1) Rich History
It is one of Europe's oldest and most multiethnic cities, with several Early christian and Byzantine Churches and monuments, constituting a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It marries its thousands-year-old multicultural heritage with Byzantine, Ottoman and Sephardic Jew landmarks with cutting edge art performances and cinematic avant-garde.
2) Cultural Capital of Greece
Athens might have the Acropolis, but Thessaloniki has long been Greece's real cultural capital. Check some of the 30 Museums, 100 monuments and 15 Unesco monuments.
3) Today’s Creative Hub
With a student-strong population of 150,000 and the largest University in the Balkans, the Aristotle University, it has a youthful energy. The youth movement is building on rich historical foundations, Thessaloniki boasts an under-30s creative movement seen nowhere else in the recession-stricken Greece.
4) A Slice of Authentic Greek Life
Enjoy pedestrian precincts in the district of the old oil market (Ladadika), the Kapani and Modiano markets who are full of ouzeries and tavernas, each one serving their own specialties within their unique atmosphere. Carps, sardines, mussels, calamari and shrimps, along with salted fish, buffalo products, saffron and spices and local products are sold on stalls in the city markets next to nuts of all sorts and dry fruit, prunes and tachini halva with cocoa and almonds.
Multiculturalism isn't just a politician's buzzword here – it's part of the city's identity. Though Thessaloniki's old fashioned character went up in 1917, when a fire destroyed most of the city centre, it has been redesigned with boulevards and seaside plazas offering dramatic views to Mt Olympus, with colonnades and cafes.