The Cultural Capital of Greece
As the second-biggest city in Greece and the second-most important city of the Byzantine Empire, the word “second” is often used to describe Thessaloniki, but we’re here to tell you: Thessaloniki is anything but second-rate!
The energy in this ancient cultural capital is palpable—especially in the vibrant downtown that was rebuilt in a spectacular Byzantine style after a devastating fire in the early 1900s. And this second chance at urban planning resulted in a city built around Aristotelous Square, which acts as a gateway for the surrounding neighborhoods.
In addition to Thessaloniki’s many Roman, Ottoman, and Sephardic Jewish structures, you’ll find numerous notable Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments. In fact, a staggering 15 of them have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
After visiting those, make sure to catch your second wind, because the nightlife here is legendary. (With more bars and cafés per capita than other place in Europe, there’s a reason why Lonely Planet named Thessaloniki as one of the top five party cities in the world.)
The charms of Thessaloniki have been captivating visitors for thousands of years, so don’t be surprised to find yourself planning a, you guessed it, second visit before you even leave.