Business travel often leaves you no chance to really spend time in the city you travel to. The same goes for my business trip to Thessaloniki. Gladly I have been to Greece on numerous occasions, but Thessaloniki is a city that I’ve never visited before. So I was eager to spend some time outside meeting rooms as my travel plans took me on a quick visit of Greece’s second largest town.
Grab a CAT
Not the furry one, but the fast train between Vienna city center and Vienna airport, called CAT. It only takes 16 minutes (non-stop) to get from A to B (either direction). Tickets cost € 11 (€ 10 for airline ticket holders). First train leaves at 5.36 am. More information on https://www.cityairporttrain.com
Embraer – surprisingly roomy
Flying to Thessaloniki involved a connecting flight from Vienna to Stuttgart first. Usually Austrian Airlines offer direct connections to Thessaloniki from Vienna. But this time I boarded a brand new Embraer 195 jet from Austrian Airlines and immediately fell in love with it (and I’m more of a long-hauler myself).
Not only is the brand new jet quite aerodynamic, sleek and speedy, it also offers plenty of legroom – very surprisingly. I’m 6’3” and still had plenty of room left (although I let myself slide back some inches in my seat before I took the legroom picture).
Germanwings / Eurowings
To be honest I’m not sure, if the flight from Stuttgart to Thessaloniki was a Eurowings or Germanwings flight, but the plane and crew were Germanwings. Service there was a lot less chic than during my flight with Austrian Airlines, but the Airbus A319 they used was ok and the crew were very friendly. Taking into account that both are low-cost airlines, I was very surprised to find plenty of legroom again. I didn’t understand their catering concept though and thought I would have to buy food & beverages – but then I got a little food bag with a sandwich (choice of cheese or meat), water and a piece of cantuccini free of charge.
Makedonia Palace Hotel – best in town
Thessaloniki doesn’t really have a lot of choice when it comes to 5-star hotels within city limits, but the Makedonia Palace Hotel sure is a good option. It is located right next to the sea and you should go for the € 10 extra charge, which get’s you a sea-view room with a stunning view over the bay of Thessaloniki. Don’t judge the hotel by its looks from the outside, it’s the inside that matters. When finished with your day’s work you could stroll along the coastal pier, which expands for miles. This place is especially busy at night when the temperature cooled down. They do have many special offers, rooms start at € 110 per night.
One of the hip & trendy places located directly next to the sea is the Omilos Bar & Cafe. It offers stunning views and a gorgeous sunset over the Aegean Sea. It’s full of young, stylish and beautiful people and offers some good local food, cocktails and a wide selection of Greek wines.
Saying good bye
The flight back to Vienna gladly took off right over the city of Thessaloniki. So I could take some pictures of it while saying good bye.
Hope you enjoyed the trip with Travelzoner Oliver. Be sure to leave a reply.