When you think of Greece there are a few things that come to mind: philosophy, democracy, and some of the most beautiful islands. It is, of course, easy to get stuck in Athens or even the Greek Islands and no one could blame you for it - I sure don't.
Still with a country so vast there is much more to explore and Thessaloniki is one of them! Founded in 315 BC there is loads of history to the city but in turn a complete ironic newage feel that we all love. Ruins are beside bars and old buildings are where you can get your Starbucks fix while you overlook the sea and the iconic White Tower makes an easy lifestyle, even when it's temporary.
With only two hostel choices - Thessaloniki feels like an intimate change to a busy traveller's life while still being everything you search for. The streets are lined with politically charged grafitti to match the times and people which you can begin to understand so much more of it, as I did by attending an anti-facism student-run rap concert at the local University with some fellow travellers and hostel staff of Studios Arabas. It was an experience of a lifetime that you would be hard pressed to find in Mykonos or Crete, where tourists seem to be more common than locals.
Thessloniki is home to gorgeous Greek Orthodox Churches which overlook the city and sea, some beside the old city walls. It also has a great nightlife with the markets you see in the day being turned into restaurant fronts at night, leading you to almost need a map just for that section of the city. Of course some places more interesting than others as I discovered when I stumbled upon Beeratis, a Pirate-inspired pub of sorts. It was fun, local and the beer was flowing. While the scene was something foreign to me, it was still such fun that I'd go back in a heartbeat to Beeratis but mostly to Thessaloniki.