Thessaloniki has many stories to tell, starting by the moment of its foundation in 316/315 B.C. Fortunate to have royal “blood”, since the new city was named after Thessaloniki, sister of Alexander the Great and daughter of Philip II, King of Macedonia. It was developed rapidly -due to its prominent geographical location- as one of the most important ports, and economical and commercial centers of Macedonia and the Balkan Peninsula as a whole, advantages maintained for the past 2300 years.
Undeniable witnesses of its long course over the years are its numerous monuments. Open and easily accessible to the public, live alongside its residents and tell interesting stories about different civilizations, religions, eras. We invite you to read the history of Thessaloniki so as to comprehend their significance, before you come across them, walking around the city, and to feel this uniqueness that makes Thessalonians so proud of their past.
The City Today
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and capital city of Central Macedonia’s administrative district, bearing all the structures that constitute a modern urban center, with a population of over 878,000 residents in its Regional Unit. Additionally, its port being the second largest commercial port of Greece, and its location, close to the Balkans, between the East and the West, are significant factors that contribute, both to its economic growth and its cosmopolitan characteristics.
It is a welcoming, relaxing city ready to spoil you by its countless visiting options, being full of life, day and night, due to its thousands of students studying in its universities. In contemporary Thessaloniki, you’ll come across with history, art and different cultures of 2,300 years of the city’s history, you’ll have the chance to taste its rich gastronomic tradition, with a reputation far beyond the Greek borders, you’ll relax on the beautiful coast watching the sun disappear in the Aegean sea and you will let yourself in the evening rhythms of a city where the nightlife ends just before the first light of the day!
UNESCO Monuments Route
Thessaloniki is an open Museum of Early Christian and Byzantine Art. In 1988 the UNESCO declared World Heritage Sites 15 of the ‘finest monuments’ of the city, representative samples of this period of its history. The Walls of Thessaloniki, the churches, monasteries and Byzantine baths, included in the UNESCO list, all creations of unique architecture and rare religious art, considered that have such and so high cultural importance, that it is necessary to be preserved in the historical memory of the entire humanity.
How to Get to Thessaloniki
With a strategic position in Greece and Europe, Thessaloniki is easily accessible by all means of transport. Features International Airport (Macedonia International Airport by IATA code SKG), Railway station, Harbour, Intercity Bus station and it is connected by road with the rest of Greece and abroad through national and international highways. By plane, train, bus, car or cruise ship, see how you can get to Thessaloniki and choose the best for you.
International Airport site: https://www.skg-airport.gr/en
24/7 metered taxi service is available outside the “Makedonia” Airport Terminal building.
The journey from (to) the Airport to (from) the centre of Thessaloniki is about 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
The fare to and from the airport is normally between 20-30 euro. There is a surcharge for trips starting from midnight to 05.00 a.m. You may be charged extra, if you carry many pieces of luggage.
Moving Around the City
Thessaloniki offers an easy and quick way to commute; no city spot is more than 30 minutes away from the center by public transportation. Surely, the best way to get acquainted with the historic center is by strolling down the UNESCO monuments, the market, the traditional taverns, as well as the coastline with the beautiful sunset, the distance between them is not more than a few minutes’ walk, after all. Public buses and taxis are the main means of transportation of Thessaloniki, while bicycles have become increasingly popular over the past years. The picturesque boats and the alternative Segway, complete the list of transportation selections during summer period.