Ano Poli (Upper Town) & Acropolis (Eptapyrgio)

Take bus line 23, towards Ano Poli, from Eleftherias square and get off at bus station “Palio Terma”. Just opossite the bus station you will see part of the city Wall and some stairs going up. If you follow these stairs you will find yourself in the Acropolis of Thessaloniki known as “Eptapyrgio” (greek) or “Yedi Kule” (turkish), which means Seven Towers due to the castle inside of it. Eptapyrgio was built in the Venetian period (1423-1430) to resist the Turkish threat. The middle tower, and the largest one, was built by Tsaous Bey, the first Turkish governor of the city. Eptapyrgio housed the city’s prison from the end of the 18th century until 1988, and has now turned into a cultural center.

If you walk down towards the sea you will eventually come across with the Northen Wall as it was formed till the 12th century. At its east end you will see a big gate (Portara) that used to lead in the Acropolis, the gate of Anna Palaiologina and the Trigonion Tower, the point from which the Ottomans invaded the city in 1430. There, you will have the chance to enjoy the view of the city and the seafront.

Walking along the Northen Wall and before reaching its western end you will see the other big gate (Portara) that used to lead out the Acropolis. Few meters away is the entrance of Vlatadon Monastery which was founded in the middle of the 14th century by the Vlataioi brother monks. The panorama from the monastery looks out over the city and Ano Poli, reaching in the far distance the peaks of Mount Olympus. Another site of the area, that you should not miss by no means, is the Osios David (Latomou Monastery). This humble church was built in the 5th century and it is of great architectural significance as the precursor of the domed cruciform, with brilliant interior decoration, mosaics and frescoes. In a very close distance you will reach Terpsitheas square with the Tourbes of Musa Baba, an important Muslim chaplain of the Ottoman era.

Head back towards the eastern wall passing through the narrow, paved streets of Ano Poli. This walk will be a unique experience as this area is the most picturesque of the city. Before reaching the wall don’t forget to visit Agios Nikolaos Orphanos, one more site inscribed in the Unesco Heritage List. Walk up the wall and take your time to relax in the Pasha Gardens which was built around 1900-1904 as a “fantasy park” for Seifulah Pasha and his Freemason friends. At the way bakc from Ano Poli to the city center you will have the opportunity to visit Ataturk Museum, the building where Kemal Ataturk, the “father of Turks”, was born.

Thessaloniki City Walks & Tours