Thessaloniki is a city with 2,300 years of history, although it was rebuilt in the 1920s. Thessaloniki is a students’ city, offering a joyful nightlife and a lot of events all year round. For whatever reasons, Thessaloniki seems to be on the pricy side but with some planning you can find a hotel which fits your budget.
Best Neighborhoods in Thessaloniki
Platia Elefterias and Platia Aristotelous are the main squares in the city, both along the waterfront and both packed with cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Another great area is the one around the White Tower, quite close to the University, the International Trade Fair and the archeological museum and filled with clubs and restaurants.
Kastra is an area of old neighborhoods with narrow streets and small gardens. It’s the old Turkish quarter and is still filled with the “old atmosphere”. The remains of the walls which used to surround the city complete that feeling.
It is conveniently located right in the center of the town, near the University and the International Trade Fair. Since the best way to explore Thessaloniki is by foot, this might just the best choice for you. The 3 starts hotel offers free internet connection in all rooms (WiFi), AC, TV, direct dial telephone and sound proof windows. During the high season a single room costs €74/night, while a double room costs €83/person/night. The price includes breakfast and all taxes.
Plaza Art Hotel
It is another 3 stars hotel, located in the center of the town. The bus and railway stations are located close by. The most important archeological sites, shopping centers, cafes and restaurants are also within easy reach. All the rooms in the hotel are equipped with AC and heating -included in the room price- , TV and direct dial telephone. In the lobby there is a WiFi hot spot. During the high season a single room costs €75/night, while a double room costs €82/person/night. Breakfast is included in the room price.
It is a 4 stars hotel located on the Seich-Sou hill and offering the best view of the sea. You can get to the city center in about 5 minutes. The airport and highway are located at about 15 minutes from the hotel. The hotel offers WiFi internet access in the lobby, while all rooms are equipped with AC, heating, TV and direct dial telephone, as well as internet access. In addition to all these facilities, there is a children’s playground, an outdoor swimming pool, a conference center and shuttle buses to the city center and airport (for free).
Remember that in Greece hotel categories aren’t exactly “standard”, therefore when choosing your hotel look at the “big picture” and compare both the prices and the facilities offered. Also, take into account that if you travel independently –hence not using a travel agency- you will most likely pay more for a room because the travel agencies buy rooms “in bulk” and can afford to offer lower prices than ones offered by the hotel.
It’s probably a good idea to avoid the high season because generally the city is quite empty as everyone heads to the beaches –Leptokaria and Paralia Katerini are quite close by. Hence the best time to visit is early summer or early fall, which can save you some bucks for the accommodation. Remember to book well in advance.
Thessaloniki is probably the best place to shop in Greece and competes only with Athens. Although the City Center is small, there are a lot of shops and markets which cater for any budget. If you visit the town during the sales period –Jan 15 to Feb 28- you will have a lot of fun and go home with a totally new wardrobe. Tsimiski Street is the best place to start your shopping journey. It’s filled with shops where you can easily find bargains. Agias Sofias is a good choice if you like boutiques: you can find anything from fabrics and designer clothes.