There are excellent reasons why Ano Poli, the upper town of Thessaloniki, is a great area to stroll around.

It looks different to the rest of the city. Its stone-paved lanes, beautiful old-fashioned buildings and small cafes, shops and bars creating a fascinating atmosphere.

That’s because it was the Turkish quarter and the only part of Thessaloniki that escaped a devastating fire that caused widespread destruction in 1917. 

Then there are the massive fortifications, tall and imposing Byzantine city walls and a medieval tower. 

So the locals say that visiting Ano Poli is like going back in time to the Ottoman era when the Turks ruled the city.

Two of the oldest buildings in Ano Poli are the Church of Saint Nikolaos and the Monastery of Vlatadon, both built in the 14th century. The Tower of Trigonion, a former armoury on the highest part of the walls, overlooks the city and provides panoramic views.

It’s one of several fortresses and towers along four miles of defensive walls up to 10 metres high and five metres thick.  Large sections of the walls, first built about 2,000 years ago, were demolished when Thessaloniki was under Ottoman rule.

Views of Thessaloniki from Ano Poli