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Greece’s picturesque second largest city is packed with culture, as you’ll discover when you book a flight to Thessaloniki with Qatar Airways and explore its museums, galleries and many other attractions.
As a relatively small city, unlike Athens, you can easily get around it on foot to enjoy its café-lined waterfront and fabulous historic structures such as the well-preserved Byzantine walls. Fly to Thessaloniki and immerse yourself in Greece’s real capital of culture, a wonderfully invigorating blend of the ancient and modern.
On any trip to Thessaloniki your first port of call should be the famous White Tower, landmark of the city. It’s dated to the 15th century and was a sea fort before being converted into a prison. Now it’s a museum and has great views across the city and sea.
The nearby Museum of Byzantine Culture is a showcase of Byzantine civilisation in a city that was once second only to Constantinople in that glittering medieval empire. All sorts of ancient artefacts are also on display at the Archaeological Museum, which features interesting objects from the prehistoric to Roman periods. It’s a small museum which you can easily get around in an afternoon and see everything.
The most famous Byzantine church in Thessaloniki is the Agios Dimitrios Basilica, where St Demetrius was martyred. The architecture is spectacular and you shouldn’t miss the tour of the catacombs by torchlight.
The Roman Emperor Galerius built the Rotunda, which was later converted into a church and then into a mosque when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire.
A great place for a stroll and a coffee on your trip to Thessaloniki is Aristotelous Square, the city’s central square that has a handy information kiosk at its centre.
Markets play an important role in Mediterranean culture, and the best and busiest ones here are the Modiano and Kapani markets, just west of the main square. Here you can pick up all sorts of spices, fresh produce and household items, and enjoy a traditional lunch in the tavernas.
One of the biggest attractions of Thessaloniki is its beautiful sandy beach. You can take a long, relaxing walk from Thessaloniki Concert Hall to Pier 1, 5km away, dropping in to the cafés and eateries that line the promenade.
The city’s main entertainment district is Ladadika, now packed with classy venues and smart restaurants. It’s a great place to have lunch or dinner followed by a walk along the winding streets.
The only residential quarter of Thessaloniki to have survived the devastating fire of 1917 intact is Ano Poli, which is famous for its maze of alleyways, old-fashioned two-storey houses and absence of traffic. It has a traditional Greek village ambience and you can get good views of the city from the Trigoniou Tower here.
At the crossroads of East and West for millennia, Thessaloniki’s cuisine has been influenced by many diverse cultures. Mediterranean flavours combined with spices from the East permeate the dishes here, and fresh fish and seafood are especially popular. Traditional taverns can be found right across the city, serving local specialties such as souvlaki and mpougatsa pie, a delicious sweet pie served with cinnamon and sugar.
In the atmospheric little souvlaki shops you should try the great range of pie fillings, from potato to meat and cheese. Samali, another local dish, is a great favourite, made with almonds and semolina, and the Turkish influence can be seen in cazan dipi and other Ottoman offerings.
When travelling to Thessaloniki for shopping you’ll find yourself in a real bazaar of markets, shops and stores to suit every taste and budget. Just about every street is lined with shops selling everything from artworks to antiques, and many are packed with the latest Italian shoes and other designer goods.
Start with Tsimiski Street, the city’s main commercial thoroughfare, and browse through music stores, cosmetic outlets and famous brand names as well as many smaller independent shops.
When you book a flight to Thessaloniki with Qatar Airways you will travel on a Qatar Airways operated flight to Athens and connect to Thessaloniki with our partner airlines.
Flights to Thessaloniki with Qatar Airways arrive at Thessaloniki International Airport, 16km south of the city. Use bus line 78 to get into town, or take a taxi.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Thessaloniki please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / D / E / F
International dialing code: +30