Thessaloniki seems to be culturally (and architecturally) different than some of the other places I've been to in Greece...does anyone know about the cultural influences in Thessaloniki? Was it maybe a prominent part of the Byzantine empire?
It's true that Thessaloniki as a very unique vibe to it. I think there are some factors at play here:
1. There is a major university in Thessaloniki called the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. As a result there are a lot of cultural events, etc, to enjoy here, as is typical for a "college town"
2. It has a strong tie to the Byzantine Empire
3. The city was founded in 315 BC, so it has a rich history.
Here is one of the most notable landmarks in the city:
Katerini is a lesser known beach and tourist town near Thessaloniki. There are some great restaurants right by the water that are very authentic and offer many different options like meze as well as home style Greek food. I’ve only visited once but I plan on going again when I visit Thessaloniki. Have any of you visited.
This museum is lesser known but I've heard amazing things from friends who have visited! There is a very interesting exhibit that is currently being put on titled "Visualizing humanity." It is the first project by the Network of Contemporary Culture Museums of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. I really would love to visit this exhibit since it showcases the phases of life and culture, mainly inspired by important moments in Greek history. There are four "chapters" in the exhibition, my favorite concept (whiteout seeing it of course) is Feels Like Home.
This exhibition is titled "Philhellenisms, 1780-1860" and covers this crucial time period in Greek history during the Byzantine empire. The exhibition will showcase many different mediums of art including important texts from the time. The president of Greece will be attending to open up the exhibition, just showing how important and beautiful it will be to showcasing Greek history. I will be excited to visit soon!
Many people don't think to rent a bike to see the city, but I think it's one of the best things you can do since Thessaloniki is right on the water and you will get some amazing views. Unlike different cities nearby, like Kavala, Thessaloniki doesn't have that many hills and is very easy to get around on the bike. I just recommend that you're careful of drivers, as Greek drivers can be a bit aggressive on the road. When I last visited, it was a few years back so I don't remember which bike rental company we used. So if anyone recommendations please drop them below.
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