Attracting youth to Thessaloniki

By | Category: Travel destinations
White Tower  © K. Kouzouni

White Tower © K. Kouzouni

Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece, is the ‘European Youth Capital’ for 2014. The title of ‘European Youth Capital’ is awarded to a European city for the period of one year.

Why Thessaloniki?

It might be because it is famous for its lively streets, vibrant nightlife, art scene and because it is a university city. It might be because it is one of those cities that combines a heritage with a modern feel. Numerous events, festivals and cultural initiatives throughout the year will definitely make Thessaloniki an ideal destination not only for the younger crowds but also for anyone wanting to explore one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.

The idea of a European Youth Capital only goes back a few years – Rotterdam was the first in 2009 – and the theory is that it will bring European youth together. Whether it does or not is another matter. What it does do is is encourage more visitors to the city and the local authorities arrange a variety of events to help swell those visitor numbers.

The city is named after a half-sister of Alexander the Great. That alone tells you that Thessaloniki has a strong heritage appeal. With museums, buildings stretching back thousands of years, the cultural appeal to tourists is strong. Indeed the city is often cited as the cultural heart or capital of Greece and it was the European Capital of Culture seventeen years ago. But will this appeal to youth?

Even if Lonely Planet called it one of the best party going cities in the world is their sufficient to attract youth? It does have the highest number of restaurants and cafes per head of population of anywhere in Europe. It has theatres and nightclubs as well as one of the world’s largest casinos. But what really might prompt younger people to visit is that about a third of the entire population of Thessalonikii are students. It has two of the largest universities in Greece and serves as a magnet in attracting Greek youth. And where they go, the authorities hope that European youth will follow.

Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted provide all-year links to Thessaloniki whilst in summer, there are flights from East Midlands and Heathrow.

For more information in general on Thessaloniki, click here or click here.

 

Image © K. Kouzouni and GNTO

 

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