Located on the country’s Northern coast and populated by a laid-back, gregarious bunch of Mediterranean party animals, Greece’s second city has a lot of fun on offer. Despite being in the midst of one of the worst financial crises in Europe, the people of Thessaloniki are not letting money troubles drag them down. Thessaloniki is definitely an easy place to enjoy life; with a backdrop of verdant mountains and the sea right on its doorstep, the welcoming city positively encourages visitors to slow down, soak in the atmosphere, have a coffee, look up from their smartphones and live a little.
The Treehouse café and bar, located in the middle of leafy green Alexander’s Garden, is not only one of the most popular local hangouts for the fashion set, but also serves some of the best coffee in a city famed for its caffeine addiction. Brightly colored lampshades have been strategically placed on top of the tree that grows right through the middle of the bar.
Pioneering the spirit of secondhand fashion in the city, Renew Boutique has come up with a win-win-win concept where you earn money for donating items, a percentage of each sale goes to a charity to support victims of human trafficking, and you—the shopper—get a pick of the city’s best selection of vintage clothes and accessories. The shop itself is decorated in turquoise and hot pink with the “Rethink, Reuse, Restyle” motto etched on the wall.
Museum of Photography
Housed in a repurposed redbrick warehouse in Thessaloniki’s old harbor, the Museum of Photography is as much an architectural experience as it is a photographic one. The minimalist interior, with its exposed metal roof frames, electricity cables and water-pipes, lends itself to the overall contemporary artistic focus and the old industrial feel of the architecture is a stark yet complimentary juxtaposition to the new more creative functionality of the building.
Sometimes the best bars in town are the ones that are the hardest to find—and Fragile Bar is one of these well-kept local secrets. Located up a graffitied stairwell in a somewhat run-down building, Fragile Bar watches over the trendy young neighborhood of Valaoritou from its rooftop heights, and is only visible from the street if you know where to look. Both the indoor space and the outdoor roof bar are furnished using wooden crates up-cycled as tables and chairs, further accentuating the venue’s chill vibe.
Nea Folia Restaurant
Nea Folia is another one of those places you might easily miss if you weren’t looking for it. Located on the corner of Aristomenous Street, the tavern is slightly submerged below street level and once you get past the rather lackluster entrance, you’ll find the interior has an inviting air. Despite its unassuming appearance, Nea Folia has some of the best and most creatively innovative food in town. The young chefs experiment freely with some of the tastiest traditional Northern Greek classics, giving them an ingeniously contemporary twist and serving them in haute cuisine style.
The Met Hotel
The minimalist design combined with high service standards and an excellent location makes The Met Hotel easily one of the best places to stay in the city. The seamless balance between a décor of stark lines and monochromatic color tones and the temptingly cosy selection of furniture ensures that neither comfort nor style are sacrificed, and, the cherry on the proverbial cake, the stunning rooftop pool with views across the city to the mountains.
Images courtesy of respective venues