Ano Poli (Upper Town)0
Price & Hours
- 4.5Food Scene
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.
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#0 Museum of Byzantine Culture
Winner of the Council of Europe's Museum Prize in 2005, the Museum of Byzantine Culture beautifully displays regional artifacts that concern the ancient empire. Everyday objects and artwork that reflect the social, religious and political aspects of this period are displayed in a dynamic and chronological way. One Virtual Tourist attests that the museum "gives a greater appreciation for the importance of Thessaloniki in older times that you may not get without going here." To learn the most about Thessaloniki's history, you'd best be served by visiting this museum after the Archeological Museum, which has exhibitions that predate the Byzantine era. Fortunately, the two are only a five-minute walk away from each other.
The Museum of Byzantine Culture is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday with extended hours on Monday. To reach this site or the Archeological Museum, you can take Bus no. 58 from Dikastirion Square or Bus no. 11 eastward on Egnatia Street. Entrance costs about €4 EUR (or about $5.50 USD). For more information, visit the official website.
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