Thessaloniki is turning into one of Europe’s most exciting coastal cities. That’s why we sat down with Danai Spania of Epiculiar Tours to find out what to see, eat, drink, and do in Greece’s sun-soaked second city. Born and raised in Thessaloniki, Danai has spent the last 18 months showing people around her hometown. She took time out from her top-rated food and culture tour to share some insider tips.
1. Prepare for chill vibes
I might be biased, but I think Thessaloniki is such a special place! The city’s chill vibe, unique history, and charming character will warmly welcome you from the moment you arrive. Overall, the city is a cultural melting pot with mouth-watering food, great nightlife, and a wide variety of things to do.
2. Visit this unmissable secret spot
One of my favorite secret locations is a viewpoint near Palataki in Kalamaria. Grab a blanket, some food and drink, and create a really scenic picnic. It’s a great place to watch the sunset.
3. Enjoy sunrise and sunset at these incredible locations
Hike up Mount Chortiatis and enjoy amazing sunrises. Catch the sunset from Eptapyrgio Castle, which I believe has the most astonishing view of the whole city. Afterward, make sure to visit the area’s numerous cozy taverns. You’ll find flavourful dishes that reflect Thessaloniki’s rich history and culture.
4. Sip (and sit) at the trendiest bars
For a more relaxed environment and really nice views of the waterfront, I recommend On the Road. Visit Ypsilon for some really good cocktails in a renovated neoclassical building. For dancing, head to Baobab, Gorila (really good cocktails, too!), or Coo.
5. Drink like a local
Thessaloniki isn’t known for a particular drink, but it’s famous for meze, which you’ll drink a lot of ouzo, tsipouro, raki, or wine with.
6. Try these must-eat dishes
Thessaloniki is famous for pastries, such as bougatsa, koulouri, tsoureki, and trigona. On top of that, there is a huge culture around seafood and meat meze.
7. Make reservations at this restaurant
Nama, all the way!
8. Take this day trip
We’re very lucky here because we can easily visit both the sea and mountains. My favorite day trip from Thessaloniki is to Holomontas mountain, which is 90 minutes away. You’ll find an idyllic atmosphere with taverns and villages nestled in the woodland. Mouth-watering delicacies, such as fresh game, are easy to find.
9. See the city on two wheels
I’m super happy that we have a beautiful waterfront here in Thessaloniki. I love biking along the waterfront to the White Tower.
10. Explore the coolest markets
When I visit a new destination, I always check out open-air markets. Luckily, we have a great one in the city called Kapani. It’s a top spot for foodies.
11. Head to these top beaches
Thessaloniki does not have a beach, as such, but amazing ones are easy to reach. I would say that the ideal area to visit is Halkidiki. On the first peninsula, I love Possidi, and on the second peninsula, Ι love Karidi and Kavourotripes.