8. Thessaloniki: Guided Walking Tour in the Historical Center
In present-day noisy downtown Thessaloniki, a series of monuments from the Greek and Roman era, along with Byzantine temples -many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites- are considered cultural treasures and explain why the city is considered by many an “open museum”. Roman open sites, Ottoman monuments, public squares with a European essence, traditional markets and many more, are underlining its multicultural character, along with a collection of various religions, languages, and customs, all combined and thrived within its walls.
This walking tour aims to create a narrative about a multicultural city which never lost its urban profile, by connecting many different monuments from various eras -from antiquity to the recent past.
In the courtyard of St. Demetrios, patron saint of Thessaloniki, an experienced certified tour guide will introduce you to the 2,300-year old history of the city, accompany you inside the church and its catacombs and share with you its well-hidden secrets. One of the most important archaeological sites of the Roman Thessaloniki will await you only a few steps from the meeting point. Its story includes important buildings, Roman habits, trading products and a surprise engraved on an ancient Roman commercial road.
You will visit Thessaloniki's first Ottoman baths, that still stand next to a road that remains the city's most important one from its foundation to date, as well as the narrow streets of one of the oldest, traditional and open ottoman markets that will take you to other times.
Right in the middle of Thessaloniki's most important square, you will get to learn the breath-taking story of an event that changed the city once and for all. Then you will explore a colorful neighborhood taking its name from the flower shops one finds there. In every corner, it hides pieces of the history of the city's Israeli community.
Next stop? Ladadika - one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the center of Thessaloniki. Years ago the neighborhood was full of aromas of all kinds of spices and products that arrived at the port of Thessaloniki from every corner of the world.
The port of Thessaloniki is the perfect spot from which you can admire the White Tower, the city's symbol, but also the wonderful view of the Thermaic Gulf. And if you listen carefully, you might hear the voice of a mermaid looking for her brother...