Thessaloniki and Athens are two popular cities to visit when you are planning for a trip to Greece. Both cities are equally beautiful with numerous historical sight as well as easy access for travelers. It is great if you can enjoy both, but of you only have limited budget or time, you may want to pick one of them this time. Go check our article below to know more about them.
In this article we are going to give you information about:
– What are Thessaloniki and Athens
– How is the Transportation in Thessaloniki and Athens
– What you can do in Thessaloniki and Athens
– Thessaloniki vs Athens
Thessaloniki is not an unfamiliar name for those who want to plan their trip to Greece. This city is also known as Salonica or Salonika, which is the second largest city in Greece and the capital of Greek Macedonia. This city is located at the Thermaic Gulf at the northwest content of the Aegean Sea and bounded by delta of Axios/Vardar in the west. Because of the popularity of this city, it was included in National Geographic Magazine as the top tourist destination worldwide.
Transportation in Thessaloniki
You can reach Thessaloniki by various public transportations; Plane, Train, Bus, Car, and Ship. The international Airport is Macedonia and connected to around 31 direct flight with another countries as well as 35 cities and islands in Greece with both direct flight and transit, which all depend on the season. This airport is located 16 km from the city and easily access using Buses. When you are already on the island, the most popular way to get around here is probably by OASTH, which is the city public busses.
Instead paying the fee each time you take the bus, there is an option to choose 1, 3, 6, and 12-month cards for unlimited journeys. There are also Taxi and car for rent if you prefer to go around more freely. Read also : Koh Samui vs Krabi here.
Here are several popular tourist attraction you can try when visiting Thessaloniki:
– Try visiting Roman Rotunda or Saint George Church. This ancient monument was built in the early fourth century and also part of the complex including Galerius Palace as well as Arch of Galerius. In the Islamic era, this monument was used as mosque under Ottoman rule.
– Try visiting Byzantine Walls, which was the remains of the defensive walls once used to withstand attacks by King Pyrrhus and by the Celts. The highest part of this place is used to be a prison and when you follows the wall down, you will end up at the Vardar Fort.
– Try visiting Arch of Galerius. This arch is probably one of the most well-known place to visit for tourists. This ancient roman monuments was built around AD 297 and used as the town’s main gate. In the middle arch, there is a marble facade decorated with elaborate reliefs.
– Another great monument to visit is the White Tower, which is Thessaloniki landmark. It is built in a small public garden at the southern end of the promenade. You can ascend to the top and enjoy the beautiful view from higher place. The tower also keeps permanent collection of the Museum of Byzantine Culture.
Athens is the capital and the largest city in Greece. If we are talking about the popularity of this town, we are sure most people in this planet ever heard about this one of the oldest city in the world. Today, this city is one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe while the Piraeus port is the largest passenger port in Europe. The city also the house of many ancient monuments as well as the works of art.
Transportation in Athens
You can reach Athens from abroad by planes through its International Airport. This Airport serves all major international and budget airlines. To avoid purchasing expensive tickets, you should book your ticket in advance. There are buses that will take you to Athens from inside Greece as well as across cities in Europe. However, the journey will be long and required several route changes. For simpler land journey, you can take train instead from neighboring Eastern European countries like Istanbul and Budapest.
When you are already in Athens, taken from USTRAVEL you can move around with their Metro, walking, buses, tram, taxi, or rent a car. The best choice is using the metro and you may want to avoid driving a car because the congested streets will make it hard for you to drive here while parking place mostly available in the city center.
Here are several popular tourist attraction you can try when you visit Athens:
– Try visiting Parthenon, which is the perfect choice to get a glimpse of the glory of Ancient Greece. This place was used as the house of great statue of Athena and to serve the new treasury.
– Try visiting Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which was built around AD 161 by wealthy Roman Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Regilla. This place holds music and dance performance as well as drama in summer with some blockbuster pop concert happened occasionally.
– Try visiting the Temple of Poseidon, which is built around the same time as Parthenon. The monument can be seen from far away by sailors in ancient times to let them know they are approaching their home soon. From here, you can see Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, and Aegina on a clear day.
– There is Temple of Hephaestus the god of the forge on the western edge of Ancient Agora. Built in 449 BC, it has 34 columns and a frieze on the eastern side to depict the 12 Labors of Hercules.
Now let’s compare Thessaloniki with Athens. From the area Athens is bigger than Thessaloniki and will need more time to explore. From the food, Thessaloniki can be said as the food capital of Greece, so it is better than in Athens. In the accessibility, both cities are very different because everything seems located and placed carefully, so you can reach many access more places by walk in central Thessaloniki than in Athens.
In the historical sight, Athens has tons of it that most of them being must see for tourists. At the other hand, you will a good guide in Thessaloniki to enjoy its layer upon layer of eras and civilization.
Thessaloniki vs Athens
|– Smaller than Athens||– Larger than Thessaloniki|
|– Greater Foods||– Not as good as Thessaloniki for food travelers|
|– Various historical sight from different eras||– House of numerous worldwide popular historical sights|
|– Is said to be safer than Athens||– Not as safe as Thessaloniki|
All in all, the decision is all yours to make. In our opinion, it is great if you can experience both of them at the same time. However, if you plan on enjoying the historical sight Athens will be a better option while if you have lesser time, Thessaloniki is smaller for shorter holiday.