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A cosmopolitan, historical treasure

A cosmopolitan, historical treasure

You are planning your trip to Greece, looking over brochures of mythical Greek Isles. You’ve planned to stop in Athens to see the ruins and then off you go, to the land where blue meets white. But you’d be missing the rest of ancient, authentic Greece, including Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest city.

Thessaloniki’s commercial port is of great importance to Greece, and has become a major transportation hub to southeastern Europe with direct railway connections to many major cities including Belgrade, Moscow, Budapest, Istanbul and more. And not to worry, you’ll get your moment in the sun with direct daily ferry connections to a many of the Greek Islands. Rail Europe offers passes such as the Eurail Greece Pass and Eurail Greece-Italy Pass to help you make the most of your time abroad.

Like all of Greece, Thessaloniki holds in its hands history and culture. Myriad empires have taken hold here, and there’s much evidence of this in the construction of the city, despite a fire in 1917 that destroyed the city’s historic center and a majority of its architectural heritage. Rebuilding efforts have helped preserve the Ottoman and Byzantine structures.

The most recognized landmark in Thessaloniki is The White Tower, built in the 15th century as part of a sea fortification at the eastern waterfront. After the city’s liberation from the Ottomans, the tower was whitewashed as if to purify it from the blood that so often covered it, thus the name “White Tower ". And while the tower is no longer white, it serves a greater purpose as the Museum of History and Art of Thessaloniki.

The city has a long history with the Sephardic Jewish population. By the early 16th century, over half the population was Sephardi, due to being expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. Traces of what was once the "Jewish Quarter" can be found in Ladadika, which is now the "in" place for nightlife in Thessaloniki. Now an entertainment center, you’ll find gussied-up Greeks dancing to live music, and enjoying a bitter coffee and slice of spanakopita. Opa !

Greece is the cradle of the Olympics, and you can see some of the history on display at the Thessaloniki Olympic Museum. Come imagine yourself dressed in grape leaves hurling a discus while viewing the objects on display including medals, torches and athletic equipment.

Thessaloniki is, at its large heart, a university city thanks to the Aristotle University, the largest in Greece and all of the Balkans. Covering over 230,000 square meters of the city, nearly 100,000 students attend from around the region. The school is famous for its seismological station, used to detect and measure earthquakes that occur in Greece and around the world. You can come take a tour and learn more about a different kind of plate-breaking (the less celebratory kind.)

More people are visiting Thessaloniki before heading out to party on the isles. Choosing history before hedonism ? Talk about a seismic shift.

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Thessaloniki station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki city guide

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From our travel community

Best rail pass option for my iitanary ?? My wife and I are both under 25 and would like to travel from GREECE TO ITALY TO SWTIZERLAND TO SPAIN TO FRANCE TP UK TO GERMANY. stopping for 2 days and 1 night in every country except Italy where we will stay a bit extra. And we would like to (...)

Redwan | 2013/08/01 complete | 3 Comments
Split or dubrovnik, croatia to greece with rail pass What is the fastest why other than air to travel from (Split or Dubrovnik ) to Greece? And will I need to purchase additional ferry tickets? In addition to the Eurail pass? Or would it be better to leave from Italy? (...)

Anne | 2016/06/23 complete | 1 Comments
Is there any way to get from thessaloniki greece to frankfurt germany via rail? Hello everyone, I have tachycardia;so, I will travel by train, do advise me guys to bring my passport or just my id cause there are immigrants there ? .

Joun lous | 2016/06/21 complete | 1 Comments
Is there a way to travel from greece to croatia ? Going to fly into Athens travel Greek islands for a week or so and then travel to Croatia

Heather Barss | 2016/06/05 complete | 2 Comments
With a eurail global pass, can i travel from frankfurt to athens, thessaloniki to sofia, & sofia to istanbul? are greece & turkey (...) I am considering a Global Pass for One month. I tried to set dates for traveling from Frankfurt to Athens, Thesasonnaliki(sp) to Sofia and Sofia to Istanbul. The computer could not provide train info. Are those routes possible with the pass? (...)

Gary Gaston | 2016/03/25 complete | 1 Comments

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