Kapani market

the-kapani-vlali-marketKapani market is one of the most traditional markets of Thessaloniki, since the Ottoman occupation. It is a pedestrian area located between the streets of Egnatia, Aristotelous, Ermou and Venizelou. Some of the streets are covered and some are open. It is still very lively today as it has been all these years.

The great variety of products, such as meat, fish, spices, travel equipment, kitchen utensils, clothing, shoes, ecclesiastical and touristic items and more, as well as the low prices and the location in the city’s centre, make Kapani a very popular destination all day long.

It is an essential visit if you are interested in the city’s gastronomic history and evolution since it transfers you to a different era.

Do not forget to stop for a traditional greek coffee in Hozeva while you are there.

 

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Aristotelous Square

atAristotelous Street and Square is the heart of the city !

It connects the city since it is a central meeting point.  It runs from the ancient roman market ruins down to the waterfront. Whether you visit Thessaloniki for one day or for one month, this is a place you cannot miss !

Named after the great philosopher Aristoteles, you will also find his statue at one corner on the lower part.  It is a place for concerts, fairgrounds, and any sort of seasonal outdoor activity. If something is happening in the city, you will usually find it here.

Streets that cross with Aristotelous are, Nikis avenue which is the waterfront, and as we go up Mitropoleos a shopping street, Tsimiski the main shopping street, Vas, Irakliou and Ermou, minor shopping streets, Egnatia street, and Filipou street which is where you will find the ancient roman market !

thAristotelous Square (Greek: Πλατεία ΑριστοτέλουςIPA: [plaˈtia aristoˈtelus], Aristotle Square) is the main city square ofThessaloniki, Greece and is located on Nikis avenue (on the city’s waterfront), in the city center. It was designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in 1918, but most of the square was built in the 1950s. Many buildings surrounding the central square have since been renovated and its northern parts were largely restored in the 2000s.

I am featuring one of my own photos as well as a famous one by absolute vodka which celebrates aristotelous’s shape !

 

Sugar Angel workshop & coffee

This is by far the sweetest coffee shop in town! Let me start by saying that if you manage to come to this place only for coffee and not eat anything, congratulations ! You have strong willpower !

Sugar AngelI have actually been here only for coffee or tea twice, so I am really proud of myself. All the other times since it opened, a few months ago, I have tried everything with chocolate, and also the apple pie and the famous red velvet cake !

What I love most about the desserts here is that they are not heavy at all, they have high quality ingredients and delicate taste.

Something funny you will notice when you sit on one of the few tables is that all the people usually eat the same cake. It is no surprise since one sees something delicious on the table next to them and cannot resist but to try.

Sugar Angel cakeApart from coffee and desserts, you will find cakes to order in any style you can imagine, so this place is a must for children birthday cakes as well !

Sugar Angel is open during shopping hours and closed on Sundays. Keep also in mind that there are not many tables so it is not certain you will find a place to sit. Luckily you can take all the sweets to go as well ! In fact, if you take any of the sweets to go and you get a wooden spoon or fork you should know that they are natural biodegradable tableware from naturesse !

Sugar Angel workshop & coffee
Dessert Shop and Cupcake Shop
Lassani 1 (Proxenou Koromila)

4sq link

Paralia is back !

Paralia is the seaside of the city, the favourite stroll and coffee meeting place for all city locals.

Unfortunately for the last 2 years it was closed for renovation works. The wait is finally over and today it was given back to the public ! Yeah !

Paralia 1Although the weather was rather gloomy, many locals did take the first stroll on the new pavements ! The municipality also gave Nikis Avenue to the public following the “one Sunday every month” rule, where the street will be closed for cars during daytime !

I personally could not get enough of it ! I walked, biked and walked again in the evening although it started raining. Major updates include the bright red lights and the location change of the Umbrellas’ installation. The parks are not quite finished yet so more on this around Spring time.

Paralia 2The view of the city is amazing and biking from one end to the other – Megaro to Port – is about 30 minutes, making it the fastest and most relaxing transport method during rush hour.

From now on and as the weather gets better, leading to summer, we will have the seaside stroll back in our everyday life, walking, biking, and relaxing.

More photos and updates as the weather gets better !

Thessaloniki City Walks

Walking Thessaloniki

Walking Thessaloniki

Love Thessaloniki wishes you a wonderful November and a happy film festival week ! As we enter the winter months, and since the weather is still warm, it is the ideal time for visitors and locals to explore the city.  Starting today and for the next 10 days that the film festival takes place, the city will enjoy the company of visitors from all over the world.

I am often surprised to meet foreign visitors in weird places asking for directions and I am always curious to know how they found their way there, since the city itself does not offer a lot of directions besides the occasional label in english in some key spots.

Things are a lot easier these days, we live in the age of technology, where everything you think of, someone else has already thought or done it before.  So have you ever thought how great it would be to have your own personal tour guide to walk you around the city?

Here is where Walking Thessaloniki, a mobile app featuring an urban walking guide to the city comes to save all of you wondering travellers – and some of us locals who haven’t explored the city as much as we’d like!

“Walking Thessaloniki” is the first walking guide to the city of Thessaloniki. It consists of 23 routes, each with a carefully thought out scenic walk in a neighborhood of Thessaloniki. Each one has a detailed map of your walk, interest & entertainment points and a description of what you will see along the way, inlcluding historic and fun facts! Every interest point has a description website links and photographs of its own.

All the information provided helps you be as independent as possible, to save time while moving around the city like a local, and avoid tourist traps.

If you like the idea, then I suggest you visit the Greek City Walks webpage for more information, like their facebook page, and follow on twitter to stay updated.  The app is available in english and greek and there is also a print edition available for the old-fashioned travellers.

Paris and Dimitris, the two guys behind this have done an exceptional job showing off Thessaloniki’s best kept secrets and offering assistance to travellers.  The 23 routes might seem a lot for the short time traveller but I believe the aim is to visit the city again and again till you explore every last bit!

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 !

4th THESSALONIKI BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART

BIENNALE 4The 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki is here !

The Biennale opening will be held on September 18, with the inauguration of the exhibition “Everywhere but Now”, curated by Αdelina von Fürstenberg, Chief Curator of the Central Exhibition of the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, along with the opening the exhibitions by the “5 Museums’ Movement in Thessaloniki”, while other events and exhibitions will be inaugurated during the following months.

Over 50 artists from 25 countries – from Brazil and Cuba to Iran and India, as well as many Mediterranean countries, including 14 artists from Greece – will present their works, using all media such as paintings, sculptures, photography, video installations, films and performances.

4th BIENNALE VENUES

4th BIENNALE VENUES

The Central Exhibition venues are: Alatza Imaret, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Geni Tzami, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Pavillion 6 (Thessaloniki International Trade Fair area), State Museum of Contemporary Art (Moni Lazariston)

For more detailed info on the exchibitions’ dates and venues please visit their website and their Facebook page.

Thess Bike

Thess BikeYeah, yeah yeah ! Today I am very happy to present Thess Bike !

In greek thes = θες = do you want, so if the question is – do you want bike ? The answer is surely yes ! 

I have always been very jealous of other cities’ bike sharing programs and was hoping that one day they will make their appearance in Thessaloniki too, so the day has finally come !

The program is launching as we speak so it is completely new and I don’t have many details to share with you yet.  From a quick look on the website ( which is currently only in greek unfortunately but hopefully english will appear soon ) local citizens using a prepaid card will be able to use them for free the first 30 minutes and then pay for each additional 30 minute interval.  Visitors will pay on a per hour basis.  Keep in mind that Thessaloniki is a relatively small city so going from one side of the city to the other will not take you more than one hour.

 

Open Bus Sightseeing Tour

open busIt is only until very recently that Thessaloniki got it’s own sightseeing tour bus and I am really glad it finally did !

If you have visited Thessaloniki in the past you didn’t have the chance to view it this way before !  You would probably have to walk a lot, or try to figure you way out with the public buses, or simply miss some really important places.

The Open Bus Exclusive Touring Service Provider operating under the name Thessaloniki sightseeing offers a complete tour of Thessaloniki with its fabulous open deck bus within a tour of  hop on – hop off points of interest.  It is the ideal way for the short-time visitor to see the most important parts of the city while taking a history lesson on board !

Taking the bus tour will give you the chance to learn everything about the history of the city with free commentary in 8 different languages.  There is a lot of interesting places to visit in Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki sightseeing offers the way to visit and see them all in a very reasonable price and a very short time !

You can get a one or two day ticket depending on how much time you want to spend on each stop. The city tour runs every 40 minutes and the duration if you don’t get off is 80 minutes. You will find more detailed info on the website. 

Ano Poli

City View from Seih Sou

City View from Seih Sou

Ano Poli which actually means Upper Town is in fact the old part of the city.   It is the district north of Thessaloniki’s city center that was not ruined by the great fire of 1917 and was declared a UNESCO heritage site during the 1980s. It is Thessaloniki’s most traditional part of the city, still featuring small stone paved streets, old squares and homes featuring old Greek and Ottoman architecture.

Ano Poli also, is the highest point in Thessaloniki and as such, is the location of the city’s acropolis, its Byzantine fort, the Heptapyrgion and the city’s remaining walls, with many of its additional Ottoman and Byzantine structures still standing.  There are many things to see and do here so I recomend to spend a whole day.  Start early with the bus or on foot to explore the small streets, old churches, and great views of the city.

The area provides access to the Seih Sou Forest National Park and City Zoo.  It features amphitheatric views of the whole city and the Thermaic Gulf. On clear days Mount Olympus, at about 100 km away across the gulf, can also be seen on the horizon, as you can see on the photo.  If you are here in the summer and there is a concert or theatre performance on Theatro Dasous which is close by, don’t miss it !

Buses  to choose :

# 50 is the cultural route with live guide on board !

# 22 is the small bus that goes inside all the little steers

# 24 takes you up to Seih Sou forest, the City Zoo and Theatro Dasous