It is very easy to get to Thessaloniki from Belgrade.
Straight and straight only and there you are, as many would say when you ask them how to get somewhere.
No joke, from Belgrade to Thessaloniki it is about 6 or 7 hours of driving. It can be a little longer, depending on the situation at the borders. We decided to leave on Saturday, so we have Sunday left for rest and sightseeing.
Well, the plan is as follows. We will visit Thessaloniki, Volos and Athens together. There we split up and some of us go to Santorini to enjoy the island life, and some to Barcelona and Paris to explore the metropolis.
We meet back in Athens, on the way home we stop once more in Thessaloniki and return together.
As Thessaloniki is the first and last “stage” of our journey, I will write about it once. Although a hundred times is not enough. It would be an understatement to say that we all liked Thessaloniki. Somehow, in our heads, we set it up as a stopover and didn’t expect anything special from it. Oh, what a misstep.
Accommodation first. We were looking for it to be as close to the center as possible with parking options. We were already pleasantly surprised at very start. Hotel accommodation on “Booking” can be found from 50 euros per night. Truth be told, for a little more money you can find better quality accommodation, which is definitely worth it, especially if there are more of you. There is an enviable number of hotels and apartments for rent in the very center, so accommodation will hardly be a problem. We paid a little more than the mentioned figure because we needed something bigger where we could set aside one room for work.
Thessaloniki somehow stood still in time. But in the very best time. The one when people talked to each other instead of staring blankly at their phone screens. The one where life is lived and not chased after. That is the first impression that Thessaloniki leaves on a person.
Wide tree-lined boulevards that provide much-needed shade cut through the city parallel down to the port itself. You will notice it yourself after just a few steps, that the sidewalks around the center are not concrete but paved, mostly with white stone. What is a luxury for someone to others is an excess of material, some would say.
The beauty of Thessaloniki is that although over a million people live in its wider area, the city itself does not bear the burden of megalomania. You will not find countless skyscrapers obscuring the view of the gentle sea. You will not encounter traffic jams where you sit in the car for hours without any progress.
It is enough to turn a few steps left or right from any of the boulevards into the first street you come across. Chances are high that you will be greeted by a smaller square, full of restaurants and even more people, mostly locals. The food is great and the service is even better. You can expect the prices per locality to be very similar to those in Belgrade. With the difference that here you can also get fresh seafood on the menu.
Along the coast is the most famous promenade, and the part from the Jewish Quarter to the White Tower, which crosses Aristotle Square, you definitely have to walk on. Countless bars and unmissable pastry shops are waiting for you and the choice is yours. When it comes to sweet treats, the Greeks are really champions. They literally dragged me out of pastry shops because in the end it all came down to “I just have to try this one more”…
I hope you enjoy our photos from Thessaloniki.
As for the bars themselves, I believe that there is little chance that you will come across a bad one, but here are some recommendations:
Local – it doesn’t get more local than this, cool team, mostly Greeks and hardly any tourists. A serious restaurant with an even more serious menu. A large garden with plenty of shade is a real refuge on a hot day.
Castello cafe – excellent coffee with a view of the sea
El Gato Nero – some serious churros
Papasotiriou Patisserie Thessalonique – Heaven on Earth. I almost asked if they could accept me to do anything just to be around the most perfect and delicious cakes in the world