Thessaloniki Greece

Sightseeing guide for Thessaloniki Thessaloniki sightseeing guide Thessaloniki 

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Thessaloniki objective turistice Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a wonderful city with great history which goes deep in centuries. It has been an important Byzantine city and this is obvious along the city. There are many places of interest in the town as well as many museums and admirable Byzantine churches.thessaloniki sites A tour in Thessaloniki will reveal you hidden aspects of it and it is bound that you will be charmed.

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki: 6 M. Andronikou str, tel: (+30) 2310830538, fax: (+30) 2310830538

Opening Hours: (1 April - 31 October) Monday: 13.00-19.30 & Tuesday-Sunday: 8.00- 19.30 & (1 November - 31 March) Monday: 10.30-17.00 & Tuesday-Sunday: 8.00- 17.00. The museum remains closed: on 25 and 26/12, 1/1, 25/3, 1/5 and on Easter Tickets: Full Admission 6€, Adults over 65 3€ , Free Admission for Students & Children up to 10 years old . Combined ticket (it includes admission fee to the Myseum of Byzantine Culture): Full Admission 8€, Adults over 65 4€ , Free Admission for Students & Children up to 10 years old

After an extended renovation the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki has opened again its doors to the public. The exhibition includes findings from the Neolithic period, the Iron Age (1100-700 BC), the Archaic period from 7th century BC to 3rd century AD, the Classical period and findings from the Roman period. Visitors can admire gold ornamental art and ancient Greek weapons from the ancient Macedonia area as well as from neighbouring areas too. A special wing houses the impressive unique findings from the area of Vergina including the contents of the tomb of king Phillip of Macedon, found intact by Professor Andronikos in 1977. Even the bones of king Phillip are on display. Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is considered to be as one of the finest museums of this kind around the world so do not miss visiting it.

Museum of Byzantine Culture 2 Stratou Avenue, tel: (+30) 2310688570, fax: (+30) 2310838597

Opening Hours: Monday: 10:30-17:00 & Tuesday to Sunday: 08:30-15:00 The museum remains closed: on 25 and 26/12, 1/1, 25/3, 1/5 and on Easter
Tickets: Full Admission 4€, Adults over 65 2€ , Free Admission for Students & Children up to 10 years old. Combined ticket (it includes admission fee to the Archaeological Museum): Full Admission 8€, Adults over 65 4€ , Free Admission for Students & Children up to 10 years old.

The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Byzantine Culture presents various aspects of Byzantine art and culture, as well as of the following era, after the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The exhibits are displayed not merely as works of art, but as witnesses to the culture that created them and the society that used them, within an informational framework of information on their original context and function. The Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions which are exhibitions form museums all over the world relative to Byzantine culture and art. The past exhibitions included Treasures of Mount Athos exhibitions, icons exhibitions, everyday life exhibitions and other interesting exhibitions.

The White Tower

Opening Hours: closed to the public until mid-2007 due to preparation for an exhibition

The White Tower is Thessaloniki's most famous building, located in the eastern part of the waterfront. It is a round fort-tower, built in the 15th century as part of the fortification of the city. During Ottoman occupation, the White Tower was a place of prison and torture. After the liberation of Thessaloniki, in early 19th century, the tower was whitewashed so as to be purified by the blood and as a result it was renamed to “White Tower”. Even though the tower is no longer white, it still keeps its name and is considered to be city's landmark. Nowadays it is prepared to house a permanent exhibition devoted to the city of Thessaloniki and its people, organized by the Museum of Byzantine Culture.

State Museum of Contemporary Art: 21 Kolokotroni str, tel: (+30) 2310589140-2, fax: (+30) 2310600123

Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00-18:00

The museum of contemporary art was established in 1997. A new era started since the acquisition of the George Costakis Collection that consists of Russian avant-garde art works. A great number of temporary exhibitions, parallel events to the permanent exhibition of the George Costakis Collection at the Moni Lazariston, educational and research programs, books editing and important international collaborations -all these activities place the State Museum of Contemporary Art in the framework of the major international contemporary art museums.

Ethnological and Popular Art - Museum for the Macedonian Battle: 68 Vas. Olgas avenue, tel: (+30) 2310830591

The ethnological and popular museum and the museum of the Macedonian Battle of art was established in 1931 and has functioned from 1947. It is considered as one of the best of its kind and its exhibits include artefacts of the art and history of the recent years, the traditional architecture spread all over the balkan countries as well as artefacts from the fights carried out in early 19th century for the release of Macedonia. Moreover the museum houses costumes and objects of the last 250 years of Greek national life and culture.

Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki: 162 Vas. Olgas avenue, tel: (+30) 2310425531, fax: (+30) 2310411101

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 09.00-13.00, 17.00-21.00 & Saturday-Sunday: 09.00-13.00.
Tickets: free admission

The Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki is housed in a wonderful building, fine example of the eclectic style of architecture that flourished in Thessaloniki, especially in the then suburban district known as "the Towers" or "the Villas", at the turn of the century. The building was constructed in 1905, by the famous architect Xenophon Paionidis, and now is the property of the Municipality. It is also known as "Villa Mordoch", from the name of the family who occupied it during the period 1930 - 1940. The gallery houses more than 1,000 works in its collection divided into different collections. The gallery organises regular (mainly retrospective) exhibitions of Greek artists, produces numerous publications, has a specialised library-cum-reading-room, and offers guided tours for the public (booked in advance). Since 1986 it has held 55 exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists. One of its aims is to jointly organise exhibitions with major visual arts institutions in Greece and abroad.

Cinema Museum of Thessaloniki: Limani, Apothiki A (Warehouse 1), tel: (+30) 2310508398, fax: (+30) 2310508397

Opening Hours: (Summer) Monday to Friday: 10:00-15:00 &(Winter) Monday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00-15:00 & Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10:00-22:00
Tickets: free admission.

The Cinema Museum was set up in 1997 and today it is part of the Thessaloniki Film Festival. It is housed in Warehouse 1, a listed building on quay 1 in the harbour, at the end of the old sea front near Aristotelous Square. Its exhibits include cinema related machinery (cine-cameras and projectors), old pieces of cinema equipment and attachments, cinema-film developing tanks, lenses, sub-titling machines etc, celluloid material, photographs from almost two thousand films, gigantic, hand-produced cinema posters, the musical background to all cinema films circulated prior to 1995 on LPs and CDs, and a cinema archive. In the cinema archive visitors and researchers alike can find information about the cinema in Greece from 1985 and on. The museum provides organized tours and shows excerpts of films in a room specially designed for this purpose.

Museum of Attaturk: 75 Apostolou Pavlou str, tel: (+30) 2310248452, fax: (+30) 2310248450

Opening Hours: Daily 10:00-17:00
Tickets: free admission

Moustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was actually born in Thessaloniki. In 1935, Thessaloniki City Council gave it to the Turkish state, which decided to convert it into a museum dedicated to Kemal Ataturk. The building, which dates to before 1870, has three floors and a courtyard. It was repaired in 1981 to its original pink. Most of the furniture is authentic. Any missing items were replaced with furniture from Kemal's mausoleum and from Top Kapi in Istanbul. All the documents relating to Kemal's schooldays as well as Kemal's photographs at various periods of his life have been hung on the walls. A pomegranate tree planted by Kemal's father still grows in the courtyard. Don't be anxious if the guard asks for your passport. Do not consider that the museum is a small Turkish territory in the midst of Thessaloniki, but with occasional tensions between the two countries they don't want to take any chances of someone defacing the displays.

The Arch of Galerius

The Arch of Galerius belongs to the Galerian group of buildings, in the south eastern part of the historical center of Thessaloniki and was built in 305 AD to celebrate the definitive triumph of the Emperor over the Persians. From the original triumphal arch only three pillars and a part of the brick masonry above are preserved to the present day. The two main pillars are covered with sculpted marble slabs. The whole structure consisted of 4 main pillars and 2 smaller ones on each side, the former supporting a central dome. Through the latter, a connection to the Galerius Palace (to the south) and to the Rotunda (to the north) was possible. Today, only a part of the monument still stands and there is no information on the period or the circumstances under which the rest of the arch was destroyed.

The Rotunda: Dimitriou Gounari str, tel: (+30) 2310213627

Rotonda is a circular building constructed in 306 AD as the Pantheon or Mausoleum of Galerius. In Byzantine times, under the reign of Theodosius the Great it was converted into a Christian church, and after the ottoman invasion it was converted to a mosque. Do not miss to admire the unique mosaics of the 4th century AD.

Byzantine Churches

Thessaloniki is the second most important exhibition place of Byzantine monuments after Istanbul, with several churches and byzantine monuments.

The Church of Panagia Achiropoietos

The church of Panagia Achiropoietos, which means with no hands, was built in the 5th century AD.thessaloniki icon It is the only basilica church of the early Christian time in Thessaloniki which has remained basically intact. The marble columns are decorated with elaborate "perforated" acanthus-leaf make a contrast to the mosaics, which have simple gold cross and delicate floral and vine motifs interspersed with birds. The 13th-century frescoes showing some of the 40 Martyrs are well preserved even though some of them were destroyed when the church was converted to a mosque in the 15th century, during the ottoman occupation of the city.

Agios Dimitrios: Agiou Dimitriou str, tel: (+30) 2310270591

Opening Hours: Monday: 12:30-19:00, Friday-Saturday: 08:00-20:00 & Sunday: 10:30-20:00
Tickets: free admission

Agios Dimitrios is five aisled basilica located in the centre of Thessaloniki and it is the biggest church in Greece. The church of the patron saint of Thessaloniki was destroyed in the great fire of 1917 and then consequently rebuilt in 1948. The church is wonderfully decorated with awesome mosaics. Underneath the church there is the Crypt, the place where saint Dimitrios was tortured and killed by Roman soldiers. According to both tradition and archaeological findings, the Crypt was an old bathhouse, in which Dimitrios was imprisoned and eventually martyred in 303AD. During the Ottoman occupation the crypt was filled up with earth and it was not rediscovered until after the fire of 1917. The Greek Archaeological Service undertook its restoration and the crypt reopened as an exhibition in 1988.

Agia Sofia: Agia Sofia Square

Opening Hours: daily 08:30-14:00 &17:30-20:00
Tickets: free admission

Agia Sofia is a wonderful church, built in the 8th century AD, modelled on homonymous church in Istanbul. During the Byzantine time, Agia Sofia was the cathedral of Thessaloniki. The church was built on the Roman baths, nowadays centre of Thessaloniki. Its interior is decorated by beautiful mosaics and frescoes from the early Byzantine era; admire the superb mosaic of the Ascension which stands up.

Other Places of Interest Near Thessaloniki

Macedonia is a place with rich history. It is the land where Alexander the Great was born. As a result there are several places near Thessaloniki which are worth visiting. Moreover near Thessaloniki there is Mount Athos, a place full of wonderful monasteries where only men are allowed to go.

Vergina

Vergina Archaeological site about a 20 minute drive from Thessaloniki. It is the place where the tomb of King Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was unearthed by the famed Greek archaeologist M. Andronikos. The main findings are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, however in the area there is a museum which houses other artifacts found during the excavations.

Chalkidiki

The beautiful three-prone peninsula to the south-east of Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination. The wonderful beaches, the crystal clear waters and the combination of sea and mountain, as forests reach the sea, make it one of the most popular destinations in Greece.

  • The Kassandra peninsula is about 1,5h away from Thessaloniki and its beaches are a favourite destination of package tourism.
  • The Sythonian peninsula is about 2h away from Thessaloniki and it is home to green pine forests and some beautiful.
  • Mount Athos (Agio Oros). The eastern peninsula of Chalikidiki is actually an autonomous religious community where several Christian Orthodox monasteries are located, built on spectacular cliffs. Note that only male visitors are allowed on Agios Oros, and each can stay for four nights at the monasteries as guests. Visitors depart to Agios Oros from Ouranoupoli port.

Mount Olympus

The highest mountain of Greece was, according to the myth, the residence of the 12 Olympian gods in ancient times. Nowadays Olympus is a favorite destination for mountain climbing. It has 8 sharp peeks, the highest one in 2918m, ready to challenge even the most experienced climbers. In Olympus there is a national park. It is located southern of Thessaloniki, about 1,5h away.

Cultural events:

Thessaloniki, all year around, offers numerous cultural events and shows, such as the International Film Festival, the Book Festival, Dimitria, an annual cultural event in October, named after the city's patron saint Agios Dimitrios, a variety of performances at the National Theater of Northern Greece, concerts of the National and the Municipal Orchestra at the Concert Hall, the International Theatre Festival and exhibitions at the city's municipal and private art galleries.

Approximate dates for annual events:

  • March: Documentary Festival
  • June: Book Festival
  • August: The Wine Festival
  • September: International Trade Fare
  • September: Greek Song Festival
  • October: Dimitria
  • November: Thessaloniki Greek Film Festival

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