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Thessaloniki on foot walking tour 4K HDR with captions and narration: Unveiling Agia Sofia Area's Sights

We are guiding you on a walking tour along the city center of Thessaloniki, in Greece.

We start from the seafront and go up. Here’s why you should follow us along.

At first, we see the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle.

Then we walk from Mitropoleos to Tsimiski main commercial Street.

As we walk up along the Pedestrian Area we meet the stores and cafes,

until we reach the Holy Church of Hagia Sophia.

Just some meters to the left is the Metro Station and a bit above,

the Holy Church of the Virgin Mary Acheiropoietos.

After a short walk to the square with the statues, we finally have a look at

the Ancient Ruins discovered during the Metro works excavations.

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Museum of the Macedonian Struggle

The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle Thessaloniki is a great place to start your walking tour. It occupies a neo-classical building designed by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller and built in 1893. In its six ground-floor rooms, the museum graphically illustrates the modern and contemporary history of Greek Macedonia. It presents the social, economic, political and military developments that shaped the presence of Hellenism in the region.

The museum's collection consists of rare 19th and 20th-century artifacts related to everyday life in Macedonia, the weaponry and personal objects of fighters, as well as rare original documents from the period between 1770 and 1912. Part of the collection is displayed in the permanent exhibition, while the remaining artifacts are kept in the Research centre for Macedonian History and Documentation and used in the Museum's periodic exhibitions.

We have divided this walking tour into eight small parts.

If you wish, you can skip to the part you want via the created chapters.

Naturally, we suggest you watch the whole video, if you don’t want to miss all the practical info per area!

From Mitropoleos To Tsimiski Street

This is the current Metropolitan Church of Thessaloniki, dedicated to Saint Gregory Palamas. This grand building with a distinctive red dome was constructed in the late 19th century and has served as the seat of the Orthodox Metropolitan see of Thessaloniki since then.

On Good Friday, we suggest you come here to follow the Epitaph Procession. You can check our relevant Epitaph video.


As we reach Mitropoleos Street, on each side of the road, to the right is one of the main bus stops and to the left a designated taxi area. Keep watching as we have more to say and see, while we walk to reach Tsimiski Street.

We have more walking tours in Thessaloniki and even aerial videos with practical info about what to visit in the city. For your convenience, we have created a relevant playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxRHhKvfPjpUWtFV8IjoofOrC-KHD_0zG

This video was shot with a DJI Osmo Pocket 3 in 10-bit HLG and a stereo natural sound, so you can enjoy 4K HDR on compatible devices!

The Pedestrian Area

The Thessaloniki Agias Sofias Pedestrian Area is vibrant and lively in the heart of Thessaloniki, Greece. This pedestrian-only zone is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a delightful mix of shopping, dining, and sightseeing experiences.

Here's what you can expect to find in the Thessaloniki Agias Sofias Pedestrian Area:

Shopping: The area is lined with a variety of shops, from international brands to local boutiques. You'll find everything from clothing and accessories to homeware and souvenirs.

Dining: There are cafes, restaurants, and bars aplenty in the pedestrian area, catering to all tastes and budgets. You can enjoy a leisurely lunch on a cafe terrace, or a refreshing drink at a lively bar.

This area is slated to become pedestrian-only all the way to the waterfront, where our tour began.

Holy Church of Hagia Sophia

The Holy Church of Hagia Sophia, Thessaloniki is a magnificent Byzantine church located in the city center . Steeped in history, it's one of the oldest surviving churches in Thessaloniki, with its current structure dating back to the 7th century.

Here's a closer look at this architectural gem:

  • History: The church was built on the site of an earlier basilica that collapsed in the early 7th century, possibly due to an earthquake. The present structure was likely modelled after the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey). Over the centuries, it has served as a cathedral church, a Catholic church during the Frankish occupation, and a mosque during Ottoman rule. Following the liberation of Thessaloniki in 1912, it was returned to the Greek Orthodox Church

  • Architecture: The Hagia Sophia Thessaloniki is a classic example of Byzantine architecture. The church features a cruciform plan with a central dome resting on four piers. The exterior is relatively plain, but the interior boasts beautiful frescoes and mosaics, some dating back to the 11th century.
  • Significance: The Hagia Sophia is a significant landmark in Thessaloniki, not just for its architectural beauty but also for its historical importance. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major pilgrimage church for Orthodox Christians.

We have created this walking tour with you the visitor in mind.

We offer you a unique chance to see in real-time what to admire in the city and how close or far away each point of interest can be.

The Metro Station

When this video was shot, the Agia Sofia Metro Station in Thessaloniki was under construction. It is expected to enter service before the end of 2024. It's part of Thessaloniki Metro's Line 1 and Line 2, conveniently named after the nearby Church of Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The construction of this station has been particularly interesting due to significant archaeological finds. Major excavations revealed an ancient public square, a discovery so important that it's been dubbed "the Byzantine Pompeii" by a historian. As a result, the Agia Sofia station will feature a mini-museum within the station, similar to those found in Athens Metro stations. We will see some of the visible ancient ruins in a while when we will cross the street.

Holy Church of the Virgin Mary Acheiropoietos

This church, also known as Panagia Acheiropoietos, is a 5th-century Byzantine church, making it one of the oldest surviving churches in Thessaloniki.

The name "Acheiropoietos" translates to "not made by hands," referencing a belief surrounding a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary once housed within the church.

The church is an important landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding early Byzantine architecture.

It's a large Early Christian basilica with a wooden roof and three aisles.

The eastern end features a semicircular vault, while the western side boasts a narthex (vestibule) with flanking towers and traces of an exonarthex (outer portico).

Despite some changes over time, the church retains its original height, a rarity for such an old structure.

The Square Statues

Thessaloniki's Makedonomachon Square literally translates to "Macedonian Fighters Square." These statues depict Greek fighters from the early 20th century who fought for the unification of Macedonia with Greece.

The statues were removed a few years ago to make way for Thessaloniki's metro construction but were relocated. The upcoming renovation of Macedonia Square includes plans for a playground and archaeological displays as we can see turning left and down.

The Ancient Ruins

This is the street view of the excavation area.

Excavations at the Agia Sofia Station revealed a large, well-preserved public square dating back to the Roman and Byzantine eras. This discovery provides invaluable insights into daily life and commerce in Thessaloniki during these periods.

The metro construction also unearthed remains of workshops specializing in various crafts, such as jewellery making, metalworking, glassblowing, and ceramics production. These findings shed light on the city's vibrant artisan industry.

Many of these finds will be displayed in two new museums and at stations throughout the metro system, ensuring they are accessible to the public and preserved for future generations.

Have you been there?

Please share your impressions in the comments!

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