Thessaloniki Digital Nomad Guide

Thessaloniki things to do and see

Situated on the northern shores of the Aegean Sea, the Greek city of Thessaloniki is closer to Sofia, Skopje and Tirana, than it is its own capital Athens. An important centre for trading and commerce in the Balkans for centuries, it today serves as a major regional student hub with several universities and colleges including Aristotle University, the largest in Greece. It may not be an obvious destination for travellers and nomads from abroad, but Greece’s second city has plenty to offer. Read on for our Thessaloniki digital nomad guide to find out more!

Table of Contents

Nomad Cities – Thessaloniki Guide

  • Population – 315,000
  • Country – Greece
  • Language – Greek
  • Currency – Euro
  • EU & Schengen Area

At the time of our visit in March 2022, Thessaloniki is like many European cities returning to normality following two years of pandemic disruption, with the final Covid-related entry restrictions for visitors to Greece scrapped just days earlier.

It’s colder than expected, with snow covering the mountains on the scenic four hour train ride north from Athens and temperatures dipping down towards freezing at night. Fortunately though, the cold weather is not the only surprise. With around a million people living in its metropolitan area, Thessaloniki is a deceptively large city and its youthful energy is immediately palpable. Nowhere is this more evident than in the lively former industrial districts near the port which come alive at night with a wide variety of offerings covering everything from noisy rock bars and pubs to more typically Greek joints attracting everyone from those barely in their teenage years to 20 and 30-somethings and older.

Day-times are more leisurely affairs where the city seems to flock en masse to stroll along the vast sea-front or relax in one of the many more upscale cafes, bars and restaurants which look out onto the Aegean Sea. Those with more energy in the legs climbed uphill until they reached the remaining sections of the ancient Ottoman walls which encircled the city in the Middle Ages and offer stunning panoramic views of Thessaloniki new and old.

Best Neighbourhoods in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki waterfront
Karabournaki seafront.

Most visitors in Thessaloniki will look to base themselves in the heart of the city and with accommodation relatively cheap and limited public transportation besides buses serving the outer districts, there’s no real need or desire to head further out when it comes to choosing your base, unless you’re on a really tight budget.

The city centre could be loosely defined as a rectangular shape stretching from the port to the White Tower (Thessaloniki’s most famous landmark) along the seafront, to roughly 1 km in-land with the Kassandrou street, which runs adjacent to the sea, perhaps the upper limit. Anything within that area would be a good base and should allow you to get pretty much anywhere you need to go on foot.

The Ladadika district, which covers the first few blocks nearest to the sea, is the most appealing neighbourhood for anyone looking for a range of options for dining and drinking at night, as well as the easiest access to the seafront. However you might find staying a few streets further back from the coast offers a slightly quieter base and better value. In recent years, the pub and nightlife scene has expanded into nearby Syggrou and Valaoritou too which are also good options for those looking for something a bit more alternative.

Outside of the centre, there is Karabournaki, the area by the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, another popular coastal neighbourhood with a bit of life to it and a nice stretch of seafront which is dotted with talented street musicians.

You can find cheaper flats by heading onto higher ground in the upper districts or by heading deeper out into the metropolitan area but be sure to research the neighbourhood and its transport connections before committing to anything.


  • Easy to navigate 

While the Greek alphabet can make things a bit trickier, Thessaloniki is a surprisingly easy city to navigate. It features some fairly steep inclines into the surrounding hills but even if you get hopelessly lost, by simply walking downhill you should eventually wind up back at the seafront where you should easily be able to get your bearings once more. In the central districts, most roads are very straight with a typical Roman layout featuring streets either running adjacent to the sea or leading directly to/from it.

  • Access to nature

While the city retains something of an industrial feel, its location is very convenient for getting to some fantastic nature. It’s one of those relatively rare European cities with easy access to both beaches and mountains. The best of the former can be found in the Halkidiki peninsula to the south of the city where Mediterranean forests eventually lead to wide sandy beaches and bays. Those seeking hiking, waterfalls, caves and mountain adventures will want to check out the Olympos National Park which is situated between Thessaloniki and Larissa, another of Greece’s larger cities.

  • Thessaloniki rocks!

Thessaloniki nightlife was ranked as the 5th best in the world by Lonely Planet a few years back! That’s perhaps a bit of a stretch and it doesn’t seriously compare to somewhere like Berlin for example but this is certainly a young, party city with loads of fun to be had in the evening. Its nightlife districts have a quite unique and quirky feel too with many of the old stores in Ladadika that once sold oil arriving from the port, now converted into small bars, pubs and clubs.

Central Thessaloniki.

Things to Consider

  • Not really an international atmosphere

Besides a smattering of Erasmus students, Thessaloniki does not really have an international feel and doesn’t attract anywhere near the number of travellers or digital nomads that go to Athens or some of Greece’s popular island destinations. It feels more like a local city and that will either be a positive or negative depending on your perspective. English is widely spoken though which makes it easier to get to know local people if you’re not blessed with any Greek language skills.

  • Thessaloniki is a port not a beach city

This is also an important point to make as those imagining a coastal city in Greece may have a slightly different image in their heads than what awaits them in Thessaloniki. This is a port city and while it does have a great promenade that is perfect for long walks or runs, there are no beaches in central areas of the city and the waters appear far too dirty for a swim in any case. There is a bit of sand to be found in the distant southeastern suburbs but any Thessaloniki guide referencing great beaches will most likely be referring to those in Chalkidiki with the best ones up to 100 km away from the heart of the city.

  • Poor access to other cities

It’s also worth noting that Thessaloniki is fairly cut off from other major cities in the Balkans and while there are regular trains and flights to Athens, this is not a good location for anyone who likes to just hop to other cities for a day or two for a change of scenery. Without taking flights, you’re talking at least 4 hours to get to Athens or anything resembling a major city in neighbouring Bulgaria, North Macedonia or Albania and it’s often much more than that with the international transport links not great in most cases. Its northerly mainland location is also a long way from all of the most popular Greek islands so the city can feel quite cut off from the other destinations that tend to appeal most to visitors in Greece or the Balkans.

thessaloniki views
Get panoramic views of the city by following the old walls uphill.

Thessaloniki Guide – Costs

Private room in central AirbnbFrom €30/night / €500/month
One bedroom flat on Airbnb (central)From €30/night / €700/month
Meal in an an affordable restaurant€8-12
Cheap gyros€3-4
Beer in a bar€3-5
Coffee in a cafe/restaurant€1.50-3
City bus ticket€0.90
Bus ticket from city centre to airport€1.80
Train to Athens€43

These costs were compiled at the time of our visit in March 2022. You can expect some seasonal variations in accommodation prices on Airbnb with the summer months and holiday periods likely to be more expensive. There didn’t appear to be many private room options in the city at the time of our research but there were plenty of affordable central flats and apartments.

Accommodation in Greece is good value and the same goes for transport in the city although the absence of a good metro system like the one in Athens can make getting around relatively time-consuming. Other costs are more in line with what you might expect in a more expensive European nation with prices for groceries, as well as eating and drinking out considerably more than you will find in neighbouring countries in the Balkans such as Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania.

Coworking Space Thessaloniki

Popular Coworking SpacesGoogle Rating
Coho Thessaloniki4.7

There are many cafes and bars along the seafront which might serve as excellent options for working with a view, although it was very busy at the weekend with little evidence of people working remotely. You may have more luck on a weekday and there are even two Starbucks along the main drag next to the seafront which are also solid options, although again likely to be busy.

Verdict: Is Thessaloniki good for digital nomads?

Greece’s second city feels like something of an upcoming destination for remote workers and digital nomads, although it’d be an exaggeration to say there’s much of an international scene there yet with few people from abroad choosing to work remotely from there.

Affordable accommodation, a lively centre and the surrounding nature are among the highlights making it a good all-round option for those looking for things to do in and out of town. Overall, Thessaloniki is certainly worth visiting and is a nice option for anyone looking for a reasonably big city base with more of a local, authentic flavour than many of Europe’s more popular destinations can offer.

thessaloniki panoramic view
Free boat tours run regularly throughout the day as long as you purchase a drink at the bar on board!

We visited the city in March 2022 and the info in this Thessaloniki digital nomad guide is accurate as of them.


Thessaloniki Digital Nomad Guide

Mark is a freelance writer currently based in Madrid, Spain. He writes about travel and football and has visited most countries in the EU. He has lived and worked remotely from various cities across Iberia.

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