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The stunningly beautiful town of Thessaloniki is located in Northern Greece and belongs to Macedonia region. The bustling people of the place along the Thermaikos Gulf, the White Tower, their tasty foods and sweets, the well-dressed ladies of Thessaloniki are some of what characterizes this vibrant city.
Early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as their exceptional cultural and religious interest. You will be surprised of how much they are, as you can see for yourself in the list below.
Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki
- City Walls
- Church of Acheiropoietos
- Church of St. Demetrios
- Latomou Monastery
- Church of St. Sophia
- Church of Panagia Chalkeon
- Church of St. Panteleimon
- Church of the Holy Apostles
- Church of St. Nicholas Orphanos
- Church of St. Catherine
- Church of Christ Saviour
- Blatades Monastery
- Church of Prophet Elijah
- Byzantine Bath
It’s a fact that to visit all of them requires time, but why not? Thessaloniki, apart the other great cultural and religious sites, has so many beautiful things to offer that you will not get bored at all.
To make things easier, you can see at the Google map pin points of the sites, so you can quickly find your way.
Thessaloniki can be reached by road, air and ship. From Athens, it is a trip of about 5.30 hours by road and the highway is very good. A negative thing? Too many pay-toll stops where you pay a small amount to each of them. I wish you could pay just once! Otherwise, if you are flying from the International Airport of Athens, within less than an hour you will find yourself to Thessaloniki’s airport, Macedonia.
Personally I find it very comfortable to stay in the city center close to Aristotelous (Aristotle) Square, where you will find several hotels at quite good prices for what they offer. If you’d rather prefer a nice view than the center then head to the Panorama area.
Aristotelous Square (which was reconstructed by the French architect Ernest Hébrard after the fire of 1917), is a place I love to drink my coffee. I then walk along the coastal avenue, the Victory Avenue, till I reach the White Tower, or even further to Makedonia Palace Hotel. On my way back I take a parallel road, such as Tsimiski or the Metropolis Street and dawdle at beautiful shops.
If you like walking like I do, then apart the fact that it’s a good exercise it also gives you a true view of the surrounding area. Buildings, parks, people’s faces, the smell from the shops serving all kinds of food, desserts or coffees, cold “sumada” refreshment drink –made of almonds and sugar- sold by street vendors, have a heady effect on me.
So it is a very good idea if you naturally are in the mood for a little extra walking to visit the sites that UNESCO have registered in its world heritage list. The vast majority of these sites are located at a 1.5 km range (almost one mile) around Aristotelous Square and with a printed map you will quickly find your way. A plus is that most Greeks understand or speak English in case you need to ask for information. Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki according to my point of view are really worthy visiting.
Another option is to use local buses or to move by taxi, which in Greece, compared to other European countries, isn’t really expensive. You can also still get the double Decker bus or the open train-bus that makes a city tour (and passes also from Ag. Dimitrios, Ag. Sophia and the Arch of Galerius, among other sites) and gives you the possibility to hop on – hop off at points of interest.
Last but not least, I’m not leaving Thessaloniki, if I haven’t eaten and had a drink in the Ladadika area (very close to Aristotle’s Square) and if I don’t pass by Terkenli’s confectionery. I just love Thessalonica’s sweets, and I believe I deserve at least one, after all that walk!
you might be interested to
discover great attractions in Greece apart the Archaeological site of Aigai in Vergina and the Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki. Check the unique Greek Islands Cultural Travel Guide Zeus Guide see the 7-Days Tour than will bring you to ancient Olympia and other wonderful sites of Greece or see and extended version of “Best things to do in Greece” at What to do during your Greece Vacation