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  • Writer's pictureErin

Greece and Thessaloniki: A First-Time Traveler's Guide to the Old Quarter

Greece, a country steeped in history, is a destination that every traveler should experience at least once in their lifetime. With its stunning landscapes, ancient architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine, Greece is truly a traveler's paradise. And when it comes to cities in Greece, Thessaloniki stands out with its unique character and charm.

Galerius Arch in Thessaloniki, Greece
Galerius Arch in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki, also known as Salonica, is Greece's second-largest city, located in the northern part of the country. Its rich history dates back to the fourth century BC when it was founded by the Macedonian King Cassander. The city is home to many ancient ruins, Byzantine churches, and Ottoman-era architecture. But the Old Quarter, also known as Ano Poli, captures the essence of Thessaloniki's past and present.

The Old Quarter is perched on a hill overlooking the rest of the city, and it is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets and traditional Greek houses. The area is known for its traditional tavernas, where locals gather to eat and drink, and its stunning views of the city and the sea. It is a place that transports you back in time and gives you a glimpse of what life was like in the past.

For first-time travelers to Thessaloniki, the Old Quarter is a must-see destination; here are some activities to help you get the most out of your visit:

Church of Saint Dimitrios in Thessaloniki, Greece
Church of Saint Dimitrios

Take a Walking Tour

The best way to explore the Old Quarter is on foot. Many walking tours are available that will take you through the winding streets and. A walking tour is an excellent way to learn about the city's past and present and to get a sense of the local way of life.

Visit the Byzantine Churches

Thessaloniki is home to many Byzantine churches, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Old Quarter is particularly rich in these beautiful structures, and visiting one or more of them is a must. The most famous of these churches is the Church of Agios Dimitrios, dedicated to the city's patron saint.

Castle in Thessaloniki
Castle in Thessaloniki

Explore the Castles

Thessaloniki has two castles, one in the Old Quarter and one in the city center. The castle in the Old Quarter, known as the Upper Town Fortress, dates back to the fourth century BC and offers stunning views of the city and the sea. It is a great place to explore and take in the city's history and beauty.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Thessaloniki is known for its delicious cuisine, and the Old Quarter is a great place to experience it. There are many traditional tavernas in the area that serve local dishes, such as moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki. A meal in one of these tavernas is a great way to experience the local way of life and enjoy the flavors of Greece.

Thessaloniki city, the sea and the olympus mountain
Thessaloniki City, Aegean Sea and the Olympus Mountain

Take in the Views

The Old Quarter offers some of the best views of Thessaloniki. From the hilltop, you can see the city's port, the Aegean Sea, and the surrounding mountains. The views are particularly stunning at sunset when the sky is painted in shades of orange and red.

Thessaloniki's Old Quarter is a place that captures the essence of Greece's past and present. It is a destination that every traveler should experience at least once in their lifetime. If you are planning a trip to Greece, make sure to include Thessaloniki in your itinerary, and don't miss it. Scheduled an online consultation today to plan your perfect trip to Greece.


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