Cafes. Check out the cafes in central Plateia Aristotelous, near the university along Angelaki Street, and by the waterfront. You will find couples sharing romantic embraces, groups of older men passionately debating the world's problems, students studying, and parents treating their children to glasses of freshly-squeezed orange juice. The people-watching is not to be missed and the cost of your coffee rents you a table for your stay.
Five Things Not to Miss in Thessaloniki
Sweet Things. Try the signature sweets of the city's bakeries. Make sure to sample the choreky, especially the ones covered in chocolate (don't refrigerate!); saraglakia (walnut in phyllo dough soaked with honey); rozakia (chocolate in phyllo dough); touloumbakia (fried dough in honey); and hourkoumbinia (balls of wrapped phyllo dipped in honey). Our favorite Thessaloniki bakery is Chatzis (50 Venizelou, tel. +30-2310-279-058).
Tavernas. Fill up on the savory staples of the traditional tavernas in Plateia Athonos and Agias Sofias (in and around the old marketplace). Whether you are alone or traveling with others, order several mezedes (starters) instead of a main dish. And leave room for dessert. If you have been a polite and kind customer, the establishment will likely serve you a delicious treat whether or not you've ordered one.
Ano Poli. Take a bus to Ano Poli (Kastra), the once-Turkish settlement on the hill above Thessaloniki. This is all that remains of the pre-20th century city, other than the magnificent Roman and Byzantine churches and structures strewn about the city. The view of modern Thessaloniki and the Thermaic Gulf from the Tower is stunning. Though the Heptapyrgion (believed to have been built from early Christian times through the mid-1400s, and used as a prison between 1890 and 1989) is commanding and severe, the surrounding wildflowers and its location at the peak of a mountain somehow imbue it with an air of peace and calm.
Shopping. Do a bit of window-shopping along a four-block radius of Tsimiski Street. The street is well-known for its abundance of one-of-a-kind and high-fashion shops. Within a few blocks of Tsimiski Street, however, there are scores of great, budget-friendly shops selling goods at lower prices. Throughout central Thessaloniki, great bargains can be found.
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