Easter at Thessaloniki
Every year there are more and more tourists who spend Easter holidays in Thessaloniki.
In Greece, there is an unwritten rule that Easter is spent on countryside and Christmas in the city. For Easter holidays the Thessalonians really go to the cottages or houses that their parents or they themselves own in the villages around Thessaloniki. Cottages are mostly on one of the fingers of Halkidiki. Many of our friends from Thessaloniki say that they literally have never spent Easter in Thessaloniki.
Easter is the most important and most joyful Orthodox holiday, during the last week of fasting Thessalonians spend lot of time at the liturgy in the church. Housewifes prepare biscuits in the form of braids which are traditionally prepared for Easter, they paint and decorate eggs.
Tsureki is the traditional Easter bread in Greece, which in recent years could be bought in bakeries and pastry shops with a variety of toppings and flavors. Each house must have one tsureki for Easter without additives and with the red egg in the middle. Tsureki is sweet and very characteristic flavor which the mastic gives it (resin from the mastic tree from the island of Chios) mahlepi (interior kernel of wild cherries), and orange zest. If you'll spend Easter in Thessaloniki, don't miss to try tsureki, because they say that tsureki is the best in Thessaloniki, in the cake shop Terkenlis that has been making it since 1948. You can find pastry shop in Tsimiski Street near Aristotle Square. If you love chocolate, try the one with chocolate dressing, and our favorite tsureki is sprinkled with white chocolate and stuffed with chestnut puree.
If you are comming to Thessaloniki for shopping, Easter is not the time for it, because the working hours of shops are limited. Opening hours of shops in the center of Thessaloniki to Thursday are from 10h to 21h, on the Good Friday from 13h to 19h, on the Holy Saturday from 10h to 16h and on Sunday and Monday all shops will be closed. A large shopping center Cosmos has different working hours. On Good Friday the shops are open from 13h to 20h, on Saturday from 10h to 18h, and on Sunday and Monday they are closed. Bars and restaurants within the mall usually work during the holidays. In the city centre, many fast food restaurants and taverns will remain closed during the holidays, especially on Good Friday.
Museums and archaeological sites also have a part-time working hours during the holidays. On Friday they are open from 12h to 17h, on Saturday from 8h to 15h, on Sunday they are closed and on Monday they are open during the day.
All in all, in our oppinion Easter in Thessaloniki is not the right nor the best time to visit the city, mainly because during the holidays there is no that lively atmosphere which is Thessaloniki known for. The advantage is that the city is emptier than usual, therefore you could easilly find a parking place, which is very important for Thessaloniki.
If you do come to Thessaloniki you could definitely enjoy the beautiful walks by the sea, and in the beautiful sunset from one of the many cafes along the coast that are still open. Visit Ladadika, try tsureki,eat an ice cream at the pastry shop Fregio, visit the church of St. Demetrius, the patron of Thessaloniki and simply enjoy ...