Greek Cultural Pearl: Thessaloniki

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Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. Nowadays, it is a cultural centre of the country. The city is famous for its numerous colourful events and incredible festivals. Besides, the city has a very rich history that is why it is a home of numerous historical landmarks. The Old Town belongs to UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beaches in Thessaloniki

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The city was once a popular beach resort. However, nowadays, there are a few beaches in the city limits. Mostly, you will find really good clean beaches in the suburbs. Therefore, the peninsula Chalkidiki has the most picturesque beaches with the well-developed infrastructure.

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All the beaches of suburbs are clean, municipal and free of charge. Sea entrance is smooth so all the beaches will be great for the family rest with children.

Attractions and places of interest

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Thessaloniki consists of two centres: old and new. In spite of the close distance between two centres, the difference just impresses. Both of them have a lot of interesting landmarks.

The Old City is an ancient district that amazes with its unique historical places. It is still featuring small stone paved streets, old squares and homes featuring old Greek and Ottoman architecture.

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This is also the highest point in Thessaloniki and as such, is the location of the city’s acropolis, its Byzantine fort, the Heptapyrgion, a large portion of the city’s remaining walls, and with many of its additional Ottoman and Byzantine structures still standing.

An important archaeological site is the imperial palace complex which Roman emperor Galerius, located at Navarinou Square, commissioned when he made Thessaloniki the capital of his portion of the Roman Empire. The large octagonal portion of the complex, most of which survives to this day, is believed to have been an imperial throne room. Various mosaics from the palatial complex have also survived. Some historians believe that the complex must have been in use as an imperial residence until the 11th century.

Not far from the palace itself is the Arch of Galerius, known colloquially as the Kamara. The arch was built to commemorate the emperor’s campaigns against the Persians.

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There are also many religious buildings in Thessaloniki. Thus, you should visit Rotònda Roman Temple, Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos and Hagia Sophia.

If you are not a fan of religious architecture, pay your attention to the local museums:  Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum, Atatürk Museum and Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art.

Holiday weather

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The city experiences a humid subtropical climate that borders on a Mediterranean climate. The most suitable time for visiting Thessaloniki is a period from April until October. A beach season begins in June. In the middle of the summer, the weather is very hot and dry. The largest amount of precipitations occurs in November and December. Other time the days are mostly sunny with the dry mild weather. The average summer temperature is +23 °C. In winter it falls to +6 °C. Sometimes it snows during winter months, but it happens very rarely.

 

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