Thessaloniki • Travel Guide for Digital Nomads2023-10-29T10:25:05+00:00
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DNN’S TRAVEL GUIDESGREECE • THESSALONIKI

Thessaloniki might not be as attractive as Athens, but it has its own spark. There is a different vibe here!

People are extremely friendly 😎; also it is way cheaper 🤑 when compared to the Hellenic capital; there are picturesque Byzantine archeological remains to visit; an effervescent contemporary artistic scene – especially when it comes to photography 📷 and movies 🎥; the food is superb (and inexpensive) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐; the internet connection is super fast, and you can visit some of its beautiful orthodox ⛪ churches.

You will be near to some very cool short trips (not so easy without a car, it isn’t well-connected) to Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Albania; as well as for weekends to tour 🚃 the monasteries of the Meteora, the beaches of the Halkidiki peninsula 🩴 and the well known Mt. Athos 🙏🏻 ⚠️ 🚫 🚺

BEST TIME TO GO

If you are looking for mild-warm temperatures, the months to head to Thessaloniki are May, June, September & October.

During July & August, it gets very hot and there is no beach in Thessaloniki, the nearest is around 30 minutes drive or 1 hour by bus, so it becomes quite unpleasant during the summer months. We came here during these months, and we regretted not going somewhere up North or in a beach house anywhere else.

You should consider renting something on the beach just a few hours away in the beautiful Halkidiki peninsula. We couldn’t do that because everything was already rented and there were very high prices for what was left, but if you plan it ahead it could work! P.S: When I say ahead, I mean around 6 months in advance.

COST OF LIVING

Thessaloniki is much cheaper than Athens.

Especially when it comes to groceries, but not only that. During the high season – when the price of short-term apartments can go crazy in most parts of Greece – there seem to maintain normal pricing.

For an entire nice apartment in the center, with A/C rented through Airbnb, expect to spend around €700/month. But also all the other services such as gym, transportation, coworking spaces, eating out… go down in price! Except for the cappuccinos, those are still super expensive.

According to Nomadlist, you will need $2,121 to live in Thessaloniki and Numbeo reports €655 without including rent. The reality is that in 2022 you will need around €600 per person (excluding the apartment) to live a good life.

NEIGHBORHOODS & APARTMENTS

As digital nomads, we haven’t found (yet) a better option for short-term rentals than Airbnb (clicking HERE, you can find our favorite ones for this city).

This is the main reason for which most of the time we end up choosing the apartments there, although we are aware that the local prices are much cheaper! But, if you are looking for some alternatives for renting an apartment in Thessaloniki, you could try FlatioSublet, and the Greek CityApartments.

When it comes to picking a neighborhood, Thessaloniki has many choices, but they are all very similar except for the old town area. If I have to be honest, this time we didn’t care much and just rented the first nice house that we found (sometimes goes that way too). The city has a safe environment and there are no “bad” neighborhoods in the city center. The old city might be more characteristic but far away from the other things, so I would recommend staying in the middle. We pick Ekaterini’s apartment on Airbnb, it is on Kassandrou road, and it was a perfect choice (is on the 6th floor, and it has no elevator, it wasn’t a problem for us, but just so you know!).

TRANSPORTATION

Moving around, and inside Thessaloniki could be done by:

  • Public bus 🚌 (buy your tickets in advance in a local store and remember that Sunday nearly everything is closed). You can check all the public bus timetables in the iOS & Android app OASTH bus or even on their website (just use the translator to English by clicking right on the site). It isn’t very clear, but it is what you have got (Google Maps wouldn’t work to check for local routes).
  • Taxi 🚕 the most used app for a cab ride is: beat. Using taxis isn’t that expensive, but you would neither use them for long distances.
  • Airplane ✈️ from the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia. Apparently, it is quite common to go to Kefalonia from here, as it is only 30 mins away by plane.

GYM & SPORTS

There’s a good gym for €35/month in the city center, it is called BODY Fit. Besides this, I found this road around the Byzantine walls of the old city and the only park in the town, Pasha’s Garden, to be perfect for jogging, totally recommend it!

EATING OUT & GROCERIES

This is the best part of Thessaloniki, the food. Eating out is a pleasure if you know their hidden treasure restaurants, it is cheap and super tasty.

Let’s start with the basics.

If you are home, hungry, and cannot move from your laptop and cook yourself a nice meal or go out to grab a bite, you can ask for delivery with the Wolt app. Some of our favorite places to ask for food are Pizza Hood, Mami, Anopolis, Good Mood Food, Elia Lemoni, Falafel Taste Middle East, India GateAsian House.

If you feel like cooking at home, the best grocery shops are Open Sesame – a lovely familiar business with only organic and healthy choices; the local Sklavenitis supermarket with many kinds of veggies that are lacking anywhere else (not bio); and the more commercial ERGON for other kinds of delicatessen.

And if you want to try the REAL food experience in Thessaloniki, you must eat out at the following places:

  • BREAKFAST: Isli – amazing sugarless lemonades, teas, homemade baklavas, islis, kataïfi, and many more Greek-Turkish sweets, our #1 choice; Shed 小屋 Specialty Coffee Shop – for coffee addicts, they have an enjoyable banana bread (although frozen); and Merry Berry – the only healthy breakfast choice in town.
  • LAUNCH & DINNER: L’Albero, Ηλιόπετρα (Iliopetra) and Τα Τρία Γουρουνάκια (Three Little Pigs)  – those three options are fancy restaurants with the tastiest plates ever at a very good price, you cannot miss them. Other tasty places that you should try are Brusco Meze Bar – for an evening-night apéritif, try their Talagani grilled cheese with figs and cranberry sauce; Sebriko – a tasty place perfect for both launch and dinner;  Άλλος τρόπος (Allostropos) – super cheap local tavern with wonderful choices try their Cretan carob rusk; Contrabando – super cute place to have dinner in their open space, tasty and original plates that bring together tradition and innovation at the perfect price.
  • DESSERTS: I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, BUT Choureal‘s dark chocolate profiteroles with strawberries and almonds are absolutely delicious!

COWORKING SPACES

There are a few coworking places in town:

  1. Coho City: it has two locations, this one is more in the city center, and it is more business oriented rather than for individual people. But in our opinion, it is the nicer one, and you will find an office (€380 for two people) or a flex desk (for €149/monthly) that fits you. The other one is more of a collab for freelancers. Martín went there for a month, he said it wasn’t the best coworking he has been to, as they weren’t too friendly, but it was okay.
  2. i4Gpro: many people go here, and you can get a flex desk for €250/month. You can check their rates here.
  3. Regus: classic chain of coworking spaces, it is well located in the city center. Check the office out here.

BARS TO WORK

I was delighted with the number of cool bars to work from in Thessaloniki, want to check them all out? Read our dedicated article HERE.

NEAR TRIPS & EXPERIENCES

  • Go by train to Kalambaka and visit the Meteora’s (we stayed a long weekend at Divani’s hotel, and it was just perfect)

  • Catch a 30 minutes flight to go to Kefalonia’s island for a few days

  • Visit for a day trip, the nearby city of Kavala

  • Visit the Halkidiki peninsula to have some amazing time by the beach

  • If you are looking for a nearer beach, you can go to Iraklia on the public bus

  • Go to Bulgaria, Bansko is a great option from here (we didn’t have the chance to go but is on our bucket list indeed)

ARTICLES ABOUT THESSALONIKI

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