Museum of Byzantine Culture0
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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#0 The White Tower (Lefkos Pyrghos)
As one Virtual Tourist puts it, "What the Piazza is to Rome, and the leaning Tower is to Pisa, that is the White Tower to Thessaloniki." Built by the Ottomans sometime after 1430, this former prison and fortress is now a satellite branch of the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Visit for yourself and you'll find that its elegant design offers a brief overview of the town's history. A TripAdvisor user admits, "What impressed me the most was the video of the fire that destroyed Thessaloniki in 1917." Certainly enjoy the exhibits, but also take time to savor the view of Thessaloniki from the top terrace -- a perfect photo op.
This near-perfect attraction does have some major logistical nightmares. Because the infrastructure of the ancient building cannot support modern updates, "The exhibition does not provide air conditioning, toilets for the visitors, cafeteria and cloakroom" reports the museum's website. Additionally, there's no elevator to accommodate travelers with disabilities (there are video monitors on the first floor that provide digital tours). Due to heat restrictions, only 70 people may be in the structure at one point. So, waiting in line to enter is part of the experience.
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