Thessaloniki is Greece's second-largest city, with a population of 788,000. Olympic Airways (800/223-1226; www.olympicairways.gr) flies once a day from New York to Athens, where you can catch one of eight daily flights to Thessaloniki. There are also five daily express trains from Athens—though the six-hour trip can be noisy and crowded. The city holds its popular annual film festival and trade fair in September; if you plan to visit during this time, be sure to make hotel reservations well in advance.
WHERE TO STAY
Andromeda A boutique hotel on a quiet downtown street a short walk from the harbor. The 44 rooms range in style from African to Art Deco. DOUBLES FROM $275. 5 KOMNINON ST.; 30-2310/373-700; www.andromedahotels.gr
Capsis Bristol Hotel This 1870 building once housed the city's first post office. It's now a 20-room hotel with a bistro-bar, the Medousa. DOUBLES FROM $275. OPLOPIOU AND KATOUNI STS.; 30-2310/506-500; www.capsishotel.gr
Makedonia Palace Grand and modern, with lots of marble. All 284 rooms have balconies; ask for one with a view of the sea. DOUBLES FROM $282. 2 MEGALOU ALEXANDROU BLVD.; 30-2310/897-197; www.grecotel.gr
WHERE TO EAT
Dodoni The best ice cream in Greece: chocorello (creamy chocolate with cherries), kaimaki (made with mastic, crystallized tree resin), and, of course, pistachio. 13 NIKIS BLVD. (ON THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF ARISTOTLE SQUARE); 30-2310/442-455
Olympion Café This is where the locals meet to gossip and people-watch. Absolutely de rigueur for late-afternoon frappedes (iced powdered coffee)—the national post-nap beverage. LUNCH FOR TWO $54. 10 ARISTOTLE SQUARE; 30-2310/284-001
Taverna Konaki A neighborhood hangout in the Upper City, run by an attentive husband-and-wife team. They make a fabulous ghavros saganaki (fresh anchovies cooked in feta cheese, mustard, pepper, and dill); loukanika (grilled seasoned country sausage); and bouyiourdí (cheese sautéed with hot peppers in tomato sauce). For dessert, homemade baklava and kazan tipi, a quivering custard topped with sesame seeds. DINNER FOR TWO $22. AKROPOLEOS AND MOREAS STS.; 30-2310/213-390
Tottis A taverna serving typical Greek mezes (appetizers): dried mackerel soaked in vinegar, onions, and dill; sardines, breaded and fried; tender octopus. This is ouzeri food, Greece's answer to tapas—small plates of highly savory dishes that contrast perfectly with ouzo, the famous anise-flavored liqueur. DINNER FOR TWO $22. 3 ARISTOTLE SQUARE; 30-2310/237-715
Archaeological Museum Archaic, classical, and Hellenistic sculptures from Thessaloniki and Macedonia. (Now under renovation and only partly opened through next spring.) 6 MANOLIS ANDRONIKOU ST.; 30-2310/830-538
Museum of Byzantine Culture Sculptures, wall paintings, mosaic floors, metalwork, coins, and religious engravings and icons from the Byzantine period. 2 STRATOU AVE.; 30-2310/868-5705
Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki Photographs and artifacts trace the history of the city's Jews from the third century b.c. until the Second World War. 13 AYIOU MINA ST.; 30-2310/250-406; www.jmth.gr
Museum of Ancient, Byzantine, and Post-Byzantine Musical Instruments Thessaloniki's newest museum displays reproductions of 280 musical instruments. 12-14 KATOUNI ST.; 30-2310/555-2636
Ayios Dimitrios 97 AYIOU DIMITRIOU ST.
Ayia Sophia AYIAS SOPHIAS SQUARE
Ayios Georgios ROTUNDA SQUARE
Ayios Nikolaos Orphanos 20 IRODOTOU ST. (UPPER CITY)
Ayia Ekaterini IOUS AND SAHTOURI STS.
Ayios Pandeleimon IASSONIDI AND ARRIANOU STS.
Church of Osios David EPIMENIDOU ST. (UPPER CITY)