Ano Poli (Upper Town)
- Type: Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Miraculously missed by the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917, Ano Poli (or Upper Town) is the historical portion of the original city. Lonely Planet describes the area as "an enchanting neighborhood of pretty traditional houses set on winding, peaceful alleyways." One Virtual Tourist user suggests, "Walk around, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to visit, and enjoy the view of the Thermaikos gulf and the sunset from this spot." As mentioned, the lookout points are fantastic; on a clear day you can see Mount Olympus.
The cuisine is equally fantastic. Frommer's reports: "The long traditions of Macedonian cuisine are infused with zesty flavors of the Pontus (the area around the Black Sea where most of the city's refugees had lived). And, there's another reason that the food here is so good: The restaurants cater to local customers; none of them make their living off tourists." So, indulge in a delicious meal and watch the sunset with a glass of ouzo in your hand.
Aside from the view and the food, Ano Poli possesses a few historic attractions of its own. While in the area, be sure to peer inside the Church of Osios David to see a gorgeous mosaic in its apse. Or snap a few shots of the 11th-century red brick arches at the Panagia Chalkeon. According to travelers, however, you can skip the Vlatodon Monastery. Modern renovations destroyed much of the site's artwork and Old World charm.
You could walk to Ano Poli from many points in the city, but the trek would be uphill. Consider taking Bus no. 22 from Dikastirion Square. Also visit the Acropolis while you're in the area; Ano Poli is sandwiched between that site and downtown Thessaloniki.