Thessaloniki is Greece's second city, and the capital of the country's Greek Macedonia region. A center of culture, economic, politics, and general influence, the city has a history going back several centuries before the modern age. Many Thessaloniki MICE venues date from various times in this illustrious history. Thessaloniki's port has always been vastly important, and still exists today, playing its part in the cruise ship business as a terminal for Eastern Mediterranean jaunts.
Macedonia International Airport (SKG) is nine miles south of the city center. Service to and from it includes all of Europe, some Middle East destinations and a few hub airports such as Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and London Gatwick, although the airport doesn't really punch its weight when compared to the importance of the city it serves. Much service is seasonal, including as of June 2015 a new flight to Toronto.
Chief among MICE venues, Thessaloniki International Exhibition & Congress Center is in the heart of the city, with 670,000 square feet of exhibition space in 17 halls, as well as two conference centers.
Thessaloniki MICE hotels include the 261-room Grand Hotel Palace, which has 20 meetings and functions spaces, including a conference room for 345 persons and a ballroom for 1,000; the 138-room Elektra Palace Hotel Thessaloniki, which has a meeting room for up to 200 persons; the 118-room Mediterranean Palace Hotel, which has seven meeting rooms for up to 400 persons; and the 74-room Domotel Les Lazaristes Hotel Thessaloniki, which has several meeting spaces, including the RG Ballroom for 380 persons. By the airport is the 152-room Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, which has meeting space for up to 1,000 persons, including a ballroom for 480.
Unique MICE venues in Thessaloniki run to the modern Thessaloniki Concert Hall, a conference and concert center withttp://www.cvent.com/rfp/thessaloniki-hotels/tcb-thessaloniki-convention-bureau/venue-7ba470e602b94caea15d548eea08cc08.aspxh two buildings containing eight halls, the largest able to host 1,400 persons; Thessaloniki Convention Center (also known as POLIS), surrounded by parkland and with a large outdoor swimming pool, eight halls for up to 2.500 persons and five meeting rooms, one of which has its own lobby, and the Garden Ballroom for up to 1,650 persons; the important Museum of Byzantine Culture, which has 11 gallery spaces and several workshop rooms; Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki, which has a notable collection of Russian art, as well as Greek, and contains a museum on photography, meeting rooms, and galley event spaces; and National Theater of Northern Greece, adjacent to the White Tower, which has a 638-seat theater, 2,000-square-foot lobby and connections to two wonderful city outdoor amphitheaters: the G, the Forest Theater of Thessaloniki, also known as Dassos, and Theater of the Earth, also known as Gis, which collectively have more than 4,000 seats.
Some excellent restaurants with group capabilities include the seafood restaurant Palati, which is in an atmospheric, restored building in the Old Egyptian Market; Ostrako, for more seafood in a waterfront setting; Clochard, for a mix of Greek and French influences and with a private dining room for 10 persons; Panellinion, for more seafood and more atmosphere in a wonderfully authentic space; and, in the city's southernmost suburb, the pleasant waterside town of Kalamaria, Hamodrakes, which itself sits by the water behind a park of trees and has a seafood and Greek menu and a claim that is the oldest restaurant in Thessaloniki.