What’s Hot in Thessaloniki Now

Delve into a world of art and craftsmanship, and wander through neighborhoods abuzz with the latest trends.


At the seaside

For a serene stroll along Thessaloniki᾿s new waterfront, set off from the famous “Umbrellas” sculpture by Giorgos Zongolopoulos and make your way eastward. On your approximately three-kilometer walk, you᾿ll share the seaside promenade with cyclists on the dedicated bike path and can stop at benches offering panoramic views of Mt Olympus in the distance. Your finish line, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, is a beautiful complex that includes the M2 building, designed by the renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. On the fifth floor of that building is the all-day restaurant Allegro. With its superb sea views and excellent food and drink options, this welcoming space is a destination in its own right. An ideal anytime spot, it’s even better on weekends when it hosts live music. – John Papadimitriou

Info

M2, Thessaloniki Concert Hall

25th Martiou, Tel. (+30) 2310.895.895

 

Open: Mon-Sun, 09:00-03:00, tch.gr

The women of Man Ray

“Ingres’ Violin” (1924), featuring Kiki de Montparnasse, a lover and model of Man Ray, is currently the most expensive photograph in the world. In May 2022, it achieved the highest selling price at a Christie’s auction in New York, fetching $12.4 million. “It is one of the most recognizable and representative works of art of the 20th century,” said Darius Himes, head of photography at the auction house. This priceless work, along with 37 other prints by the American surrealist artist, make up the core of the exhibition “Man Ray: Nudes,” curated by Maria Tsantsanoglou, director of the MOMus–Museum of Modern Art–Costakis Collection. “These are representational nudes that, with Man Ray’s unique technique, seem to enter a dreamlike dimension, transporting viewers to his surreal universe,” notes the curator. –Xenia Georgiadou

Info

Until 07/04/2024, MOMus

Museum of Modern Art–Costakis Collection

 

21 Kolokotroni, Stavroupoli

photobiennale-greece.gr

Concepts of the ephemeral

Contemporary art may not be Thessaloniki’s main attraction, but MOMus, the Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts, has managed to create a faithful art-loving audience for everything modern. The “Vanitas. Stories of the Hereafter” exhibition at the MOMus Contemporary brings together paintings, drawings, mixed media, photographs and sculptures by 56 Greek and foreign artists, speaking to the concept of the ephemeral, the inevitable fate of death, and the emotions that stem from it: melancholy, repentance, and an insatiable need to live as intensely as possible. – Xenia Georgiadou

 

 

 

Info

 Until 03/03/2024

ΜΟΜus – Museum of Contemporary Art

 

154 Egnatia

momus.gr

A Greek pioneer

With invaluable support from institutions, private collectors, and the artist’s daughter, Loretta Gaitis, an exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki commemorates the centenary of the birth of the pioneering Greek visual artist Yannis Gaitis. Born in Athens in 1923, Gaitis studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and later in Paris. He immersed himself in contemporary art movements but pursued his own distinct style, culminating in those iconic figures we now recognize as his “little men.” The exhibition presents a collection of his works -murals, sculptures, installations, playful objects, and archival materials – and honors past exhibitions dedicated to Gaitis’ life and work in Thessaloniki as well. Visitors can also watch a 1984 TV documentary dedicated to the artist. – Xenia Georgiadou

Info

Until 10/03/2024

Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki

 

182 Vasilissis Olgas

Tel. (+30) 2313.318.538

Photography on the Pier

For its central exhibition, titled “The Spectre of the People” and curated by British photography theorist and art historian Julian Stallabrass, the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale 2023 invited 26 photographers from 10 countries to showcase different aspects of populism. Through their lenses, they comment on this multifaceted phenomenon that transcends left or right, democratic or autocratic. – Xenia Georgiadou

Info

Until 11/02/2024, MOMus–Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (Warehouse A, Pier A, Thessaloniki Port) and the MOMus–Experimental Center for the Arts (Warehouse B1, Pier A Thessaloniki Port)

photobiennale-greece.gr

A trendy hub by the Byzantine walls

This laidback neighborhood, centered around the 14th-century Church of the Holy Apostles (Αghion Apostolon) by the Byzantine walls, has recently become one of the most popular in the city. Apart from the church and the Ottoman-era Pasha Hamam, the architecture in the area runs from Bauhaus through to ’90s structures whose ground-floor industrial spaces have attracted a new generation of creative professionals. The graphic designer Mike Rafail opened the design studio and interactive collective space That Long Black Cloud (9-10 Piniou), hosting exhibitions, graphic design seminars, and a store selling ceramics and clothing. The creativity continues at Koru (15 Olympou), where fresh interpretations of Greek cuisine make this one of the most surprising dining destinations of the moment. You can cap the night off at Utopia Taproom (11 Gladstonos), whose selection of strictly independent local craft beers underscores the establishment’s strong community spirit. – Amber Charmei

Loved by locals

The part of town around the 5th-century Church of the Acheiropoietos has several places worth a visit. On the square behind the church, you can enjoy a matcha latte at Japanese-inspired Shed (11 Patriarchou Dionisiou) or wander down the street to see what’s going on at the coffee-and-art collective I Mikri Frida, aka La Nina Frida (4 Acheiropoietou). There’s more art around the corner at NR40 Urban Arts (10 Platonos), a café-bar plus gallery space for local artists, with a tattoo and piercing studio upstairs. Further along adjoining Filippou Street is Naked Specialty Coffee (62 Filippou), which offers delicious brunch options all week.

In the afternoon, they serve homemade savory tarts and other snacks; the wine list consists exclusively of natural wines from small Greek wineries. For a sweet finale, try freshly made hand-dipped bonbons from the open kitchen at Oh La La Chocolat (44 Filippou). – Amber Charmei

Where the young come for fun

The streets in the university area are ideal for browsing through bookstores, record shops and vintage fashion boutiques. Just above Svolou Street is the long pedestrianized square called Ioannou Delliou, where locals gather in the afternoons or evenings for meze and conversation under the trees at casual favorites such as Tarti (9 Ioannou Delliou) and Kafeneio Minion (8 Kamvounion & Ioannou Delliou). Two more recent additions have turned this shaded spot into a destination in itself. At the bookstore-café Υiafka (4 Ioannou Delliou), you can settle in with a cappuccino and get some work done or read a book, or you can drop by for book readings or other events – check their calendar. Across the square is the lively and friendly Peach Boy (5 Ioannou Delliou), open all day; here, you᾿ll find specialty coffees, brunch dishes and snacks during the daytime, and drinks and events in the evenings. The occasional street party might take place out front. – Amber Charmei

Urban elegance

The neighborhood known as “Depot” – you pronounce it as if you were speaking French – was an ultra-elite district during the Belle Epoque. Serene and green, it still feels pretty exclusive, especially along Vafopoulou Street, whose plane trees reach high above the rooftops. There’s a handful of choice places to visit here. The charming Oraio Dépôt (18 Vafopoulou), tucked behind the hedges on the wide sidewalk, offers coffee, drinks and meze, all while doubling as a “bakaliko,” or neighborhood grocery. At Penelope Loom (8 Vafopoulou), Merope Ververi creates hand-woven artworks, minimalist bags, and other works fashioned from locally sourced wool and other organic materials. Near Vasilissis Olgas, Birdie Num Num (28 Vafopoulou) serves coffee and cocktails plus small dishes and weekend brunch options, while Kronos (30 Vafopoulou), filled with collectibles and curiosities, has been offering a classic taverna experience since 1961. Around the corner is the Municipal Art Gallery (182 Vasilissis Olgas) in the historic Villa Bianca, and further up the street is the grandiose Villa Allatini (198 Vasilissis Olgas). – Amber Charmei

Fresh from the oven

There are plenty of places in town where you᾽ll find tasty evidence of the newest trend in baking, slow-fermented bread made with sourdough. It started with the 72H Bakehouse in the renovated Modiano Market (24 Ermou & 33 Vasileos Irakleiou), an attractive establishment that sells traditional loaves of bread, buttery croissants and focaccia sandwiches. Country Breadery (13 Proxenou Koromila) came later, offering a wide variety of baked goods, both breads and pastries. Recently, Sourdough Microbakery opened its doors (15 Mitropoleos Iosif). Here, sourdough viennoiserie, homemade pies, hearty focaccias, and delicious sandwiches complement the selected natural wines served on the spot. – John Papadimitriou

More than a bar

Paleon Patron Germanou has become one of the city᾿s most charming streets, boasting trendy bars and havens for great dining. Dacristo (15 Paleon Patron Germanou) is the latest addition to the roster. You can stop here for a morning coffee, or come later in the day for a menu that features standout cuts of beef from Australia and the US. At the bar, you᾿ll find one of the largest drink lists in Greece, and the wine cellar is equally impressive. They᾿re planning on setting up a small library with books on Greek food and wine. – John Papadimitriou

Info

Open daily 10:00-01:00 (kitchen closes at 23:30)



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