Points of Interest

White Tower

Six floors full of centuries-long history, in a spiral guided tour which you will never forget are waiting for you in the White Tower – a monument identified with the city. Built in the 15th century, after the conquest of Thessaloniki by the Ottomans in 1430, few people know that it was one of the three identical Towers delimiting the sea wall of the city – there was another one in the West and a third one in the middle. Also known in the past as Blood Tower (as it would turn red by the blood of the prisoners tortured in it) its name changed to White when – according to the most prevalent theory – the prisoner Nathan Guidili painted it with whitewash in 1891 in exchange for his freedom.

It currently houses the permanent exhibition about Thessaloniki from the time of its foundation in 316/15 b. C. to date. Going up the stairs, you will moments and images from daily life, commerce, the religious life of older times rising around you. The contemporary museology study, which is successfully addressed to all your senses, in combination with the round walling of the monument, will make you feel the long-lasting and uninterrupted history of an important city overwhelm you. Take your time and continue on to the 7th floor, where the 360ο-view of the city and the sea will compensate you. For information and opening hours see here.

Thessaloniki Seafront

The point where the city “surrenders” to the sea blue is perhaps one of the most attractive routes in the city – it was even awarded an international prize after its renovation by Prodromos Nikiforidis – Bernard Cuomo. If you are lucky and the famous Vardaris wind accompanies your walk, you will enjoy an uninterrupted view to the other side, to the gods’ mountain, Olympus, while cargo-ships will enter the frame, suspended on the line between the sea and the sky. Starting at the White Tower, we meet 12 successive theme gardens, starting with Alexander’s Garden, commanded by the statue of the Macedonian military strategist, a point of reference of the seafront. A little further, you will have a chance to your own “frame” at the most photographed Umbrellas by Zoggolopoulos (of course, if you place your hand correctly you will appear to be holding them, regardless of your height). And let us not forget that here, at the Seafront of Thessaloniki, the rumors talk about perhaps the 2nd best sunset in Greece. Do you disagree?

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Even the famous Louvre Museum “bowed” before the treasures of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, when the loan-exhibition took place in the French capital. Visit the Museum and you will find it difficult to remain untouched by the largest collection of gold wreaths, but also the most ancient book in Europe, the Derveni Papyrus that talks about the fate of souls after death – the first Greek entry in the Unesco “Memory of the World” register. For information and opening hours see here.

Modiano & Kapani markets

Just because the true heart of a city “beats” in its Market, take a walk in Modiano (Agora Modiano) and Kapani Markets, two central must-see places of interest in Thessaloniki. The emblematic Modiano Market is the first closed market in the Balkans, but also the biggest one in the area since 1922, when it was founded by Eli Modiano and is closely connected with the Jewish history and community and the multicultural gastronomic culture of the city. Its renovation and re-opening create a new, modern meeting point for the people of Thessaloniki and visitors.

Right “above” Modiano Market, delimited between Ermou until Egnatia, you will meet Kapani or “Vlalis Market”. It is a more traditional, open city market, but has also some covered pedestrian streets. Its name is a loan from the Turkish expression for flour market (flour bazaar). Among the small sellers’ tables in galleries, you will find traditional cafes and meze taverns which are ideal for a stop and unimpeded gazing.


It was the Byzantine port of Thessaloniki which, during the Ottoman occupation, was covered with earth and beared the name Istira housed the wholesale commerce of the city. Its current name, Ladadika, is owed to the oil merchants and their shops. The area survived the 1917 fire surviving architectural elements of that period. Today, divided by Tsimiski street in Ano (upper) Ladadika and Kato (lower) Ladadika – which are the most developed ones, with more old-fashioned buildings and cobblestone alleys surviving – and only pedestrians being allowed to pass through, they form a pleasant  entertainment and gastronomy proposal, bringing memories from the past.

Saint Dimitrios, Saint Sophia, Rotunda & Saint Paisios

Among the most important early-Christian monuments of the city is the holy church of Agios Dimitrios – patron Saint and protector of the city. You will see this Church on Agiou Dimitriou street, over the ancient Agora. According to the tradition, Agios Dimitrios was imprisoned and tortured in the public baths which were in the current location of the church in Roman times. He is also known as Myroblyte or Myrrh-Streamer (since it is said that myrrh with miraculous properties was streaming from his tomb). Today it is possible to visit that Crypt, while below in the ground there are catacombs, among which the room where the Saint was imprisoned.

At the heart of the city, Saint Sophia dominates, a church devoted to Christ, God’s true Word and Wisdom. Among the most important early-Christian Byzantine churches of Thessaloniki, it is registered in the UNESCO World Heritage register. Covering 16 centuries of history, it is a distinguished Basilica with a Dome, of imposing architecture, a wide forecourt, beautiful frescoes and elaborate mosaics.

In case you did not know, Thessaloniki has its own “Pantheon”, which is none other than the church of Agios Georgios, also known as Rotunda. It is a vaulted round 4th-century building, built during the time of Cesar Galerius. It was named Rotunda thanks to its circular shape. One more building classed as a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO.

At a distance of 30 klm. from Thessaloniki, you will find the Holy Retreat of Agios Ioannis Evangelistis in Souroti, where Agios Paisios spent a short period of time. A monk from the Holy Mountain who was declared a Saint of the Orthodox Church in 2015, he was also known as “God’s radio operator”, because of his capacity when he was fighting at the Albanian front. A contemporary Saint who, thanks to his “spiritual herbs” – since he evaluated his spiritual discourse – provided answers to crowds of faithful people with an insightful and humorous way, which made him particularly likable to religious and non-religious people.

Ano Poli (upper city) – Vlatadon Monastery

Surrounded by the Byzantine walls and with the panoramic view of the modern city spreading before it, Ano Poli is the impressive penthouse of Thessaloniki, which you must explore wearing… sports shoes. You can either take the steep climbing road straight above the School of Philosophy of Aristotle’s University, over Agiou Dimitriou and Olympiados street, or get a taxi to take you to Trigonios tower, enter through the impressive Portara – the entrance through the walls – and then start your way in the cobblestoned streets, going back in time. Visit Eptapyrgio – the much-sung-about Yedi Kule, try out meze dishes in traditional tsipouro taverns which appear before you when you think you have reached a dead-end and take many-many stops to enjoy the view. If you travel with children do not forget to stop at Vlatadon Monastery, at the North part of Ano Poli. Not only for the important relics it contains, but also for our little friends to be impressed by the sight of the peacocks when they exhibit their magnificent feathers. Yes, you will see peacocks in the yard of the Monastery, which are its symbol, as according to Orthodoxy they are among the birds of Paradise and a symbol of immortality.