The Coolest Neighbourhoods in Thessaloniki, Greece

Catch a spectacular sunset in one of Thessalonikis cool neighbourhoods
Catch a spectacular sunset in one of Thessaloniki's cool neighbourhoods | © VASILIS VERVERIDIS / Alamy Stock Photo
Gabi Ancarola

Get to know Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki more intimately with this hand-picked guide to its most interesting neighbourhoods.

It is always hard to decide where to start exploring in Thessaloniki. This northern city in Greece has endless interesting places to discover scattered around a collection of neighbourhoods, each of them with a special vibe and atmosphere. There are museums, churches and walks – but also hundreds of tavernas, bars and restaurants for visitors to plan a fun getaway in one of Greece’s most important cities. These are some of the coolest neighborhoods in Thessaloniki that shouldn’t be missed from your itinerary in town.

1. Agia Triada

Natural Feature

Agia Triada is a small district in the heart of the city centre, right across from the sea. The lush gardens along the coastline become a popular destination for a walk to cool down during summer. Some of them include Alexander the Great Garden, the Garden of the Afternoon Sun, the Garden of the Sand and the Garden of Mediterranean. The quarter is also a fantastic shopping district, as well as a good place to start checking the gastronomic scene in the city. Not far from the neighbourhood, it’s possible to explore the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, one of the most remarkable museums in Greece, and admire the White Tower from a distance.

2. Analipsi

Natural Feature

New Ottoman - Turkish mosque (yeni Camii), 1900 A.D. Thessaloniki, Greece, by Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli
© agis / Alamy Stock Photo

Only a few minutes away from Agia Triada, Analipsi is another district worth a visit. Here, it’s possible to discover the past traditions of the region by visiting the Folk Life and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace. Also in the area, the Yeni Mosque is a historical religious building dating back to 1902. The building, which does not resemble a mosque, has interesting origins. It was built by an Italian architect for the city’s Dönmeh community, crypto-Jewish converts to Islam, often described as Islamic followers of a Jewish Messiah.

3. Agios Fanourios

Natural Feature

This more relaxed area in town is a bit away from the centre, which makes it a good place to stay. There are some interesting bars and restaurants to visit at night for a round of local meze, those delicious Greek tapas washed down with generous amounts of ouzo. In Agios Fanourios, make some time to discover the Orthodox Church of Santa Barbara which stands over a former training center for artillerymen who were headed to their units in Asia Minor.

4. Ano Poli

Natural Feature

Ano Poli Kastra Thessaloniki Greece
© ALEXANDRA FAKIRI / Alamy Stock Photo

Probably the most traditional neighbourhood in the city is Ani Poli, an old district perched on top of the hills above Thessaloniki. Also known as Upper Town, Ano Poli is the place to go to discover the many tavernas and coffee shops that have become the favourite meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Most of them are located around the walls of a Byzantine ancient fortress that crowns the city. Head here at sunset for a breathtaking view of the entire city and the sea.

5. Vardaris

Natural Feature

Remains of the western castle octagonal tower construction and citys courhouse visible in background. Vardaris district
© BasilT / Alamy Stock Photo

If you want to see a more kinky side of the city, then head to Vardaris. This central part of Thessaloniki is located just steps from the port and has always been considered an extension of the main harbour road. The area has long been well-known for its red-light district, but it’s also where you’ll find the Ancient Roman Forum or Agora of Thessaloniki, not far from the central Aristotelous Square. In this archaeological site, don’t miss the two Roman baths and the small theatre used for gladiatorial games.

6. Charilaou

Natural Feature

Located in the eastern area of Thessaloniki, Charilaou is a popular district above the Dépôt area and near Toumba and Pylaia. The area is known for Nea Elvetia Park park as well as the Stadium Kleanthis Vikelidis. The district is quite residential, but there are a few tavernas and traditional ouzeries, where visitors can go ouzo tasting or simply sit and enjoy the vibe of the city.

7. Malakopi

Natural Feature

Malakopi is a perfect area in town to spend some time in the open. Elaiorema is a huge dog-friendly park that features special trails for hikers and cyclists. You can also visit the impressive Frangomachalas of Thessaloniki, one of the many aristocratic buildings in the city. This particular mansion was built in 1906 by an Italian architect for one of the most powerful Jewish families in Thessaloniki. The imposing building with an impressive arcade was saved from the great fire of 1917. Today, the area is populated by restaurants and bars which make this place one of the most popular nightlife hangouts.

8. Saranta Ekklisies

Natural Feature

The aerial view of Thessaloniki from its ancient ramparts, located in Ano Poli (upper town), Greece.
© eFesenko / Alamy Stock Photo

Located next to Ano Poli, this somewhat elevated neighborhood dates back to the 1920s, when the big population exchange took place between the Greek and Turkish population. The Greek refugees – coming from the former Turkish town of Saranta Ekklisies, today known as Kırklareli – settled in this area. The neigbourhood offers spectacular views of the city centre and it’s one more exciting places to enjoy a hike in the heart of the Seich Sou forest.

Not sorted your stay yet? Bag the best hotels in Greece’s second city by booking now through Culture Trip. For more to do whilst you’re there, explore the top things to see and do before people watching in one of Thessaloniki’s best bars. Whilst you’re there, why not take a trip to nearby Halkidiki? Stay in one of the area’s beautiful boutique hotels and discover the best things to do across its three peninsulas.

This article is an update of one originally by Ethel Dilouambaka.

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