Close to You

Since its foundation, in the 4th c. BC, to the present day, Thessaloniki has firmly maintained the character of the city, always being a large, crucial urban center. In its long and varied history, it successively passed into the realm of great empires (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman), and the effects on the city were enriched by the establishment of many other ethnic and religious groups (Jews, Latins, Armenians). etc.), but also Greeks from Constantinople, Pontus and Asia Minor. The city’s numerous historical monuments of different periods, which have survived through times, spread throughout the city today, in a rare and charming coexistence capturing, in the most emphatic way, its timeless multicultural and cosmopolitan character.

City Landmarks

The city has some of the most beautiful churches in Greece. Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy or Devine Wisdom), which is one of the oldest churches in the city, still standing today and included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list, is located near Egnatia Avenue and it is rather reminiscent of Hagia Sophia, in Constantinople. In the sanctuary of the church you will see a wonderful mosaic with Virgin Mary holding Christ in her hands. Very close to Kamara (Arch) is the church of Rotunda. This church was originally a pagan temple and constituted a single section with Kamara. Today, the church is called Agios Georgios (St. George) and maintains the only surviving minaret in the city. Just outside the city, in the area of Souroti, on the hillside, you will find the monastery of Agios Ioannis (St. John), the Theologian where Saint Paisios of Mount Athos was laid to rest and which is a well-known place of pilgrimage.

Rotunda

This emblematic construction is located on the axis that connects the triumphal arch of Galerius (Kamara) with the Palace of Galerius. The circular, domed building, measures 29.80 meters in height, 24.50 meters in diameter, its walls are 6.30 meters thick and can only be compared architecturally to the Pantheon in Rome. It was constructed in 306 AD by Galerius, perhaps as a temple of ancient cult worship of Zeus or as a mausoleum for Constantine the Great (306-337). However, not long after it was built and during the early years of the long-lived Byzantine Empire (330-1453), the Rotunda was turned into a Christian church with the addition of a sanctuary on its eastern side, dedicated to Agii Asomati (St. Asomati). The extravagant mosaics (5th century) that are preserved, their plethora of themes, their naturalistic rendering, the variety of colours and the brilliance of the gold and silver mosaics can impress any kind of visitors. In 1591 the church was turned into a mosque, when the imposing minaret, which survives to this day, was added. In the square around Rotunda, lies the small church of Agios Georgios (St. George), from where the monument got its other name. Around the area there are also many cafés and bars. Also, on the adjacent Melenikou Street, parts of the eastern wall of the city are preserved.

Church of the Holy Apostles

This church is one of the oldest temples in the city and was built between 1310 and 1314, most likely by Nephon I, Patriarch of Constantinople referred to as the founder according to the founder's inscription that can be seen above the entrance and the monograms in the capitals. The church was dedicated to Virgin Mary, identified as a Monastery of Theotokos Gorgoepikoos, as evidenced by the mural with Virgin Mary and the Founder, as well as the illustration of the gallery with themes from Virgin Mary’s life. To this day, apart from the catholicon, the pillar in the southwest and the cistern in the northwest of the monastery complex are also preserved. The Church of Holy Apostles belongs to the type of the composite, five-domed cross-in-square churches, with four supporting columns. It also features a narthex with a U-shaped peristoon with small domes at each corner. It is a beautiful building with extremely harmonious proportions. During the Turkish occupation, when it was converted into a mosque, the frescoes and mosaics, which are among the most important examples of Paleolithic art and date back to the early 14th century, were covered with mortar, while minarets were added on the southwest side.

The Church of St Panteleimon

It is located on Iasonidou Street, very close to Rotunda. According to some scholars, it is identical with the catholicon of the Monastery of Isaac or Theotokos Perivleptou, owned by the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Iakovos (1295-1314). The church is of the tetrastyle cross-in-square type, with a narthex and a (now destroyed) ambulatory that is connected to two chapels (still extant). During the Turkish occupation, it was turned into a mosque called the Isaac Mosque (Isaac's Mosque). The frescoes preserved, represent figures of saints and hierarchs. Also, there is a representation of Virgin Mary, of the 13th-14th century.

Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki

It is the only Byzantine monastery in the city that still operates. It was founded in the 14th century during the late era of Byzantine Empire by the monk Dorotheos Vlatis (or Vlateus), pupil of Gregorius Palamas and subsequently, Bishop of Thessaloniki. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the 15 in the city. It was dedicated to the Pantocrator (Almighty) Christ and is celebrated on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. Its catholicon belongs to the type of the inscribed cruciform church, but its dome rests on the walls and on two pillars instead of columns. It is surrounded by a portico and has two chapels. It was frescoed in the period 1360-1380, while the iconostasis of the 17th century is of particular interest. It is surrounded by a large garden with a wonderful view of the city and a small peacock farm, where the newest buildings of the Misirogliou Library, the Patriarchal Foundation (1968), a place to study illustrated manuscripts of Mount Athos, a bookstore and a shop are located.

Byzantine Bath (Kule Kafe)

It is located in Romfei Square, in Ano Poli (Upper Town) and is the only surviving Byzantine bath. Built with a dome, it was built in the 13th century and operated until 1940. During the Turkish occupation, when it was renamed Kule Hamam, it was transformed into a mixed hamam (male and female).

Vlatadon Monastery

It is the only Byzantine monastery in the city that still operates. It was founded in the 14th century during the late era of Byzantine Empire by the monk Dorotheos Vlatis (or Vlateus), pupil of Gregorius Palamas and subsequently, Bishop of Thessaloniki. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the 15 in the city. It was dedicated to the Pantocrator (Almighty) Christ and is celebrated on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. Its catholicon belongs to the type of the inscribed cruciform church, but its dome rests on the walls and on two pillars instead of columns. It is surrounded by a portico and has two chapels. It was frescoed in the period 1360-1380, while the iconostasis of the 17th century is of particular interest. It is surrounded by a large garden with a wonderful view of the city and a small peacock farm, where the newest buildings of the Misirogliou Library, the Patriarchal Foundation (1968), a place to study illustrated manuscripts of Mount Athos, a bookstore and a shop are located.

City Walls

Thessaloniki was walled up immediately after its creation by Cassander, while around 390 AD, large-scale operations were carried out by Theodosius I. In Byzantine times the port was built (in the SW part) and the wall of the Acropolis was erected. During the Venetian occupation (first half of the 15th century), efforts were made to strengthen it, due to the Turkish threat, and for this reason some scholars attribute the original construction of the Triangle Tower and the White Tower to that period. In the following centuries, the Turks carried out reinforcements in various places. The wall inscriptions depict the interventions and renovations that took place over time. The walls were in the shape of an irregular table, with ends at the Vardar Tower to the west and the White Tower to the east and a total length of 7 km. After 1870, with a view to consolidating the lowland areas and expanding the city, the demolition of the coastal and then parts of the western and eastern walls began. Today, 3 km (mainly in the Upper Town) are preserved, which with a height of 8.30 m to 10.50 m and a width of 4.50m, are an impressive monument of special archaeological and cultural value.

Aristotelous Square

It is the central square of Thessaloniki and one of the largest and most impressive in Greece, crowded throughout the day and night. It is one of the few parts of Ernest Hebrard’s plan for the city when he was commissioned by the then Greek Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos to reconstruct the city after it was largely destroyed by the Great fire of 1917, although its design was completed in the early 1960s. It is a coastal square with an "opening" of 100 m., which offers an excellent view of Thermaikos gulf and the mountain range of Olympus. It has a monumental architecture, while the facades of the buildings, with colonnades, arches and arcades combine elements from the Byzantine tradition of the city with European motifs of the interwar period. The square is bordered by two "twin" hollow buildings: on the west side, the hotel "Electra Pallas" (late 1960s), built by architects of GNTO (Greek National Tourism Organisation) and on the east side the "Olympion", which was gradually erected until the end of the 1950s (designed by Jacques Mosset) and is the seat of the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

Ladadika

This is one of the few areas of the center that survived the Great fire of 1917. It was created in the 16th century, when the Turks annexed the Byzantine artificial port it reached the area of "Frangomahalas" and until their demolition was located outside the western walls of the city. It was a wholesale area near the port, where you could find spice and grain shops and after 1917 mainly oil depots. The streets have remained the same since the end of the 19th century, while most of the buildings, mainly of the second half of the 19th century, are two-story, made of industrial brick and wood, although several of them were later demolished for digging or widening of the roads. After World War II, the area was gradually degraded, but in 1985 it was declared historic and its buildings preserved, and since the early 1990s a number of renovations have made it one of the city's main entertainment venues, with numerous restaurants and bars, live Greek music and coffee venues. The main point to start your tour is Morichovo Square, while Petrakaki Square is also interesting, where, among others, you will find the Ottoman Post Office (today, hotel), as well as the streets of Egypt, Katouni, Lykourgou and Edessa (in Emporiou Square or Ano Ladadika, after Tsimiski Street) in which two old inns are preserved. Moreover, on the facades of the buildings towards the port, there are still traces of smoke from the fire of 1917!

White Tower

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is the trademark and the most famous monument in the city. It was probably built at the end of the 15th century at the junction of the eastern and coastal walls of the city, while it is probable that there used to be a tower at the site since the Venetian occupation. It is circular, 33.90 m high with six floors, 22.70 m in diameter and until the beginning of the 20th century it was surrounded by a fortified enclosure. At times, it took various names, while in the 19th c. it was called the "Tower of the Janissaries" or "The Blood", as it was a prison for death row inmates, who were executed by the janissaries on the ramparts. In 1890 it was painted white, taking its current name. Inside, there is an extremely interesting exhibition on the history of Thessaloniki, while from the top you can have a panoramic the view of the city. The small square around the monument is one of the busiest spots in the city, while small floating bars start from here and takes people to beautiful boat rides along Thermaikos Gulf accompanied by coffee or a drink. Opposite, is the homonymous Park, with the open-air Municipal Garden Theater, a cafeteria, a playground and a skateboard track.

Museum for the Macedonian Struggle

It is one of the few pure neoclassical buildings in the city, built between the years 1890 - 1893 and designed by Ernest Ziller after the 1890 fire. Until 1912 it housed the Hellenic Consulate General, while during the period 1923 – 1978 it was used for public primary schools. Since then, it has been granted for the installation of the Museum's collections. The exhibits of the Museum are developed in seven rooms on the ground floor, showing the main phases of the history of Macedonia of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, during the struggle for the liberation of the region from the Ottomans. Room A presents the Greek revolutionary movements in Macedonia of that period. In room B, you can see what the society of Macedonia used to be like at the end of the 19th century. In room C represents the office of the Greek consul general. In room D you can see how the Greek guerrilla forces were staffed. In room E, there is the role of the clergy. In room F, the Balkan Wars and in room G the development of Macedonia after the end of the Balkan Wars. On the first floor, there are costumes and authentic relics of the Balkan Wars (weapons, uniforms, etc.), as well as a collection of miniatures of the Greek army vehicles. Next to the museum is the metropolitan church of Agios Grigorios Palamas (St. George Palamas) (1914, designed by Ernest Ziller and Xenofon. Peonidis), which belongs to the Byzantine octagonal type with neo-Roman and neoclassical elements, while behind the church (at the junction of Vogapoktikos and Vogatsikou streets), there is the Ecclesiastical Museum of the Diocese of Thessaloniki which includes an important collection of icons and ecclesiastical relics.

Saint Sofia Square

A beautiful square with plenty of greenery which was formed after the fire of 1890 including the area around the homonymous church and parts of Ermou streets (as far as Charles Diehl street) and Agia Sophia (as far as Egnatia). The latter is also pedestrianized, as far as Tsimiski Street. In the middle, there is a monument to the Genocide of Pontian Hellenism (2006, El. Valvi), while several of the surrounding buildings are of great interest, such as the Loggou Hall ("Red House") of 1925 (at the junction of Ermou and Agia Sofias streets), and the Hadjidimitriou Hall of 1924 (at the intersection of Ermou and Ch. Diehl streets). The famous streets of Pavlou Mela and Iktinou (pedestrian street) start from the square and together with the adjacent Zefxidos street, are a common place for people to shop, grab something to eat or drink.

Navarinou Square

Traditionally, a gathering place for students, Navarinou square is considered to be one of the "alternative" areas of the city. In the square, which develops around the Palace of Galerius, but also in the surrounding streets (pedestrian streets Gounari, Gonata, Vyronos, Isavron, I. Michail, Theochari) there are cafes, atmospheric bars, taverns and ouzeri (small traditional taverns which serve the popular drink ouzo and delicious greek finger food), cinemas and a concert hall. At the same time, in the area you will find bookstores and interesting shops where you can buy records, antiques, clothes, etc. In the center of the square there is a fountain with the sculpture "The child who whistles" and a small playground. Enjoy a walk or a ride from Gounari Street towards Kamara and Rotunda, but also towards the sea, while it is worth a visit to the neighboring church of Nea (or Megali) Panagia (at the junction of Gounari and Mitropoleos streets), of 1727.

Galerius Palace

It is an open-air archeological museum in the city center. Its construction began at the end of the 3rd - beginning of the 4th c. by Galerius and belongs to the Galerian Complex (with a total area of 150,000 sq.m.), which also included the Hippodrome, the Arch of Galerius (Kamara) and the Rotunda, as well as other buildings of various uses, which are now under modern buildings. Until its destruction in the 7th century, apart from Galerius, other emperors (Theodosius I, etc.) also lived here. It is considered one of the most important monuments of late antiquity statewide.

OTE Tower

It was built in 1969 to the designs of the architect Al. Anastasiadis, as the exhibition stand of the Hellenic Telecommunication Organization, but also for telecommunication needs. It dominates the horizon of the city, since together with its antenna, it has a total height of 70 m. On its floors there are radio stations and as you get higher you will find tourist cafes with revolving floors (full rotation at 70΄), from where the view of the whole city and the sea front is amazing. Very close to the tower, is the interesting Radio Museum.

Hamza Bey Mosque

It is the only mosque in Greece with a peristyle courtyard. It was built by order of Hafsa Hatun, the daughter of Isa Bey Evrenosoğlu, but named after Hamza Bey, the Beylerbey of Rumeli. It was damaged in later earthquakes and fires and was rebuilt in 1620. Following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the mosque no longer functioned as a religious building and became the property of the National Bank of Greece. It initially housed various military services, and although it was declared a protected monument in 1926, it was sold in 1928 to private owners. The building was subsequently used for several decades as a shopping centre and cinema under the name “Alcazar” and suffered extensive modifications. The mosque was handed over to the Greek Ministry of Culture in 2006, and restoration work has been under way since. Today, it is being restored in order to house an exhibition with findings from the metro excavations. Just behind, there is a beautiful building which until recently housed the City Hall and is also known as “Caravan Serai”, as there used to be an Ottoman inn here (early 16th century).

Roman Agora of Thessaloniki

During Roman times, the area (20 acres) was the social and religious center of the city. Its construction took place in two phases (mid 2nd and middle 3rd century AD), while it was gradually abandoned after the 7th century. The northwestern part of the archeological site occupies a large rectangular square with traces of marble paving. In the southern part of the square, the ground floor of a multi-storey gallery has survived and also, most of the double, underground covered Gallery, which probably functioned as a public warehouse. An early Christian fresco was found on its wall, indicating that the site was also used by Christians during the late Roman period. On the south of the gallery, there were shops that operated from the 1st to the 13th century, while the underground Museum of the Roman Agora has been formed as an extension. Behind the well-preserved eastern gallery was the Conservatory (2nd-3rd and 4th century AD), which has been restored and today, it hosts cultural events, while a mint and a file of documents are preserved next to it. Finally, on the southeast side, a circular Roman Bath was discovered which had been used since the 1st c. BC. In the archeological site there are parts of a colonnade, mosaic floors, marble stairs, part of a cobblestone road, sewers, silver coins, stone and marble sculptures. The market is also associated with the "enchanted" (las incantadas), a two-story gallery with Corinthian columns and pillars, of which four decorated in reliefs on the inside and outside ("Gallery of Figurines") have survived. The Gallery was probably located at the southern entrance of the market (from Egnatia). In 1864, the pillars were moved by Frenchman Emmanuel Miller to the Louvre Museum (Paris), where they still are to this day.

Heptapyrgion Street

It is one of the most interesting streets in the Upper Town, extending to the inner side of the north walls, which were the walls of the Acropolis. It is worth walking from the junction with Palamidiou Street (to the west), where the 3rd Portara is located, known as "Eski Delik" until the central Portara. But apart from the interesting traditional buildings and the abandoned Zihni Mosque (1902), do not forget to gaze at the beautiful quaint "kastroplikta", the old refugee houses, built along the wall as early as the early 1920s. Similar houses are also preserved in the east and western walls.

Acropolis - Heptapyrgion (Yedi Kule)

This impressive fortress is located at the northeastern end of the city walls, inside the Acropolis, which is one of the few inhabited Acropoleis in the world. To get from Portara, you need to follow Polydorou Street, along the northern walls, Gialourou and Erasmos. It was built in the 12th century, probably on a fortress of the 9th c. and took its name from the fact that it originally had seven towers. In its current form it consists of ten towers and the perimeter. The north side was part of the city's early Christian wall, while the towers on the south side were added during Byzantine times. In 1431, the Ottomans intervened, according to an inscription above the entrance. Around 1890, it was converted into a penitentiary with the construction of newer buildings, internally and externally. In 1989, the prisons, known by their Turkish name, Yedi Kule, were relocated and the fortress was turned into a monument to be visited. It is worth crossing the perimeter dirt road of the fortress, where an early Christian tank and parts of an early Christian basilica are preserved while the view of the surrounding area is breathtaking.

Archaeological Museum Of Thessaloniki

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki hosts some unique works of art and excavations from all over Macedonia, presenting all aspects of private and public life in the area from prehistoric times to late antiquity. The exhibits are divided into six main sections: Towards the genesis of the cities (ground floor, room 4). There are findings indicating settlements of the Iron Age in Macedonia, from 1100-700 BC. Macedonia from the 7th c. B.C to Late Antiquity (ground floor, room 5). Various versions of private and public life in Macedonia are covered from the archaic years with eight major themes - when the independent Macedonian kingdom was created - to the imperial times (1st-4th century AD), when Macedonia became a province of the Roman Empire. The findings come mainly from excavations in areas of central Macedonia. Thessaloniki is considered to be the Macedonian metropolis (ground floor, room 6). Historical and archaeological information about the city since its foundation in 315 BC, is presented on this floor. Also, a partially archaic, Ionian temple of unknown original location is being reconstructed. The temple was transferred to the area of the Saints of Thessaloniki during the Roman occupation. The gold of the Macedonians (ground floor, room 7). It includes exceptional art exhibits (diadems, wreaths, rings, bracelets, earrings, etc.) mainly from cemeteries of archaic and classical times, while it also presents the whole process of processing noble metals. This is the largest collection of gold wreaths, while some unique objects, such as the crater and the papyrus of Derveni (4th century BC), are of particular interest. Farm - House - Garden - Place (yard). It includes antiquities from the 2nd - 4th c. A.D. and consists of two sections: in the first section, a hypothetical part of cemetery with findings, sarcophagi and altars is reconstructed and in the second one a Greco - Roman house is represented, where mosaic floors and objects of daily use are exhibited. Prehistoric Macedonia (basement, room 11). Objects related to the beginning of the productive stage of man in Macedonia (hunting, fishing, agriculture, animal husbandry, textile, metallurgy, etc.) are on display, as well as moulds of the skulls of the Macedonian Ouranopithecus, early humanoids and the caveman of Petralona cave. Periodic reports. Every year, the museum organizes a large thematic exhibition and 2 - 5 smaller ones, which cover special issues of the daily life of the Macedonians in relation to the Greek and Mediterranean region.

Museum Of Roman Agora

This is small, but very interesting museum, which was inaugurated in 2010. The anteroom presents the history of excavations in the area and data on the construction work of the museum, while in the main hall there are findings about the history of the area from the Hellenistic years to the 4th c. The Hellenistic oak, the ancient brothel and the fountain associated with the "Gallery of Figurines" ("the enchanted") are of particular interest. Lastly, there are findings related to the history of the area from the Turkish occupation to the Great fire of 1917. The exhibits frame explanatory texts and photographs.

Museum Of Byzantine Culture

It is one of the most modern museums in Greece and one of the most important of its kind in the world. It offers a complete picture of Byzantine culture. The different aspects Byzantine culture from the early Byzantine to the post - Byzantine period are presented through the 2,900 masterpieces, which include murals, mosaics, icons, marble architectural members, entire early Christian tombs, ecclesiastical utensils, items of personal decoration and also objects of daily use and tools of daily life and of various professionals. The exhibition is organized chronologically, with the following thematic sections: Early Christian or Early Byzantine period (4th-7th century). It includes the sections "The early Christian temple" (room 1) which presents the general form and the individual elements of the temples of the period, "Early Christian city and residence" (room 2) for the public and private life of the people during that time. "From Champs Elysees to the Christian paradise" (room 3), focusing on the burial of the dead and the cemeteries of the early Christian period. Middle Byzantine period (8th - 12th century). It includes the sections "From Iconoclasm to the splendor of the Macedonians and the Komnenians" (room 4) which presents the art and culture of the mid-Byzantine period, "The dynasties of the Byzantine emperors" (room 5) with the exhibition of supervisory material on the imperial dynasties from Heraklion (610 - 641) to the Palaeologans (1261 - 1453) and "The Byzantine castle" (room 6) focusing on the creation and organization of the castle during this period. Next comes the late Byzantine period (1204 - 1453). It includes the section "The Twilight of Byzantium" (room 7) for the last centuries of the Byzantine Empire, between the two conquests of Constantinople, in 1204 by the Latins and in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks. Post-Byzantine period (1453 - 19th century). It includes the section "Byzantium after Byzantium - Byzantine heritage in the years after the Fall" (room 10). Private collections. They include the D. Papastratou Collection (room 8), with 210 rare works of Orthodox religious engravings, and the collection of D. Economopoulos (room 9) with 1,460 works of all kinds (coins, ceramics, icons, etc.). Discovering the past. Room 11 presents the excavations in the city and the procedures for the creation and operation of an archeological museum. Periodic exhibitions and events. From time to time, the Museum organizes important periodic exhibitions and cultural events, most of which are associated with the Byzantine heritage of Thessaloniki and northern Greece.

Jewish Museum Of Thessaloniki

It was created on the initiative of the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki and has been operating since 1997, promoting the Sephardic heritage in Thessaloniki from the 15th century. It includes a Center OF Research and Study of the History of the city's Jews, a rich library and Audiovisual Center. The permanent exhibitions are divided into four sections: a) Jewish necropolis (ground floor). Tombstones and tomb markers are on display from the large Jewish necropolis that stretched east of the city walls. A series of photographs depict the cemetery, as it used to be in 1914. b) Jewish history (first floor). It occupies the central space of the floor and presents the history of the Jewish presence in Thessaloniki until the 2nd World War. c) Folklore (first floor). Presentation through rich exhibits of an overall picture of the religious and daily life of the city's Jews. d) Holocaust. A special exhibition space dedicated to the genocide of about 49,000 members of the Israeli community in Thessaloniki, who were displaced in the Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen camps where they were exterminated. e) Photographic exhibitions. The museum presents interesting photographic exhibitions, including that of S. Marx: "Thessaloniki, Diocese of Sephardicism".

War Museum of Thessaloniki

The exhibits presented here (uniforms, weapons, maps, model boats, documents, medals, etc.), are related to the most important events in Modern Greek history, from the Revolution of 1821 to the liberation from the Axis occupation, in 1944. In the courtyard armored vehicles, fighter jets and torpedoes used in the past by the Greek army are on display.

Atatürk House Museum

Atatürk House Museum is a historic house museum in Thessaloniki. It is spread over two floors: on the 1st floor, there is a living room, a room of everyday use, the room of Kemal Ataturk's mother and a kitchen. The room where Kemal was born is on the 2nd floor, while in other places, his personal belongings and documents from his school are exhibited. Most of the furniture is authentic, while on the walls there are photos from various moments of his life.

Folk Art & Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace

It was founded in 1957 as the Folklore Museum of Northern Greece and in 1993 it received its current name. It has 20,000 objects from Macedonia and Thrace, covering mainly the period 1860 -1960, an important folklore archive (photographs, maps, audio and video discs, etc.), as well as a special library. Its exhibits include folk costumes, embroidery, textiles, works of small crafts and carpentry, folk musical instruments, wooden and bronze household utensils, figures of the Shadow Play (shadow puppetry), etc.

State Museum of Modern Art

It was founded in 1997 and its core is the Kostaki Collection, which includes representative samples of the Art Movement of the Russian Avant-Garde, which flourished in the first three decades of the 20th century. It consists of 1,277 works of art (paintings, drawings, constructions, ceramics, etc.) by important Russian artists, such as K. Malevich, V. Kandinsky, L. Popova, A. Rodchenko, I. Kliun, V. Stepanova, N . Udaltsova, M. Matiushin, et al. and is one of the richest in its class in the world. The Museum also has a rich archival material for the Russian Avant-Garde, and a remarkable collection of works by contemporary Greek artists (K. Giannakos, St. Antonakos, G. Vakalos, etc.), while, from time to time, it organizes important periodical exhibitions. The Center for Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki is an independent part of the Museum, where periodic exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists, educational programs for adults and children, as well as parallel events (seminars, workshops, etc.) take place.

Cinema Museum of Thessaloniki

It was created in 1997, on the occasion of the events for the European Capital of Culture and it is closely connected with the tradition of the city, in which the Film Festival has been organized since 1960. In its exhibitions, which are divided into six time sections ("Manakia Brothers", "1900-1940", "1940-1960", "1960-1970", "1970-1990" and "1990 and beyond") presenting the history of Greek cinema, are included rare cameras, old movies and photographic material for Greeks.

Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) - HELEXPO

Since 1926 until today the Thessaloniki International Fair, abbreviated TIF has emerged as the most important trade fair in the Balkans and an institution for the city. It is inaugurated every September and is a major economic event, highlighting internationally the achievements of Greek industry and entrepreneurship. The first radio station in Southeast Europe (1926) and television in Greece (in the mid-1960s) operated here, while since the 1960s, the TIF established the Greek Film Festival and the Thessaloniki Song Festival (since 1962). In 1999, it split into two companies, the TIF. SA and HELEXPO SA, which organizes more than 20 industry exhibitions (clothing, furniture, environment, transport, tourism, technology, food, services, etc.), which take place throughout the year. The exhibition is attended by numerous Greek and foreign companies and organizations, while every year more than 2 million people visit its facilities. Information: Egnatia 154 tel: 2310 291.530, 2310 291.111 website: www.helexpo.gr

International Book Fair

It takes place every spring at the exhibition facilities of HELEXPO-TIF and has been established as the annual appointment for professionals and book friends. The modern book production of Greek and foreign publishers is presented, while its events include special tributes to writers and literary genres with book presentations and open discussions with creators, the institution of the honored country, business meetings, the "Children's Corner", the "Teenagers’ Corner" and the "Bookworms’" Corner which is place for those who love reading. Information: National Book Center, Athan. Diakou 4 Athens tel .: 210 92.00.300 website: www.ekebi.gr and www. thessalonikibookfair.com. Society for Macedonian Studies. One of the most important cultural institutions of Thessaloniki aims to collect, preserve, study and promote linguistic, historical, traditional and archaeological archives related to the history of Macedonia. It has a rich library, Gallery, while the activities include events, scientific conferences and specialized publications. Information: Ethinkis Aminis 4 tel: 2310 271.195 website: www.ems.gr

State Theater of Northern Greece

It was founded in 1961 and it is the largest cultural organization in northern Greece and one of the largest in Europe. It has a Children's Stage, the dance group "Eternal Dance Theater" (founded in 1982) and a Drama School (founded in 1973), while since 1997 the Thessaloniki Opera has been operating as an independent section. Its headquarters are based on the theater of the Society for Macedonian Studies, while it also gives performances at the Royal Theatre, on the stage "Socrates Karantinos" and the Small Theatre of the Lazaristes Monastery (Moni Lazariston), as well as in the outdoor Forest Theatre (Theatro Dassous) and Earth Theatre (Theatro Gis). Information: National Defense 2 tel .: 2315 200.000, 2315 200.200 (funds) website: www.ntng.gr

Night life

Thessaloniki is famous for its intense nightlife and unlimited options. Some, in fact, claim that this is in fact the Greek "capital" of entertainment, since many of the trends and new fashions have started here in recent decades, which were then adopted throughout the country. Undoubtedly what defines the city’s night life are the numerous bars, charachterised by their innovative design, the taverns, the ouzo bars and the modern restaurants, the different places with live Greek music and especially rebetiko - a characteristic type of Greek, folk music - which flourished in the city, the seaside clubs and the live music venues. In the city center, Ladadika has been a popular nightlife spot since the early 1990s, with the adjacent Kalapothaki Street where you can visitors can enjoy the cafes and bars on the Old Beach and the modern restaurants and bars operating in the city's historic galleries. Also, the taverns still remain a popular with tourists and locals, reference point in the traditional markets of the city, as well as the bars, the small elegant restaurants on its modern shopping streets and the area of Zefxidos and Iktinou streets. Numerous students living in the city prefer the area around Navarino Square, the Rotunda and Angelaki Street, as well as Bit Bazaar Saquare with the surrounding streets which is the main destination of young people especially of those who like to cast about for peculiar places. There are also lots of quirky hangouts (taverns, ouzo bars, small coffee bars), rather popular in Thessaloniki, located in Ano Poli. Over the last years, the area of Valaoritou Street has become the center of nightlife, which in the evening hours - especially during the summer months - is flooded with people, tables and various musical choices! To the west of the port (Sfagia area) there are large venues where you can delight in some live Greek music (the so-called "bouzoukia") and the largest clubs in the city, as well as well-known cultural venues. Most of these venues and clubs are relocated to the airport area during the summer months, where they turn into open-air venues. Also, Kalamaria and Perea, which is a little further, are quite popular destinations. However, in addition to entertainment options, throughout the year the city offers a wide variety of artistic events, which take place at the Concert Hall, the Royal Theater, the Theater of the Society for Macedonian Studies, the Lazarist Monastery, the Forest Theater and the Land Theater , in museums but also smaller cultural spaces, as well as in the context of the International Film Festival, the International Book Fair, the Festival "Dimitria", as well as other more special institutions organized by individuals or institutions of the city. Finally, at the 12th km of the Thessaloniki - Airport road is the Regency Casino of Thessaloniki, which is open 24 hours a day. Entry is allowed to those who have completed the 21st year by showing an identity card or passport (tel. 2310 491.234, website: www.regencycasinos.gr

In Thessaloniki With Children

Due to its relatively small size considering that it is a large city in population, Thessaloniki is a predominantly child-friendly city, offering a wide variety of activities for them. Take a bike ride on the city's bike lanes and especially along the beach front from the port in the White Tower area to the Concert Hall or visit the Theme Park (Gardens) of the new (eastern) beach, where there are playgrounds and sports facilities. Explore the peri-urban forests of Cedar Hill (Kedrions Lofos) also known as Seikh Sou and Hortiatis, where there are hiking and mountain biking trails as well as sports and leisure spots, take in the wonderful scenery of the Gallikos River Delta and the Axios – Ludia - Aliakmonas rivers or the lakes Koronia and Volvi. Attend the most interesting educational programs organized for children by most museums in the city and in particular the only specialised Children's Museum. Have fun and learn in a fun way with science and technology at the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum "NOESIS" or at the Nouvelle complex (7th km of Thessaloniki - Oreokastro road), where you can find the thematic Environmental Dinosaur Park representing everything in their original dimensions. Also, you can visit Mammoth Museum with fossils of the hairy mammoth, the "Cave" depicting the creation and prehistoric life in the caves, as well as the Interactive Museum of Traditional Greek Game (www.parkodeinosauron.gr). But this is not all. Enjoy the beautiful beaches located in the coastal suburbs and surroundings of the city, the wider area of the prefecture of Thessaloniki and Halkidiki or visit Magic Park (12th km of Thessaloniki - Airport road), the largest amusement park in Greece, aimed at children, teenagers, adults and families (www. magicpark.gr), as well as WaterLand (Tagarades, Thermi area,) with swimming pools and water slides of various sizes and degrees of difficulty, dining areas and mini-markets.
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