Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf, it is a modern metropolis bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which give it a special charm. A city of diverse beauty and hospitable people, Thessaloniki has always been a crossroad of civilizations, a place where the East and West meets, where great cultures and religions mixed.
Gastronomy, events, world-class heritage sites, shopping are some of the things that visitors can indulge in. What really enhances Thessaloniki’s atmosphere are the enduring symbols of its glorious history, from the White Tower on its café-lined waterfront all the way up to the Byzantine walls, just above the Upper Town (Ano Poli), an enchanting neighborhood of pretty traditional houses set on winding, peaceful alleyways.
Down from them impressive constructions are to be found, such as, the 4th-century Church of Agios Dimitrios (said to be the largest in Greece), the enormous Roman Rotunda, and the sculpted Arch of Galerius in Kamara, thronged with students from Thessaloniki’s universities. Indeed, Thessaloniki’s multitude of young people gives it a vivacious, stylish mood, which can be felt in its cafés, restaurants and bars, even in its shops and designer hair salons.
Still livable and relatively small, Thessaloniki has none of Athens’ opprobrious traffic or smog. True, it’s no budget destination, but Thessaloniki is packed with life and should be on every traveller’s itinerary.
After being chased from Thessaloniki the Apostle Paul went to Veria, where he preached the Holy Gospel to jews and Greeks. The spot in Veria where Paul stood and preached, is called the "Apostle Paul's Altar" and is now an imposing monument with beautiful mosaics.