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Experience in Thessaloniki, Greece by Sofia

What is it like to live in Thessaloniki? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

Thessaloniki is an extremely live city as it is crowded each time during the day. The centre is small so you can walk instead of using a car in order to go from one place to another. It has both a port so you can walk along the sea called ''Nea Paralia'' and castles in an altitude so as to see the whole city from above. There are also buses that drive you to different areas in Thessaloniki . At night (12;00-4;30)  there is only one bus called 78N that passes from the centre and makes the distance between intercity bus station and the airport ''Macedonia''. During the route it passes from the centre and it could be convenient for many students to go back to their homes late at night. The negative aspect is that during the weekend this bus is very crowded . I think that is an ideal city for students as it provides a lot of facilities and opportunities to young people. It is also positive the fact that it is live but it is appropriate for all tastes . Another positive point is that Thessaloniki is located next to different places anyone can visit such as Chalkidiki that it is popular for its magnificent beaches . Every summer university camping of Aristotle University is opened in Posidi ( a village of Chalkidiki) that hosts a great number of students and other young people.

What is the student lifestyle like in Thessaloniki?

Thessaloniki has two universities , Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and University of Macedonia (PAMAK) that is relatively new. Both of them could provide great opportunities to our student community .Furthermore, students in Thessaloniki have a great time because there are a lot of entetainment places for all occasions. In fact, there a lot of cafes , bars, restaurants and clubs. In addition, a student can participate in a variety of activities such as dance schools , music schools , gyms , centres of foreign languages and computer knowledge etc. Last but not least , different places and streets in the centre gather students such as the White tower (there you can take your drink and enjoy the view of the sea) , Iktinou street ( there you can take a beer at night ) , Navarinou street ( I do not reccomend it as it may be a little dangerous especially at night ) and the old port ( very romantic place but also an ideal one for a big company ) . I should add that people here are very friendly with erasmus students as a lot of parties in familiar bars and university events are held in order to bring together the erasmus community. Generally , you can find students everywhere so as to feel a member of the whole university world .

How much does it cost to live in Thessaloniki?

Life in Thessaloniki is not that expensive for students because there are economic prices in many shops and cafes. Houses ,though, are not very cheap. However , the price is relevant to the region. For instance, the cafes next to the sea (almost 4,50 euros the coffee while you can find coffee with 2,50-3,00 euros) and the houses in the centre next to the university are more expensive than in another less convinient places. The fact that food in the university campus is free may be very important and profitable solution in order to save money. Regarding the different hobbies that anyone may have such as music or sports I should inform that there are both music schools and gyms with special prices for students . In addition to this I should underline that Auth provides a gym in the university campus with a great equipment used by numerous students as it costs only 15 euros every year. It is a place that many gym programs are conducted including yoga , aerobic, pilates , crossfit and other dance ones such as salsa and modern dancing. It has also courts for almost all basic sports ( football, basketball, tennis , volleyball , ping pong etc ) and many sport competitions between different school teams are organized. 

Is it difficult to find accommodation in Thessaloniki? Is there any advice you can give?

Finding an accomodation in Thessaloniki is not very difficult as there are a lot of houses in the centre , ideal for students . Some are studios and some are bigger and comfortable for more than one person . It would be less tiring to find an accomodation with the help of a broker . There are a lot of offices that anyone could adress to. On the other hand , if you do not desire to give money ( in case you find house in the previous way you give to the broker the value of a half rent) , you could search alone as there are a lot of papers referring to tenancies in the walls of many block of flats. Last but not least , an Erasmus student could make a request in order to stay in the university campus paying only a symbolic sum . The negative point is that the free rooms are limited and the three of the four buildings of the student recidence have a commun bathroom. These three buildings are situated next to the university schools but the fourth , which is new , is situated a bit far ( almost 25 minutes by foot). Personally , I found a house alone searching in the streets but I would not recommend it cause it may be a little time-consuming. I would not also recommend the houses in Navarinou sqare , in Vardaris and the region next to the train station. On the other hand I propose as a better solution the houses next to the centre ( in Evangelistria, in 40 ekklisies , in Agiou Dimitriou and Turkish consulate , in Agia Sofia ).

What is the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

We have a great variety of greek dishes as we follow the mediterranean diet and many economical fast foods called ''gyradika'' . In addition , there are restaurants with dishes from all over the world. Υou can taste the special bun with sesame for breakfast that are characteristic in Thessaloniki , the delicious greek salads with feta cheese , cretan dakos , skaltsounia with honey and cheese ( also creatan side dish) souvlaki , gyros ( that most of us enjoy it) and off course the famous ''mpougatsa'' of Thessaloniki . Generally , we eat everything!

What places would you recommend visiting in Thessaloniki?

There are a lot of places and monuments you can visit in Thessaloniki. Fisrt of all , you can walk next to the seaside ( New Paralia) , rent a bike for a ride and visit the White tower , the landmark of the city. You can go to the upper Town to see the castles and the whole city from above and have a romantic tour in the graphic streets . You can visit Rotonda , a monument next to Kamara (Arch of Galerious) next to the university campus and the different museums such as the folklore museum , the archeological one , the museum of Byzanteum civilasation and the modern museum of photography. You can have a walk in Aristotelous square that is located next to the Roman agora. You can also visit other regions next to the centre such as Nea Krini which is next to the sea and has a lot of cafes , Kalamaria which has a pedestrian road , Toumpa which  hosts the field of PAOK ( the most familiar football team in Thesaloniki together with ARIS and Hercules that have their fields in other places), Panorama which is in altitude and is the place most wealthy people live in etc. The last one is famous for '' trigono of Panorama '' , a local dessert of Thessaloniki . Thessaloniki has a satisfying tranportation for these areas as buses pass frequently. Finally , you can visit the Opera House in case of an organized festival .

Is it good to eat out in Thessaloniki? Can you tell us your favourite spots?

Thessaloniki has a lot of restaurants . Some of them are cheap for students daily diet and other are for more formal occasions . There are restaurants with greek food from all over our country but also chinese , mexican and vegeterian food. I like Elia Lemoni in Valaoritou , Noodle bar (asian food) , El burrito (mexican food) , Molyvos (food from Mytilini, a greek island) , pizza chris or pizza espagnol (1 euro each piece) in Rotonda , giok mpalik (gyradiko that offers delivery) , Mpougatsa Giannis in the White tower . There are also wine bars such as Bit Bazzar in Aristotelous square that offer wine with meat and snacks . Anyway , you can find a great quality of food in most restaurants.

Is the nightlife good in Thessaloniki? Where is good to go?

Nightlife is pretty wonderfull in Thessaloniki as there are a lot of places you can go accordingly your style. There are a lot of bars in Valaoritou , a lot of clubs next to the old port , many wine bars in Rotonda , many coctail bars along the seaside , many places for beer in Ladadika and in Iktinou and also latin bars . There are a lot of people in the streets especially during the weekend so that everyone could feel the warm and friendly environment. There are conducted also a lot of concerts in different live stages and ancient theatres by both famous and local artists and many festivals along the streets. You can also watch movies in one of the cinemas and go to a performance in a theatre, something that is related to our mental entertainment. Personally , I love latin so I enjoy going to La rosa negra which is a latin bar where you can dance in the dance floor with a partner . The impressive roofgardens coctail bars such as Fragile, Urania , Vanilla sky that open especially at the summer could be a great choice for a night out. Last but not least , I like Eightball , a bar that organizes rock or heavy metal nights , salsa nights , parties in Halloween day and during the carnival and off course is the most familiar place for erasmus parties and Bit Bazaar with the wine bars , the big companies and the friendly environment. 

What advice would you give future students heading to Thessaloniki?

Live every moment of your student life but always be carefull and consistent to your university obligation . In addition , there are a great variety of alternative ideas if you have no money as happiness depends on our soul , our mood and our company.  These years never go back . So go out , make friends , travel , take advantage of each opportunity is given to you . In fact , enjoy your life in this city where the people speak loud in the streets , sing and dance all day long till the daybreak  . The centre is not that big so it may be easy for a student to orientate . Thessaloniki (or better SALONICA) is a magic and special place for every student .

Share your Erasmus Experience in Thessaloniki!

If you know Thessaloniki as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Thessaloniki! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

Comments (2 comments)

  • Rodney Jetton 2 years ago

    How would one go about finding a reputable broker to help find accomindations?

  • Sofia Karavergou 2 years ago

    There are broker stores everywhere in the centre of the city. You should choose the one with the greatest quantity of offers . They show to you the apartments and you choose the one you like after the visits. If you like nothing ,you go to another broker.

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