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Thessaloniki

Culture & History

Our most recommended Thessaloniki Culture & History

Thessaloniki Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

1. Thessaloniki Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Hop on the open-top bus and enjoy a tour of Thessaloniki. See the top monuments and places of interest in the city. Hop off at any of the 8 stations to visit local attractions. You’ll learn about the history of the city during the ride. There's audio commentary available in 8 languages, with information about sites on the route. Hop on and off as often as you like on the route. If you prefer, stay on board and ride the entire loop. Buses depart every 30 minutes from stops positioned around the city. Stops: • White Tower (start point, red kiosk) • Archeological Museum • Church of St. Sofia • Church of St. Dimitrios • Buzantine Castles • Kamara - Rotonta (Arch of Galerius) • Aristotelous Square • Port of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki: Full-Day Bus Trip to Meteora

2. Thessaloniki: Full-Day Bus Trip to Meteora

Embark on a full-day bus trip to Meteora from Thessaloniki. Explore this UNESCO world heritage site and admire the unique landscape. Depart Thessaloniki in the morning and journey to the amazing monastery complex of Meteora to visit 2 of the 6 holy monasteries, depending on their operating schedule. Get access to holy sites such as the women's Monastery of Agios Stefanos with its impressive wood-carved iconostasis, or visit the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, perched on the top of a rocky precipice over 400 meters high. Alternatively, discover the tower of the old preserved net at the Monastery of Varlaam, or explore the largest of the monasteries at the Monastery of Great Meteoron. Take in panoramic views of these incredible structures and the stunning landscape. Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch in Kastraki, near the city of Kalampaka, before heading back to Thessaloniki.

From Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Dion and Mount Olympus

3. From Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Dion and Mount Olympus

Discover the archaeological park of Dion and Mount Olympus on this tour from Thessaloniki. Travel in an airconditioned bus and take a nature hike along the Enipeas river to admire views of the Enipeas gorge.  Depart from a centrally-located meeting point in Thessaloniki and head to the archaeological park of Dion. Take some free time to explore the exterior archaeological site.  Purchase a ticket to the site to see the Hellenistic-era theatre which was known for hosting plays by the ancient philosopher Euripides in the past and now hosts the Olympus Festival. Visit the museum of Dion to see statues and admire mosaic work in of the House of Dionysus. Stop to purchase lunch in one of the traditional restaurants in the village before continuing to Olympus. Uncover the secrets of the mythological house of the 12 Greek gods.  Take a short trek through the foothills of the mountain. Go along the Enipeas gorge and keep any eye out for local wildlife. Capture pictures of mountain views, before going back to Thessaloniki by bus in the afternoon. 

Vergina & Pella: Day Trip to the Greek Kingdom of Macedonia

4. Vergina & Pella: Day Trip to the Greek Kingdom of Macedonia

Enjoy a beautiful day in Pella, learning about the ancient past of this area. You depart from Thessaloniki to Pella by a modern bus at 08:00 AM. The distance is about 50 km and the trip lasts about 45 minutes. Reach Pella, where you'll visit the new, modern museum, as well as the Archaeological site with the unique mosaics. Continue to Vergina and visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai, which is situated in the borders of the village. A local licensed tour guide will guide you into the Museums and the Archaeological sites. Board the bus and drive to a fantastic restaurant for lunch. Savor Greek traditional homemade dishes, before the bus takes you back to Thessaloniki at approximately 3:30 PM. 

Meteora: Full Day Trip by Train from Thessaloniki

5. Meteora: Full Day Trip by Train from Thessaloniki

You will take the train from Thessaloniki Train Station departing at 8:18 AM towards Kalambaka (you change trains at Paliofarsalos) and admire the beautiful Greek landscapes during your trip. You will be greeted by the team upon arrival at the Kalambaka train station at 11:30 AM and then and then you will begin your customized special panoramic midday Meteora tour. Take an amazing 5-hour Meteora tour, see all 6 monasteries and take a visit inside three of them. Your tour guide will give you full attention and care as the group will be small. There will be plenty of photo opportunity stops at secret places, that only locals know, will make your tour a unique experience. At the end you will be transferred back to Kalambaka Train Station to catch the train back to Thessaloniki. The train departs at 5:15 PM (you change trains at Paliofarsalos) and you will arrive in Thessaloniki at 8:30 PM.

Thessaloniki: Culinary Walking Tour for Food Lovers

6. Thessaloniki: Culinary Walking Tour for Food Lovers

In three hours you will walk to several traditional market places like the Kapani and Modiano markets. You will visit the best local culinary shops where you will taste local delicacies and other Greek products.  This culinary walking tour is a relaxing and tasteful tour that will teach you many Greek table manners and food traditions that ends with a lunch of different mezedes (small shared dishes). Food is not the only thing on the menu for this tour. The English/Dutch-speaking guide will also show you several sights in the city. In short, you will return at the end of this tour with a great deal of culinary knowledge and a full belly.

Thessaloniki: Meteora Day Tour by Train with Optional Lunch

7. Thessaloniki: Meteora Day Tour by Train with Optional Lunch

Discover the wonders of Meteora on a guided day trip from Thessaloniki. Enjoy a scenic train ride to Kalabaka with included round-trip tickets and taste local flavors during an optional lunch at a restaurant. Redeem your train e-ticket (received after booking) for the morning 8:56 AM train departure from Thessaloniki’s railway station to Kalabaka on your own. Embark on a train ride through the Greek countryside and admire the beautiful landscapes. At 12:03 PM, arrive at Kalabaka’s train station, where a tour guide will be waiting for you holding a signboard with your name on it. Board a minibus and officially begin your unforgettable journey to this true wonder called Meteora. During the guided tour, see all six of Meteora's monasteries and admire the interior of three of them. View some of Meteora’s most spectacular hidden gems like the ancient Chapel of Doupiani and the magnificent St. George “Mandilas” cave. Discover the “other side” of Meteora as you explore. Learn the truth about why the hermits settled in these imposing caves a thousand years ago and how the monks achieved the impossible. As the trip comes to a close, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views and capture some amazing photos that you will cherish forever. At around 4:30 PM, enjoy transfer back to Kalabaka’s train station or at a nearby local restaurant if the optional lunch is selected. Enjoy approximately an hour of free time to explore Kalabaka on foot before taking the 6:22 PM train back to Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Ouranoupoli with Mt. Athos Cruise

8. Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Ouranoupoli with Mt. Athos Cruise

Depart from the White Tower of Thessaloniki at 8:00 AM and head to Ouranoupoli by bus. You'll arrive in Ouranoupoli at around 11:00 AM in front of the Byzantine Prosphori Tower and board the boat for the cruise around Mount Athos.  During the cruise you have the chance to see the ports of the Holy Monasteries of Helandariou and Konstamonitou, the colorful Monastery of Docheiariou, the nearby Monastery of Xenophontos, the renovated Holy Monastery of Agiou Panteleimonos - the Russian monastery, the Holy Monastery of Xeropotamou, the main harbor of Mount Athos Daphne, the impressive Holy Monastery of Simonos Petras and the Holy Monasteries of Osiou Grigoriou.  Lastly, you can see Agia Anna, just below the imposing Mount Athos, which stands magnificently at 2,000 meters above sea level. After the cruise, visit the island of Ammouliani where you'll have free time to enjoy a swim in the emerald sea.

From Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Meteora

9. From Thessaloniki: Day Trip to Meteora

Following early morning pick-up from Thessaloniki, journey by luxurious air-conditioned bus to Kalambaka for an estimated arrival time of 11:30. Upon arrival, go to the famous rock formations of Meteora and marvel at the enormous columns of rock that rise sharply from the ground. Settled in the 9th century by hermetic monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Meteora was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Of the monasteries that were established in this implausible location, 6 remain well preserved and 4 are still inhabited. Spend approximately 2 hours visiting 2 of the monasteries, and see a vast array of frescoes and religious iconography. Then, enjoy around 1 hour of free time in Kalambaka for lunch (not included) before departing at 15:30. Stop for a coffee along the way, before your arrival in Thessaloniki at around 18:45.

From Thessaloniki: Pella and Vergina Full-Day Tour

10. From Thessaloniki: Pella and Vergina Full-Day Tour

Following early morning pick-up from Thessaloniki, journey by luxurious air-conditioned bus to the village of Pella. Visit the archaeological site and museum to see the stunning remains of the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. Look at the impressive mosaic floors that used to decorate the grand mansions, including depictions from Greek mythology of the Deer Hunt, the Abduction of Helen, the Rapture and the female warriors of the Battle of the Amazons (Amazonomachy). Continue to Vergina, best known as the site of Aigai, the first capital of Macedon. Spend approximately 1 hour in the extraordinary museum, where artifacts of incredible beauty excavated from the archaeological site are on display, along with the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II. Depart Vergina at 04:00 PM and return to Thessaloniki late in the afternoon for an estimated arrival time of around 05:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Thessaloniki

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 459 reviews

Wow what a fabulous place. Breath taking! It is well worth the three and a half trip from Thessaloniki. The journey to and from Meteora was a bit dull as very little of interest to see along the way. Take a book. We visited two monasteries of the six available. They were beautiful. We stopped to take photos of Meteora but because there was a whole bus full there it was a bit rushed. I would have liked longer or another stop as well. In hind sight I would recommend staying there a couple of days but if like us you only had time for a day trip then it is still a fabulous day out. We stopped for lunch at a Taverna, which was satisfactory but not exciting.

The tour was well organised. Just one thing to suggest is that there’s should be a charging facility on the coach as it’s a whole day trip. It could be helpful for some people to charge their phones. The restaurant that we stopped at to have lunch was ok. It would be better if we could pay separately as we did but we had to pay for starters for our group table that we didn’t really eat

The trip was great, the bus travel is a bit long but it's worth it and on the way Nepheli our guide gave us interesting information on what we were seeing from the bus, she was a great guide and very friendly. Everything ran smoothly and on time, for me two monasteries are perfect, more than that would be too much in one day. Lovely trip, I would do it again.

Definerely worth the money. Helen looked after us very well and made sure that the entire group engaged with each other. Gread day out for solo travellers and biggers groups. You will not feel alone on that trip.

Deserving tour! The three hours of travel are definitely worth it to visit a beautiful place