The White Tower

The White Tower

The White Tower is the most iconic symbol of the city. The tower was constructed by the Ottomans sometime in the early 15th century and once guarded the eastern end of the city's sea walls. In the 19th century, this tower was used as a notorious prison. Nowadays, it is a welcoming museum of art and local history. The museum offers a rapid lesson in the history of the city. Ideally, you'll take in this well-dosed overview before continuing to the more specialized museums and archeological sites. For best results, grab the free audio guide at the entrance. The last floor of the tower gives you a wonderful view of the city.
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Waterfront and Boat Rides

Waterfront and Boat Rides

Thessaloniki's waterfront is a long boardwalk that stretches about 4.5 km, all the way from the First Pier to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. Enjoy a stroll, a jog or a a bike ride, ideally in the morning or closer to sunset. You'll make your way past the Ladadika district, the White Tower and Alexander the Great statue, parks, gardens and sports facilities. Ornate boat tours departing from around the White Tower give you an opportunity to see the city from a new angle.
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Ladadika Quarter

Ladadika Quarter

The narrow pavements and neoclassical buildings of Ladadika host plenty of bars, restaurants, cafes and cute boutiques. The area from Salaminos street to YMCA Park is known as Ladadika Quarter. This is an old quarter that starts at the waterfront and goes a few blocks inland up to Tsimiski Avenue that is busy with international and local brand shops. The north-western part of the area, closer to the First Pier, is a bit more subdued, with less mainstream bars and fewer shops available. As you go south-west, the area becomes more and more lively, and finally brings you to the iconic White Tower.
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The Rotunda of Galerius

The Rotunda of Galerius

Unique in Greece, the Rotunda is a cylindrical building from the early 4th century AD. The mosaics inside are really impressive. The Rotunda is a massive circular structure (built in 306 AD) with a masonry core. Through its long history, it has gone through multiple periods of use and modification as a polytheist temple: a Christian basilica, a Muslim mosque, and a Christian church once again. A minaret is preserved from its use as a mosque, and ancient remains are exposed on its southern side. Some Greek publications claim it is the oldest Christian church in the world! These days, the Rotunda is primarily an archaeological site, where visitors can see some remaining Christian mosaics and feel the weight of history.
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