Ayios Dimitrios (Saint Dmitri)0
Price & Hours
To honor their patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the citizens of Thessaloniki built this massive church atop the land where he was murdered in the 5th century. Now visitors flock to the area to see Ayios Dimitrios's mosaics and beautiful façade. There's also an impressive (though small) collection of artifacts in the church's crypt, found on site from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires that once occupied the city.
Still, the real treasure is above ground. One Virtual Tourist says: "The interior of the church is quite impressive and deserves more than a bit of time. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to fully take in the beauty of the artwork, as this is a popular stop for bus tours." But, don't miss the gorgeous mosaics on both sides of the altar.
Ayios Dimitrios is located in the smack-dab center of Thessaloniki, directly between Aristotelous Square and Ano Polis. It's free to enter, but donations are encouraged. The church is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with shortened hours on Monday. Note that the crypt closes earlier.
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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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