Candybar

Candybar

Let’s say goodbye to September with a really sweet suggestion.

Candybar is a very cute coffee place that recently opened at Thessaloniki at the pedestrian street of Ag. Theodoras in the heart of the city !

It is very colourful and happy inside and out.  It offers home made sweets and beverages along with the usual coffee and drinks, all at very attractive prices.  While the weather is still good you will enjoy sitting outside by the swings in the pedestrian area away from the street noise.

If the wafers and marshmallows that come with your drink are not enough, you can always order one of the special sweets .

Candybar is a great choice all year long. When the weather gets colder just sitting inside this playful environment enjoying a delicious hot drink will make it a bit easier…

Candybar
Café, Cocktail Bar, and Lounge
Agias Theodoras 4

4sq link 

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Dendrospito / Treehouse

DendrospitoThe new hot entry of the season in the area of summer chill out bars was no doubt Dendrospito !

Located in one of the few parks in the heart of the city, Dendrospito (which means Treehouse) was the perfect chill out spot this summer for many people who had little or no vacation at all !

While the weather is still good I suggest you go there and enjoy the last weekend of September, and maybe the last summer nights, since I don’t know if this place will exist in a new form during the winter…

As you can see in the daytime photo I took especially for this purpose, the place itself is almost all open space, fun and colourful ! It has a nice relaxed atmosphere and music, you can drink as well eat, very friendly stuff, and excellent prices.  What more do you need ?

Dendrospito / Treehouse

Lounge, Bar, and Restaurant
YMCA park – opposite Alexander the Great statue

4sq link

Zefxidos street

ZefxidosZefxidos Street is the most urban, and hip part of the city.  You will find it filled with young people all year long – except when it is really cold…

It is a small pedestrian street located between Pavlou Mela and Iktinou streets. It is filled with small coffee-bars full of people from the morning till late at night.

It is a favourite city spot for many reasons.  First of all, it has an ideal location where it is cool to sit outside in the summer but also not so windy and cold in the winter. Secondly, it is a car free zone. Thirdly, you can find people of all ages and styles, although the majority is young students.  Last, and maybe most important, the bars play music only on the inside, so sitting outside is cool and quiet and you can actually hear your friends talking, in contrast to the popular nightlife area of Valaoritou where when sitting outside you just listen to music from all the bars as one loud noise.

So I suggest you drop by Zefxidos street anytime of the day, and enjoy the last summer days of September and October.  My favourite time to go there is for morning weekend coffee, or early weekday evening drinks.

Boat Bars

Boat barDo you know that Thessaloniki has not one, not two, but three boat bars ?

There are three boats, that you will find sitting in front of the white tower where you can enjoy your drink while getting a mini cruise on the gulf of Thermaikos !

You get the chance to view the city from a totally different prospective, by the sea, and you might also get the chance to see some huge container ships up close !

Some people find the boat bars touristic and many locals wouldn’t be seen dead in there, but I actually like them a lot, and thankfully have some friends who like them too, so we regularly go there for a drink, even during the winter time if the weather is not very cold.

boatbarEach bar has a different music style so if you are particular about the soundtrack of your mini cruise choose the one you like best: rock, reggae or mainstream.  If you don’t care so much about the music, but want to enjoy the ride just hop on to the first available one to leave next.  There are tables with the times of departure just in front of the boats and also people there who will tell you which one leaves next.

My favourite time to go there is in the evening but it is also great during sunset or on a sunny winter sunday morning !

Entrance is free, and you only pay for your drink.

P.S. If you are lucky enough to get caught by rain during the cruise there is no way to escape it – you just get wet !

DIMITRIA 48th edition

48th Dimitria

48th Dimitria

The big arts festival of Thessaloniki is here for the 48th time !

As you should already know if you read a bit about the history of Thessaloniki, this city is 2330 years old, so a 48 year old arts and culture festival is not that old in comparison !  Actually, as early as the golden age of Byzantium, about the 14th century AD, Thessaloniki hosted a regular spectacular “New Festival” each autumn.

In October 1966, the festival was reborn and named Dimitria after Saint Demetrios, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. There is also a big street and of course a church named after him.  The church is a must visit, but I will tell you about it some other day.

Back to our subject, the art and culture festival of Dimitria which opens tomorrow, Thursday 26th and lasts for a whole month till October 26th – the name day of Saint Demetrios and of the whole city.

The whole program can be found here, unfortunately only in greek, but if you walk around in the city, you are probably going to get your hands on a printed version with, hopefully, some info in english as well !

The official opening ceremony will be held at the morning of Sunday 29th in the open space area of the port pier, in a feast of music, dance and food delicacies !

In total you will find around 50 events: music concerts, dance, theatre, fine arts, some paid and many for FREE.  The venues are many different spots around the city.  The weather is thankfully still great to wander around and discover them so go on, explore the city and enjoy !

Update 5/10

Good news ! The festival program just came out in english

Peirama Workshops

peiramaPeirama is an activity group aiming  “To inspire and equip people to explore and realize their potentials”

Their main areas of interest are :

• Organizing extraordinary workshops which address everyone.

• Staging performances, events, concerts, presentations, parties… on its own devices or in collaboration with other groups.

• Contributing by offering the venue, material infrastructure etc. for events organized by other groups.

Tomorrow they have an introduction meeting to all their new winter seminars, ranging from film and photography lessons to knitting and “how to make your own soaps and cosmetics”

I have attended seminars there in the past and they are a great way to learn something new and creative during the winter time !

Have a look at their webpage and facebook page and go to the free introduction day tomorrow Wendsday 2th at 18.30, Filipou 51, downtown Thessaloniki !

See you there !

P.S. Although most of the seminars are practical and not theoretical, some working knowledge of greek language is required. If you speak a little bit of greek your interaction with the locals will help you improve your language skills. If on the other hand you don’ t speak any, you should ask the program administrator if they can explain a few things in english for you, before joining !

A different day in the centre of the city !

parallaxiTomorrow Sunday the 22nd of September is the annual european car free day.  It is the best day to walk in the centre, ride your bike or rollerblade in the middle of the main streets of Thessaloniki.

The last few years an activist group named Thessaloniki Allios ( meaning Thessaloniki Otherwise ) formed and supported by Parallaxi mag has offered us many different days in the city.  Thanks to them we have discovered many unknown corners of the city and had many alternative experiences we wouldn’t have imagined in the past.

The different day in the city starts tomorrow at 12.00 and will last till 20.00.  There are 35 different events that will be happening in various points downtown and all of them are completely FREE.

The program in brief goes like this:

Point – Proxenou Koromila & Lassani – Games for children and grown ups !

Point – Ag. Sophias street – Various athletic events like Yoga, Dance, Tai chi, Zumba and more! Also free bikes and bike repairs up on the street near the church !

Point – Ermou & Svolou – Music events !

Point – Tsimiski street – Parades and organised city tours !

Point – Aristotelous square – Movie on a grass filled square at 20.00 !

Street Yoga 2012

Street Yoga 2012

The detailed program can be found here and the official facebook page here.  Most info is in greek but don’t let that stop you. Just go downtown and wander around the events and blend in with the locals !

Since no cars will be allowed in the centre you will only be able to go by foot, bike or bus.  Have in mind that because of the day buses are FREE and so are some of the parkings around the city centre.

Don’t forget the rest of the events this weekend, like the eco festivals, Reworks, and Κ.Ο.Θ. underground ! This is definitely on of the best weekends in the city!

Bike Parade

bikerideThis weekend really has it all ! Music festivals, eco festivals, fun events, and 2 bike events ! I don’ t know if the term parade that I put on the title is valid for the organised bike rides, but I’m using it anyway and if you can suggest a better term let me know !

First of all, let me tell you that we are having a bike events weekend since tomorrow is the european day without cars.  A new post with the events of tomorrow will follow !

There is one public organised bike parade which is open to ANYONE and will start today Suturday 21st at 18:30 in the centre of the city. The route is really short and simple and anyone can follow. People of all ages and fitness levels attend these events just for the fun of it.  Roads close for the cars during the parade so it is a wonderful experience to just ride your bike on the same busy streets you pass everyday with your car. If you are in town, there is no excuse not to go!

bikerideThere is another organised bike ride which is open to professional athletes. The greek world champion Christos Volikakis will be there as well as athletes from other countries. They will follow a city circuit of 54 km in the centre of the city.  This is really nice to watch while you drink your coffee in one of the coffee bars of Nikis street, like Thermaikos.  The photos featured here are from last year’s event and as you can imagine I shot them while I was having a relaxing coffee with friends.

Tomorrow the athletic bike ride will continue with another group of around 180 athletes from all over the world, who will start a country route from Thessaloniki and will go 175 km away to Siatista!

2nd Day with Colours from Sfina

coloursIf you are not so much into music or simply want some genuine crazy type of fun, then I have another suggestion for you!

The Day with Colours will be housed tomorrow Suturday 21st and for the second year in a row, at Camp Field Kodra in Kalamaria. The event is inspired by the Indian religious ceremony of Holi, but here we do it just for fun!

The host is the activity group Sfina, or else a group of crazy people doing crazy stuff in the city.  Not only they like doing crazy stuff but they like filming them too, so here is an excellent video clip from last year’s event.

The video speaks for itself so there is no need for me to say more. If you feel like letting the child inside you have a fun Suturday out, then wear a white outfit and be at Camp Field Kodra at 14.00.  You can easily go there by bus # 5.  The event is free but you will have to pay 2 euros for each bag of coloured powder.  All the colours used are safe for humans so you can safely bring any children with you.

Κ.Ο.Θ. UNDERGROUND

Κ.Ο.Θ. UNDERGROUNDAnother type of music event is running over the weekend besides Reworks festival. It is K.O.Θ. UNDERGROUND and as you will probably NOT understand by its name, it is hosted by the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki and the venue is Block 33.  It is an unusual venue for a state orchestra which also has an unusual program to present to its audience.

Κ.Ο.Θ. UNDERGROUND is an annual event which has become a tradition in the city over the last years and has now reached its 4th year!  Here, you will have the chance to listen to some exquisite musicians and singers.  It is a 3 day event full of music, and also some parallel exhibitions of art and photography.  The music program itself, is quite impressive and varies from greek folk, to film scores, jazz, rock, classical and everything you can imagine.

Entrance to the events is free and the program starts at 19.00 on Friday the 20th, 17.00 on Suturday the 21st, and 11.00 in the morning on the last day Sunday the 22nd.

You will find more info (in greek) on their website and their facebook page. 

4sq link for Block 33