Thessaloniki Insiders: 6 Locals Offer Their Own Tips

Famed for its historic architecture and spectacular cuisine, Thessaloniki is the prefect city break destination. Here, six creative locals share their inside knowledge.


Achilleas Mesaikos

Painter/musician @achilleas.mesaikos

Cultural Destination

At the multi-purpose café-bar To Pikap (57 Olympou), you’ll also find two exhibition spaces with works from the city’s up-and-coming art scene. They also have their own radio station and their vinyl selection is excellent.

Only in Thessaloniki

Not far from the suburb of Sykies, Karatepe Hill is a great picnic spot. Just a short drive from the center of Thessaloniki, it offers truly breathtaking views of the city.

Night Out

 

Father Coffee &Vinyls(9 StratigouKallari) is very close to the White Tower. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re partial to classic cocktails and excellent music from DJs who play rare vinyl singles and LPs. Upstairs, you’ll find a well-stocked vinyl record store.

Guilty Pleasure

At Kits kai s’efaga (89 Olympou) you’re guaranteed to eat well! Gourmet Greek cuisine paired with tsipouro or natural wine, in a fun, kitschy space.

Shopping Therapy

The record shop Lotus(7-9 Skra) has become the go-to spot in Thessaloniki for music lovers, offering a wonderful selection of vinyl records and CDs from all over the world. If you do go, it’s certainly worth meeting its very kind owner, a true connoisseur of music. Close by, you’ll find the bookstore Shakespearikon(8 PatriarchouIoakeim), with an eclectic selection of poetry, plays and Greek and world literature.

Constantinos Timianos

Plant designer, plant psychologist, owner of Timianos Floral Home @timianos_floral_home

Cultural Destination

The MOMus–Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (Warehouse A, Pier A, Thessaloniki Port) hosts the most fascinating photography exhibitions. The museum’s café is a well-kept local secret, and the ideal spot to read your book with great views of the old port.

Only in Thessaloniki

 

The Kitchen Suite Thessaloniki is a new space on Athonos Square (10 Papamarkou) that you can book with friends or family for dining and cooking sessions for a unique birthday or other special occasion.

Night Out

Le Cercle de Salonique(7 VasileosIrakleiou) is a classic bar with a Parisian vibe, excellent drinks, signature cocktails and laid-back music. It’s as
if you’ve stepped into a scene from The Great Gatsby!

Guilty Pleasure

Zachari (7 LordouVironos) is a small downtown pâtisserie with cakes, tarts, biscuits, tsourekia (Greek brioche), profiteroles and everyone’s favorite, melomakarona (Christmas honey cookies) all year round!

Shopping Therapy

I’m fond of combining second-hand clothes with new items. My favorite store is V For Vintage (29 Armenopoulou) for unique clothes and accessories from 1960 to 1990 in excellent condition and at reasonable prices.

Despoina Polyxronidou

Journalist, communication manager @sousourada_

Cultural Destination

The Roman Forum, is right in the heart of the city. Be sure to visit the underground museum to see coins, artifacts and marble sculptures from the site.

Only in Thessaloniki

 

Take a walk to the city’s Urban Vineyard (8 GketeTzovaropoulou) where vines grow literally in the center of Thessaloniki, in perfect harmony with the surrounding apartment blocks.

Night Out

Ladadika and AnoLadadika are lively neighborhoods full of eateries and bars, but you should also venture beyond the city center. The Blue Sky disco (eastern suburb of Thermi) was an amazing discovery for me: a venue where huge crowds dance to ’80s and ’90s music.

Guilty Pleasure

The traditional pastry shop Dorkada(66 Kassandrou) unites those of us who cherish sweet childhood memories. Here you’ll find traditional sweets, including galaktoboureko (semolina custard pie) and ravani (syrupy semolina sponge cake).

Shopping Therapy

Hellofrom (45 ProxenouKoromila) feels like a retail store from the future. You can buy coffee table books, new backpacks, and choose from a wide selection of innovative homeware.

Elpida Tsaloni

Calligrapher, owner of Pelagie @pelagie_gr

Cultural Destination

I keep going back to the Museum of Byzantine Culture (2 Stratou), not just for its illuminating exhibits, but also for its notable architecture and peaceful atmosphere.

Only in Thessaloniki

 

AnoPoli, Thessaloniki’s “Upper Town,” takes you back in time. Stroll the narrow stone-paved streets and enjoy the wonderful views of the city from high up. Mansions that are gems of Macedonian architecture, flower-filled courtyards, squares with traditional coffee shops and cozy tavernas serving local mezedes all evoke an earlier era.

Night Out

I like to eat at Zithos Dore(7 StratigouTsirogianni), in front of the White Tower. A local favorite for the past three decades, it offers superb food and views, tasteful décor, a long oak bar, and a warm, nostalgic environment.

Guilty Pleasure

Olicatessen (53 OlympiouDiamanti, inside the Modiano Market) is a modern grocery store with delicacies from all over the world. Preserves, condiments, natural soft drinks, ice creams and my favorite handmade soaps are all on offer in this sweet-smelling store.

Shopping Therapy

Salamander (131 Olympou) is a vintage store with carefully selected old clothes and accessories, including many beautiful dresses and a wide range
of belts.

Vasilis Chamam

Chef @vasilis_chamam

Cultural Destination

Frangomahala is a beautiful part of Thessaloniki which encompasses the cultural fabric of the city, past and present. It’s worth taking the time to walk around this neighborhood to look at the listed 19th-century buildings and check out the its modern art galleries.

Only in Thessaloniki

 

The relationship between the people of Thessaloniki and the sea is so deep, unceasing and intimate that at times we almost feel like crabs living on a long shoreline. Take a walk along the New Waterfront to enjoy the sun, the sea, the cyclists and the trees. It’s undoubtedly one of the most attractive public spaces in Greece.

Night Out

I like to have a drink at Anapsiktirio (6 AgnostouStratiotou), listening to music, looking out at the ancient market and doing a bit of people-watching. It’s a quiet spot, where you hardly ever hear the sound of a car.

Guilty Pleasure

Verges Lagies (63 Venizelou) is a traditional grill house that you simply must visit. It offers the finest quality meat cooked over charcoal and served on wooden platters with French fries and freshly made dips and sauces. My personal favorite is the slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich.

Shopping Therapy

The bustling Kapani Market is the go-to spot for shopping. Here, you’ll find everything from traditional Greek culinary products to fashionable clothing and useful household items.

Nikoletta Lekka

Architect and jewelry designer @bynikolettalekka

Cultural Destination

Housed in a historic building, Beetroot is an amazing multi-purpose space that combines design, art, coffee and gastronomy. It’s a place where culture is alive and well and satisfies all your senses.

Only in Thessaloniki

 

The Panorama Trigono is deeply embedded in the city’s culinary DNA. This delicious filo triangle, drenched in syrup and filled with cream, may now be well-known all over Greece but it originated in Thessaloniki and only here can you enjoy its most authentic version. You’ll find it at most of the city’s pastry shops.

Night Out

When I go out, I like to try different natural wines. Places such as Poster (Paikou& 6 Syngrou), Deka Trapezia (4 StratigouKallari) and Souel (16 Pavlou Mela) are an oenophile’s paradise, offering a wide selection of quality labels and creative accompanying dishes.

Guilty Pleasure

At Vanilla Gelateria (129 Mitropoleos) they make both tiramisu and ice cream the way Italians do, prepared with only the finest ingredients, but it’s only open Fridays and weekends during the winter.

Shopping Therapy

I love going to the antique shops on Tositsa Street. It’s like opening your grandmother’s closet and finding treasures from the past, with everything from vintage furniture to old jewelry. It’s amazing to see the way old objects can take on new life in different hands.



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