Backpacking From One Side of Greece to the Other

Greece Itin­er­ary: Corfu (11 days) -> Athens (5 days)-> Mete­ora (2 days)-> Thes­sa­loniki (2 days)

Thes­sa­loniki: Less Famous than Athens and a Whole Lot More Fun

Aris­totelous Square

The Appeal:

While Athens is famous among for­eign­ers, Thes­sa­loniki seemed to be famous among Greeks.  We heard about Thes­sa­loniki from ran­dom store own­ers, wait­ers, and ran­dom Greeks who all said it is a bet­ter city than Athens.  The ran­dom peo­ple agreed that Thes­sa­loniki is Greece’s cul­tural city.  How had we not heard of it before?  Lonely planet rated it one of the world’s ulti­mate party cities. Not to men­tion, it is a bus ride away from Mace­do­nia, Roma­nia, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

Medieval fortress wall

White tower

Get in

20 Euros per per­son by bus. 3–4 hours from Mete­ora. The bus left from Kalam­baka, switched at a bus ter­mi­nal just out­side of town. Get­ting from the Bus Ter­mi­nal to the city cen­ter is easy because the city bus ter­mi­nal is con­nected to the station.  It was straight­for­ward to buy a bus ticket and find out which bus to take on the spot.


34 euros per night at the Nea Metrop­o­lis.  We basi­cally booked the cheap­est place avail­able on and I’d say we got more than our money’s worth, if for noth­ing else than from the all you can eat break­fast buffet.


I’d love to say we made the most of our time in Thes­sa­loniki, but I was avoid­ing all con­tact with the heat.  I only left the hotel at sun­set, and barely walked more than a kilo­me­ter at a time.

Appar­ently “cul­tural” trans­lates to lots of restau­rants and bars.  A city with a large stu­dent pop­u­la­tion is what cre­ates the buzz in the city, but we were there in July so I believe it was qui­eter than dur­ing the fall and spring.

Have a beer at the port. The city’s youth all seemed to gather by the water to drink cor­ner store bought beer and lis­ten to music.  There are some nice water­front restau­rants to have a more upscale drink. It was a nice place to enjoy the sunset.

Get away from Gyros and eat some awe­some food in Ladadika. Appar­ently they say this neigh­bor­hood was, his­tor­i­cally, a famous olive oil trad­ing dis­trict. Today, the area includes new and old archi­tec­ture, tons of bars, and the best Greek restau­rant Greek food I’ve eaten.

Jump on the city bus and watch the sun­set in the old town, where a wall built around the city still remains. This is where I took my favourite photo of the trip…the light­ning shot!

The light­ning shot

As you can see, we are not huge fans of extreme heat. So, in one of our heat induced fits of rage, and after of a few days of sober­ing air con­di­tion­ing, we rea­soned that Bul­garia, which had weather some 5 degrees cooler than Greece, would be idea for our next stop.  That is where our next chap­ter will pick up.

Pho­tos of Thessaloniki:

Sun dis­s­a­pear­ing means remotely bear­able weather

Gotta have at least one McDonald’s photo on the blog


Byzan­tine beet root salad

Port of Thessaloniki

Greece Itin­er­ary: Corfu (11 days) -> Athens (5 days)-> Mete­ora (2 days)-> Thes­sa­loniki (2 days)

5 thoughts on “Backpacking From One Side of Greece to the Other

  1. Pingback: The Time We Went to Cofu, Greece | Laughing Abroad

    1. Tim Fisher Post author

      Thanks Hugh. I think that was the point when I was most tanned of my life. The colour of the sun exag­ger­ates some, but even when I look at the photo I think, ‘man those guys are really tanned’.


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