables below show the ethnic statistics of Thessaloniki during the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century.

Year Total Population Jewish Population Turkish (Muslim) Population Greek Population Bulgarian Population Roma Population Other groups
1890[28] 118,000 55,000 26,000 16,000 10,000 2,500 8,500
around 1913[29] 157,889 61,439 45,889 39,956 6,263 2,721 1,621


Aerial view of sections of the International Trade Fair and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki Science Center & Technology Museum.

The Opera of Thessaloniki was founded when the city was the European Capital of Culture in 1997[30] It is an independent section of the National Theatre of Northern Greece.[citation needed]

Thessaloniki is home of a number of festivals and events, including the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair which has been hosted at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. Over 300,000 visitors attended in 2007. The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has been established as one of the most important film festivals in Southeastern Europe, with a number of notable film makers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Irene Papas and Fatih Akın taking part to it. The Documentary Festival, founded in 1999, has focused on documentaries that explore global social and cultural developments, with many of the films presented being candidates for FIPRESCI and Audience Awards. The Dimitria festival, founded in 1966 and named after the city's patron saint of St. Demetrius, has focused on a wide range of events including music, theatre, dance, local happenings, and exhibitions. The "DMC DJ Championship" has been hosted at the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki and has become a worldwide event for aspiring DJs and turntablists. The "International Festival of Photography" has taken place every February to mid-April. Exhibitions for the event are sited in museums, heritage landmarks, galleries, bookshops and cafés.


The main football stadiums in the city are the state-owned Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Toumba Stadium and Kleanthis Vikelides Stadium home fields of Iraklis, PAOK and Aris respectively, all of whom are founding members of the Greek league. Thessaloniki's major indoor arenas are the state-owned Alexandreio Melathron, PAOK Sports Arena and the YMCA indoor hall. Other sporting clubs in the city include Apollon based in the eastern suburb of Kalamaria, Agrotikos Asteras based in Evosmos and YMCA. Thessaloniki has a rich sporting history with its teams winning the first ever panhellenic football,[31] basketball,[32] and water polo[33] tournaments.

The city played a major role in the development of basketball in Greece. The local YMCA was the first to introduce the sport to the country while Iraklis won the first Greek championship.[32] From 1979 to 1993 Aris and PAOK won between them 10 championships, 7 cups and a European title. In volleyball, Iraklis has emerged since 2000 as one of the most successful teams in Greece[34] and Europe[35][36] alike with several domestic and international successes. In October 2007, the first Southeastern European Games were organized in Thessaloniki.[37]

Club Founded
Iraklis 1908
Aris 1914
YMCA 1921
PAOK 1926
Apollon 1926
Makedonikos 1928
Agrotikos Asteras 1932

Notable Thessalonians

Thessaloniki, throughout its history, has been home to a number of politicians, artists, craftsmen, sportsmen, clergy and singers among others. It is the birthplace of some Saints, as well as the Turkish military leader and statesman Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.


The exterior view of the Makedonia International Airport.
Thessaloniki Concert Hall

Public transport in Thessaloniki is by buses. The bus company operating in the city is called Organismos Astikon Sygkoinonion Thessalonikis (OASTH), or Thessaloniki Urban Transportation Organization.

Thessaloniki Metro

The construction of the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Railway began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion in late 2012.[38] The line is set to extend over 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi) and include 13 stations,[39] and it is expected that the subway will eventually serve 250,000 passengers daily.[38] Some stations of the Thessaloniki Metro will house a number of archaeological finds.[40]

Discussions are underway on future expansion, in order to connect the underground with the major transport hubs for the city, the Makedonia Central Bus Station, the Central Railway Station and Makedonia International Airport. Expansions to Kalamaria, the easternmost district of Thessaloniki, and to Stavroupoli in the west, are part of the initial construction phase. Expansion plans include the districts of Eleftherio-Kordelio and the northern districts, such as Toumba.

Commuter rail

Commuter rail services have recently been established between Thessaloniki and Larissa, covering the journey in an 1 hour 33 min.


Thessaloniki was without a motorway link until the 1970s when it was accessed by GR-1/E75 from Athens, GR-4, GR-2, (Via Egnatia) /E90 and GR-12/E85 from Serres and Sofia. In the early 1970s the motorway had reached Thessaloniki and was the last section of the GR-1 to be completed. The city's 6-lane bypass was completed in 1988.[citation needed] It runs from the western, industrial side of the city, to its southeast. Upgraded in 2007, it took in a number of new junctions and improved motorway features. In 2008, the motorway was expanded toward the Egnatia Motorway, northwest of Thessaloniki.


The city is a railway hub for the Balkans, with direct connections to Sofia, Skopje, Belgrade, Moscow, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul, alongside Athens and other destinations in Greece.


Air traffic to and from the city is served by Makedonia International Airport, for both international and domestic flights. The short length of the airport's two runways means that it does not currently support intercontinental flights, although there are plans for a major expansion extending one of its runways into the Thermaic Gulf, despite considerable opposition from local environmentalist groups.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Thessaloniki is twinned with:[41]


See also



  • Apostolos Papagiannopoulos,Monuments of Thessaloniki, Rekos Ltd, date unknown.
  • Apostolos P. Vacalopoulos, A History of Thessaloniki, Institute for Balkan Studies,1972.
  • John R. Melville-Jones, 'Venice and Thessalonica 1423-1430 Vol I, The Venetian Accounts, Vol. II, the Greek Accounts, Unipress, Padova, 2002 and 2006 (the latter work contains English translations of accounts of the events of this period by St Symeon of Thessaloniki and John Anagnostes).
  • Thessaloniki: Tourist guide and street map, A. Kessopoulos, MalliareÌ„s-Paideia, 1988.
  • Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430-1950, 2004, ISBN 0-375-41298-0.
  • Thessaloniki City Guide, Axon Publications, 2002.
  • James C. Skedros, Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki: Civic Patron and Divine Protector, 4th-7Th Centuries (Harvard Theological Studies), Trinity Press International (1999).
  • Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis (ed.), Restructuring the City: International Urban Design Competitions for Thessaloniki, Andreas Papadakis, 1999.
  • Matthieu Ghilardi, Dynamiques spatiales et reconstitutions paléogéographiques de la plaine de Thessalonique (Grèce) à l'Holocène récent, 2007. Thèse de Doctorat de l'Université de Paris 12 Val-de-Marne, 475 p.


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  6. ^ Vitti, Mario (2001) (in Italian). Storia della letteratura neogreca. Roma: Carocci. ISBN 88-430-1680-6. 
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  8. ^ Peter E. Lewis, Ron Bolden, The pocket guide to Saint Paul, p. 118, ISBN 1862545626
  9. ^ cf. the account of John Anagnostes.
  10. ^ "Thessaloniki.". Retrieved 2009-11-25. "At the end of that century the severely reduced population was augmented by an influx of 20,000 Jews driven from Spain." 
  11. ^ Nicol, Donald M. (1992). Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations. Cambridge University Press. p. 371. ISBN 0521428947. "The capture and sack of Thessalonica is vividly described by an eye-witness, John Anagnostes. It is a terrible tale. He reckoned that 7000 citizens perhaps about one-fifth of the population were carried off to slavery." 
  12. ^ Harris, Jonathan (1995). Greek emigres in the West 1400-1520. Porphyrogenitus. p. 12. ISBN 187132811X. "Many of the inhabitants of Thessalonica fled to the Venetian colonies in the early fifteenth century, in the face of sporadic attacks which culminated in the city’s capture by Murad II in the 1430’s." 
  13. ^ Milner, Henry (2009). The Turkish Empire: The Sultans, the Territory, and the People. BiblioBazaar. p. 87. ISBN 1113223995. "Theodore Gaza, one of these exiles, escaped from Saloniki, his native city, upon its capture by Amurath." 
  14. ^ Coates, Alan ; Bodleian Library (2005). A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century Now in the Bodleian Library. Oxford University Press. p. 236. ISBN 0199519056. "Theodorus Graecus Thessalonicensis" 
  15. ^ Cuvier, Georges (baron) ; Cuvier, Georges; Pietsch, Theodore W. (1995). Historical portrait of the progress of ichthyology: from its origins to our own time. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0801849144. "Theodorus of Gaza — [b. ca. 1400] a Greek from Thessalonica." 
  16. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History p. 779 – Rosamond McKitterick, Christopher Allmand
  17. ^ Adam Kirsch, "The Other Secret Jews", review of Marc David Baer, The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks, The New Republic, 15 Feb 2010, accessed 21 Feb 2010
  18. ^ a b c Salamo Arouch, 86, survived Auschwitz by boxing, Haaretz
  19. ^ PDF file
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  21. ^ PFI (ΒΦΛ)
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  24. ^ a b "History". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  25. ^ "History". 1941-04-09. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  26. ^ "Misha Glenny, The Balkans, page 512"
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  30. ^ "Cultural Capital". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  31. ^ "Galanis Sports Data". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  32. ^ a b "Galanis Sports Data". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  33. ^ "Κόκκινος Ποσειδώνας: Πρωταθλητής Ελλάδας στο πόλο ο Ολυμπιακός για 21η φορά στην ιστορία του! – Pathfinder Sports". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  34. ^ "Άξιος πρωταθλητής ο Ηρακλής - Παναθηναϊκός, Ηρακλής –". 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  35. ^ magic moving pixel s.a. (2005-03-27). "F-004 - TOURS VB vs Iraklis THESSALONIKI". Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  36. ^ "Men's CEV Champions League 2005–06 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  37. ^ 1οι Αγώνες των χωρών της Νοτιανατολικής Ευρώπης - SEE games - Thessaloniki 2007
  38. ^ a b "CONCLUSION OF CONTRACT FOR THE THESSALONIKI METRO". Attiko Metro S.A.. 2006-04-07. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  39. ^ "Thessaloniki metro "top priority", Public Works minister says". Athens News Agency. 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  40. ^ "CONCLUSION THESSALONIKI METRO & ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION". Attiko Metro S.A.. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Twinning Cities". City of Thessaloniki. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  42. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". © 2003-2008 Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  43. ^ "Hartford Sister Cities International". Harford Public Library. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  44. ^ "International relations: Thessaloniki". City of Melbourne. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  45. ^ "Fun Facts and Statistics". City and County of San Francisco. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  46. ^ . /subject/2008/DgThessaloniki/ "Dongguan and Salonica Formed Sisterhood". http://www.sun07 . /subject/2008/DgThessaloniki/. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Thessaloniki [1], in the Greek district of Central Macedonia, is, at about a million inhabitants, the second largest city in the country. More importantly, it is a city with a continuous 3000-year history, preserving relics of its Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past and of its formerly dominant Jewish population. Its Byzantine churches, in particular, are included in UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The White Tower of Thessaloniki; the city's landmark.
The White Tower of Thessaloniki; the city's landmark.

Get in

By train

By nighttrain from Athens (Larissa station), about 6 h. Costs 20€-31€ (depending on the train), or about €50 if you want a sleeping compartment to yourself. Alternatively the slower 60x services are 15€ departing daily with the last train at 23:59.

Daily trains from Athens take 4h 15 min (intercity express trains), 6h(normal trains) cost about 50 euros first class. A very good option are the 500/501/502/503 trains, delivering excellent quality of travel at a low price, costing about 14 euros (11 for students and people up to 26) and take only 5h 45min. Unfortunately for smokers, smoking is banned in all but a few trains. The last train at night departs at around 01:50.

There is also a night train (sleeping car) from Istanbul, departure every day at 21.00. It arrives 09.33 next morning and costs ca. 52€ (120 TYL).

When you are under 26, you get a discount for 25 % on most trains.

To/From Skopje, - direct link: Skopje to Thessaloniki train is 20€ RT with young person discount, 20% more without. Train leaves from Skopje at 8:00 a.m. Thessaloniki to Skopje train leaves at 4:15 p.m. (Suggest being on the dock by 3:30 on Friday to fight the "Student Traffic" of students going home for the weekend.) Both trains take about 4 hours. You can check the time table at the Macedonian Railways website [2]. The Cyrillic version of Thessaloniki is Солун, so it will be easier to look it up in the time table, since there is no English version of the website.

There are also direct train connections to Sofia (at 06:16 and 17:39, take 6 hours), Belgrade (12 hours), Istanbul (12 hours-every evening-arriving next morning), Budapest and Ljubljana (24 hours) via Zagreb (21 hours). But please mind: The trains from Ljubljana arrive usually more than two hours too late in Thessaloniki.

You can buy Balkan FlexiPass tickets for 50€ in the train station international office.

By bus

From Skopje

A number of local travel agencies in Skopje also arrange transport to Thessaloniki daily by car or minibus. These generally leave around 5am, and cost around €25 for a day return (returning at 5pm) or a single (i.e. €50 if you want to come back on a different day from when you leave!) The travel agent at the back of the shopping mall by the Central Square arranges this departing from beside the Holiday Inn. Others depart from the bus station, or other locations around the city.

Note that although it is fairly easy to find a taxi driver in Thessaloniki who is willing to drive you to Skopje, the reverse is much less true, as the citizens of Macedonia need a visa (visa not needed, only special form document available on border) to enter Greece, whereas EU citizens can enter Macedonia without one.

By plane

Thessaloniki has an International airport called "Makedonia"[3], connected to Athens, Belgrade, Milan, Rome, Zurich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Moscow, London, Paris, Vienna, Larnaca, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest. Olympic and Aegean Airlines offer direct 50 minute flights from Athens from 49 euros one-way including taxes. In addition, there are several flights to Aegean and Ionian islands.

Connection to the City Centre

If your goal is to get out to the airport, hop on bus 78. It connects the airport with the bus station ("Ktel"), passing by the train station ("OSE") and a ticket costs 0.50€ if you buy it from the kiosk (0.60 if you buy it from the automatic ticket vendor, exact change needed). It's about a 25 minute ride. You can take this same bus back from the airport. There is also a night bus (numbered 78N) that takes the same route, and it runs all night every half an hour, for the same ticket price.

A taxi ride from the city center costs about 10-12 euros - it's hard to find one during peak hours (7-8 am, 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm), so plan early!

By car

From Athens about 5 hours (Highway)

From Istanbul about 8 hours

From Belgrade about 7 hours

From Sofia about 4 hours.

From Constanta about 8 hours.

One of the burdens for visitors and inhabitants alike is finding a parking place, so be prepared to either spend a lot of time looking for a place or pay for space in the parking lot (starting from 4 euros/3 hours). Don't assume you're safe from paying a fine just because locals flagrantly flout parking laws! Traffic congestion is a problem, largely due to double-parked cars, but generally fellow drivers and passers-by are helpful in showing you the way if you're lost.

By bus

The city bus company ("called OASTH"[4]) runs a total of 70 different bus lines. The fee is €0.50 independent of the route's length, for a duration of 70 minutes. This means that you can actually switch buses using the same ticket (you will have to recancel it on following buses). A 24h ticket costs €2 and a 7-day ticket €10. 1, 3, 6 and 12-month tickets are also available. Maps of the bus lines are available on the company's website [5].


Museums and Galleries

At the end of Tsimiski street there is a special area in the center of Thessaloniki where you can find many museums:

  • Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum [6] 6 euros
  • The Museum of Byzantine Culture [7]


  • State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki [8]
  • Thessaloniki Museum of Photography [9]
  • Museum of Cinematography in Thessaloniki [10]
  • Thessaloniki Technology Park [11]
  • Museum of Science [12]
  • Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace [13]
  • Thessaloniki International Fair [14]
  • Jewish Museum [15]
  • Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art [16]
  • Municipal Gallery of Art
  • Teloglion Foundation of Art
  • Museum at the White Tower [17]
  • Museum at Aghios Demetrios
  • Goulandris Museum of Natural History [18]
  • Attaturk House

It is also useful to keep an eye on the website Museums of Macedonia [19] that covers the whole region.

The northernmost Byzantine walls of the city and parts of the western walls are still standing, as is the city's symbol - the White Tower, one of the 16th c. AD fortified towers - which is the only surviving tower on the seafront. The rest of the walls are in the picturesque old town (Upper Town) which offers a spectacular view over the bay, especially in the late afternoon. Take a walk along the enormous seafront promenade (about 12 km altogether) with views of the amphitheatrically-built city. See the Archaeological Museum, the new award-winning Museum of Byzantine Culture (2005 - the best Museum of Europe), the Roman Forum excavations.

Visit the upper town for its traditional old houses, small cobbled streets, Byzantine citadel, the Eptapyrgion fort.

The very lively and youth-oriented international film festival[20] is held in November, the International Trade Fair[21] in September.

On no account should you miss the Byzantine churches built between the 5th and 14th century ACE, such as St Demetrios, (7th c. ACE) and Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdome, 9th c. ACE), and many lovely smaller ones in the upper town (St Nicolaos Orfanos is particularly worth a look for its frescoes), which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of them, the Rotonda, started life as a Roman temple of Zeus, built by ceasar Galerius, and is almost as old as the Pantheon in Rome. Next to the Rotonda, see the Arch of Triumph of Galerius and the ruins of his palace.

The city is also known as "the mother of Israel", due to the once flourishing jewish community here, which existed from the Roman period and grew after the Ottoman Empire took in the refugees from Spain ("Sephardis), until World War II when most of the city's Jews were transported to Auschwitz, never to return. However, there are still two Synagogues, and you can see the Jewish Museum.

Also interesting are the Turkish public baths, the Bezesteni (Ottoman closed market for jewellery and precious materials) the Alatza Imaret (Ottoman poorhouse) and Hamza Bey Camii (both restored and used for exhibitions).

The traditional central food market, with hundreds of stalls selling meat, fish, fruit, vegetables (sometimes cheek-by-jowl, an unnerving experience for North Americans), cheap clothes and shoes, flowers, herbs and spices, between Aristotelis Square and Venizelou street.

Aristotelous Square-the biggest of the city-and the promenade with its cafes and restaurants.

Thessaloniki's 'Ano Poli' (Old City)
Thessaloniki's 'Ano Poli' (Old City)

Doing Stuff

Thessaloniki is home to many museums, mostly archaeological and ethnographic. It also has a very active nightlife, as a 2007 New York Times article calls it "Seattle of the Balkans".


For fashion, Proxenou Koromila, Mitropoleos and Tsimiski. You won't find many bargains, but the shopping area is conveniently small and full of cafes when you get too tired. For cheaper clothing, check out Egnatia street.

For food specialities, go to Modiano market and try the Terpsis and Omega delicatessens (the most famous is Kosmas, but it specialises in Asian food). Any Greek will expect you to bring back sweets from Salonica, so try tsoureki, plaited sweetened breads for which Terkenlis is famous for, and desserts (baklava and galaktoboureko) e.g. or Nikiforou on Venizelou street. The most famous of the baklava joints is Hatzis, but fame has not made it any better - it's become overpriced and not as good as in previous years.

Ianos bookshop is a good place for coffee-table books. Art related books, CDs etc can be found also in Bastart (Grigoriou Palama 21. Metropolis is one of the few remaining CD shops, now branching out into DVDs.


Other Greeks consider Thessaloniki a gourmet city - but bear in mind that this refers to the excellent local specialities and cheap-and-cheerful ouzo taverns rather than to haute cuisine or a range of foreign restaurants. The latter are best avoided in Thessaloniki.

For a morning or late-night snack, try Bougatsa pies: cream (sweet) or cheese (savoury) filling

For a carnivore's treat, try soutzoukakia: minced meat pellets either grilled (at the central market or rotisseries) and topped with with chilli pepper flakes, or in tomato and cumin sauce (Smyrna-style).

Go for a meal in one of the many downtown ouzo restaurants (ouzeri) - some of the best are Agora (off Ionos Dragoumi, one of the most interesting old downtown areas); Odos Aristotelous off Aristotelous Square; Vrotos, off Athonos; Bit-Pazar and Selini in the Bit-Pazar area. Accompany your ouzo or tsipouro with a battery of small dishes - by far the best way to eat in Salonica. Particularly good are the fava beans, the octopus either grilled or in wine sauce and mussels (fried, or in pilaff, or with a hot cheese sauce, saganaki).

There are also a couple of good Cretan restaurants: Myrsini (behind the State Theatre) and Apo Dyo Horia (near Navarinou). Here, order raki rather than ouzo or tsipouro.

If you see "boiled vegetables' on the menu in wintertime, go ahead and order them- you'll be amazed at how good they taste.

Another typical winter salad is politiki, a combination of shredded cabbage and pickles.

If you like sweets, there are 3 typical pastry-shops you should try, typical of this city:

  • Chatzis. [22] is famous for its collection of Greek Asia Minor sweets (politika glyka) originating from what was known before as Constantinople (today, Istanbul).  edit
  • Terkenlis. [23] is famous for its variety of "tsoureki", a sweet bread much like brioche but containing spices too, covered and filled with several combinations of chocolates/creams/nuts, etc.  edit
  • Elenidis. [24] is considered the expert in "trigona" (triangles made of sfoglia, filled with cream).  edit

Best winter dessert: baked quince

For something quicker, try the crepe shops patronised by the student population at Gounari street, near Navarinou square. "Goody's" is the greek fast-food chain. You will find classic hamburgers, but also souvlaki, pasta, and salads.

Those of you with adventurous tastes should go to Tsarouhas, preferably after a hard night's drinking, for a "patsás" (tripe) soup - a delicious way to prevent a hangover.

Traditional fast food include sandwiches with gyros (pork meat), souvlaki or soutzoukaki (meat balls) offered in many stores for a little over 2€.

Popular budget places to eat can be found in:

Athonos sq.: Preferred by the many students of the city, Athonos square is full of basic Greek taverns mostly serving meat and/or fish accompanied by, wine, retsina (traditional low cost wine) and ouzo. Some feature live Greek music.

Bit Pazar: This area is another lively (and noisy) student hang-out that gets crowded on warm nights. The best ouzeris here are Bit-Pazar and the quieter Selini.

Kastra (Ano Poli): Up the city’s hill, next to the Byzantine walls you can find many nice restaurants with views over the city.

Tsinari: An old district in Ano Poli hosting the eponymous tavern, along with some others.

Ladadika: The old warehouse area near the port, around Morichovou sq., is chock-full of restaurants, bars and clubs. The classiest are Krikelas and Ellinikon, which offers 'appelation d'origine' local delicacies.

Near the White Tower: Zythos-Dore, an upmarket brasserie with a wide range of specialties and interesing ambience.


You can enjoy a meal with house wine in a mid-range restaurant for about 15 €, 20-30€ in a higher-class one.

Restaurants mentioned:

  • Agora, off Ionos Dragoumi.  edit
  • Bit-Pazar, Prosfygikis Agoras (between Olympou, Venizelou and Filippou). a great place to eat "meze" and drink,a student hangout.  edit
  • Vrotos, off Athonos. Athonos is also full of restaurants, but not as good as this one  edit
  • Odos Aristotelous, Odos Aristotelous. most Salonicans know it as the "lepen"  edit
  • Myrsini, behind the theatre of the Etairia Makedonikon Spoudon (Macedonian Studies).  edit
  • Apo Dyo Horia, off Navarinou square (site of Galerius's palace).  edit
  • Kamaras, near Rotonda. great traditional dishes.  edit
  • Lila Cafe Bistro, Diogenus 23 Ano Touba, +0310 947377. Traditional pies and sweets, croissant and cold made dishes accompany the coffee or your drink. Porcelain miniatures and collective drinks are available for originally gifts.  edit
  • Pizza da Pepe, Stefanou Tatti 10 (side street of Egnatia, near the Aghia Sophia Church), 2310 242407. For the best pizzas in town head here, but don't tell them you're an Aris Saloniki (football)fan :-)  edit


You won't wonder where to get a drink in a town with this many bars!

Thessaloniki is by far the liveliest city in Northern Greece- maybe even the whole country. Most of the trendy bars at the old seafront(Nikis ave.) and around, many of the tavernas are either downtown or in the old city(kastra). You can also find numerous bars and tavernas at Krini, an area in eastern Thessaloniki. If you want to check out what the whole bouzoukia scene is all about, try the clubs Pyli Axiou and Mamounia, at Vilka. You will also find a lot of night clubs, bars and restaurants in Ladadika, the neighbourhood with the old warehouses next to the port. The student area is around Kamara (the Arch of Galerius), home to many cheaper cafe's and bars.

If you will be in town during summer, take a ride on the floating bars plying the harbour. Every 2h or so they leave from the White Tower area for a small trip (30') in the Gulf of Thessaloniki in the evening. They play mostly ethnic and alternative foreign music.

Among the most popular places to drink a coffee or a beer are:

Aristotle sq (Aristotelous): The most popular tourist cafés and bars lie in the central square of the city and the homonymous street. One can find quiet cafes or noisy ones usually preferred by the young. Breakfast is also served, some restaurants are also available.

Nikis’ av: The center’s seafront avenue is full of cafeterias usually crowded around the clock, available for coffee in daytime and beer or drink at night.

Proxenou Kroromila st.: Parallel to the seafront Nikis avenue is Pr. Koromila street with some cafés and bars.

Iktinou pedestrian: Another place in the city with cafes and bars and a couple of restaurants

Ladadika district: At the west side of the center lies the picturesque neighbourhood of Ladadika (meaning: oil stores). Named this way by the many stores selling oil arrived from the adjacent harbour. Formerly notorious district, recently renovated with many stone build warehouses now host the most known nightclubs with all sorts of music including traditional Greek bouzoukia. Although not the favorite by Thessaloniki’s highest class (modern bouzoukia are not considered a classy kind of entertainment) worth a visit. Quite controversial, some delicate restaurants and greek taverns are located in Morichovou sq., popular during lunch time.

Aretsou: Aretsou is located in the east of the city, part of Nea Krini suberb right next to Kalamaria District. In the seafront Plastira av. one can find delicate cafeterias which change to bars during night featuring loud music and hosting many young.

Karabournaki: A place in Kalamaria district hosting delicate bars, restaurants and pizzerias. All of them along Sofouli street right next to the seasore.

Mediteranean Cosmos Mall: Located 12km east of the city near the Airport

Boat bars: Quite interesting are the boats near the white tower’s seafront, which make a short trip around Thermaikos gulf where you can enjoy a late night city view. Most of them play ethnic and alternative foreign music.

Mylos and Vilka: A set of high-range café, bars, restaurants, ouzeris some with live music at the city’s west. Also hosting concerts, events, exhibitions, music bands, famous greek artists etc.

Also many bars and cafeterias are spread across the city’s center.

Prices: a beer costs 5-6€, an alcohol drink 7-10 € and a coffee 3-4 €.


The Youth Hostel in Thessaloniki, situated in the city center (Alexandrou Svolou St.), is now permanently closed. Backpackers, students and travellers with a low budget can contact where dorm beds cost 15€. Internet is provided free of charge.

  • The Tourist Hotel, Mitropoleos Street. Right in the center, cheap, clean and welcoming. 75 euros for a double room incl good breakfast.  edit
  • Easyflat. Basic apartments in the city center. Up to 4 or 6 guests per apartment. Average price €50.  edit
  • Rex Hotel. Cheap hotel opposite the train station towards the center. Only a 5 minute walk from train station. Not great, but adequate. Two-bedroom in peak season was 60€.  edit
  • Hotel Acropoli. Very cheap hotel close to the train station. Clean but shabby rooms, most with a balcony. A triple costs €80 or €60 for a double.  edit
  • El Greco Hotel, 23 Egnatia Street., +30 2310 520 620 (), [25]. 3-sup star hotel located right in the heart of Thessaloniki,providing you with quality accommodation along with high-end services such as wi-fi internet, parking lot service. Due to its location you can easily and quickly access Aristotelous "piazza", the shopping center of the city, the train station and the international exhibition center of Helexpo. Moreover,it is close to the Aristotle University, the port of the city and next to the historical old city.  edit
  • City Hotel, 11 Komninon Street., +30.2310.269421, [26]. 4 star.  edit
  • Kinissi Palace, 41 Egnatia and Syngrou Street, 231-0508081. 4 star.  edit
  • Hotel Luxembourg, Komninon 6, +30 2310 252600, [27]. 3 star.  edit
  • Olympia Hotel. 3 star.  edit
  • Tobacco Hotel, Aghiou Dimitriou street, [28]. 4-star boutique hotel (formerly a tobacco warehouse).  edit
  • Queen Olga Hotel. east thessaloniki.  edit
  • Kapsis Hotel, 2, Oplopiou & Katouni Streets, +30 2310 232221. 5 star.  edit
  • Hotel Philippion, Seich Sou Forest, +30 231 0203320 (). The four-star Hotel Philippion is located in the heart of the thickly wooded Seich-Sou Park, overlooking spectacular views of Thessaloniki and Thermaikos Golf.  edit
  • Park Hotel, 81 Ionos Dragoumi, +30 2310 524121, [29]. Good breakfast buffet and reasonable prices. Located near the old Administration building.  edit
  • Hotel Byzantio, West Peripheral of Thessaloniki, +302310 690000 (), [30]. In an all green setting with sparkling water from the surrounding mountains, just a few meters from the water mills, on an area of 5.5 acres, Byzantio Hotel has been designed with much care in detail, aesthetics and functionality.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, 13 kilometres Thessaloniki-Perea, +30 231 040 1234 (), [31]. 5 star hotel with 2 ballrooms, 5 meeting rooms and 3 boardrooms. 2km from the largest casino in Europe.  edit
  • Porto Palace Hotel, 65 26th October Avenue, +30 231 0504504. At the west entrance of the city, near the new harbor/port district. It has direct access to the new financial district and it is just 5 min away from the city center and the shopping area.  edit
  • Albania: 10 Odysséos , Tel. 2310 546656
  • Australia: 46 Kifissías Street, Kalamaria, Tel. 2310 482322
  • Belgium: 4 Dodekanísou Street, Tel. 2310 538137
  • Bulgaria: 1 Abbot Street, Tel. 2310 829210
  • Canada: 17 Tsimiski Street, Tel. 2310 256350-1
  • Czech Republic: 8 Plutarchou Street, Tel. 2310 266415
  • Chile: 6 Karólou Dil Street, Tel. 2310 237272
  • Cyprus : 37 Nikis Avenue, Tel. 2310 260611
  • Denmark: 26 Komninón Street, Tel. 2310 284065
  • Finland: 7 Thessaloniki-Oraiokastro Road, Oraiokastro, Tel: 2310 697302
  • France: 8 Makenzy King Street, Tel. 2310 244030
  • Germany: 4a Karolou Dil Street, Tel. 2310 251120
  • Hungary: 3 Fragkon Street, Tel. 2310 555049
  • India: 12 Prasakaki Street
  • Japan: 45 Fillipou Street, Tel. 2310 286390
  • Latvia: 34 Mitropoleos Street, Tel. 2310 277463
  • Lithuania: 8 Komninon Street, Tel. 2310 268110
  • Luxemburg: 26 Komninon Street, Tel. 2310 248065
  • Macedonia, Republic of: 43 Tsimiski Street, Tel. 2310 277347-8-9
  • Mexico: 311 Monastiriou Avenue, Tel. 2310 270206
  • The Netherlands: 26 Komninon Street, Tel. 2310 284065
  • Norway: 12 Makenzy King Street, Tel. 2310 526333
  • Peru: 192 Monastiriou Avenue, Tel. 2310 566737
  • Philippines: 22 Dodekanisou Street, Tel. 2310 556161
  • Portugal: 3 Vassileos Konstantinou Street, Tel. 2310 228138
  • Romania: 16 Santas Street, Tel: 2310 340088
  • Russian Federation: 5 Dimosthenes Street, Tel: 2310 257507
  • Serbia: 4 Komninon Street, Tel: 2310 244266
  • Sweden: 26 Komninon Street, Tel: 2310 284065
  • Switzerland: 47 Nikis Avenue, Tel: 2310 282214
  • Spain: 9 Victor Hugo Street (Victoros Hougo), Tel: 2310 2310 515391
  • Turkey: 151 Agiou Demetriou Avenue, Tel: 2310 248452
  • United Kingdom: 21 Aristotelous Square, Tel: 2310 278006
  • United States of America: 43 Tsimiski Street, Tel: 2310 242900

Get out

The classic trips out of Thessaloniki are:

  • the 500 km of wonderful beaches on the two first fingers of Halkidikí peninsula, where many Salonicans (and tourists) spend their holidays. (The third finger is the monastic community of Mount Athos.) In the summer, the Armenistis campground (Sithonia peninsula) stages concerts and other events. Also check out the jazz and classical concerts in Sani (Kassandra peninsula). Try to schedule your visit in summer so that you're not driving back to the city on Sunday evening!
  • the Mount Olympus coast, towards Platamonas, a very scenic region which has fallen out of favour with the trendy set but has lost no business - it is now mainly catering to tourists from Eastern Europe.
  • Pella, the Macedonian capital during the time of Alexander the Great
  • Vergina, the spectacular site of the Macedonian royal tombs
  • Dion, a beautiful archeological site near Mount Olympus.
  • The Prespa and Doirani lakes near the borders with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia respecitvely, the Prespas especially offering an austere and evocative Balkan landscape and plenty of birdwatching.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Alternative spellings


From Greek Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki) (daughter of Philip B' and Nikasipolis of Thessaly, stepsister of Alexander the Great), from Θεσσαλία (Thessalia) "Thessaly" + νίκη (nike) "victory".

Proper noun




  1. The second-largest city in Greece, capital of the Greek Region of Macedonia.

Related terms


Simple English

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. Its population is 363,987 inhabitants (census of 2001) and its total population including its suburbs is almost 1,000,000 inhabitants. It is located in the region of Macedonia in north Greece. It is the capital of the Thessaloniki prefecture and it is the capital of the periphery of central Macedonia. It is the largest city in the geographical region of Macedonia.


File:Thessaloniki - The street in
Thessaloniki's center

Thessaloniki was established by King Cassander of Macedon, friend of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. He named the city after the sister of Alexander the Great, princess Thessalonike, which in Greek means victory over Thessaly. From late antiquity to the late middle ages (330AD-1430AD) it was the second most important city of Byzantine Empire. Then Thessaloniki faced many invasions from enemies such as the Avaroi, Bulgars and others. In the year 1204, the crusaders conquered Thessaloniki and created the Kingdom of Thessalonica. Later it was liberated by Byzantines and then sold to the Republic of Venice but the year 1430, it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Thessaloniki was a part of Ottoman Empire for aproximately 500 years and in 1912 it became part of Greece when Greece acquired Macedonia following the Balkan Wars. Many famous people have lived or were born here, such as the Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero, many saints like Cyril and Methodius, who invented the Cyrillic alphabet, and Saint Demetrius, who is the patron saint of the city, and many politicians, such as the founder of modern-day Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Most of the city was completely destroyed in a large fire in 1917 and was rebuilt in the 1920s. It was occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Sights of Thessaloniki

[[File:|120px|left|thumb|Famous areas of Thessaloniki.]] Thessaloniki has many sights. The most famous sight in Thessaloniki is the white tower. The White tower was a part of Thessaloniki's ancient walls that were built many times through the ages. Thessaloniki was the second-most well-fortified city in the Byzantine Empire, after Constantinople (Istanbul). The walls can still be seen above the city today and despite the many earthquakes, they remain standing. The city was home to a Roman imperial palace and mausoleum. The palace ruins can be seen today but the mausoleum together with a Roman arch can be still seen standing today. Very important sights of Thessaloniki are the medieval churches such as Agios Dimitrios, Agios Georgios and Agia Sofia. Agios Dimitrios it the largest and oldest Basilica in Greece. Thessaloniki's christian monuments are part of the UNESCO world heritage initiative. The city also has many ottoman monuments, such as the Bey Hammam and the old district of the city near the walls, with its distinctly Turkish architecture. Many museums can be found in the city and some of them are: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, Jewish Museum, Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and others.

Thessaloniki is known throughout Greece and the countries nearby as a city with a great nightlife even in winter, when most famous Greek tourist destinations are closed. It is also widely considered the Greek city of love due to its many romantic streets and alleys.

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