The historical district of Ladadika is my favorite area in Thessaloniki. Here you will get a taste of the citys vibrant dining and nightlife scene with the preserved buildings and cobblestone streets around you. It is where the old merges with the new in Thessaloniki.
When my Aunts came for a visit in Thessaloniki, I was having a hard time deciding which hotel to book their stay in. June is a peak season so the room rates in every hotels are higher than normal. The Greek Mister convinced me though that booking a hotel in the area of Ladadika is best for them so it would be easy for them to go around the area whenever they feel like it. I found Bristol Hotel, a first-class hotel in the heart of Ladadika which I thought was too expensive for a 4-day stay. I booked it anyway (Im not going to pay for it lol) and it was really a great decision.
The hotel is truly first class with its decor, luxurious and spacious rooms and great service from their staff. I found out later on that the building used to be a post office during the Ottoman Empire which made them a member of the Historical Hotels in Europe. Being senior citizens, I was worried that my Aunts would require us to be with them 24/7 during their stay in Thessaloniki but having chosen Bristol Hotel, they could easily walk around day or night within the vicinity. Ladadika is a pleasure to walk around anytime of the day.
Ladadika translates to the shops that sell oil and its products as it used to be a central market and bazaar of the city during the ottoman occupation. It was destroyed by a wildfire in 1917 and by 1970, the area was almost fully abandoned. It was declared a historical monument in 1985 and the buildings were preserved to keep its original style and character.
Soon afterwards, Ladadika came back to life with tavernas, coffeshops and restaurants opening its doors to locals and tourists alike in the renovated and preserved buildings. Nowadays, its one of the liveliest part of the city specially at night when all the lights are lit, tables arranged outside along the cobblestone streets and cheerful locals inviting you to their establishments. Its a great place to experience the vibrant city life of Thessaloniki.
The entire area is for pedestrians only which makes it all the more charming. Walking around it in the morning is like walking around a ghost town with only but a few people occupying the empty chairs and tables of coffee shops. We had lunch there before and while it wasnt that empty, you can feel the somber tone of the whole area. Like theyre trying to make ends meet. It comes alive at night which is such a great contrast during the day, it looks like a totally different place.
Its definitely one of the must-sees in Thessaloniki. You shouldnt pass up the chance of walking around Ladadika or having a meal there while in this city.