Thessaloniki Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki boasts a wealth of historic landmarks revealing eventful past of this ancient city. Among them the most notable are the Palace of Galerius and its Rotunda, the White Tower, plus a number of churches listed as the world heritage sights. Follow this orientation walk to explore the top attractions of Thessaloniki.
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Thessaloniki Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Thessaloniki Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Greece » Thessaloniki (See other walking tours in Thessaloniki)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Aristotelous Square
  • Greek Agora and Roman Forum
  • Church of Saint Demetrius
  • Alatza Imaret
  • Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos
  • Atatürk Museum
  • Rotunda of Galerius
  • Arch of Galerius
  • Palace of Galerius
  • Tsimiski Street
  • White Tower of Thessaloniki
  • Statue of Alexander the Great
  • Nea Paralia
1
Aristotelous Square

1) Aristotelous Square (must see)

Aristotelous Square is the main city square of Thessaloniki and is located in the city center. It was designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918, but most of the square was built in the 1950s.

Many buildings surrounding the central square have since been renovated and its northern parts were largely restored in the 2000s.

Aristotelous Square is one of the most famous places in all of Greece and almost synonymous with the city of Thessaloniki itself.

Numerous large rallies and political speeches have been organized in Aristotelous Square, such as the rally for Macedonia in 1992. Additionally the square is used for many cultural events, such as festivals and the annual Christmas and carnival celebrations. The numerous cafes and bars that line up the square make it popular with the younger generations.

The two quarter-circle sides of the square are occupied by important buildings. On the left is Electra Palace Hotel, which is one of the best five-star hotels in Thessaloniki and on the right is one of the city's most famous movie theaters, the Olympion Theatre cinema, site of the annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival. It also houses a very popular bar of the same name.

The twelve buildings that make up Aristotelous Square have been listed buildings of the Hellenic Republic since 1950.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Greek Agora and Roman Forum

2) Greek Agora and Roman Forum (must see)

The Greek Agora and Roman Forum comprise an archaeological site in the center of the city. At the time, Romans expanded the Greek agora (marketplace) to a two-level forum. Among its elements still preserved are the Odeon (ancient theater) and colonnade.The Greek Agora and Roman Forum comprise an archaeological site in the center of the city. At the time, Romans expanded the Greek agora (marketplace) to a two-level forum. Among its elements still preserved are the Odeon (ancient theater) and colonnade.
3
Church of Saint Demetrius

3) Church of Saint Demetrius (must see)

The Church of Saint Demetrius is the main sanctuary dedicated to the patron saint of Thessaloniki, dating from a time when it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is part of the group of Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988. The basilica is famous for the six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Iconoclastic policies in AD 730. These mosaics are the rare examples of art survived the Dark Age following the death of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in AD 565. Archaeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church's crypt.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Alatza Imaret

4) Alatza Imaret

There are many monuments left from the Ottoman period in the history of Thessaloniki. A former mosque, originally built in the 15th century, Alatza Imaret is a historic and architectural attraction. This is one of the best preserved Turkish monuments in the city. It was a very impressive mosque in its glory days.
5
Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos

5) Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos (must see)

The Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos is an early 14th-century Byzantine church.

The church's name, "Saint Nicholas the Orphan", is first attested in the 17th and 18th centuries, and presumably refers to its otherwise unknown ktetor (founder). From its interior decoration, the building is dated to the period 1310–1320. The church originally formed part of a monastery, traces of which (remnants of a gate) survive to the east.

The church was originally built as a simple, single-aisled edifice with a wooden gabled roof. Later, aisles were added on three sides. They form an ambulatory, under whose floor several graves have been found.

The church is most notable for its frescoes, contemporary with the church's construction, which cover almost the entire interior surface. The frescoes are an example of the Thessalonican school at the height of the "Palaiologan Renaissance", and their creator may be the same who decorated the Hilandar monastery in Mount Athos in 1314. The church has been linked to the Serbian king Stephen Uroš II Milutin, who is known to have sponsored churches in the city, on account of the depiction in the main aisle of St George Gorgos, the Serbian ruler's patron saint, and of St.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Atatürk Museum

6) Atatürk Museum (must see)

The Atatürk Museum is a historic house museum in Thessaloniki.

The house is the birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was born here in 1881.

It is a three-floor house with a courtyard on 24 Apostolou Pavlou Street, next to the Turkish Consulate. Before the acquisition of Thessaloniki by the Greek Army, it was known as "Koca Kasım Paşa district, Islahhane street". It was built before 1870 and in 1935 the Greek Government gave it to the Turkish State.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Rotunda of Galerius

7) Rotunda of Galerius (must see)

The Rotunda of Galerius is now the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Georgios, better known as the Church of the Rotunda or simply The Rotunda. The cylindrical structure was built in AD 306 on the orders of the Roman tetrarch Galerius, who was thought to have intended it as his mausoleum. It was more likely intended as a temple, as it is not known to what god it would have been dedicated. The Rotunda has a diameter of 24.5 meters. Its walls are more than 6 meters thick, which is one reason why it has withstood Thessaloniki's many earthquakes. The walls are interrupted by eight rectangular bays, with the south bay forming the entrance. A flat brick dome, 30 meters high at the peak, crowns the cylindrical structure. In its original design, the dome of the Rotunda had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Arch of Galerius

8) Arch of Galerius (must see)

The Arch of Galerius is early 4th-century monuments in the city of Thessalonik.

The arch was built in 298 to 299 CE and dedicated in 303 CE to celebrate the victory of the tetrarch Galerius over the Sassanid Persians and capture of their capital Ctesiphon in 298. The structure was an octopylon (eight-pillared gateway) forming a triple arch that was built of a rubble masonry core faced first with brick and then with marble panels with sculptural relief. The central arched opening was 9.7 m wide and 12.5 m high, and the secondary openings on other side were 4.8 m wide and 6.5 m high.

Only the northwestern three of the eight pillars and parts of the masonry cores of the arches above survive.

Extensive consolidation with modern brick has been performed on the exposed masonry cores to protect the monument. The two pillars flanking the central arched passageway retain their sculpted marble slabs, which depict the wars of Galerius against the Persians in broadly panegyric terms.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Palace of Galerius

9) Palace of Galerius (must see)

The Palace of Galerius dates back to AD 300. Now you can visit the ruins of this palace of the tetrarch Galerius in the center of Thessaloniki. From the ruins you can imagine the grandeur of the palace. The Octagon is an interesting part of this palace. It is thought to have been the throne room and is richly decorated.
10
Tsimiski Street

10) Tsimiski Street

Tsimiski Street is a major avenue in Thessaloniki. Tsimiski Street was named after the Byzantine Emperor, Ioannis Tzimiskis and is nowadays one of the busiest streets in Thessaloniki's city center and the country. The busiest point of Tsimiski Street is its crossroad with Aristotelous Square which is a major meeting-point for Thessalonians, also forming a cultural axis with Aristotelous Square.

The most prominent features of Tsimiski street are the hundreds of various fashion shops, boutiques, high end international department stores and Fokas, the biggest Greek department store in the city centre. Tsimiski Street is also home to the Plateia Center Mall, the largest shopping mall in the city centre of Thesaloniki, which contains the Plateia Assos Odeon multiplex and has facilities from bars, restaurants, a virgin music megastore to fitness centers. The mall also houses the United States Consulate in Thessaloniki, as well as the liaison office of the Republic of Macedonia.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
White Tower of Thessaloniki

11) White Tower of Thessaloniki (must see)

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification which was mentioned around the 12th century and reconstructed by the Ottomans to fortify the city's harbour, it became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.

The White Tower takes the form of a cylindrical drum 23 m (75 ft) in diameter with a height of 27 m (89 ft) above ground level, on top of which is a turret 12 m (39 ft) in diameter and 6 m (20 ft) high.

The tower has been altered substantially over the years. Early illustrations show that it was originally covered by a conical roof, like similar towers in the Yedikule Fortress and Rumelihisarı fortress in Istanbul.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Statue of Alexander the Great

12) Statue of Alexander the Great

The statue of Alexander the Great stands majestically on the waterfront of Thessaloniki. Alexander was the king of Macedonia who conquered much of the known world in the fourth century BC. He still lives today in the hearts of Greeks, and is probably the most famous Greek ever born. His conquests spread Greek civilization eastward as far as India.
13
Nea Paralia

13) Nea Paralia

This large pedestrian waterfront in the eastern urban district represents one of the best public projects in Greece in the past twenty years.It has become one of the most popular locations for a stroll in all of Thessaloniki. The promenade also offers bike and boat rentals along its flanks, as well as a number of delicious restaurants and lively bars.

Walking Tours in Thessaloniki, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Thessaloniki

Create Your Own Walk in Thessaloniki

Creating your own self-guided walk in Thessaloniki is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Thessaloniki Upper Town Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Upper Town Walking Tour

Upper Town Thessaloniki is the most ancient part of the city that is approximately 2300 years old. Here you may see the ancient Byzantine wall with its towers, ancient religious sites with Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, and other remnants of the city's great civilization. Take this tour to have a closer look of what's left.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Walking Tour of Thessaloniki Art Galleries

Walking Tour of Thessaloniki Art Galleries

Thessaloniki exhibits both old and new art. Here you may find displayed ancient art from Byzantine period coexisting with contemporary arts presented for sale at numerous shops and galleries around the city. Follow this tour and explore the art treasures of Thessaloniki.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Walking Tour of Thessaloniki Churches

Walking Tour of Thessaloniki Churches

Thessaloniki is an old city with a rich Christian history. Some of the twelve apostles visited the city and wrote epistles to its people, which entered the cannon of New Testament. There are many great ancient churches here, but of special interest are the beautiful smaller ones. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most splendid churches of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Thessaloniki Culinary Delights Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Culinary Delights Walking Tour

Thessaloniki is famous for its heavenly delicious pastries. It is impossible to leave the city without visiting its bakeries, whose scents are simply too hard to resist. Some of these bakeries are legendary and the locals buy their stuff by the kilogram. Take our tour to taste the unforgettable, mouth-watering delights lovingly baked in Thessaloniki.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Thessaloniki Museums Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Museums Walking Tour

Thessaloniki's many museums give a complete picture of the city's rich culture and history. The most worthwhile museums are located in the area of Tsimiski Street. Here you can see prehistoric relics and treasures from the ancient Macedonian and medieval Byzantine eras in these museums. This self-guided tour will lead you to the museums that will reveal the antiquity of this land.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Thessaloniki Coast Line Walking Tour

Thessaloniki Coast Line Walking Tour

Thessaloniki is a lovely city set on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline offers magnificent views of the waters and of the distant Olympus mountains. While walking here you will see historic monuments, beautiful parks with fountains, many cafes, churches, and other interesting sights. This self-guided tour offers a pleasant walk along the coast of Thessaloniki.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles