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Where to Stay in Thessaloniki – 5 BEST AREAS

Dream stays in Thessaloniki: Explore neighborhoods rich in culture and find your perfect match.
Where to Stay in Thessaloniki - 5 BEST AREAS

Dive into Thessaloniki, a mesmerizing blend of old-world charm and hip urban vibes. This is, hands down, one of Greece’s most stunning cities. It’s a place that dances between being cosmopolitan and charmingly offbeat, guaranteeing memories for all who wander her streets.

Now, for those seeking the best spots to lay your head after a day of exploring? I’ve got you covered.

1. City centre, the best area to stay for first time visitors

View of Olympion Cinema from the top of Electra Palace Hotel
View of Olympion Cinema from the top of Electra Palace Hotel

Just a breezy 30-minute drive from the international airport, Thessaloniki’s heart beats with life. Whether you’re here for a quick getaway or a long stay, the city center is the ideal starting point.

  • Aristotelous Square: The beating heart of the city, lined by a dozen majestic buildings. Here, you’ll find a mishmash of bustling cafes, vibrant bars, and tempting shops. And for film buffs like me? The Olympion Cinema, the central hub for Thessaloniki’s famed Film Festival, calls this square home.

  • Tsimiski Street: Your go-to for fashion-forward finds, ranging from modern boutiques to eclectic bookstores and delis. And for those who, like me, can’t resist the charm of historic architecture, you’re a stone’s throw away from the iconic White Tower. Built in 1535 and once a prison, this tower now houses tales of the city’s rich history and offers a panoramic view that will take your breath away.

  • The Waterfront: Stretching for 5km, don’t let its length daunt you! Saunter along, and you might just stumble upon the Photography Museum and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. And if you’ve got an ear for music, the rhythm of this city will surely captivate you.

  • Museums Galore: From the Archaeological and Jewish museums to the Olympic and War museums, there’s a trove of history and art waiting to be discovered. Not to forget, the Contemporary Art Center, which is always a treat for the senses.

  • Sacred & Ancient Spaces: The stunning St. Demetrius Church, the Rotunda, and the Arch of Galerius all stand testament to Thessaloniki’s layered history and spiritual aura.

When it’s time to rest, the city centre offers a plethora of choices – from budget-friendly hostels and chic apartments to lavish 4 and 5-star hotels. Trust me; you’re in for a treat.

Best Hotels in City Centre

2. Ladadika, the best area to stay in Thessaloniki for nightlife

Aigyptou Street in Ladadika
Aigyptou Street in Ladadika

Even if you’re just breezing through Thessaloniki, a pit stop at Ladadika is an absolute must for me! Rooted deeply in the city’s history, this neighborhood is nestled near the port and once thrummed with the hustle of olive oil traders—hence its name.

But like many great legends, Ladadika faced its challenges: a devastating fire in 1917, followed by years of decline.

Yet, come 1985, Greece’s Ministry of Culture breathed new life into this district.

The old buildings were lovingly restored, businesses flourished, and slowly, the heartbeats returned.

By the mid-90s, Ladadika had transformed, becoming Thessaloniki’s daytime charm and nightlife hotspot.

Wander around, and you’ll stumble upon some of the city’s finest eateries and vibrant tavernas. Oh, and the bars? They’re just waiting to pour you a drink.

While you’re there, make sure not to miss the Photography Museum and Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum—one of Greece’s largest.

Looking for a cozy place to crash? Ladadika offers comfy accommodations without breaking the bank.

Best hotels in Ladadika

3. Ano Poli: Stepping Back in Time

Akrita Street in Ano Poli

Ah, Ano Poli, or the Upper Town as it’s known. It’s a slice of Thessaloniki that escaped the 1917 fire, and stepping into it feels like entering a time capsule.

Here’s my advice: leave the map behind.

Ano Poli is best discovered on foot, with its winding cobblestone lanes and mysterious alleys framed by Byzantine-era walls—now under UNESCO’s watchful eyes.

Around every corner, there’s a taste of Greece waiting for you—traditional cafes, tavernas serving up hearty dishes with a hint of Asian flair.

Believe me, you’ll forget you’re in a bustling metropolis. This ancient quarter also boasts an array of monuments: from the Eptapyrgio fortress to the Church of St. Nicholas Orphanos and the tranquil Vlatadon Monastery.

And if you’re keen to rest amidst history, Ano Poli offers charming studios and apartments. For something extra luxurious, just venture a little further to find some top-notch hotels.

Best hotels in Ano Poli

4. Ano Toumba, best area to stay in Thessaloniki on a budget

Papafeio Orphanage
Papafeio Orphanage

Nestled on Thessaloniki’s eastern edge, Ano Toumba – along with its sister region, Kato Toumba – embraces a charming divide, carved out by a man-made waterway.

Now, while many will rave about the iconic PAOK Football Stadium (trust me, its 2015 revamp is noteworthy since its 1959 inception), there’s a whispered secret.

Ano Toumba’s allure isn’t just in the major attractions but in the pockets of magic one finds in between.

I’m a total sucker for a hidden gem, and boy, Ano Toumba delivers! Some splendid restaurants and cozy bars promise delightful evenings away from the typical tourist hustle.

For stay options? Whether you’re saving or splurging, there’s a spot for you. And worry not about missing out on central attractions; they’re just a breezy 6-minute drive or a 15-minute bus ride away.

Quite the steal, if you ask me!

Best hotels in Ano Toumba

5. Kalamaria, best neighbourhood to stay in Thessaloniki for families

Modern Buildings in Kalamaria
Modern Buildings in Kalamaria

Moving southeastward, the bustling realm of Kalamaria beckons. Don’t let its residential vibe fool you – there’s plenty to feast your eyes on!

The majestic Palataki, a neoclassical structure once graced by royals and politicians, captures hearts.

And if you’re like me, always hungry for some brainy titbits, make a beeline for the Thessaloniki Science Center’s Museum of Technology in the Kalamaria outskirts. A theatre with Greece’s grandest flat screen, a sprawling 25-meter planetarium dome, and a motion simulator theatre? I’m sold!

When the world seems a tad too loud, a tranquil haven awaits just east in the Thermi Dam, crafted in 1993. Home to an array of wildlife and aquatic birds, it’s perfect for a laid-back afternoon. Kiddos will adore the playground, and grown-ups, there’s a café-bar for that much-needed caffeine fix.

Speaking of grand, the Mediterranean Cosmos Mall, perched at the city’s fringe and boasting the title of Southern Europe’s largest since 2005, promises a day well-spent. Shop, dine, caffeinate – repeat!

For a taste of local delights, Nea Krini’s bustling Aretsou street dishes out culinary wonders with renowned restaurants and seafood taverns.

As for where to crash? Kalamaria’s diverse accommodations cater to every traveler’s whim and wallet.

Best hotels in Kalamaria

If you’re visiting Greece, are you considering a stay in Athens to explore its ancient streets and historic beauty? Dive into our ultimate guide and find the best neighbourhoods to stay in Athens too.

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