Here you'll find useful information for preparing your trip to Thessaloniki.
Emergency numbers to call and rescue service
Ambulance Service: 166
Fire department: 199
Tourist police: +30 2310 554871
Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434
Poisoning First Aid: +30 210 7793777
Capital of Greece : Athens
Official language: Greek
Language: Most people understand and speak English well.
The currency: Euro(€)
Population: 11.306.183 (2010 estimate)
The country is a Presidential Parliamentary Democracy
Calling code: The international calling code of Greece is +30 or 0030
Time Zone: Greece is situated in the Easter European Time zone (CET), which is GMT +2
Thessaloniki has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers. Heat waves with temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) occur each year, although sea breezes help to cool down the city somewhat. It hardly ever rains in July and August. Winters are more humid, especially in the north portion of the city, with mild temperatures, except in the hills, where the weather is colder and snow tends to accumulate.
Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and has signed the Schengen Agreement. While traveling within the E.U., you only need your Identity card. However, a passport is necessary for a number of other transactions, such as currency exchange, purchases, etc.
Visas are not required by European citizens from countries that are part of the Schengen Area. Greece as a member of the Schengen Agreement, has abolished controls on common internal lands, at air and sea borders and allows Member-State citizens to travel around without a visa for a short stay period of up to three (3) months. However, keep in mind that airlines and other carriers require a valid passport and/or identity card.
Citizens coming from countries that have not yet joined Schengen Area may require a visa to enter Greece. The E.U. visitors from these countries can acquire further information from the Hellenic Embassies or Consulates in their countries, or from their travel agencies. Before visiting Greece, please consult the detailed information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website and find out whether you require a Visa.
Note: During your stay in Greece, if you require a Visa, you are advised to have suitable insurance coverage for emergency medical or other needs.
In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from member states of the European Union (EU) wishing to visit Greece must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their competent social security agency.
In these cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by:
- the Social Security Institute Health Units (polyclinics) or doctor’s offices in the region;
- Regional clinics (former rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System; and
- the outpatients’ departments of the hospitals on contract
In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from countries other than the member states of the European Union wishing to visit Greece must consult their social security agency for information before travelling.
From Monday to Thursday 08:00 - 14:30, Friday 08:00 - 14:00. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are widely accepted cards in Thessaloniki.
Travellers’ cheques should be bought before departure. Travellers’ cheques are generally not accepted in stores.
There are many ATMs in the streets in Thessaloniki. You will also find them at the airport, in train station and in Intercity Bus station.
The tap water in Thessaloniki is of excellent quality. You can drink tap water from anywhere as long as nothing else is stated.
Bottled water can be bought in supermarkets, kiosks, gas stations and delis.
The Electric Current in Greece is 230V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
Here are a few basic Greek phrases that will make your stay in Thessaloniki a little easier:
Good morning: Kalimera
Good evening: Kalispera
No, thank you: Okhi, efkharisto
Thank you very much: Efkharisto para poli
I don't understand: Then katalaveno
Could you repeat that: To xanaleteh afto, sas parakalo?
What time is it: Ti ora ineh?
Excuse me: Signomi
Train station: Stathmos trenou
I'm (…): Ego ime (…)
I'm looking for (…): Psakno (…)
How much is it: Poso kani afto?
Do you have (…): Ekheteh (…)
Where can I find (…): Pou boro na vro (…)?
Where can I buy (…): Pou boro na agoraso (…) ?
I'd like (…): Tha ithela (…)
The following is a list of public holidays in Greece when almost everything (public services, shops, etc.) is closed.
January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)
January 6 : Epiphany (Theofánia, national holiday)
The celebration of Christ's baptism by St. John the Baptis gives rise to long processions during the day which conclude at the seafront with a sanctification ceremony, during which the faithful drop a crucifix into the water.
Clean Monday (11 March 2019): The celebration date changes every year. It is a day of fasting for Christians marking the beginning of Lent for the orthodox church as well as the ending of the Carnival season.
March 25 : Independence Day (national holiday)
Anniversary of the revolution of 1821. Double celebration for Greeks, as the national revolution against the Turks in 1821, as well as the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the announcement of the happy news by Archangel Gabriel to Mariam regarding the birth of Jesus Christ, are both celebrated on this day. S
April/May (date set according to the Julian calendar) : Greek Orthodox Easter (, national holiday)
Easter is considered even more important than Christmas and attracts crowds in the streets of Thessaloniki. The celebration includes processions, masses and traditional fasting meals during this holy week.
- Good Friday (26 April): The day commemorating Jesus Christ's crucifixion.
- Holy Saturday (27 April): The last day of Holy Week and of Lent. At midnight the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated.
- Easter Sunday (28 April): The most important Christian celebration, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ.
- Easter Monday (29 April): The second day of Easter.
International Workers day (1 May): Dedicated to the Chicago workers riot in May 1886 demanding an 8-hour work day and better working conditions.
Dormition of Virgin Mary (15 August): One of the most important orthodox celebrations, celebrating the passing and burial of Virgin Mary, with glorious ceremonies in many parts of Greece.
St Dimitrios Memorial Day/Thessaloniki's Liberation from the Ottoman Rule Day (26 October): St Dimitrios is Thessaloniki's patron saint and his memorial day also marks the celebrations of the city's liberation from the Ottomans in 1912.
"No" Day (28 October): On this day the Greeks celebrate dictator Ioannis Metaxas's refusal, on 28th October 1940, regarding Italian claims, leading to Greece taking part in WWII.
Christmas (25 December): One of the most glorious celebration of Christianity, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Synaxis of Theotokos (26 December): Second day of Christmas and celebration of Synaxis of Theotokos, congregation of all believers to honour the Mother of our Saviour.
Lockers (hand baggage)
Baggage lockers are available in Railway Station (opening hours: 04:30 - 00:00) and in the Macedonia Intercity Bus Station (opening hours: 07:00 - 23:00).The contact telephone number for the Luggage Safekeeping Service is +30 2310 595463.