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White Tower of Thessaloniki

This distinctly shaped tower has evolved alongside Thessaloniki over the centuries and now houses a museum dedicated to the city’s history. 

Depicted on almost every Thessaloniki travel guide and souvenir, the White Tower of Thessaloniki is by far the city’s most recognizable attraction. The tower is known for its characteristic cylindrical shape and the panoramic harbour views its top level affords. The tower’s role has changed dozens of times over the years, and today it serves as an exhibition space of the Museum of Byzantine Culture.

The tower was constructed by the Ottoman Empire as a defense structure to protect the city’s harbor. It was later used as a prison until the city was reclaimed from the Turks in the early 20th century. Some say the tower was whitewashed by a prisoner in exchange for his freedom, while others claim the Greeks whitewashed the tower to symbolize purifying the city and erasing the Turks’ legacy. The tower played an important role in defending the city during both World Wars before being converted into a museum in the 1980s.

Before heading inside, take a moment to admire this impressive structure. Standing at 111 feet (33.9 meters) high, it’s easy to see why the tower is used as a reference point for the entire city. The tower’s exterior is no longer regularly whitewashed, but a few faded patches of white are still visible.

Enter the tower to explore the museum. The exhibits are spread across the tower’s six floors, connected by a series of spiral staircases. Explore the audiovisual displays to learn about the city’s 23 centuries of history. Keep an eye out for any additional temporary exhibits. 

Be sure to follow the winding stairs up to the tower’s viewing platform. The beautiful views over the city and harbor are one of the main reasons why many people visit this iconic tower. 

The White Tower of Thessaloniki’s museum is open daily, year-round. There is a small admission fee. Keep in mind that due to the tower’s historic structure, the museum does not contain washrooms, air conditioning, a cafeteria or elevators. 


Best Lodging Options Near White Tower of Thessaloniki

See all 581 Properties near White Tower of Thessaloniki
City Hotel Thessaloniki CA $116
City Hotel Thessaloniki

City Hotel Thessaloniki

11 Komninon Street, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Ladadika, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tsimiski Street and Aristotelous Square. White Tower of Thessaloniki is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away. Thessaloniki Railway Station is 21 minutes by foot.

    Electra Palace Thessaloniki CA $134
    Electra Palace Thessaloniki

    Electra Palace Thessaloniki

    9, Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Thessaloniki City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Tsimiski Street and Aristotelous Square. White Tower of Thessaloniki is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away. Thessaloniki Railway Station is 22 minutes by foot.

      Mediterranean Palace Hotel CA $188
      Mediterranean Palace Hotel

      Mediterranean Palace Hotel

      Salaminos 3 and Karatassou, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Thessaloniki City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Thessaloniki Port and Aristotelous Square. White Tower of Thessaloniki is 1 mi (1.6 km) away. Thessaloniki Railway Station is 16 minutes by foot.

        Makedonia Palace CA $192
        Makedonia Palace

        Makedonia Palace

        2, Megalou Alexandrou Avenue, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Thessaloniki City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Alexander the Great Garden and White Tower of Thessaloniki. Aristotelous Square is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away.

          Pillow urban stay CA $89
          Pillow urban stay

          Pillow urban stay

          Romanou 9, Thessaloniki
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Ladadika, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of White Tower of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Archeological Museum and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Arch of Galerius and Church of Hagia Sophia are also within 10 minutes.

            Casa City Center Apartment
            Casa City Center Apartment

            Casa City Center Apartment

            Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Ladadika, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Tsimiski Street and White Tower of Thessaloniki. Aristotelous Square is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) away. Thessaloniki Railway Station is 29 minutes by foot.

              Daios Luxury Living
              Daios Luxury Living

              Daios Luxury Living

              Nikis Avenue 59, Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Thessaloniki hotel is located by the sea, within a 5-minute walk of Tsimiski Street and White Tower of Thessaloniki. Aristotelous Square is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away.

                Calm Lake in the Center of Thessaloniki 2 Bedrooms
                Calm Lake in the Center of Thessaloniki 2 Bedrooms

                Calm Lake in the Center of Thessaloniki 2 Bedrooms

                Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Thessaloniki City Centre, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Church of Acheiropoietos and Aristotelous Square. White Tower of Thessaloniki is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Thessaloniki Railway Station is 27 minutes by foot.