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Thessaloniki Shopping

Thessaloniki is a shopper's paradise. The City Centre is small yet blessed with an abundance of shops, markets, bars and coffee houses to suit all budgets and tastes. Virtually every side street veers off to locate some Greek delicacy from pastries to artwork. Similar to the layout of the 'Bar Streets' across the Greek Islands, shops are to be found in a familiar fashion. Stores stocked to the brim with the latest Italian leather shoes are situated in succession. Meander around a corner and street stalls and shop windows will beckon you to co-ordinate a new bag.
Tsimiski Street is central and a good place to gain bearings. It's loaded with stores and caters effortlessly for the needs of the average High Street shopper. A mall also lies beneath the US Consulate. Various brand names and logos can be spotted in and around here. Music, unique, handcrafted jewellery and cosmetics are well worth a browse. A good bargain can always be found. From the lustrous palette of the MAC shop to the basement stores beneath, eye kohl, lip liners and nail polishes are identified by lurid shades displayed neatly upon vast rows of shelving. Agias Sofias sets the trend for the more ornate client and lover of boutiques. The latest fabrics, textiles and designs complete with price tags to match are guaranteed to tantalise the senses of any passer-by. Egnatia Street runs parallel with Tsimiski and will undoubtedly meet expectations comfortably.
A breather and aching feet may request a stop for coffee and something to munch. There are numerous venues on offer for a pit stop of frappe or cappuccino and a spot of people watching around Aristotelous Square and Leof Niki. Wherever one chooses to sit in Thessaloniki, expect to be collared by street sellers. It's impossible to escape them. They do not hassle but are frequent, thus making themselves a nuisance more than anything.
The market is an authentic delight to the traveller's eye. It's situated between Aristotelous and Ionos Dragoumi. Barrels of olives are displayed in colourful arrays, emphasising to tourists that olives don't just come in standard black or green. Fresh meats, poultry and fish are prepared and sold on site. Herbs, spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, wines, cheeses, honey and nuts can all be purchased to compliment any Greek culinary delight. Another cobble stoned alleyway will lead to lavish arrangements of hand embroidered and crocheted soft furnishings. Rugs, cowbells, coffee pots and religious pictures and figurines can all be found here.
The majority of stores throughout the City operate Monday to Saturday. They commence business at 9.00 a.m. and close again at 2.00 p.m. Most reopen again around 5.30 p.m. until 9.00 p.m. with the exception of banks and saturday trading.
Inability to gain access to shops during opening times no longer poses problems. There are a number of precincts in and around Thessaloniki. City Gate is the closest to the City Centre. It boasts a hypermarket with ample parking. A further two levels of shops range from clothing stores to mobile phones, confectionery to coffee beans. The upper floors provide a number of places to eat and drink. A cinema, amusement arcade and tenpin bowling alley can also be located here.
One of the newest and hippest centres to emerge is Mediterranean Cosmos. This impressive mall can be located in Thermis, just outside of the airport. It is one of the largest precincts in Europe. It is clean although the ceiling leaks occasionally. Yellow slip hazard cones are frequently placed around the wet floors. The interior is spacious and colourful. Parking is easily accessible and Mediterranean Cosmos offers bountiful venues to relax, catch the latest movie or simply grab a bite to eat.
The shopping mall times are usually from 9.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The cinema and dining facilities will remain open for business until roughly 2.00 a.m.

Kirsty  Pentecost

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