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Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the periphery of Central Macedonia as well as the de facto administrative capital of the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace.Its honorific title is (Symprotevousa),literally co-capital,a reference to its historical status as the (Symvasilevousa) or co-reigning city of the Byzantine Empire,alongside Constantinople.

Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic,industrial,commercial and political centre,and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and the southeastern European hinterland.The city is renowned for its events and festivals,the most famous of which include the annual International Trade Fair,the Thessaloniki International Film Festival,and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.

Thessaloniki is considered northern Greece's cultural and educational centre.It is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments,including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki,a UNESCO World Heritage Site,as well as several Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures.The city's main university, Aristotle University,is the largest in Greece and ranked among the best 250 universities in Europe.

The history of the city of Thessaloniki is a long one,dating back to the Ancient Greeks.Since the opening of borders in Southeastern Europe following the collapse of Communism in Balkans in the early 1990s, it is experiencing a strong revival.The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon,on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages.He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great meaning "Thessalian Victory",(See Battle of Crocus field).Under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament.

How to Reach

By Air

Air traffic to and from the city is served by Macedonia International Airport for international and domestic flights.The short length of the airport's two runways means that it does not currently support intercontinental flights,although a major extension,lengthening one of its runways into the Thermaic Gulf is under construction,despite considerable opposition from local environmentalist groups.Following the completion of the runway works the airport will be able to serve intercontinental flights and cater for larger aircraft in the future.A master-plan, with designs for a new terminal building and apron have also been released and is seeking for either public and private funding.

By Train

The city is a major railway hub for the Balkans, with direct connections to Sofia, Skopje, Belgrade, Moscow, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul, alongside Athens and other destinations in Greece. It is the most important railway hub of Greece and has the biggest marshalling yard in the country.Thessaloniki's railway passenger station, is called the "New Railway Station" and was completed in 1961,remaining largely unchanged ever since.Currently it features large waiting areas, a central hall, cafes, restaurants and a shopping center.Discussions are underway for the expansion of the station and a general modernisation overhaul, which will also include a hotel and a revamp of the central offices of the Hellenic Railways Organization for northern Greece.A metro station is currently also under construction at the station.

By Bus

Public transport in Thessaloniki is by buses.The bus company operating in the city is the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH),and is the only public means of transportation in Thessaloniki at the moment.It operates a fleet of 604 vehicles on 75 routes throughout the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area.International and regional bus links are provided at the Macedonia Central Bus Station (intercity buses terminal), located west of the city centre.

By Motorways

The city is bypassed by a C-shaped ring road.The western end of the route begins at the junction with the A1/A2 motorways in Lachanagora District.Clockwise it heads northeast around the city, passing through the northwestern suburbs,the forest of Seich Sou and through to the southeast borough of Kalamaria.The ring road ends at a large junction with the ΕΟ67 (in the near future to be expanded as A25) motorway,which then continues down to Chalkidiki,passing through Thessaloniki's outer southeast suburbs.This route is labeled as the Esoteriki Peripheriaki Odos of Thessaloniki and is generally accepted as the "boundary" between the city proper (Thessaloniki Urban Area) and its suburbs.

Key places to visit
Thessaloniki Olympic Museum, OTE Tower, White Tower of Thessaloniki, Photography Museum, Science Center and Technology Museum, Ataturk Museum, Olympion Theater, Mediterranean Cosmos Mall


Places to Visit

Thessaloniki Olympic Museum

The unique Olympic Museum of Greece,is situated at Thessaloniki,Greece.The museum is located on the confluence and educational,athletic and cultural routes of the city.It stands next to the Kaftanzoglio National Stadium and the Aristotle University.The museum was established in 1998 with the name “Sports Museum” being the unique sports museum in Greece with the support of the Ministry of Culture,the Special Secretariat for Sports of Macedonia-Thrace,Athletic Unions and Associations of Local Authorities.The aim of the museum is to collect,conserve,record and establish the sport history and to promote it in an active and vivid place, having a mainly educative character.Since its establishment and until 2004 year of Athens Olympic Games the Museum was housed on the floor of a neo-classical building, where the limited space that was accorded by the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) of 300m2,constrained its exhibitional and educational activities.

OTE Tower

Is a 76-metre-tall tower located in the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center in central Thessaloniki, Greece. The tower opened in 1966 and was renovated in 2005.The tower was designed by Greek architect A. Anastasiadis and was completed in 1965,with the first black and white broadcasts on a Greek television network taking place from the tower in 1966.The tower was also used in the 1970s to support the antennas of an experimental VHF analogue mobile telephone network.Today it is used by the Cosmote cellular mobile telephone network.The tower today,other than its status as a modern monument of the city and its use by Cosmote,opens up for events and exhibitions during the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair,while a revolving restaurant operates year round on the top floor.

White Tower of Thessaloniki

Is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki,capital of the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and a symbol of Greek sovereignty over Macedonia.The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification which was mentioned around the 12th century and reconstructed by the Ottomans to fortify the city's harbour,it became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodeled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912.It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.The Tower is now a buff colour but has retained the name White Tower.It now stands on Thessaloniki's waterfront boulevard, Nikis (Victory) Street. It houses a museum dedicated to the history of Thessaloniki and is one of the city's leading tourist attractions.The Tower is under the administration of the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

Photography Museum

Is a museum in Thessaloniki, Greece.The museum was founded in 1987 by Aris Georgiou, Apostolos Maroulis and Yiannis Vanidis but it wasn't until 1997 that it was legally established and until 1998 that it opened with Giorgos Makris as its president and Aris Georgiou as its first director.It is currently located at the Port of Thessaloniki.

Science Center and Technology Museum

Is located at the outskirts of Thessaloniki, Greece.The museum's main objective to offer to the public an environment that facilitates the familiarisation with and the understanding of science and technology.The foundation is also actively engaged in the protection of the Greek Technological Heritage.NOESIS has a 150-seat digital planetarium,a 300-seat Cosmotheatre with the largest flat screen in Greece,a 200-seat amphitheatre,as well as a motion simulator theater with three platforms,3D projection,and 6-axis movement.

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