If you are looking to move to a city with an extremely rich history, amazing food, and reasonable housing prices, Thessaloniki is the place to be! Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece with a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. The city is located in central Macedonia on the Thermaic Gulf, at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea. After reading this blog you will know more about Thessaloniki’s environment, nightlife, culture, public transport, housing, health care and some words to get you started

Fun Facts about Thessaloniki:

  • Thessaloniki Municipality has a population of 325,182
  • White Tower was formerly named Red Tower. After Thessaloniki was liberated from Ottoman rule, it was painted white and renamed.
  • Thessaloniki was one of the first places where Christianity was preached when Paul the Apostle visited the city in 50/51 Anno Domini.
Promenade, Thessaloniki, Greece, View, City, Recruit4work
  • Thessaloniki was the birthplace of the brothers Cyril and Methodius, the inventors of the oldest known Slavic alphabet
  • The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was built on the ground of a Jewish cemetery that was destroyed during the German occupation of the city in 1942.
  • Thessaloniki is home to 15 World Heratige Sites by UNESCO!
  • Thessaloniki is the city of sweets. You will find a patisserie, gelateria, or a baklava store almost every 500m
  • The city is 19.307 km2 big
  • The city’s main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece

City overview 


Thessaloniki was founded around 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedonia, Thessaloniki was made the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Afterwards, in the first years of the Byzantine Empire Thessaloniki was considered the second city in the Empire after Constantinople. Then the capture of Gallipoli by the Ottomans in 1345 kicked off a rapid Turkish expansion in the southern Balkans. Thessaloniki remained in Ottoman hands until 1403. On October 27, 1912, during the first Balkan War, the Greek army liberated the city, while in 1917 the city faced its greatest disaster ever, as a huge fire destroyed nearly three-quarters of the center. This had serious side effects in the following years. During the Second World War Thessaloniki was occupied by the Germans. The entire Jewish population of the city was expelled to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. The liberation of the city took place on October 27th, 1944, the same day as the liberation from the Ottomans 32 years earlier.


The city center is divided into several districts, including Dimokratias Square, Ladadika, Kapani, Diagonios, Navarinou, Rotonda, Agia Sofia, and Hippodrome, which are all located around Thessaloniki’s most central point, Aristotelous Square. Ano Poli is the heritage-listed district north of Thessaloniki’s city center that was not destroyed by the great fire of 1917 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Municipality of Thessaloniki, in addition to the historic center and the Upper Town, there are the following districts: Xirokrini, Dikastiria, Ichthioskala, Palaios Stathmos, Lachanokipoi, Behtsinari, Panagia Faneromeni, Doxa, Saranta Ekklisies, Evangelistria, Triandria, Agia Triada-Faliro, Ippokrateio, Charilaou, Analipsi, Depot and Toumba.

Coast, Thessaloniki, Promenade, Greece, View, City, Recruit4work


The climate of Thessaloniki is directly influenced by the Aegean Sea, on which it is located. Because the city is situated in a climatic transition zone, it has characteristics of various climates. The city has a Mediterranean climate with a semi-arid climate on the border of the city, according to the Köppen climate classification. The annual precipitation is 450 mm. However, the city’s summer precipitation ranges from 20 to 30 mm, therefore it cannot be classified as a Mediterranean climate. Summer precipitation increases gradually to the north and west, becoming humid subtropical.

The average daily temperature is 15.9°. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 26.9°. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 5.4°. The month of December has the most precipitation and August has the least precipitation. Moreover, Thessaloniki has 2,337.5 hours of sunshine throughout the year!

Culture & Nightlife


Cassander of Macedon founded the city in 315 BC, naming it after his wife Thessalonike, daughter of Philip II of Macedon and sister of Alexander the Great. Thessaloniki, a significant metropolis during the Roman period, was the Byzantine Empire’s second-largest and wealthiest city. In 1430, the Ottomans conquered it, and it remained an important seaport and multi-ethnic metropolis for nearly five centuries under Turkish rule.

On November 8, 1912, it was transferred from the Ottoman Empire to the Kingdom of Greece. Thessaloniki features Byzantine architecture, including a World Heritage Site with numerous Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments, as well as Roman, Ottoman, and Sephardic Jewish structures.

Alexander the great, Statue, Thessaloniki, Greece, Culture, Recruit4work (2)

When you move to Thessaloniki there are a lot of attractions you must see. Perhaps the most famous sight is the white tower. This was a notorious prison during the Ottoman rule. Nowadays this is a museum and on top of the tower, you have an amazing 365° view of the city. The Heptapyrgion Fortress is also a well-known attraction. This is an abandoned Byzantine fortress and a notorious prison. Furthermore, Thessaloniki has a whopping 15 World Heritage Sites. Among these are for example, the Rotunda, the Vlatodon monastery, and the church of Saint Demetrius. Lastly, when you are in Thessaloniki, you have to see the Promenade. The Beach Promenade is Thessaloniki’s most well-known and visited attraction. It runs along Nikis Square and passes by the town’s trademark, the White Tower, as well as numerous cafeterias and bars that are open 24 hours a day. This is a popular nightlife destination for both locals and visitors.


Greek cuisine is based on the triad of olive oil, wheat, and wine, as are many other Mediterranean cuisines. It includes veal, lamb, pork, poultry, beef, rabbit, and goat. Pasta, yogurt, olives, cheeses, herbs, and lemon juice are also important ingredients. Wheat bread is common, but other grains, especially barley, are also used, particularly for paximathia. Fruits, honey, nuts, and filo pastries are all common dessert ingredients. It carries on ancient Greek and Byzantine culinary traditions while also combining Balkan and Italian influences. Popular dishes in Thessaloniki include Bougatsa, Pork Souvlaki, Kazan Dibi, and Gamopilafo.

Nightclub, Nightlife, Night scene, Thessaloniki, Greece, Recruit4work_files


Thessaloniki has an explosive night scene. It is home to some of Greece’s best nightlife. Thessaloniki comes alive every sunset with young people strolling around the town’s bars and cafeterias, which are known for their all-night clubs and uplifting atmosphere. The Beach Promenade and Ladadika are two of Thessaloniki’s nightlife hotspots. There are a lot of lounge cafeterias to enjoy a wonderful night out, as well as the buzzing clubs and bars of Thessaloniki. During summer, some bar-boats leave from Thessaloniki’s port and take a tour of the gulf with a view of the city’s night lights. This is an absolute must when you are planning a night out in Thessaloniki.

Public transport

The only method of public transportation in Thessaloniki is the bus. The busses are operated by OASTH (ΟΑΣΘ), the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization. They have 68 bus lines across Thessaloniki. OASTH also has a website with press releases, tourism, information about the organization, a service page, ticket prices,  a contact page, and a page for the disabled. Additionally, the bus operating company has an app available for iOS and Android.

Thessaloniki, Greece, Public transport, Bus, Ticket, Recruit4work


Below I added a table with the ticket prices for the bus. The reduced price is for children aged 7 to 12 years, young people aged 13 to 18, students of public secondary education over 18 years old, students of public higher education, students of public I.E.K, students of public schools, large families, citizens over the age of 65 and the Α.μεΑ. with a disability rate of 67% or more.

Ticket Price Reducedprice
Basic ticket – Valid for a single movement on all bus lines of O.AS.TH. (lines 50 CULTURAL LINE and KTEL – AIRPORT (01X, 01N) are excluded) €0.90 €0.45
Time ticket 2 – Valid for 2 transfers that will be made to and from any direction and to and from any bus line (excluding the lines 50 CULTURAL LINE and KTEL – AIRPORT (01X, 01N)) within 70 minutes from their first ratification. €1.10 €0.55
Time ticket 3 – Valid for up to 3 transfers  from and to any direction and from and to any bus line (excluding lines 50 CULTURAL LINE, KTEL – AIRPORT (01X, 01N)) that will be made within 90 minutes from their first validation. €1.30 €0.70
€Time ticket 4 – Valid for up to 4 transfers  to and from any direction and to and from any bus line (excluding lines 50 CULTURAL LINE, KTEL – AIRPORT (01X, 01N)) which will be made within 120 minutes from their first validation. €1.80 €0.90
Ticket Culture line (50) and Airport Macedonia (01X, 01N) – valid only for one transfer, which concern exclusively these lines. €1.80 €0.90

All of the above tickets you can buy the ticket offices of OASTH. Furthermore, the basic ticket and time ticket 2 can be bought in about 1000 stores in Thessaloniki. On the bus itself, you can only buy the basic ticket, time ticket 4, and the Culture line and Airport ticket. These are issued by the on-bus publishing machines. Lastly, you can also buy the Culture Line and Airport ticket from the escorts of the Cultural Line (50).


Housing in Thessaloniki is very affordable. Rent prices differentiate depending on the location and condition of the living space. On average you can expect to pay around €400 per month for a room in Thessaloniki. However, you might as well get an apartment instead, because a one-bedroom apartment will only cost you between €300 and €400 per month. If you are moving with your family and you need 2 bedrooms, the rent price is around €500 to €600.

Housing, Room, Apartment, Thessaloniki, Greece, Recruit4work

No idea where to start your search? No worries! To make looking for a living space easier, I have some websites for you where you can find places to rent. Additionally, you can try to look for people offering rooms and apartments in Facebook groups


Greece’s healthcare standards are generally high: in terms of procedures offered at both public and private institutions, as well as the number of specialists working in the country, it is on level with other European countries.

In Athens and Thessaloniki, there are a large number of excellent doctors who can handle any medical problem. These cities are also the only places where Greece’s many private clinics can be found, so if you have private health insurance, you must be able to access one of these cities easily.

State health insurance is only available to expats who also contribute to the economy. If you work for a company based in Greece, your healthcare contribution will be deducted automatically from your salary.

Keep in mind that emergency care in Greece is always free at the point of service, regardless of whether you are a legal resident or not, so you won’t have to worry about not being treated if you have a severe accident. People frequently choose insurance for the aftercare component because it ensures a high level of treatment with additional comfort options.

Here are some important phone numbers to save in case of an emergency:

  •       European emergency number: 112
  •       Police: 100.
  •       Fire station: 199.
  •       Center for Emergency Assistance (Ambulances): 166.
  •       Duty and Overnight Pharmacy: 14944.
  •       Overnight Hospitals and Clinics: 14944.

Some words to get you started

Thessalonians’ native language is Greek, the country’s official language, while English is the most popular foreign language in use.

English Greek Pronunciation
Public transport Δημόσια συγκοινωνία Dimósia synkoinonía
Restaurant Εστιατόριο Estiatório
Supermarket Σουπερμάρκετ Soupermárket
Store κατάστημα Katástima
Hospital Νοσοκομείο Nosokomeío
Nightclub Νυχτερινό κέντρο Nychterinó kéntro
What time is it? Τι ώρα είναι? Ti óra eínai?
How are you doing? Πώς είσαι? Pós eísai?
Can you help me please? Μπορείς να με βοηθήσεις σε παρακαλώ? Boreís na me voithíseis se parakaló?
Where can I find … ? Πού μπορώ να βρω …? Poú boró na vro … ?
How much does this cost? Πόσο κοστίζει αυτό? Póso kostízei aftó?