Thessaloniki Hotels

There’s plenty of things to do in Thessaloniki.


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About Thessaloniki

As the capital city of Macedonia, Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece with a population of over 325,000. Sandwiched between the Thermaic Gulf coast to the west and Mount Choriatis in the southeast, Thessaloniki, Greece serves as the cultural capital of the region and is popular stopping point on the way to Halkidiki. Some visitors enjoy literally walking through history amongst the city’s many ruins and archeological sites; others simply want to lay on the beach and soak in the region’s beautiful vistas. One thing’s for certain: there’s plenty of things to do no matter your interests.

Thessaloniki weather is unique in that the city borders multiple climactic zones. It’s known for relatively dry weather year-round; there’s some snowfall here and there during the winter, which typically melts quickly. Thessaloniki weather is light on rain, with rain typically only appearing during rare thunderstorms in the summer.

The most famous landmark in the city is White Tower, from an old Byzantine fortification dating back to the 12th century. Originally red during the reign of the Ottoman empire, this iconic tower was whitewashed by the Greek when they gained control of the region. Today, the White Tower in Thessaloniki serves as a museum dedicated to telling the story of the city’s storied past. Located on the waterfront, this popular Thessaloniki attraction is within easy reach from many Thessaloniki hotels.

The History of Thessaloniki

The history of the city reaches as far back as Ancient Greece. Throughout its history, the city has been influenced by a variety of cultures: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. With a tumultuous history of conflict and trade, modern-day Thessaloniki, Greece is made up of a diverse population and unique cultural heritage.
Thessaloniki, Greece was founded around 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon. The king named the city after his wife, Thessalonike, whose name in turn refers to Philip II’s victory over the Phocians using Thessalian horsemen. The literal Greek translation of the name is “victory of the Thessalians. During the Roman era in which the city flourished, John the Apostle brought word of Christianity to the city’s Jewish community. This led to the opening of the city’s first Chistian church. Today, the city is home to many old, beautiful churches that continue to attract tourists.

While Thessaloniki, Greece is an important cultural hub today, its role in the exchange of ideas and culture dates far back into the city’s history. In antiquity, the city was an important trade hub that linked the Roman and Byzantine empires—in fact, this role in trade made Thessaloniki, Greece incredibly valuable to the Byzantine empire, second only to Constantinople. The Byzantine influence is easily recognized today in the city’s beautiful Byzantine architecture.

After it was handed to Ottoman by Byzantum, the city invited Jews exiled from Spain. This act of goodwill set in motion a powerful Jewish influence on the city, further diversifying its culture and heritage. At one time, Thessaloniki was the largest Jewish community in the world, earning it the nickname “Mother of Israel.”
Thessaloniki joined modern Greece as recently as 1913. Today, it’s a popular destination that stands tribute to the region’s long, rich history and varied cultures.

The Best Thessaloniki Hotels

Travelers can find hotels in Thessaloniki at varying price points. The average cost per night for hotels is about €127 for a couple, or about €1,503 per week per person. Whether you want to stay at 5-star hotels or someplace more economical, even the best hotels in Thessaloniki are affordable to accommodate different budgets. Hostels offer even more competitive rates for youths and students, often costing as little as €17 per night.

Thessaloniki hotels are spread across the city; you might prefer one near the airport, right alongside the beach, or smack-dab in the middle of the city. Waterfront hotels provide great views, but at a higher cost. Cheap hotels in Thessaloniki city centre, meanwhile, are great for families who want easy access to sightseeing while on a budget.

There are many hotels near SKG airport, so you can immediately relax the moment you arrive. Luxury hotels near Thessaloniki airport include Hyatt Regency, Athina Palace and Royal Hotel Thessaloniki. These accommodations are perfectly placed between the airport and city centre for maximum convenience, each providing high-class service and amenities to ensure the best stay.

Mediterranean Palace, for example, is situated on the beach and offers childcare services to guests with infants. The Excelsior Hotel is among the best Thessaloniki hotels thanks to its beautiful, spacious rooms and balconies overlooking the Thermaic Gulf. It’s conveniently located in the heart of the city’s activities, so you can begin shopping in Thessaloniki the moment you’ve checked in.

Those looking for cheap hotels in Thessaloniki might want to try the Plaza Hotel in the city centre. This affordable lodge doesn’t sacrifice quality for cost; it’s been named among the best in value for travelers on a budget. Another once of the most popular cheap hotels in Thessaloniki is the Vergina Hotel, also located in the city centre and easily reachable by the airport.

Hostels are the most affordable option, and provide a great environment for meeting other visitors to the city. RentRooms Thessaloniki is just a short walk from the White Tower, one of the city’s most iconic tourist attractions. Another Hostel with an excellent location is Atlantis Hotel, which is close to public transportation and popular sightseeing spots.

tripoki can help you find the best Thessaloniki hotels suited to your location, budget and itinerary. Simply enter your destination and time of travel into the search engine to find hotels near Thessaloniki airport, near the beach, or in the city centre.

What to See in Thessaloniki

The best way to learn about the city is to visit its brilliant historical sites! This city is home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles developed throughout history, from Greco-Roman structures to colorful, mosaiced Byzantine landmarks.

Known as one of the oldest churches in the city, Hagia Sophia provides a unique look at the city’s history. Originally designed after a Turkish basilica by the same name, Hagia Sophia remains a beautiful example of architecture common in the Byzantine middle period. It’s adorned with beautiful mosaic pieces depicting the Ascension, drawing in visitors each day. Another notable church is Hagios Demetrios. Also known for its mosaics, this old church is dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of the city. It is believed that the Roman bath excavated below the site is where Saint Demetrius was executed and left after death.

One popular historical site is the Roman Rotunda. It’s believed that this landmark was intended to serve as Emperor Galerius’ mausoleum; instead, it became a Christian church, then a mosque, then a church again. The rotunda’s shifting religious affiliations reflect the varying influences in the region over time, and its beautiful mosaics inside pay tribute to its history. Other examples of what to see in Thessaloniki include the Arch of Galerius, the Archeology Museum and Upper Town, a historic district that’s perfect for wandering on a breezy day.

Thessaloniki Dining

Whether you want authentic Greek cuisine or traditional Middle Eastern fare, how you’ll enjoy Thessaloniki dining depends on your tastes. There’s something for everyone, making Thessaloniki dining great for adventurous foodies!

One can’t visit Thessaloniki without stopping at Aristotelous Square, the main square at the heart of the city’s action. Serving as a pulse of Thessaloniki culture, the square offers a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes. Another important marketplace is Ladadika, a colorful neighborhood known for its bars and cafes offering local delicacies and international fare. The area is especially fun to explore at night.

Popular spots for Greek cuisine include Nea Diagonios and Sempiko. Negroponte offers a terrace so you can dine with a beautiful backdrop, and features a new menu each day based on the freshest ingredients. Want to enjoy Thessaloniki dining with a Middle Eastern flavor? Try Massaya for a delicious, spicy and exotic meal. Finally, vegetarian eaters shouldn’t despair; rOOTS is a famous and relaxing choice for vegetarian falafels, gyros, and other meals.

Shopping in Thessaloniki

While touring the city’s sites is a great way to spend your visit, sometimes you’ll want to take a piece of Greece home with you. Shopping in Thessaloniki city cetre is a lot of fun, and the city offers a variety of shops, boutiques and souvenir shops that are popular with visits and locals alike.

Your fist stop for shopping in Thessaloniki should be Tsimiski Avenue, a long stretch that’s home to vendors, book shops, clothing retailers and places to eat. You can even catch a movie at one of the many cinemas! A stroll down Tsimiski is made even more fun by live bands who play music in the street, providing a delightful soundtrack to your shopping in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Nightlife

Tavern, or taverna, culture is integral to Greek national identity. This is made obvious strolling through Thessaloniki in the evening, when clubs and bars are open late into the night serving drinks, fun and live music throughout the city. Younger visitors will find that the Thessaloniki nightlife provides a variety of fun experiences at all hours.

Found hidden away in the port warehouse district, Mylos is a popular area for Thessaloniki nightlife offering bars, theatres, live music, cinemas and cafes all within close walking distance to one another. It’s a convenient place for high and low culture; go barhopping with friends, or settle down at an art gallery opening. Valaoritou Street is an up-and-coming neighborhood with a fast-growing taverna scene; there are several bars and tavernas along the stretch, making this a favorite and well-trafficked spot for youth.

One popular nightlife attraction is the Arabella Floating Bar. This pirate-style ship tours the bay, taking nighttime revelers on a small, boozy cruise—providing a unique view of town. Another bar with an amazing view is Le Coq Tail, a lounge with a hip and sophisticated clientele that overlooks the city from a terrace. As far as clubbing is concerned, DOGS Club is a popular destination for Thessaloniki nightlife, playing host to many parties and live shows.

Music and Arts Festival in Thessaloniki

No tour is complete without experiencing the contemporary arts. Thankfully, there are many music and arts festivals in Thessaloniki! Those who love the visual arts won’t want to miss the Street Art Festival and Street Mode Festival in summer. Both feature visible arts, with the latter offering an impressive lineup of live music as well.

There are several must-see Thessaloniki art galleries. Most impressive is the Municipal Art Gallery, with over 1,000 works in its collection. Because the gallery focuses on exhibiting Greek artists, it serves as an excellent who’s-who of the Greek artistic canon. Other notable art galleries include the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Byzantine Culture.

Catching a live musical performance is easy in Thessaloniki; they’re everywhere! The party never stops at Fix Factory of Sound, which is among one of the most famous music venues in the city skewed toward a younger audience. Thessaloniki Concert Hall is a cultural powerhouse celebrating classical music and performances, from symphony orchestras to opera to ballet.