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To get to Thessaloniki, you can fly into the Makedonia Airport; take a train from most major stations in Greece, the Balkans, Budapest, Vienna, Moscow, Belgrade and Skopje. But if you have time to drive, you won't want to miss the scenery along the 6-hour ride through the mainland of Greece from one end to the other. You can pick up the National Highway (Ethniki Odos) from Athens and follow it pass many quaint seaside villages as well as scenic mountainous regions (including Mount Olympus, home of the gods) as you travel.
Thessaloniki is a beautiful, vibrant city with a cosmopolitan feel. The coast and the main intersections through "downtown" are lined with cafes, restaurants and ouzeries. You'll also find just about every trendy retail store you would find in any large European city. There are several city blocks of shopping that remind you of the designer stores of Rodeo Drive or El Paseo.
Thessaloniki is the home of many of Greece's greatest musicians, poets and artists. You'll find a variety of clubs, rembetika music, and art galleries scattered throughout the city, diverse shopping experience from flea markets (Laiki) to streets lined with the trendy high end shops, and some of the finest hotels, best restaurants and beautiful beaches in northern Greece.
The Lefko Pyrgo -- The White Tower -- is the architectural landmark of Thessaloniki. It was built as a defensive structure in the 15th century. Later, it was used as a guard's quarters by the Janissaries and as a prison for those who were convicted to death. It was built on the place where an older, Byzantine tower once stood and over looks the waters of the Aegean. This Byzantine tower connected the east wall of the fortification of Thessaloniki (the part preserved today) with the sea wall, which was demolished in 1866. The museum in the White Tower contains various collections of sculptures, frescoes, fragments of mosaic floors and wall mosaics, icons, coins, inscriptions, pottery, glass and metal items. (http://www.culture.gr/) While in Thessaloniki, make sure you stop at the Archeological Museum right down the street. It's filled with fascinating artifacts that include (in both English and Greek) an explanation of everything you see. Restaurants surrounding the White Tower are famous for their loukoumades and guests delight on the sweet honey drenched delicacy well into the wee hours of the night.
Another revered tourist
destination is St. Demetrius Greek Orthodox Church. St. Demetrius, a Roman
officer died in martyrdom (303 A.D.), thus becoming the holy patron of
the city. The church is built over the original Roman road where the Saint
was martyred and daily tours are available to walk along this sacred path
and view this perfectly preserved locale.