Greece, a country known for its historical contributions to philosophy, mathematics, the birth of democracy, and great thinkers like Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras, was once known for its it great empire, its god-like warriors, and the finest Athletes. Now stepping back into the present we see its many contributions to mankind. Today when we think of Greece we picture the beautiful white sand beaches, the crystal clear waters, friendly and open people, wonderful food and spirits that will changes the mood of even the grumpiest of tourists. We think of the beautiful Islands of Crete and Corfu just to name a few. We think of Athens and it majestic ruined temples with ancient mythological stories about Gods and Mortals alongside a thriving modern city. Lets be honest with ourselves Greece is just one of those places that you have to go to. There is just too much that Greece has to offer for one to just pass it up. As a traveler, Greece is a must. Let us though stay away from its Capital Athens, which is a great city, but let us travel way up north along the mediterranean coast and visit the second largest city of Greece, Thessaloniki. Also known as Thessalonica, or Salonica, but for our purposes we will stick to Thessaloniki.
So lets us just start with a little fun facts about the city. It is the capital in the region of Central Macedonia and is sometimes considered the second capital of Greece. The city was founded about 2,300 years ago by Cassander of Macedon. The city was of great importance during the Byzantine era; the people boasted that they were second most important city in empire next to Constantinople. During this era it was the second wealthiest city in the empire. Another fun fact is that the earliest known letter by St. Paul of the Apostles was written to the Christian church in Thessaloniki. The letter is noted in the New Testament of the Bible as First Thessalonians. This city is filled with history and importance to the history of mankind.
Lets talk a little about why you would want to visit Thessaloniki today besides the the great history lesson you can receive by visiting the city. As in the past, Thessaloniki is still thriving in today’s world. Its has a thriving young culture that is constantly on the move. Great restaurants and bars fill the beautiful harbor. In 2010 Lonely Planet ranked Thessaloniki as the 5th best party spot in the world. Now I know some of you out there might not be the biggest Lonely Planet fans but let me tell you from personal experience it is a wonderful city to go out and enjoy the nightlife. If you are not the biggest partiers do not worry the city still has a lot more to offer. National Geographic named it in the top world wide destinations for 2013. This city has it all from International film festivals to music and photography festivals. It has beautiful markets, and shopping. There is something for everybody in this city. I can confidently say that this city has made its imprint in todays world. There is always something fun, interesting and up and coming going on in Thessaloniki.
Ashley and I traveled a lot of the world while we lived in Rome but the the one city that we kept going back to was Thessaloniki. It was a city where we could escape and just relax. There was no pressure to do anything but enjoy the city as the locals did. We would wake up in the morning and go have our coffee, then walk along the waterfront and sit down and have more coffee. We drank a lot of coffee while we were there. It seemed to be the thing to do, because let me tell you the truth is that it seemed like the locals never left the coffee bars. After that we would go and have lunch and some wine and then head back to Little Big House (our favorite place to stay) and have a quick nap. After our nap and we would go enjoy a nice dinner and more wine and then go out at night to explore and enjoy the nightlife. The city just had such a relaxed young vibe to it. There is just such a positive attitude to this city that it was hard not to smile and enjoy ourselves. It was a place where you can take a step back and actually sit down and enjoy the present. I know it is sappy but Thessaloniki just allowed us to do that. It was the city we went to just escape from the chaos and stress of Rome.
The city is perfect in our eyes, it has everything one would want out of a vacation. A little entertainment, the ability to relax, great food, great nightlife, and most important wonderful people. Now this is just an introduction and I could go on for days about how wonderful this city is. That is why this city is going to be our first City Profile. Now this means we are going to have plenty more articles coming out about Thessaloniki. Articles ranging from history, culture, food, festivals, nightlife, places to stay, cheap flights, tips on getting around the city, and personal travel stories from both of us. We are going to dive deep into this city so that you, our readers, will know everything about our favorite city. Thessaloniki is a wonderful place with beautiful history, culture, and people. It will always have a special place in our hearts and that is why we want to share it with you.