Thessaloniki is easy to fall in love with – it has beauty, chaos, history and culture, a remarkable cuisine and wonderful, vast sea views. This is Greece’s second city, which, like the rest of the country, has suffered the hit of the economic crisis, but the streets remain full of life and vibrancy.
The different neighbourhoods are little worlds unto themselves, and when you climb up to the Byzantine walls and take in the whole of Thessaloniki at sunset, you see what a sprawling, organic city it is. Old and new cohabit wonderfully: the Arch of Galerius, an intricate 4th-century monument, overlooks the busy shopping drag of Egnatia, while Thessaloniki’s most famous sight, the White Tower, anchors a waterfront packed with cocktail bars. The revamped waterfront area breathes life and is great for walking and cycling. By night, the city reverberates with music and nightlife.