Athens, Delphi, and Epidaurus are generally the first cities that come to mind when one thinks of Greece, but the university city of Thessaloniki, whose 1.2 million inhabitants make it the second largest urban area in the land of Homer, should not be forgotten.
This historic student city, which has been home to Greeks, Byzantines, Latins, crusaders, and Turks, is a cultural crossroads and offers a great alternative if you are looking to keep off the beaten tracks of the south of the country.
Nowadays, the city is full of variety. Of course, it will always be known as the land of Alexander the Great and the Gods of Olympus, but it is also a trendy city and a great place to go to relax for a long weekend. Its extremely hospitable seafront restaurants and terrace bars really are the stuff of dreams.
If you love fine wines, you simply have to visit the YaMas. This is 'the' place to come to sample the local product, and with the aromas wafting over from the central market just a stone's throw away (in Aristotelis Square), a truly authentic experience is guaranteed!
Although Thessaloniki is still relatively unknown, developers are already planning their next move, so make sure you visit before it changes beyond all recognition!