There is something about sunsets that makes us feel better. Maybe it is the warm yellow and orange of the sky that lights our souls, or the purple and dark of the night coming, that settles our mind. In this blog, we are going to talk about two of my favourite things combined: the perfect sunset spots in my beloved Thessaloniki.
The Waterfront of Thessaloniki
Without a doubt, the first to put on this list should be the waterfront of Thessaloniki. With a distance of approximately 5 kilometers, the city’s coastal promenade is not just the perfect place for jogging or cycling, but it is the perfect spot for watching the sun diving into the Thermaic Gulf and Mount Olympus standing across.
The idea of developing the coastal area belongs to French architect Ernest Hebrard, who was assigned with the redesign and reconstruction of the city center, after the devastating fire of 1917. The promenade is divided into two sectors: the old waterfront, which lies from the Port of Thessaloniki until the White Tower, and the New Waterfront, which is the part from the White Tower until the Concert Hall. The old waterfront has served as a parade ground for kings and as a protest ground for indignant citizens both in the past and now. Nowadays, the place is full of fancy restaurants and beautiful cafe-bars, proving a great view of the Thermaic Gulf.
Passing by the White Tower, the most emblematic attraction of the city, you will find yourself in New Waterfront or “Nea Paralia” as it is referred to in Greek. In 2013, the renovation of the place was completed and since then the New Waterfront has become the “city’s jewelry”. Within the 13 themed pocket parks or “green rooms” you will find young and old playing, eating and enjoying the atmosphere.
In my humble opinion, the best sunset spot of Thessaloniki is under the Umbrellas of Zongolopoulos. This spot provides you with a great view of the White Tower, the old promenade and the port. The colors of the sky are magical during that hour! The perfect scenery is completed by the street artists, who fill the background with harmonic melodies. The best part? You are much closer to nature, just sitting on the wooden platform next to the sea instead of the seat of a cafe or restaurant.
The second greatest spot for a sunset view in the waterfront of Thessaloniki is the port. In that case, you have in front of you the other part of the city, meaning the new promenade, the White Tower again and the concert hall. This is a famous place among the young people of the city, who hang out by the sea while enjoying a beer and socializing with each other. Whether you choose spot number one or spot number two, you will be rewarded with the scenery. I can guarantee that!
The Upper Town or Ano Poli
Ascending the hill from the city center, you will find yourself in the Upper Town district. This is one of the most beautiful and picturesque neighborhoods of the city, as well as of great historical importance. The landscape consists of colorful buildings, narrow streets, beautiful churches and the remainings of the Byzantine Wall of the city.
There are several spots there -numerous cliffs – besides the Wall, that offer a panoramic view of the whole city. But it is not just the city, you can admire Mount Olympus (if you are lucky enough and the sky is clear of clouds) and Chortiatis mountain on the east side. Choose one of these spots and enjoy the sunset. There are several benches – or even better cliffs-, where young people especially hang out, drink a takeaway coffee or beer and admire the view.
If you are seeking some extra convenience, there are plenty of restaurants and cafe-bars that combine both delicious food or refreshing beverages with a great view. Imagine having a great Greek dinner on a terrace next to the ancient Wall of Thessaloniki while watching the city lights turn on, during the sunset. It sounds perfect, right?
Castra All Day Terrace Bar is always a good idea for a sunset sight. Its huge terrace offers a stunning view of the whole city, especially if you are lucky enough, and find an empty table in front. The terrace is open all year long, and many brave visitors choose to sit outside even in winter so they can admire the view, despite the cold.
This one is for the nature-lovers. Chortiatis mountain is located in the east part of Thessaloniki. Its altitude reaches up to 1,201 meters. The name Chortiatis comes from a monastery with the same name that was located in the region from the Byzantine times. For Thessalonians, it is an easy getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, as it is just an hour’s drive from the city center.
If you love outdoor activities, you should go hiking in Chortiatis mountain, discover the beautiful wildlife and smell the fresh air of the forest. Reaching the top of the mountain, you will find a shelter to rest but also the best sunset spot. The colors of the sky combined with the forest green is worth every minute of the hiking! The view from up there is breathtaking, with the city expanding infront of your eyes, the boats sailing in the Aegean sea and the mountain enclosing the whole picture. Devote a day to that, it will make you come closer to mother Earth and find peace.
Electra Palace Roof Garden “Orizontes”
Electra Palace is one of the most famous hotels in Thessaloniki. What makes it so special, besides the location, is its roof garden “Orizontes”. Electra Palace is located in Aristotelous square, the most visited and famous square in the city.
In the Orizontes roof garden, you can enjoy your dinner or coffee with the view of the beautiful square and the endless Aegean waters infront of you. During sunset, the colours are incredible. People passing by, the beautiful white buildings stained by the sunset glory, street vendors selling snacks and beverages for young and old and plenty of doves cooing around the square. And you, observing it all from above!
Lofos in Greek means hill. The cafe is located up on a hill just a few kilometers away from the city center, so the name of it is suitable. It is an all-day bar, where you can drink your coffee, have lunch at the restaurant with fine Greek delicacies and enjoy a drink, while you have a breathtaking view in front of you.
The view consists of the whole city of Thessaloniki, the Thermaic Gulf and the ring road of Thessaloniki, giving it an extra-urban characteristic. During sunset, all the city lights are turned on giving the whole place a more romantic feel.
Bonus: the place is kids friendly, as it provides a playground and theatrical plays (during the winter season) for the little ones. So the parents can enjoy the place and sunset carefree, while the children are entertained.
Any Traditional Greek Taverna By The Sea
You might be familiar with the love and devotion of Greeks to (Greek) food and tavernas. So, what’s better than a long dinner in a typical Greek taverna by the sea – literally by the sea, as your table is located on the sand – accompanied by some ouzo while the sun is setting. You get the feeling of being on the beach – because you actually are -, but instead of lying in the sand, you are sitting at a nice table full of delicacies, while the sun is diving into the sea.
Such tavernas can be found all around Greece. Especially in Thessaloniki, the village of Peraia, which is in the suburbs of Thessaloniki, is famous for its many seaside tavernas. All the tavernas are beautifully decorated and provide great food accompanied with a great view. If you happen to be there, do not leave without walking the dock, where you can see fishermen bringing in the catch of the day, seagulls flying around and people enjoying an evening walk.
- This was just a summary of the best places where you can enjoy the sunset in Thessaloniki. Have you visited any of them? What was your favorite one? Let us know in the comments section below!