It is difficult for a tourist who comes to Greece for the first time to understand some Greek practices, habits and traditions. The same is true for the city of Thessaloniki since it is the second largest in the country.

For this reason and to facilitate your stay in Thessaloniki we have created the following extensive list of things you should know before visiting the city of Thessaloniki.

So, let’s look at some useful things to help you plan your holiday in Thessaloniki as well as avoid any unpleasant surprises.

General information

Make your reservation early

Greece is a highly tourist country during the whole year and especially during the summer months. Thessaloniki could not be an exception, so it is a good idea to book your hotel as early as possible to avoid any disappointment. Also, booking a hotel in advance will also give you a much lower price.

Have cash with you

Clearly, there are ATMs almost everywhere and bank cards are accepted in business. However, it is always advisable to have cash with you. Greeks are very accustomed to cash transactions and are not so familiar with plastic money.

Churches and museums


You will find many churches and museums in Thessaloniki. This is because the Greeks are very much connected to their religion. Some churches have a specific dress code to enter.

For museums, be aware of their opening hours, as not all of them operate at the same days and hours. Usually, they are open from early morning until noon and closed on Sundays and bank holidays. Also, in order to save money, you can buy tickets that allow you to visit many museums on the same day or within a specific time period.

Banks & ATMs

The best way to get money at all times is ATMs, which, as mentioned earlier, exist almost everywhere, especially downtown.

Communication & Security

The Greeks in their majority are friendly and willing to help. The same is true with the residents of Thessaloniki, who will help you in case you have a problem. After all, their Greek hospitality is known worldwide.

In terms of security, despite the fact that crime rates have increased in recent years, both Greece in general and Thessaloniki is still a very safe city. The only exceptions are some areas in the center that you should avoid at night.



In Thessaloniki there are shops everywhere and especially in the city center. In short, you will have no problem finding what you need. There are large shopping malls, lots of shops and supermarkets. There are also many open / outdoor food markets.

Most stores accept credit cards but don’t take it for granted. For example, small shops prefer cash, so it’s best to ask before you buy.

The days and hours the stores operate are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9am. to 3 pm and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am until 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm The smaller shops stop operating at lunchtime, while the large shopping centers are open daily until Sunday night and until Saturday afternoon and close on Sundays.

Food & Entertainment


In Thessaloniki you will find all kinds of food and drink available in the western world. There are many global chains as McDonalds and Starbucks as well as traditional cafes and taverns.

If you want to try the most common Greek dishes during your stay in Thessaloniki, then you can order Greek salad, grilled fish, fried squid, moussaka and various pies. Of course, don’t forget to savor the famous gyros, souvlaki and tzatziki.

Concerning the entertainment in Thessaloniki, nightclubs open at midnight and close in the early morning hours. Some have a ticket entrance that includes the first drink. Also, there are truly countless bars everywhere that offer endless entertainment choices for all tastes. It is no coincidence that Thessaloniki is considered as a city that does not sleep at night.

Public transportation


Public transport is well developed and comfortable in Thessaloniki. There are trains, suburban, city buses and taxis. As for the latter, these are many and can be found everywhere. You can charter them from taxi stops or stop them on the road by raising your hand.

Rent your car from Alpha Drive Rent a Car and explore the city of Thessaloniki and all it has to offer.