When to fly:
Temperatures in June, July and August can become excessively hot, so it is best to avoid these months if you are sensitive to the heat. The ideal times to book flights are the periods of April to May and September to October, thereby avoiding both the hottest and coolest times of the year. Both the city centre and the beaches also tend to be a little less crowded during these months. When the temperature has cooled a little and beaches aren’t heaving, travellers and locals can enjoy the Dimitria Festival which runs from September to November. The event has been celebrating the culture in Thessaloniki for around 45 years and is the oldest and one of the biggest festivals in Greece. Music, dance, theatre, opera, art exhibitions and many more are just a few of the events that are spread out in indoor and outdoor venues throughout the city.
The low-season months of January, February and November tend to be the cheapest times to visit and where you can find great deals on hotels and airfares. The Mediterranean climate ensures that, even though much cooler than the rest of the year, temperatures during these months are still very pleasant.
Also sometimes known as Thessalonica, the beautiful Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. Although it is only surpassed in size by Athens, Thessaloniki is pleasingly compact, making it easy to get around on foot. The capital of the Macedonia region, the city is arguably the cultural centre of Greece, having given the country some of its finest poets, artists and musicians.
The cultural aspect of the city is still very much in evidence today, with a host of museums telling the story of the area's rich history, from the Museum of Byzantine Culture to the Folk and Ethnographic Museum. Modern culture is represented by attractions such as the State Museum of Contemporary Art and the Thessaloniki Cinema Museum. It is this seamless blend of ancient history and cosmopolitan modernity which makes Greece's second city such a fascinating place to visit.
As with many Greek destinations, Thessaloniki is resplendent with ancient monuments which stand as testament to the country's enduring history. Sitting on the picturesque waterfront, the White Tower is the most famous symbol of the city's rich past, its story one of turbulence, bloodshed and endless fascination. Although it remains proud of its past, the city has not been afraid to move forward and is today renowned as much for its vibrant and hip nightlife scene as it is for its historic legacy.
Getting around Thessaloniki
The main form of public transport in the city itself is buses. Operated by the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH), services operate from early in the morning up until after midnight. OASTH also operate a tourist bus service which includes an English-speaking guide on board and takes visitors past all of the major historic attractions in the city. Taxis will often pick up multiple passengers from different groups but only if everyone is travelling in the same direction.
Flights to the city are served by Macedonia International Airport (SKG), located approximately 9 miles (15 km) away. A 24-hour bus service provides links from the airport to both the city centre and the main railway station. The bus journey from the airport to the city takes approximately 40 minutes. There are also a number of taxis in operation, although these can sometimes be hard to find during peak travel times.