Thessaloniki itself never doubted its own Cultural identity and its millennia of existence, it stands there since 315BC founded by Cassander, who named it after his wife and Alexander’s the Great sister.
Ιt was chosen as the co-reigning city of the Byzantine Empire alongside Constantinople. Τo prove just that there are several Paleochristian monuments, constituting a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Historically one of Europe’s oldest and most multiethnic cities, widely considered as the cultural capital of Greece, is truly unique in the sense that it intricately marries its thousands-year-old multicultural heritage and the architectural marvels with the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Sephardic Jew history. Festivals abound, most notably the “Dimitria Festival” coming from the ”Golden Age” of the Byzantine period of the city and the “International Film Festival”, which draws hoards of buffs to the city each year. It has also produced many of the country’s most acclaimed bands, visual artists and designers as well as new waves of culture makers.
With a student-strong population of 150,000, Thessaloniki boasts an under-30s do-it-yourself youth culture-creative movement seen nowhere else in the Southern part of Europe.
The cutting-edge art performances and cinematic avant-garde, recently launched cultural sites and creative projects, Arts and Entertainment hubs all-in-one, numerous monuments, fifteen listed at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the 5km meandering waterfront, make Thessaloniki a “must-see destination”.
Geographically, due to its privileged location of land-proximity to both Europe and the East, travelling to Thessaloniki has always been a no-brainer.
From the ancient Greek Symposium to the meetings and events of present day, people convene to exchange ideas and goods, and they transform the world as they do so.
At the crossroads of East and West, the city of Thessaloniki has been witnessing these transformations for millennia as a proud host of great people and historic events. Today, the capital of the region of Central Macedonia and the second largest Greek city, Thessaloniki, is a significant business hub for Southeast Europe and a remarkable place to visit.
The city of Thessaloniki is a vibrant modern metropolis. Built on the waters of the North Aegen sea, the city and its 1 million inhabitants are renowned for their hospitality and easy going lifestyle.
It takes a walk on the “paralia” -the longest urban waterfront in Europe- to relax and feel the charm of this unique Greek city.
It takes a few hours in the city centre to turn a stroll into time travel: from Alexander the Great and Aristotle the philosopher, to the inventive Romans or the pious Byzantines through to the lofty Ottomans and the cosmopolitan contemporaty Greeks. It takes less than a two hour drive to the divine Mt Olympos for a climb or to the emerald waters of Halkidiki for a swim; add an hour or two to your day trip and visit Vergina, Pella and Dion to admire the grandeur of the Kingdom of the Macedons.
Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece and a regional business hub and shopping centre with an active commercial port, a significant local industrial activity, and the largest academic and research community in the country. The city hosts the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the European Centre of Vocational Training, the Alexandria Innovation Zone and several other major institutions. It has rightfully been a European Cultural and Youth Capital: besides the excellent museums and historic buildings, the city is a big stage for creative young people who enjoy all aspects of life. Gastronomy is just one of them. Music, dance and dazzling nightlife is another.
The city is easy to explore. You can go anywhere in about 30 minutes. A modern International airport is just 15 km to the east, a railway station is in walking distance from the city centre, buses and taxis are trustworthy and inexpensive -everything in Thessaloniki puts you at ease. The climate is no exeption: typically Mediterranean with warm-to-hot summers, mild winters and an annual average of 300 days of sunshine.
FLY IN, ENJOY, FEEL SAFE: EASY!
Fifty-eight airlines fly to 121 destinations in 43 countries from the Makedonia International Airport. The airport operates with frequent connections to most Greek cities and islands, since 1930 serving over 2,5 million passengers per year.
Its strategic location on Egnatia Highway -connecting East to the West- and in the very heart of Macedonia, in Northern Greece, neighbouring four countries, makes the city easily accessible to travelers from almost every corner of the world.
Thessaloniki offers a wide range of attractions -modern art and history museums, ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments, exhibitions, galleries, spas, restaurants, taverns and coffee shops; along with their unique exhibits and style, they all offer a rare combination of relaxation, safety and entertainment, the sine qua non elements for a succesful conference destination.
Though the multi-coloured and buzzing city feels both european and oriental, it has an age long tradition of security and hospitality; guests in their thousands visit here for business or pleasure the year round -among them quite a few important politicians, artists and academics.
ART & CUTLURE