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Thessaloniki suggestions

I'll be arriving in Thessaloniki on September 8 landing around 11am and will meet my tour group around 6pm on September 11. My idea was to do the HOHO to see the well known churches, museums and ruins and to get me to the Ana Poli neighborhood, the churches in this area and of course the old walls and views. I definitely want to go to the Jewish museum. I'd like to take the pirate boat out for a drink and views from the water. I want to shop in the markets. I'm a plant based eater, no dairy, but I move to vegetarian while on vacation. I don't have a lot of time but think I can manage all this easily. Is there anything you could recommend? Any favorite restaurants that might fit my dietary choices. Also I want to get a street map with all the sights on it. Can anyone tell me if the RS Greece guidebook has a Thessaloniki map? I plan to look at other options but if you can recommend a better source I'd be greatful.

I've narrowed my hotel choices down to two, the Bristol Hotel and The Electra Palace. Both have all I'd want and more. Both have great locations, somewhat close in price. I like the idea of biking offered by the Bristol but I'd also love to swim at night which I can get at the Electra and that roof top restaurant would be easy to access. Can't make up my mind. Can anyone help sway my choice.

Posted by
56 posts

Ah, I‘m jealous. My husband and I LOVED Thessaloniki when we were there about three years ago. It’s so very different in feel from Athens. Rick does not cover the area in his guidebooks, so we relied a lot on Trip Advisor. We too debated between the two hotels that you mention, but went with Bristol Hotel and I am so glad we did. The hotels are fairly close to each other, but the Bristol is in a particularly charming area of shops, restaurants, and bars. Our room at the hotel was quite spacious and lovely, but the two most outstanding aspects of our stay were the amazing breakfasts - made to order from a wide menu of choices - and the very warm and informative staff. The Electra Palace has the nice rooftop bar/restaurant. We ended up going there both afternoons after sightseeing, so we felt that we had the best of both worlds. I don’t if the bus we took is the HOHO one you’re referring to, but the tourist bus we took was a disappointment, tinny sound system and by the time they did the English description of sites (which followed the Greek narration) we were usually past the site. We took the advice of the wonderful man working at the hotel desk, and got off midway in the circle tour, at the top of the town. We strolled around the old city wall and lovely streets up there, taking in the views down over city to the waterfront and then walked back to our hotel, stopping at churches and ruins along the way. I think that we used a map that we got at the hotel front desk. We didn‘t use their bikes, but we were tempted to as there were many people biking along the waterfront. We’re history buffs so we really enjoyed the great archeological museum in Thessaloniki. Highly recommended! I’m afraid that I can‘t help with vegetarian restaurants.

Posted by
1234 posts

We spent a couple of weeks in Thessaloniki in September 2016 and loved it. We wrote up some of our favourite eating places. They are not specifically vegetarian bu most will have vegetable options. Look for example at the Ouzeri Tsinari where we had a boiled vegetable dish.

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Thessaloniki_restaurants.html

Have a great trip

Alan

Posted by
276 posts

Thank you DebbieP. I've used the internet only for research so far. I figured RS guidebook wouldn't be any help reading some comments on this forum. I'll have to go to the bookstore and look through books. Maybe AAA. I'd love to have a map in hand before I leave just to get a lay of the land. I've read about the bad sound system complaints with the city tour buses on trip advisor. The HOHO is a cheap taxi really getting to places I want to see. Figured I'll have to be my own guide.

Thank you for your Bristol hotel comments. A helpful front desk is so important. As much as I want to swim I can do that after dinner while we cruise. And I can bike. I've read about Bristols great breakfast and you confirmed the opinion. So the Bristol it is.

Posted by
276 posts

Thank you Alan. Fantastic restaurant write up. I'm going to print it out and take it with me. So many great choices. This will be very helpful. Thank you.

Posted by
2513 posts

My favorite Overall Guidebook is ROUGH GUIDE -- unlike many others, that concentrate on island and mainland areas that are most tourist-heavy, RG gives in-depth coverage. My favorite Athens map is by OrangeSmile and it also has 2 great maps of Thessaloniki --- online you click to enlarge to see every street (with names in English), and you can download it, and also print it out.
http://www.orangesmile.com/travelguide/thessaloniki/high-resolution-maps.htm

Posted by
276 posts

Thanks Janet. Just a quick look before I leave for work but it looks great. I can do a lot with this info. Thank you. Getting excited about this trip.