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History of Thessaloniki

History of this city is very old. Thessalonike was the name of the wife of the king Cassander of Macedonia. She was also sister of Alexander the Great. So, name of this city was taken after the wife of King in 315 BC. In 168 BC, this city became part of the Roman Empire due to fall of Macedonian Kingdome. Romans developed a link between Europe and Asia by constructing a road called Via Egnatia. Romans also developed a port in this city. Remains of this port are still present.

Jews also established themselves in this city during 1st century AD. In 395 AD, Byzantine Empire was founded and Byzantine character of the city is still maintained since then. During 4th century, Constantine was converted in to Christianity, so, whole Eastern Roman Empire was converted to Christianity. In 381, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Population of the Macedonia including Thessaloniki started to decline after the fall of Roman Empire in 476 AD due to barbarians attacks. During the 7th century, Slavs tried to capture the city but failed. In 620 AD, an earthquake destroyed major part of the city. In 904 AD, Thessaloniki went in the hands of Saracens and in 1185 to the Norman rulers of Sicily. Thessaloniki and its surrounding area became part of the Greek empire in 1204 when fourth crusade captured Constantinople. Control of the city was taken by Byzantine Empire in 1246. Due to continuous attacks of Ottoman Empire, Byzantine Despot Andronikos Palaeologus sold this city to Venice but in 1430, Ottoman ruler Murad second captured this city. This city remained under the control of Ottoman rule up to 1912 until captured by King George 1 of Greece. In 1917, a fire of unknown origin destroyed the city to great extent. After this, city was rebuilt but in 1941, Nazis attacked and destroyed the city again. So, modern Thessaloniki was built after the World war second.

Weather of Thessaloniki

Weather of Thessaloniki is typical Mediterranean and mid European because this city is located at the northern part of Thermaic Gulf. Winter season of this city is mild with morning frost while summer season is short, hot and sunny. Summer season is also dry with hardly any rain. Average annual rainfall is almost 18 inches and usually occurs in November and December.

In summer humidity is common during nights while days are sunny. Usually, temperature in summer is 30-32 C that is usually achieved during the month of June and July. Summer temperature rarely reaches 40 C. Both Sunbath and swimming are most favorite hobbies of the tourists during summer. People also like to go to the mountain during summer. During winter season, day temperature is around 9 C or 48 F and very rarely blow zero in the worst cold. Rainfall in winter can be with thunderstorm. Snowfall is occasional.

Climate of this city suits tourists to visit during any season of the year but many people choose May and September when temperature is around 25 C with less humidity at night. People also like to enjoy their holidays in this city at the beginning of fall or late spring.

Weather

Like any other city generally the best time to visit the city is during the summer, because during the winters the weather can get too cold. In the winter months of December to February the temperatures are always expected to fall to an average of -7C; which might not be very pleasant for touring the city.

During the summer months the weather is pleasant and can be nice for roaming around the city, the temperatures during this time may go up to 25C - 30 C which is very good for visiting the place and sight-seeing.

Arrival to Thessaloniki

Coming to the city of Thessaloniki is easy. You can select your mode of transport according to your desire and Budget . Available options are by air, by train, by bus, by car, and by sea.

Thessaloniki has an International Airport which is 16 Km away from the Thessaloniki city. Many flights from other cities of the Greece and World including USA are available. For transfer from the airport to the Thessaloniki city, Buses are available but their quantity is limited. Time taken to reach Thessaloniki city from the airport is 25 minutes.

City Transport

Thessaloniki city has a very good public transport system in the form of bus service. Almost all parts of the city and its nearby towns are connected by good bus service. So, you don?t have many options.

Top attractions of Thessaloniki

There are many attractive places in the Thessaloniki city to be visited. You can visit museums, Churches, White tower, Roman forum, Vergina, Mount Olympus, and Mount Athos etc. You can also visit upper town for Byzantine citadel, old houses and Eptapyrgion fort. You can also witness remains of the Jews community. There are 2 Synagogues still present. Remains of Ottoman rulers like Turkish public baths, market for jewelry and precious stones (Bezesteni) and Hamza Bay Camii etc are also among top attractions. .

There are many museums in the Thessaloniki city. Most famous museums are Jewish Museum, Thessaloniki Archeological museum, The museum of Byzantine culture, Goulandris Museum of Natural History, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Attaturk House, Museum of Science, Museum of Cinematography in Thessaloniki, Museum at the White Tower, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, State Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum at Aghios Demetrios. Among the Galleries, Municipal Gallery of Art is a place to be visited.

Among the churches, Church of Saint George built in 4th century AD, and Agia Sofia that was built in 8th century AD are famous and among top attraction. White tower was build as part of city wall, contains a museum and tells about the history of Thessaloniki from 300 to 1500 AD. Roman forum is one of the archeological sites of the ancient Greek. Mount Olympus is a mountain which is home of Gods in Greek mythology. Mount Athos is place for pilgrimage from males only.

Beside these areas to be visited, Thessaloniki has many other attractions like shopping, good eating and drinking and entertaining nightlife.

Attractions

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is also the capital of Macedonian region as well. Since it is one of the famous cities of Greece therefore, it has a rich history and culture that you can explore through your holiday. The major attractions in this city are the various museums, churches and the archaeological sites. One of the churches that is worth seeing is the Church and Crypt of Ayios Dimitrios; it is considered as the grandest church in whole of the Greece, and was made in the honour of a Roman Soldier who was killed in 303 AD on that site.

The White Tower, which is also a famous landmark in the city, this tower has a bloody history; it was bathed in blood and later washed, due to which it is known as the white tower. There are several interesting museums that you can visit such as Museum of the Macedonian Struggle; which narrates how the Macedonians were freed from the grips of the Turks and Bulgarians. Then there is the Museum of Byzantine Culture which consists of various objects from the Byzantine period and their explanation as well.

There are religious sites and Mansions; which are old Jewish historical sites as well which are considered to be worth watching, along with Ataturk's House, where you are required to show some form of identification to enter.

Exploring

Exploring Thessaloniki is one of the best things you can do while you are in this beautiful city. To explore this city you should see some of the major attractions which include the following places to see:

? Thessaloniki's Archaeological sites? Thessaloniki's Byzantine monuments? Vasilissis Olgas Avenue,? Old City (Ano Polis)? Lazarist monastery? Royal Theatre

These are some of the places that you might need to dedicate a complete day to explore them, and if you want to complete two of these places in a day then it?s better to hire a car or hail a taxi for a day.

Eating in Thessaloniki

It will be helpful if you know where and what to eat in Thessaloniki? People of Greece love to eat olive oil, so, it is important part of Greece cooking. Sea foods are popular in entire Thessaloniki. There are many restaurants throughout the city where you can enjoy finest sea foods, fresh fish, and International& Greek cuisines. You can also try for grilled meat and chicken. An important dish is ?big souvlaki? which is pork meat slice cooked in a special recipe.

Traditional foods are found throughout the city but pedestrians of Ladadika are well known for "Ouzeri". You can find many fish-taverns and ouzeri in Kastra, Aretsou, City center and Nea Krini areas. "Mpougatsa" a sweet pie, is delicious and famous among all tourists. Another sweet called "Samali" is also famous.

Famous restaurants of the Thessaloniki which offer foods of all varieties are Miami, Tiffany?s, 1901, Gourmet, Wolves, Clochard, Kioupia, Chamodrakas, Halaro, Palati, Agora, Kioupia, Krassodikio, Rogoti, Krikelas, Odos Oneiron, Hamodrakas, Botsalo, Ariston, Klimataria, To abgo tou kokora, Bit Bazaar, Clochard, Stenaki, Ta aderfia, Interni, Kitchen, Votsalo, Panselinos, Chalaro, Pazar Hamami, Tsarouhas, Thessaloniki palace, Kastroperpatimata, Mavridis, Istin polin, Kreonidis, and Taverna. Among the coffee bars, Sorrbe and Garcon Brasserie are well known.

Eating

This city has been the border between the east and west during the Byzantine periods and therefore the cuisine here is literally a combination of both the east and the west. Thessaloniki has always had good sea food and it has some special dishes which are worth trying if you are visiting for the first time.

Thessaloniki is famous for a dish named Souvlaki which consists of pork slices in pita bread which is served along with tomatoes, onions and sadziki (cucumber sauce); this dish is easily available in the whole city.

Besides the normal dishes the city is also famous for its sweet dishes; like mpougatsa pie is a sweet dish which is filled with cream and cinnamon though the same dish is served with cheese filled in it as well. Another well-known dish is the samali, which is made out of semolina and almonds; this comes more from the east side of the world.

So if you are looking forward to eat Greek cuisine then restaurants like Draft and Paparouna is a good option, the city of Thessaloniki not only serves Greek cuisine but it also serves Internationaland other types of cuisine. Some other restaurants which you can visit are Agapitos; which is a good option if you are looking for something sweet, or, Hatzis; which will bring the taste of the old Constantinople to you. Some other good restaurants to visit are ?The Kitchen Bar?, Myrsini, Miami (for sea food), Zythos; if you are looking for something Italian. Whatever your choice may be, you have variety of options to select from.

Thessaloniki Nightlife

Thessaloniki is full of enjoyment for all nightlife lovers. This city offers all entertainments of nightlife like restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes. Among possible entertainments, food and music are loved by everybody. All types of music like rock, jazz, soul, traditional and modern music are loved by people of different tastes. Dinning at restaurants usually begins at 9-10 pm and continues until 1am. Clubs start at 11 pm and provide entertainment until late next day morning.

Most famous place for nightlife is Ladadika at old Jewish quarter. There are many eating and drinking points in this area. There are many clubs in this area where live performers entertain the people. Other famous spots are Mylos, retsou and Nea Krini.

Night-life

Once there was a time when it was said that Thessaloniki is a city that never sleeps, which is not really true anymore but still the night-life in Thessaloniki is very vibrant, and there are variety of choices for variety of people. It consists of all kinds of entertainment, from old school bars, and live music to cocktail bars and much more.

Many of the loudest clubs are situated at the outskirts of the city away from the historical sites to keep them safe, and also in the town the famous Nikis Boulevard which has a strip of bars on the street; here you will find bars which are a bit quiet as compared to others.

If you are looking for a heavy night and wild discos out there then you should head for the Mylos which is famous for it visitors coming all the way from far, also for this place you may be required to hire a car. Another popular spot for night-life is the streets among the Valaoritou and Syngrou roads where the bars and pubs are opened till the early hours of the morning.

Shopping in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a good place for shopping lovers. There are many shopping streets throughout the city with many shops in each street. These shops provide every opportunity to all visitors to buy according to their choice and Budget . Shops usually open from 9 am to 9 pm and operate Monday to Saturday.

One of the famous shopping paradises is City Center where many shops and markets are present which suit every body according to taste and Budget . You have every opportunity to buy all types of cloths, Italian shoes, leather bags, purses and many other things from this center.

You can find many arcades and shops at Odos Tsimiki which is a shopping street. You can enjoy shopping if you walk through this street. This street is full of shops and stores which are good for average to high class shopper. You can find all local and Internationalbrands in this market. You can purchase handcrafted jewelry, cosmetics and many things. There is another market named Modiano Market at the end of the Odos Tsimiki Street where bargaining is common but you can purchase any thing from this market including craftwork and souvenirs. All shopping streets also provide opportunity of having coffee or drink break during shopping.

Shopping

The shopping scene in Thessaloniki has always been a source of pleasure for many, no matter what you want; you will find it in the shopping malls of Thessaloniki. There are variety of shopping malls which you can visit and one of the common one is the City Centre Shopping District, this centre is conssidered as one of the most convenient places to shop for tourists as it is located in the centre of the city. This shopping district is comprised of four streets; Agias Sofia St. where you can find all local brands, and places to relax. Tsimiski St. is the place where you will find all major brands such as H&M, Zara, Diesel and many more. In the end there is the Mitropoleos st. and Proxenou Koromila st. where you can find all other major brands like MCM and Luis Vuitton.

Other places to shop are the City Gate which is located in the west of the city and this also has the tendency to satisfy the most demanding customers. The best feature about this shopping mall is that it can accommodate almost 1200 parking spaces for car; free of cost.

Other shopping malls that are worth visiting in the city are Mega Outlet; which consists of big brand names and has free parking spaces of 850. Apollonia Politia is also another shopping mall which is worth visiting, and in the end Shopping Centre Makedonia is the mall with cinema, which can complete you day out trip with a film of your choice.

Disable Visitors

Disabled visitors are also welcomed in Thessaloniki city because special arrangements make their tour not only comfortable but also free from any stress for their healthy companions. Facilities for such visitors start right from the airport. Disable visitors can get free wheelchair service from the airline. There are specially designed areas for the disable visitors. These include ramps and lift that suit wheelchairs at the airport. Special toilets and telephone are also present for the convenience of disable travelers. All disabled visitors are given preference at the airport and railway station.

Disabled Visitors

Thessaloniki is a place where the disabled tourists are given equal amount of priority as to the normal visitors. All major trains are designed to cater to the needs of disabled people and on some of the trains the disabled people and their escort may get a 50% off on their tickets as well.

There are hotels available as well which cater to the disabled people; like Avalon Thessaloniki is a hotel which facilitates the disabled people in the best possible way, El Greco Hotel is also equally committed in providing the disabled people with care and attention that they may need.

To go for a sight-seeing in the city you may require a car or you may need to book a taxi to roam around the place, you may also find cars with disabled facilities so that it makes their trip more enjoyable.

Accommodation in Thessaloniki

There is vast verity of hotels in the Thessaloniki city. You can select your hotel by location, quality rating, price, and Internationalchain. There is also facility of online reservation. By quality rating means 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars hotels. Rent of quality rating hotels is according to their location and services that they offer. These qualities rated hotels are present throughout the city. Hotel selection by price means cheep and high price. There are many hotels in this city which are cheep, moderate, moderately expensive and expensive. So, you can get accommodation in this city according to your Budget and convenience.

All major hotels provide pick and drop from the airport in case of advance booking.

The City of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the capital of Macedonia. It is second largest and metropolitan city of Greek. This beautiful city is characterized as great place to live and study because it offers every facility of big city that is needed to live. Thessaloniki is also center of politics, economy, and industry of the Macedonia. This city has a commercial port. This city is one of the oldest cities in the Europe and founded in 315 BC. In 1917, this city got fire and most of its parts were destroyed and rebuilt in 1920. Now population of this city is over one millions and there are more than 60 thousand students.

Thessaloniki is full of history and has many places to be visited like museums, archeological sites, monuments, Byzantine churches, cinemas and many other attractions. This city also has honor to host events like InternationalFilm awards and InternationalTrade fair. This city has all the requirements of nightlife like cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Platia Elefterias and Platia Aristotelous are main squares of the city.

Emergency Contact numbers

If you are dialing outside the Greece then Dialing code for Greece is +30 and for Thessaloniki is +30 2310. All mobile users in Thessaloniki if calling landline telephone number then code +2310 is dialed before number. All numbers contain six digits.

Emergency police number is 100. Telephone number of Thessaloniki Police is + 30 2310 522821. Tourist Police telephone number is 2310 ? 554871 and + 30 2310 544162. From tourist police number, information is available in English, German and French language.

Telephone number of Airport is + 30 2310 471170 and 2310 ? 593120 for sea transport. You can also dial railway station on telephone number 1110 or + 30 2310 517517. For bus information dial 185. Use telephone numbers 2310-222935 / 2310-271888 for Greek National Tourist Organization.

For health problems, you can go to Thessalonikis Ippokrateio General Hospital, Its address is 49 Kostantinoupoleos Street and telephone number is 2310 - 837921-9. Name and Telephone numbers of some other hospitals are G. Papanikolaou General Hospital 2310 ? 357602, and G. Gennimatas General Hospital 2310 - 211221-2, 2310 - 211323-5. You can also get services of Papageorgiou General Hospital which is located at Circular Road Neas Efkarpias or dial 2310-693000 for assistance. For skin diseases visit Dermatological & Venereal Disease Hospita. Its address is 51 Halkidikis Street and telephone number is 2310-859268, 2310-859280. For psychiatric problems visit Psychiatric Hospital. Its address is 36 Kostantinoupoleos Street- Stavroupoli and telephone number is 2310-655103.