What to Do in Thessaloniki’s Old Town

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Thessaloniki is one of the biggest cities in Greece, just second behind Athens, the country’s capital city. It is also the home of on of the country’s biggest ports, and is second behind the the port of Piraeus. Just because it isn’t as big as Athens, however, this doesn’t mean that Thessaloniki isn’t worth visiting. In fact, it really does have a charm all its own.

One of the areas that captivates visitors and locals alike is the old town. It is located in the northern part of the city and has some old monasteries and churches. The streets are also filled with gorgeous stone houses that offer a nice backdrop to the charming views.  Here’s a look at what you can do while visiting the Old Town of Thessaloniki:

Vlatadon Monastery

The only monastery that still operates in Greece is the Vlatadon Monastery in Thessaloniki and it is located right in Old Town. It is on the northern edge of Ano Poli and is near the Agios Nikolas Orfanos Church. The paintings decorating the property date back to the Ottoman era. The monastery is in the same general area as all the listed churches making it easy to add this attraction to the daily agenda.

Castle of Thessaloniki

Are you looking for a place to see some great views? If so, you’ll want to visit the ruins of the Castle of Thessaloniki, which is also called Yedi Kule.. Here, you can take some great photos of the countryside. You can also visit the castle ruins of the castle, which date  back to the time of Acropolis, three centuries before the birth of Christ. Over the centuries, the castle grew in new directions with nearly ten towers and several buildings on the property to explore.

Ataturk Museum

The Ataturk Museum is one of the favorite stops for visitors to the area. Guests can view where the ancient Turkish leader, Kemal Ataturk grew up. You can tour the bedroom and kitchen to see things the Turkish founder uses before the town becomes a part of modern Greece in 1912. The nearby War Museum of Thessaloniki, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of Photography are other excellent stops for history buffs.

Agios Nikolaos Orfanos Church

One of the top places to see when visiting Old Town, or Ano Poli as locals know it, is the Agios Nikolaos Orfanos Church. The remarkable paintings date back to somewhere around the 1300’s. There are many graves, a courtyard, and a marble temple unearthed in the 1950’s and 1960’s that you can tour during your visit. Other churches you may want to include on your itinerary are the Church of Saint Catherine, Prophet Elijah Church, and Osios David. All of the churches are within a mile of each other, so walking is the best way to get around.

Thessaloniki has many prime destinations to visit. From ancient ruins to paintings and sensational sunsets, there is much to see in Old Town. Enjoy a beverage and languidly travel the streets of Thessaloniki for a a great experience.

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