|Thessaloniki, the 2012 conference destination|
Thessaloniki, the Capital City of the Greek North is world known for the Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine monuments, the charming shopping thoroughfares, the indulging local cuisine and exciting nightlife.
Founded in 315 b.c. and named after the ancient Greek princess Thessaloniki, sister of Alexander the Great, the city has been a crossroads of cultures and civilizations for over 2300 years.
The city's atmosphere is a fusion of Greek, Balkan and Southeastern European influences that co-exist harmoniously, creating a multicultural and cosmopolitan environment, where visitors from all over the world feel comfortable and welcome.
It is also a leading city in the cultural activity of Greece, known for major national and international festivals such as the 'Demetria' Festival (Annual Art & Culture events) and the 'International Film Festival of Thessaloniki'. Thessaloniki is one of the most popular Greek destinations for conferences and incentives and one of the top 100 conference cities in the world, according to ICCA statistics.
Thessaloniki at a Glance
Attractions, Events, Tours, Excursions & other Activities
Top 5 attractions / landmarks in Thessaloniki
Top 5 activities in Thessaloniki
Leisure and culture activities in Thessaloniki*
* Source: Thessaloniki Tourism Organization (Publication: Exciting Thessaloniki: 35 Tips for Unforgettable City Breaks in the North of Greece)
Thessaloniki Tourism Organization (TTO) highlights attractions and activities that visitors will enjoy during their stay in Thessaloniki, such as:
Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Monuments
Christian Orhodox and Jewish Heritage of Thessaloniki
You can view a historical presentation of Thessaloniki during the period 1900-1930 here (Source: Hellenic Literary and Historical Archives-ELIA)
Culture and Events
Dining and Nightlife
Summer Festivals and Music Events
Of all Greek cities, Thessaloniki has the richest calendar of cultural events and festivals – many of them now dating back several decades.
Every summer, a large number of locally and internationally known musicians perform in the open-air amphitheatres of the city, such as the 'Forest Theater', the 'Earth Theater' and the 'Municipal Garden Theater' of Thessaloniki.
Close to Thessaloniki, in the tourist regions of Halkidiki and on the Olympic Riviera in Pieria, there are cultural festivals each summer with concerts of Greek and foreign music.
The Kassandra Festival is held each summer, from early July to the end of September. It takes place at the Siviri amphitheatre, on the first peninsula of Halkidiki, about a hundred kilometers from Thessaloniki.
The programme features a range of arts events, with the emphasis on music concerts.
The Sani Festival is held during the summer in the grounds of the Sani Resort in Halkidiki, 80 kilometers from Thessaloniki.
The programme features the Jazz on the Hill festival with open-air jazz concerts on Sani Hill, the three-day Sounds of the World festival, with music from ethnic performers from around the world, and the Sani Classic festival of classical music, featuring young performers.
The Olympus Festival is held each summer during July and August at the imposing ancient theatre of Dion and the Byzantine Church of Panayia Kontariotissa, set in a region of Pieria famed for its natural beauty since ancient times, just 85 kilometers from Thessaloniki. The festival was launched in 1972 under the title Festival of the Muses and has gradually evolved into a major contemporary arts event.
Pre & Post Tours – One day tours & Excursions
The ISME 2012 Conference is a unique chance for all delegates to visit and acquaint themselves with Greece and tour in and near by the city of Thessaloniki. SYMVOLI -Conference & Event Organisers have prepared a long list of choices, destinations and excursions before, during and after the conference, within Thessaloniki as well as other historical, cultural and tourist areas of Greece. Further, apart from the specific proposals, special tours may be designed upon request.
For further information, visit the following link: http://www.symvoli.gr/conference/isme2012/page/touring_isme
Activities for accompanying persons
Thessaloniki's history, culture and joyful lifestyle, the natural beauty of neighbouring destinations, the indulging gastronomy and long tradition in wine-making, are unending sources of inspiration for exciting programs for accompanying persons.
SYMVOLI -Conference & Event Organisers will be designing a special programme of activities for accompanying persons, including cultural and touring options, as well as alternative activities such as greek cookery lessons, wine tasting events, spa experiences.
More information to be announced by May 2012 in the following link: http://www.symvoli.gr/conference/isme2012
Thessaloniki offers many attractive options for an enjoyable social Pogram. ISME 2012 organizers are currently considering a number of options such as:
Before and after conference programme hours, make sure to find some time to discover Thessaloniki, the hosting city of ISME 2012. SYMVOLI -Conference & Event Organisers is designing a special programme of getting to know the city by foot, bus, boat or other!
For more information, visit the following link: http://www.symvoli.gr/conference/isme2012/page/skg
Thessaloniki has 131 hotels, with a total of 7,159 rooms and 13,418 beds. These include:
A sufficient variety of accommodation is available in Thessaloniki, ranging from luxurious 5-star to more budget-friendly 2-star hotels. SYMVOLI -Conference & Event Organisers has prebooked accommodation for conference delegates in a variety of different hotels at special rates for the conference.
Visit the following link for detailed information http://www.symvoli.gr/conference/isme2012/page/accommodation
All suggested hotels are located either within the city centre region and at a reasonable distance from the conference venue, or in a walking distance from the conference venue and also fairly near to several major sites and the shopping district.
Thessaloniki's Climate – Weather Conditions in July
Being one of the most popular port cities in Southeastern Europe, Thessaloniki lies on the northern side of the Thermaic Gulf, along its western side and to its south-eastern side is bordered by Mt Hortiatis.
The city borders the Mediterranean and Mid-European Temperature climates.
It lies in the transitional climatic zone, so its climate has displayed characteristics of continental as well as Mediterranean climate.
In the month of July one can enjoy the world known 'Sunny Greek Summer'.
The coastlines of Thessaloniki Outskirts, as well as those of the nearby resort areas of Halkidiki and the Olympic Riviera, present excellent opportunities to enjoy 'summer on the Beach'.
Weather conditions in July can be described as follows:
Shopping in Thessaloniki
The city center is one of the most popular shopping areas in Thessaloniki. Shopping malls and department stores are available both in the city ceter as well as in other city districts. Some of the best – known shopping malls can be found in eastern Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki Airport Area) and are easily accessible by ring road (public transportation and taxis).
The commercial market of Thessaloniki (shops, boutiques, etc) operates as follows:
Shopping Malls and big department stores operate as follows:
Banks in Thessaloniki
Greek and International banks can be found in the city center and all popular districts of Thessaloniki. Most banks operate Monday-Friday 08:00 – 14:00. Some banks located in the city centre remain open until 19:00 hrs or operate for the public on Saturday morning (please contact your hotel reception for detailed information). All banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exhange.
Transfers from Thessaloniki Airport to the city centre
The website of Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport is: www.thessalonikiairport.gr
A public bus service is available 24 hours a day from the airport to the city centre, bus number 78 or 78N. These bus services operate from the airport approximately every 30 minutes. Tickets cost €0.80 one way.
For an up to date time table please visit the official website of OASTH (Thessaloniki's publc bus transportation) – http://www.oasth.gr
Taxi Service in Thessaloniki
Taxi service in Thessaloniki is plentiful and economic.
As a rough guide a taxi within the city will cost approximately 5 Euros, a taxi to the airport will cost between 20 –30 Euros.
A double fare is applicable between midnight and 05:00 am.
Source: Thessaloniki Convention & Visitors Bureau
It is somewhat of an 'unwritten but acceptable practice' in Greece for TAXIS to stop for additional customers although under hire. Do not be alarmed by this!