Larissa

The cathedral of Saint Achillius of Larissa, the city's patron, as seen from Pineios river

Larissa (Greek Λάρισα), , has a population of 162.591 people (2011). It is the 4th largest city in Greece, and is situated in Thessaly, between Athens (355 km) and Thessaloniki (150 km). A lively agricultural and university town, it is visited by few tourists. Nevertheless, its sights and energetic cafe and bar scene makes it worth a stop.

Understand

Cantral Square

History

Alkazar Park (Entrance)

Larissa is one of the oldest settlements in Greece with artifacts uncovered dating at least the Neolithic period (6000 BC). The name means "stronghold" in ancient Greek. It was also the head of the Thessalian League during the Hellenistic and Roman era. Today, it's a modern city and is Thessaly's capital.

Get in

By plane

Volos airport (IATA: VOL) is situated in Nea Anchialos, 75 km SW from the city. It is the nearest airfield but only offers service during the warm-weather months.

Air Berlin operates every Monday and Friday from May to October (Flights to/from Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Vienna).

Ryanair operates flights from April to October to/from Hahn (Frankfurt), Bergamo (Milan), Rome and Charleroi (Brussels) airports.

Lauda Air operates May to September to/from Vienna. Transavia operates to/from Amsterdam.

There are expansion projects of the airport underway, as well as a rail connection from Volos city to the airport.

There is a bus connecting the airport and Volos bus station. Buses are scheduled based on flights. The cost from the airport to Volos Bus station is 3 €. Then you need to get another bus or train from Volos to Larissa. The bus station in Volos is about 1 km from the train station.

The nearest airport offering year-round international service is in Thessaloniki (SLK) about 2.5 hours away.

By international coach

There are buses connecting Larissa with some eastern European cities. FPtravel (Serbia, Hungary).

By regional coach

Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) ( in Greek) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Liossion Station to Larissa about 15 times a day (cost is about €20), as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Larissa about 10 times a day (about €13.5). The main bus station is at Georgiadou & Olympou streets (☎+30 2410 537777) providing service to most cities. KTEL buses have free Wi-Fi and coffee. For service to Trikala and Kalampaka (Meteora) the bus station is on Iroön Polytehniou near the junction with Gazi Anthimou (☎+30 2410 610124).

By train

Trains (OSE) connect Larissa to other cities in Greece including Athens, Thessaloniki, and Volos. Travelling with ordinary trains can be cheaper, although a little bit slower, whereas choosing a fancy faster Intercity train will cost the same amount of money, or even more than a KTEL bus. The train station (☎+30 2410 590143) lies just south of the ring road a little less than 1 km from the city center. Also there is an OSE office downtown (☎+30 2410 590239) at Papakyriazi 35, opposite the town hall.

Get around

By foot

The best way to get around the central district, since most of the streets in the commercial centre are pedestrianized. This area is small enough so that most locations are just a few minutes apart.

By bicycle

Larissa is a flat city thus bicycle in a nice way to explore it. The city center has many pedestrian streets. there are also some streets with bicycle lanes in recent years. These are: Papanastasiou st., part of Kyprou st.

By car

Parking in the central district can be a challenge, especially on-street parking. There are parking lots scattered throughout town.

By bus

There is an efficient public transport system going around the city (ticket price about €1), detailed info in the regional bus terminal (called "Astiko KTEL").

By taxi

Taxis in Larissa, as everywhere in Greece are comparably cheap. You should not pay more than €4 if you hail a cab (silver colour) on the road to take you anywhere in the city. Note that taxi meters have two rates - rate 1 applies from 05:00 till 24:00, and rate 2, the double rate, from midnight to 05:00. Taxi fare fraud is not widespread but it still happens, so make sure the rate is correct. If you feel you have been overcharged, ask for a receipt (they are obliged to give one) and take the plate number, then phone the tourist police to report the driver on 171. Expect to pay €1 or €2 extra if you take a taxi from the bus station or the train station, and a surcharge if you call for a taxi service on demand.

See

Yeni Tzami former Archeological Museum Larissa

Do

Lake in Alkazar Park

Cinemas

Films shown in original language with Greek subtitles. Cartoons are often translated to Greek.

Parks

Football

Cycling

During the summer months you may have the chance to follow the weekly night ride. Bikers usually gather every Thursday night at the Central Square and form a large group that later rovers on a common route around the city.

Running

Various running events take place in the city during the year with the most notable ones being:

Many locals enjoy training by the river which offers paths almost 1.5 km long on each side.

Drink

Winter bars, pubs and clubs, usually close down during summer. Most of them have a different facility for the summer. Dancing in clubs is common only during a party.

Winter

Tsipouro is a very famous beverage in Greece, but most of the areas in Thessaly are famous for making some of the purest and strongest tsipouro in the country. It's really good in cold weather, because of its high concentration in alcohol. Tyrnavos is known for its local production which is known and sold as Tsipouro Tyrnavou.

Clubs:


Summer

Tsipouro, Ouzo or Wine, as in the rest of Greece, are good choices. There are many bars downtown, so the visitor is not expected to have any problem finding a place to enjoy a drink. Youths buy drinks and sit around the Frourio square during the summer nights while the restaurants and pubs in that area thrive with people this season. Another popular place is Neapoli square where a big number of pubs is to be found around the square.

Buy

The First Ancient Theatre of Larissa

There many shops downtown. Be aware that shopping hours vary by the day of the week. Monday-Saturday shops are open from around 9am to 2pm. Monday, Wednesday and Friday they reopen around 6pm and stay open until 20:00-21:00. On Sundays about the only places open are cafes, restaurants, and kiosks.

Malls

Farmers Market

Or more properly "Peoples Market" and locally known as "Laiki agora" is a weekly event in many Greek cities. Farmers sell their fresh products directly to the housekeepers for very affordable prices from morning to noon. Peoples Market instances in Larissa include:

Eat

There are plenty of options for eating out in Larissa.

There is a large concentration of restaurants along Filellinon Street on the north side of the central district.

People in Greece usually eat late in the evening (21:00-24:00), during the day most taverns, psistaries and restaurants are closed. However, fast-food restaurants are open all day long.

Budget

Mid range

Splurge

Inside the medieval fortress.

Sleep

There are many hotels in Larissa. Most are in center. Car parking could be hard to find in the center of Larissa.

Budget

(1 and 2 Stars)

Mid range

(3 and 4 Stars)

The Municipal Gallery of Larissa.

Splurge

(5 Stars)

Nearby

Metaxochori

Stay Safe

Thessalian Theatre

Larissa's football club known as AEL has a very aggressive fan club called Monsters. It is probable that you get attacked in the street if you are seen wearing cloths with logos of other football teams, especially Greek ones. Avoid wearing such clothing and do not come in conduct with anyone that seems like a sports fanatic.

Dial 112 in case of emergency.

Go next

Nearby are the famous Meteora, the Mount Olympos National Park, and Tembi Valley. They can be reached by train, bus or car.


The Ancient Theatre of Larissa
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