Thessaloniki’s obsession for coffee is evidenced by the city’s plethora of cafés – the most per capita of any European city, it’s said. From old-school kafeneia to chic contemporary coffee shops with industrial flair, this city is bound to give you the caffeine fix you need.
Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is home to a vibrant food scene, lively nightlife, rich history and a deep passion for coffee. Fresh brews are available 24/7 throughout this vibrant city, and visitors can order up any type of coffee they please. Thessaloniki is the birthplace of the renowned Greek frappe, a frothy iced coffee, which is now enjoyed worldwide. Unlike the frappe, which is made from instant coffee, a freddo cappuccino or a freddo espresso is made using the real deal – this is the order of the day, especially come the summer months. Whether it’s an ice-cold freddo espresso at Ypsilon or a history-rich Greek coffee at Loux, the best cafés in Thessaloniki will not disappoint.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Café Palermo is the secret garden of coffee shops, perched on the first floor above the grand Aristotle Square. The staircase leading up to the coffee shop transports you to another era, decorated with a rich array of antiques. Suzanna Serveta, writer for local online magazine TFC, with an emphasis on food and coffee culture, claims Café Palermo as one of her top five cafés in the city. “The small touches are what make me feel like I’ve travelled to a different time,” she says. The charming space is flooded by coloured light as the sun streams in, thanks to the vibrant stained glass.
Minimalist Ypsilon is a multicultural space, set within one of the last standing buildings from before Thessaloniki’s Great Fire of 1917. Divided into two large spaces on its ground floor, with one set apart for bookworms or working on laptops, Ypsilon is equally suited for a catch-up with friends or a quiet study session. Ypsilon offers a variation of coffee brewing methods, as well as original homemade smoothie and juice medleys. Kalliopi Chrisanidou, another writer for TFC Magazine specialising in food and coffee, states that Ypsilon is always the first place that comes to mind when she thinks about going out for coffee, no matter what time of day it is.
Youkali is a blast from the past. Just a stone’s throw away from the White Tower – the emblem of Thessaloniki – this coffee shop is a contemporary kafeneio (traditional coffee shop) with interior details including geometric tiles and antique furniture, while vintage maps and postcards adorn the walls. “The vibe and design of the space take its guests to an older, more traditional part of Thessaloniki,” says Chrisanidou.
On Proxenou Koromila, a street for high-end shopping, stands Pantheon – a classic Thessaloniki coffee spot and bar. Spread over two levels, Pantheon is characterised by minimal, industrial design, but manages to maintain a cosy atmosphere. Although all are welcome, it is best suited to a more mature clientele.
After a shopping marathon on Tsimiski Street, take a coffee break at TOMS Flagship. Renowned for its shoes and related humanitarian initiatives, TOMS also has coffee shops in a number of cities around the world. Its grand interior weds Neoclassical architecture with earthy, boho details, including colourful pillows and rugs. While its basement floor offers a cosy refuge from city life, the ground-floor space could be described as an enclosed courtyard – airy and spacious with high ceilings and balconies. The coffee shop offers a selection of coffee, teas and juices, as well as the chance to purchase TOMS accessories. It doesn’t stop there – with each purchase TOMS Flagship donates water, shoes and glasses to people in need. “I could never imagine Thessaloniki without this place,” Chrisanidou explains. “No matter how long you’re visiting, it should definitely be on your list,” she says.
The Blue Cup, found in the historical Ladadika district, takes coffee seriously. Specialising in third-wave brewing methods using a wide variety of beans, The Blue Cup is housed in a listed building, almost within arm’s reach of the city’s famous port. Apart from its expertise in quality coffee, The Blue Cup is also famed for its signature cocktails.
Tea aficionados, your sanctuary can be found on Karolou Dil, in one of the most calming places in the city. Named after its main product, To Tsai (‘The Tea’) is itself as mellow, soothing and welcoming as the tea it serves. The light green walls and warm lighting exude ‘Zen’ vibes. It is home to endless tea options – from classic matcha lattes to seasonal teas – homemade food, desserts and an assortment of unique tea accessories.
Tucked away in a narrow but lively street, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the White Tower, Efimerida (Greek for ‘newspaper’) is a coffee shop particularly popular among young adults and students. This is not least due to the very reasonable prices and relaxed vibe, making Efimerida the ideal spot to sip on a freddo espresso or two.
Loux is a traditional kafeneio and a popular spot for the papous and yiayias (grandads and grandmas) to get together, enjoy Greek coffee and indulge in a game of checkers. However, its optimal setting, face-to-face with the Roman Agora, has made it a favourite hangout for all ages. Come the evening, the space becomes a laid-back bar to enjoy a beer or glass of wine.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.