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Moving to Thessaloniki

What to know if you're moving to Thessaloniki

Expats moving to Thessaloniki will find the city to be lively and beautiful, with the area home to some of the most stunning architecture of anywhere in Europe. The exciting cafe and bar culture makes it a busy place to be. You will just have to get your visa for Greece sorted first.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

All about Greece

Will you be moving to Greece as an expat soon? With its rich cultural history, friendly, hospitable locals, and more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, this country has a lot to offer! You should, however, take the economic climate into account, which makes it hard for regular employees to find jobs. Read the InterNations GO! Guide for information on your move to Greece, including entry visas, residence permits, and more.

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Relocating to Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki was once considered to be a major economic hub in the Balkans, with manufacturing, shipping, and trade traditionally among the most important industries in the city. Today, the services and tourism sectors dominate the local economy that  is slowly on the rise again after a difficult period.

About the City

Thessaloniki can boast some of the best outdoor recreation in Europe and as such it is a fantastic place to live for expats who like to spend time outside. The city, which is also known as Thessalonica and Salonica, is home to around 300,000 people but when the whole metropolitan area is included this figure rises to more than a million.

Thessaloniki has traditionally been home to a large Jewish community, which is thought to be the oldest in mainland Europe. However, the vast majority of people living in Thessaloniki in the 21st century are Greeks, although there is also a sizeable Turkish population.

Some problems across Thessaloniki have been caused by the rapid suburban growth and urban sprawl that began in the 1990s, with many buildings in direct violation of Greek planning laws. Expatriates moving to Thessaloniki should keep this in mind during their accommodation search and particularly when looking to buy property!

The Climate in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is in a transitional climatic zone, which means it has a very variable climate. Temperatures tend to be around the 30°C mark during the summer months, which are dry. The summer season lasts from May to September, with July the hottest month in Thessaloniki. Summers are hot and humid, with rain usually only falling during thunderstorms, which are quite common. Thessaloniki has also been known to experience heat waves during the summer.

Winters are usually dry, but it is common for there to be frost in the morning. Temperatures can drop to as low as -10°C during winter. There is usually some snow, too, but not much, with January being the coldest month. Thessaloniki can also be a foggy place to live.

Visas for Greece

As a member of the European Union, foreigners from any other member state (as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein) can travel freely in and out of Greece and they usually only need to show an ID card to do so. Passports may still be required for transactions such as currency exchange or large purchases, though.

Visas are not required for EU expats planning to move to Greece for less than three months. For stays in excess of this three-month period, foreigners need to apply for a residence permit.

Citizens from outside of the European Union who want to move to Greece will have to obtain a visa. You can find more information on the type and application process in our article on Moving to Greece.

Updated on: May 12, 2015
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