Kentro and Ladadika Walking Tours

If you're out to catch the sights, why not begin at the White Tower, taking in the city's expanse from the rooftop? Walk east on the seaside promenade, Leoforos Nikis, until you see the dramatic bronze statue of Alexander the Great and his horse, Bucephalus. Meander through the lovely park to the north, with its cafés and children's playground, to get to the renowned Archaeological Museum, with finds dating from prehistoric Greece to Alexander's Macedonia. The Byzantine Museum is across Tritis Septemyriou to the east of the Archaeological Museum.

Art buffs can head to the Pinakothiki 10 or so blocks eastward, then backtrack west to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. Then head across the enormous square called H.A.N.T.H. toward the city center to the beginning of the city's fanciest shopping street, Tsimiski. Stay on the north side until you reach the beautiful pedestrian Dimitriou Gounari, a street lined with delightful shops and cafés. It crosses Tsimiski and leads you north directly to the Arch of Galerius.

Even if the Rotunda is closed, try to explore the narrow streets surrounding the area, rich with cluttered junk and antiques shops; on Wednesday you can see the eclectic street market. Pass by delightful Ayios Panteleimon before crossing Egnatia Odos to the south side of the street and continue west to the lovely 14th-century Church of the Metamorphosis.

Continuing west on Egnatia Odos, turn right and walk a half block up Ayias Sofias to the oldest Byzantine church in the city, the 5th-century Panagia Achiropiitos. Next, head south again on Ayias Sofias for a short downhill walk to reach the 8th-century church of Ayia Sofia. From here, it's about an eight-block walk southwest to get to Aristotelous Square, the busy platia (square) by the sea.

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