Thessaloniki is Greece's second largest city after Athens, and it considered the country's cultural capital. Thessaloniki lies on the coast, so your first port of call should be the beach, where you can sunbathe, swim, or take a walk along the promenade. There's much more to Thessaloniki than just beaches though. The city has a fascinating past which can be traced back more than 3,000 years, so history buffs will be delighted with the attractions on offer such as the 16th century White Tower, the city's symbol, and the grand Byzantine churches. Thessaloniki is also renowned for its festivals and events, particularly the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival which are both highlights of the city's events calendar. After dark head to Aristotelous Square for cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Greece's second city has everything holidaymakers could want, with sun, history, fine food, great accommodation and easy access via plenty of UK flights. With flights from the UK to Thessaloniki, travellers can enjoy a Greek getaway for affordable prices and be there in just over three hours, putting city breaks well within reach.
The major airport near Thessaloniki is Thessaloniki International Airport (also locally known as Makedonia Airport). The airport is eight miles from Thessaloniki itself, but OASTH buses offer a reliable connection. Buses run 24 hours a day and take 49 minutes to run into the city centre. Taxis will be faster in most instances, generally taking 30 minutes to central addresses.
Airlines serving the UK to Thessaloniki route include Wizz Air, TUI, Jet2, Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet. Travellers can also choose a range of departure airports including Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Bristol.
Most of the time, passengers won't need to think too hard about whether to fly to Thessaloniki. There's simply not much competition on every score. While flight times will tend to be around three hours, bus and train services will take two to three days and have complicated itineraries. The price of alternative forms of transport will always exceed flights as well – especially when travellers book with one of the many budget carriers that flies into Thessaloniki. Finally, there are plenty of departure points. Whether passengers live in Edinburgh, Bristol or London, they should always have a convenient take-off point when visiting Thessaloniki. So, flying is comfortably the best way to go.
Thessaloniki is fun to walk around, particularly the Byzantine and Ottoman old town. But visitors should note that it can be quite hilly, so using buses or taxis can be a good option. In that case, buying three-journey tickets on buses is a good way to save money. After that, there's plenty to see. Standouts include the 4th-century Rotunda, which was once intended to house the remains of a Roman emperor, and the White Tower, which is a famous symbol of the city. The Archaeology Museum provides an invaluable grounding in Thessaloniki's ancient past, but joining walking tours is advisable. Fascinating ruins can be found across the city, and experts will tell their stories in vivid fashion.