Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki is a Greek port city on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Evidence of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history remains, especially around Ano Poli, the upper town. Much of the city center was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917. The rebuilt 20th-century city has a modern European layout. There are so many beautiful churches dotted around so be sure to hunt for them.

Note: Some museums close as early as 2pm, so plan ahead. Everything is really walkable and you can cover it in one day if you wish!

Here are the key things to visit:

  1. Roman Forum 4FF11B03-3184-46A4-8D99-3067FB5592AF
  2. Agios Dimitrios 

  3. Rotonta24E00B39-D521-4CE2-B776-DF109435E9C9
  4. Kamara Arch 7AF275D9-D440-4EF2-BAED-B5174BDA8B9C
  5. Church Panagia Dexia right opposite the arch 

  6. The White Tower along the harbour front 2B05B06A-5B7A-41D4-9362-68BA47ED0AA5
  7. Try a funky boat tour, you have a few to choose from! Not sure where they go but they definitely caught my eye. 653BEB4F-D92D-4B26-8D6D-AEFB240CF965
  8. Alexander the Great statue further down from the White Tower 5BFD6C15-85F5-4695-8307-6853E142615A
  9. Continuing walking along the harbour beyond the statue towards the famous umbrellas, artwork by Giorgos Zongolopoulos made in 1997. 

  10. Metropolitan Church of Saint Gregory Palamas 5A4D2DE7-86DD-430E-B142-90159F1E65F5
  11. Aristolelous Square. I would recommend visiting at night, it’s much prettier and you will also get a chance to see bboy’s busking. D4BA4BF8-205E-4F71-97DD-5E1631F3C703
  12. Ladadika an area filled with restaurants and bars, again great for the night 3520C504-B0CA-4F7E-8092-74B0AB1F3FA8
  13. I ate at Neotabepna (not even sure if that’s the right name but look out for this restaurant based on my photos and definitely try Greek pasta!). They call it Orzo and it’s a much better version of risotto as you still get the chewy pasta texture. 

  14. The best Gyros you will ever have, the name is in Greek so again just look out for the word that matches the photo and it’s on Ptolemon street, around the corner from the hostel I stayed at. 

     

  15. Stay Hybrid Hostel was excellent. Air-conditioned room, much needed for the Summer, spacious and clean. Plenty of common room areas and in the heart of the city.

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Munich, Germany

Munich, Bavaria’s capital, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square contains landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle, also famously known for inspiring Disneyland’s Castle. Make sure you book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment as they allocate time slots and are always very busy.  You can pay later (12euros per person) but just pre-book a slot! It takes 2hours from the central main station followed by a short bus ride. You get incredible views from here and can also consider visiting the castle next door called Hohenschwangau castle (the yellow one)

  2. Dachau concentration camp 5h half day tour where you will experience the memorial to the holocaust and learn about the history and workings of the camp. I don’t have any pictures to post here for sensitivity reasons, but would still recommend this insightful visit.
  3. BMW museum and world where you can test cars, see how designs have changed over the years and admire the architecture of the building.13240623_10155140864643849_318971308103394758_n
  4. Historic residence and treasury – see the collections and learn some history13265923_10155140865853849_4249492002833796793_n
  5. Marienplatzs is a central square in the city centre of Munich. It has been the city’s main square since 1158. Look out in particular for the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the North side with a Glockenspeil in the tower. 13254649_10155140854698849_6015921144990356539_o