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Located in northern Greece, about a five-hour drive from Athens, this important city is a great winter destination and the best place in the country to explore its Christmas markets and other events related to the merry season.
Greece does not have a remarkable reputation when celebrating Christmas, as Easter is the most important religious festivity in the country. However, Thessaloniki has a great selection of Christmas Markets, and this article brings you the most important details to make the most of your visit.
How To Get To Thessaloniki
The most usual way to get to Thessaloniki is to travel there from Athens. The quickest way to get to Thessaloniki is to take a flight from Athens, which would take nearly one hour. Driving is another good option to stop on the way and take in the gorgeous views. Car rental is probably the most popular way to travel in Greece.
Public transport is also available; you can travel to Thessaloniki by boarding a bus from the Kifissos Bus Terminal or a train from Athen’s central station. A bus would take about seven hours, and a train would take nearly four hours to reach Thessaloniki.
Weather In Thessaloniki In Winter (December To February)
Thessaloniki does not have frigid winters, as you can find in the northernmost areas of the country. Winters in Thessaloniki are mild, while there is sometimes occasional rain and snow. The average temperature is around six °C and can be hilly at night.
Thessaloniki Christmas Accommodation
Check the following places to stay in Thessaloniki at Christmas; you will find accommodation options for different budgets.
Christmas In Thessaloniki – Christmas Markets & Where To Go
These are the most popular Christmas spots in town; it includes a few markets, as well as traditional Christmas fairs and picturesque neighborhoods where the Christmas spirits are high during this time of the year
Christmas Flea Market
Yes, there is also a very Christmassy atmosphere at Thessaloniki’s flea market every winter. This market is open all year round but gets a completely different atmosphere during the merry season.
The market is held indoors at the premises of an old warehouse by the port, which has been refurbished and looks incredibly beautiful with its Christmas decor and dozens of stalls.
You can purchase second-hand presents and find interesting vintage objects, including clothes, bags, and sunglasses, but also objects for the house and other curiosities.
There are also a few food stalls where to taste delicious Christmas cookies, including the famous melomakarona and kourabiedes, two of Greece’s beloved Christmas staples.
Considered the most important Christmas Market in the city, this event takes place in the central Aristotelous Square, between the Roman Agora and the square.
This notable space is set up around the last week of November and features entertainment activities, events, music, and dances for the whole family.
As is the tradition in Christmas Markets, you will find an assortment of Christmas trinkets and souvenirs, tree decorations, lights, and delicious treats — do not forget that Thessaloniki has the reputation of being the city that produces the best sweets and desserts in the country!
Children will love the variety of activities devoted to them, while teens and young visitors enjoy the concerts and other musical performances often held in the evenings.
Keep in mind that Thessaloniki is a vital university center. Therefore there is a huge population of students who live over there.
Translating as the world of start, this Asterokosmos is a fun entertainment event at the premises of the HELEXPO (the exhibition center of the Thessaloniki International Fair).
Attracting Greek families with small children during the weeks leading to Christmas, this fun Christmas park is perfect for all the family. From fun rides to stunning ice skating rinks, the complex also features games, music shows, and activities for children.
There are Christmas workshops, acrobatic shows, and the fantastic Santa Claus village where kids can meet and greet elves, leave their wish lists, and be surrounded by a truly magical atmosphere.
Also known as the European Christmas Village, this market was held back in 2019, and the citizens hope to have it back this season.
The Christmas village in Dikastirion Square, near the Courts, features over 40 wooden houses that function as stalls selling delicious treats and fancy Christmas decor.
There is also a giant Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and live music every evening.
With a special area devoted to small children, with games, Santa’s home, and the elves workshop, kids can also enjoy a ride on a Christmas train and learn about crafts. At the same time, parents taste and buy local products or enjoy free music concerts on the main stage, traditional dances, and many other entertaining shows, such as puppet shows, that both kids and adults enjoy.
Although this is not a Christmas market in itself, Ladadika, one of the most picturesque districts in Thessaloniki as well as a local cultural heritage site, is decorated with so many trees and lights that it really resembles a dreamy Christmas market as dozens of pedestrian streets are part of a former olive oil market meandering around the district in a maze.
The district is perfect for enjoying a festive dinner in one of the many traditional taverns, restaurants, and bars. The decorations and lights produce one of the most enchanting Christmas settings in the city, even when there is no Christmas market around.
All over Thessaloniki, you are bound to come across stunning Christmas decorations, lights, and trees that give the city its special Christmas atmosphere.
It is a good idea to check out the commercial districts; for instance, visit the area around Tsimiski Avenue, one of the city’s most important commercial districts.
There are dozens of shops featuring Christmas lights and decorations, and it is the perfect place to find Christmas gifts for the whole family.
Getting lost around the streets of lesser-known neighborhoods can also be rewarding; most churches have Christmas decorations, while public squares feature the traditional Christmas boat that the Greeks love to decorate.
This is a unique Greek tradition typical of many islands that can also be found on the mainland.
As you can see, even when Greece does not really play it big during Christmas, there are still destinations that stand out for their fantastic Christmas spirit; Thessaloniki is one of them.
Besides, the city is close to some of the most important ski resorts in the country, allowing you to enjoy a short ski or snowboard break with the family while also exploring the Christmas markets in town.
We hope that you enjoy Christmas in Thessaloniki. And that you love our Thessaloniki Christmas market guide.