THESSALONIKI

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, and a popular stop over for those vacationing in northern Greece. It seems like a perfect size city in which it would be fun to live. The city dates back to the 4th century BC, and had an interesting history- you can still find traces of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. 

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The main square in the city center is the Aristotle's Square, appropriately adorned by the statue of this ancient Greek philosopher who was born near Thessaloniki. The great thing about travel is that it makes you curious and prompts you to research all kinds of topics - so, after a quick google search,  we were reminded that Aristotle is most famous for his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience. The square itself is rather spacious, full of beautiful hotels and restaurants. 

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The nicest thing to do in Thessaloniki is to just roam around, enjoy the city and the food, and do some great shopping. Don't get me wrong- there are plenty of things to see- the White Tower offers not only a great view of the city, but also a slowly climb to the top with interesting exhibit and lots of information on city history on each floor. You can also see intringuing street art, and beautiful Orthodox Christian churches on every corner. Especially interesting is the Museum of Byzantine Art and the Cemetery for Allied forces of World War I. 

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When in Greece, you absolutely have to try the famous Greek coffee-frappe, eat gyros and souvlaki, and drink Retsina, an inexpensive white wine which, for some unknown reason, only tastes wonderful when you are in Greece. 

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Although the White Tower offers a nice view of the Thermaic Gulf of the Agean Sea, it cannot be compared to the view you will get if you go up to the Heptapyrgion, a Byzantine and Ottoman era fortress that offers this breathtaking view of the city and the sea.

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We stayed in a wonderful boutique hotel Colors Central Ladadika in a wonderful part of town (called Ladadika of course). It is a 5 minute walk from the Aristotelous Square, and is full of little cafes and restaurants. Would highly recommend staying in this area. Even through we were there for few days only, we immediately found a local breakfast place and numerous local restaurants that made us feel at home. 

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