16 August 2023


Thessaloniki (Salonica) is the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia (not to be confused with the neighbouring country, North Macedonia) and the second-largest city in the country.

I had the benefit of a local guide, Giotis, a friend of George "Delaney Blue" Betzounis (aka "The Ancient Greek"). He showed me some of the local bars and restaurants and introduced me to his charming friends.

With my host in Thessaloniki, Giotis (right) 
and his friends Christos and Lena

The ancient roots of the city are not obvious. Most buildings seem to be from the 20th century, but there are some archaeological sites being excavated, including the Roman Agora.

The Roman Agora

There are also some visible traces of the old city fortifications, the most impressive being the White Tower.

The White Tower

The tower itself is well preserved/restored. The "museum" on the inside, however, is a complete waste of time and money. 
The exhibitions consist solely of videos and photos. There are no historical artefacts at all. Not a single one!
All the captions are in Greek only. The audio guide – that you download to your phone if your QR code scanner works – makes reference to "exhibit 1.2", for example, but you have no idea which screen/image that refers to.
Admire the building from the outside, but don't waste 6 euros to see six floors of nothing. Five, actually; you can buy a fridge magnet on the 6th floor.

Next leg

On Wednesday I take the bus (ugh!) to Sofia as there are no international trains to or from Greece these days.

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