Taking the train to Thessaloniki? Give the city a few hours and it will win your heart.
But in spite of all the international travelers that pass through its train station (and airport, bus station, or port), few are making the most of their layover and taking the time to explore the city. Few travelers take the time to leave the station and explore the city -and it's time that changed.
2 hours or less: Check out Europe's longest boardwalk.
4 hours: Explore the markets.
6 hours: Add in some ruins.
A full day: See the city's creative side.
Handpeak is an organization to support and promote local, independent, creative businesses. You can either pick up a map (online or at the tourism board) to do your own self-guided walking tour of Handpeak businesses, or you may contact them directly to arrange a tour. I visited workshops, recording studios, photography galleries, and custom bike shops, but my favourite places were O Olive, which sells artisan olive oil from Crete alongside handcrafted jewelry. It is a place where you can get all your holiday shopping done at once! I also really loved the tiny couture fashion studio of Eleni Chasioti, who creates beautiful, vintage inspired pieces.
Take the time for Thessaloniki
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My visit to Thessaloniki was sponsored by the city's tourism board and Visit Greece in conjunction with the TBEX conference and we thank them for their support.