Visit The Many Thessaloniki Markets
For centuries, Thessaloniki has been the epicentre of commercial trade, not only for Greece but for the entire Balkan region of Europe. Although this amazing city has definitely stepped into the 21st century, it has retained some of its most special and traditional marketplaces.
Take a walk down the bustling alleyways of the age-old marketplaces, and be absorbed by the sights, smells and noises of the Byzantine era. The vibrant markets of Thessaloniki are utterly steeped in history, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find everything a modern European would need.
From fresh fruit, meat, dairy products, spices and fish to fine leather, copper cookware, jewellery and fascinating antiques, the markets of Thessaloniki have it all.
The most famous and traditional market in Thessaloniki has to be Modiano. This market has been a gathering place for Thessalonians for over 80 years and is located right in the very heart of the city. Walking through Modiano will instantly transport you back to the early 1900s, where the hustle and bustle of the local market was a part of daily life.
The market was designed and constructed in 1922 by Eli Modiano. Eli was the son of a much-loved banker in Thessaloniki, and studied architecture in Paris. Upon returning to his hometown, he began constructing some of the city’s most famous and beautiful buildings, including Modiano Market.
Today most of the shops and stalls inside Modiano Market are food stores that sell fish, meat, exotic spices, cheeses, delicatessen items and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also find a few taverns, cafes and restaurants, where you can sample some of the locally grown food.
Just a few steps away from the beautiful Aristotelous Plaza, across the street from the famous Modiano Market, you’ll find the city’s oldest open market, Kapani. This vibrant market has been around for centuries and looks slightly out of place with its now modern surroundings. However, Kapani Market is still very much loved by the locals who tend to buy their weekly shopping there.
Much like its neighbour Modiano, Kapani Market also sells meats, fresh vegetables, fish and dairy products, but you can also find many household items and cleaning supplies. Take a walk down the narrow alleyways, and experience the noisy, fast-paced buzz of a truly traditional Thessalonian market.
If you’re looking for something a little different to the usual food markets, then Chalkeon is the one for you. This beautiful little market is home to the noble Thessalonian coppersmiths. This wonderful profession dates back to the Byzantine Empire, around 300AD, and the coppersmiths in Chalkeon market work hard to keep this tradition alive.
At Chalkeon Market you can find anything from cookware and lighting to delicate jewellery and ornaments. Simply take a walk down the cobblestone alleyways and be amazed by all the shimmering, golden copper.
A little to the east of the Roman Forum is the magical Bit Bazaar. This is the market to visit if you are interested in vintage items or antique shops. Founded in 1928, Bit Bazaar was the place to find second-hand wares, barter to your heart’s content and even make some very profitable trades. Today, many of the old stores have been transformed into cute little taverns and bars. However, many of the second-hand and antique stores remain open, and they are the absolute best place to find a bargain.
Markets of Thessaloniki
- Modiano Market
- Kapani Market
- Chalkeon Market
- Bit Bazaar