The city’s culture is rich and varied, with a plethora of attractions and activities, as well as music, food and a calendar filled with festivals. You will love partaking in Thessaloniki’s many cultural festivals and traditional events. These events and festivities stay true to the local customs and heritage of the city and enrich the present-day experience with a modern approach. Take a look at our proposal below:
“Dimitria” is a cultural institution of Thessaloniki, originating from the most ancient trade fair of the same name. The institution has its origins in the tradition of exchanging inland products with seafood in the Byzantine period, and more specifically since the 10th century AD. They were called “Dimitria” because they were held during the days of the commemoration of the patron saint of Thessaloniki (Saint Dimitrios). This festival flourished in the 14th century, the so-called “Golden Age” of Thessaloniki.
In 1995, the “Dimitria” Festival joined the European Union of International Festivals and took its place among Europe’s major artistic events. The institution started in 1966 and continues uninterruptedly to this day. It includes theatrical, musical and dance performances, art exhibitions, as well as a variety of parallel events. The events are hosted in various cultural venues, especially in those who are run by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, such as the City Hall.
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
The Thessaloniki International Film Festival focuses on independent cinema and emerging filmmakers from around the world. The festival serves as an essential platform for film professionals from Greece and Southeast Europe. Films are played in various cinema theatres in the center of Thessaloniki, although the head office of the festival is located in Olympion Theatre. It first started as a ” Greek Film Week” but now it hosts the works of leading and emerging cinema makers from all over the world and attracts the attention of many celebrities. It includes competitive and non-competitive sections and presents innovative independent films of new directors.
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) is an international documentary festival held every March in Thessaloniki that focuses on independent documentary films and emerging documentarists from around the world. It was founded in 1999 and features competition sections and ranks among the world’s leading documentary festivals. Since 2018, it is one of the 28 festivals included in the American Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List. The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is organized by the Thessaloniki Film Festival cultural institution, which further organizes the annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival, held every November.
Reworks Festival – International Music Festival
Reworks is a collection of sounds and ideas, a meeting point for loud voices, a place for dialogue and information, a window to the future. Hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece it aims to present the wide spectrum of contemporary music through the work of international and domestic artists. From experimental sound and modern classical music to contemporary dance electronic, from the performances of established artists to the first shows of new and emerging talents, Reworks is aiming to give 5 days and nights full of joy, music, opinion sharing, thinking and dance. Musical styles, live concerts, workshops, talks, free events are presented every year, transforming Thessaloniki into a meeting place for music and culture enthusiasts from all over the world to Greece.
Street Mode Festival
Street Mode Festival is an annual music, art and sports festival held in Thessaloniki since 2009. It is the largest festival of its kind, in Greece, reaching more than 40.000 visitors in a 4-day long program involving musical performances and street events. All forms and modes of urban music and culture have a place in the line-up of Street Mode Festival, a program that involves live gigs in 5 stages and more than 15 shows and contests of street art, street dance, parkour and action sports.
Thessaloniki International Book Fair
Thessaloniki Book Fair started in 2004 and from the first day of its creation, it remained a cultural institution of great importance and originality, constituting the only annual meeting point of all the important agents in the book industry: publishers, authors, translators, literary agents, booksellers, librarians, academics and institutions for books and literature from Greece, the Balkans, Western Europe, the Southeastern Mediterranean and from all over the world. The Thessaloniki Book Fair (TBF) is held annually in May in the Thessaloniki International Exhibition and Congress Center HELEXPO giving visitors the opportunity to explore aspects of contemporary publishing worldwide.
Thessaloniki Street Food Festival
A feast for foodies at Thessaloniki’s International Fair (TIF). The Thessaloniki Street Food Festival has established itself as Thessaloniki’s biggest tasty and musical event, the biggest street food festival in the heart of the city. Every year it transforms the Thessaloniki International Fair into a meeting place for all foodies in the country and abroad. Rare recipes, official first appearances and classic streetfood favourites will fill the city with aromas.