Thessaloniki is a crossroads for different cultures, and has 23 centuries of history behind it. It faces out to the sea and towards the Balkans and is the focal point for the whole of Macedonia. The second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki has a strong identity and a unique personality. It offers a pleasant life-style, entertainment, great food, luxury and boutique hotels, shopping, walks along Palia Paralia Beach and Nea Paralia Beach, and also with major sights, modern museums, festivals, fairs and bazaars. There are also countless strolls you can enjoy through the city streets which are lined with imposing buildings that you will never tire of looking at. The city is outward-looking, yet full of secrets worth discovering, giving, welcoming, beautiful and diverse. From the moment you set foot in Thessaloniki, you will feel at one with the pace of life there as the city embraces you and wins you over with its myriad of enticing spots.
Sights worth seeing include:
- The White Tower. It is the emblem of Thessaloniki and was built on the beach in the early 16th century (www.lpth.gr).
- Aristotelous Square. The square was designed by the Hébrard committee after the great fire of 1917 and is unusual because of the two large concave buildings - the Olympion Cinema where the Thessaloniki Film Festival is held and the Electra Palace Hotel - which form two of the corners of the square. Aristotelous Square is the "hub" of Thessaloniki.
- Palia Paralia Beach. The liveliest public space in the city, where everyone goes walking or cycling along the waterfront.
- Nea Paralia Beach which is host to various theme parks.
- The Ladadika area, which has been listed as a heritage site since 1985 and has many restored and renovated buildings.
- The Kamara- Rotunda - Arch of Galerius site. This was built as a huge palace complex in the early 4th century. It included the Rotunda, the triumphal arch (Kamara) and an entire palace in Navarino Square.
- The church dedicated to Aghios Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki, and the church of Aghia Sophia (dating from the late 7th century), and the Church of the Acheiropoietos (5th century).
- The Upper Town, with the notorious Yedi Kule prison (also known as the Heptapyrgion), the Triangle Tower and the Byzantine churches of Aghios Nikolaos Orfanos and St. David.
- The city museums: the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Cinema Museum, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki , the Contemporary Art Centre etc.