A vibrant city year-round with its cultural attractions and nightlife, Thessaloniki is also the gateway to the Halkidiki Peninsula and the northeastern islands. If you’re visiting Thessaloniki in the hot summer months, you’ll probably want to find someplace cool to hang out. Here are our suggestions for what you can do to stay cool in Thessaloniki during the summer.
The best way to stay cool during summer is to take a refreshing dip in the sea. With the stunning beaches of Halkidiki less than two hours away, it would be a crime to stay in the city on a hot day. There are countless beaches nearby, so plan a day trip by renting a car or making use of the public transport.
If time isn’t on your side or you’d simply prefer to avoid driving to the beach, keep cool at a hotel’s outdoor pool. Offering stunning views of the city, the Met Hotel rooftop pool is open to the public for 15 euros per person during the week (and 28 on the weekend). Alternatively, the pool at Capsis Hotel on Monastiriou has beautiful views over Ano Poli.
For a cool spot to hang out with friends, the port area is a great place to be, with its cafés, museums, and sea breezes. As one of the city’s hip cultural hubs, the port often plays host to events, or just take a walk on the waterfront, with its small fountains that provide a cool break from the heat.
As one of the most walkable cities in Greece, Thessaloniki is a sightseeing haven. UNESCO-listed churches, Roman ruins, unique buildings reflecting the mixed heritage of the city… there are plenty of sights to keep you busy during your stay. Visit places with air conditioning during the day, have a leisurely lunch, then resume the indoor visits in the afternoon.
Thessaloniki is home to a few open-air cinemas. Check out Ciné Natali in the center, or catch a film on the roof of the M2 of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall during the summer film festival “Movie with a view”.
Thessaloniki has a collection of covered markets, ideal for escaping the heat. Often included as a stop on food tours, these markets offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past and contemporary food scene. As you explore the city you may also stumble across commercial arcades, or stoas, where small bars, boutiques and stores are another great excuse to stay indoors.
Check out some of Thessaloniki’s multi-purpose venues that double as art galleries and as places to just sit and relax. For example, the Ancient Agora is home to several artsy places where locals hang out while enjoying a coffee. Also check out Container Art Café, 2 Concept Store, or Ypsilon, a recent addition housed in an eclectic building.
Want to see Thessaloniki from another vantage point while staying away from the heat? Get out onto the water. A unique and original way to do so is to visit the city’s pirate-themed floating bar, Arabella. The ride is technically free, but you must consume at least 3 euros’ worth of drinks per person. Grab a table, order a drink and enjoy the half-hour cruise along the Thermaic Gulf.
Green areas and parks are dotted throughout the city and the waterfront. Make an afternoon of it and pack a delicious lunch to enjoy in a park. There are many places in town, but for a bit of an excursion, head to the Seih Sou Forest.