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Destination Thessaloniki
WOMEX 12 Host City

After three years in Copenhagen WOMEX is moving south in 2012 - to Thessaloniki, Greece, and will be taking place one week earlier than usual, from Wednesday, 17 to Sunday, 21 October 2012.

WOMEX's new partners for 2012 are Helexpo S.A., Thessaloniki's congress and exhibition centre; Gaia Live, an established and well-versed concert promoter; the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports and the Municipality of Thessaloniki. WOMEX 12 Thessaloniki shall take place under the auspices of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Dr. Karolos Papoulias.

ministry   municipality

helexpo   gaia


Google Map: Venues/Hotels/Restaurants

View WOMEX 12 Thessaloniki in a larger map

Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic and political centre
and is also the fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans. Located right beside the Mediterranean Sea, this port city is a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece can be found along this coastline.

Thessaloniki One of Europe’s oldest and most multiethnic cities, Thessaloniki's 2300-year past bears traces of an eventful history between Orient and Occident. The city is packed with architectural gems that remind us of its Byzantine, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish past – including the famous 15th century Ottoman White Tower, now a satellite branch of the Museum of Byzantine Culture. The city centre is located within the curved and columned facades of Aristotelous Square, which opens to the waterfront on one side and also captures vistas of the historic Ano Poli (Upper City).

Renowned for its vibrant cultural life, Thessaloniki is also considered to be Greece's cultural capital. Festivals abound all year round, from the International Film Festival to the city's Biennale of Contemporary Art. Its young population and the many students have contributed to its thriving cultural scene and initiatives. In 2014, Thessaloniki will be the European Youth Capital.

Halkidiki The city is close to the national parks of Pieria featuring the highest mountain in Greece, Mount Olympos, also known as the residence of the 12 Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. The lush green forests and beautiful beaches on the 'three-leg' peninsula of Chalkidiki – an hour's drive away from Thessaloniki – are well worth a trip. The easternmost 'leg', Mount Athos – also called the 'Holy Mountain' – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries in a self-governed state under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople.

Photos: 1 Thessaloniki | 2 Chalkidiki | both courtesy of Visit Greece

Visit Greece
Greece - Photo Collection on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Thessaloniki 360° (incl. info/pics of the Chalkidiki peninsula)
Thessaloniki on Wikipedia
Thessaloniki in The New York Times
Thessaloniki Project (info on the history of Thessaloniki 1900-30)
Thessaloniki Bus Overview / Bus Map (pdf)

Tips from the Locals

Skyline Thessaloniki has a very rich food culture, which is strongly incorporated into its citizens' mentality and their daily life. The multinational past of the city has had a strong influence on the local cuisine and today Thessaloniki is one of the top culinary destinations in Greece.

Here is a short selection of places, restaurants and areas where you can satisfy your palate... Read on

Photo: Courtesy of


Thessaloniki enjoys a Mediterranean climate thanks to its position on the Thermaic Gulf, with hot sunny summers and mild winters.

October remains pleasant and warm in Thessaloniki, with average temperatures still reaching 21°C in the daytime and around 11°C at night.

WOMEX Venues

Location Kit (pdf)
Kitchen Bar



WOMEX’s main venue for day- and nighttime activities
, Helexpo, is situated in the centre of Thessaloniki, between the Archeological Museum and the Aristotle University. The beautiful sea front with the White Tower, the historical landmark of the city, is just a 5-minute walk away.

Due to Helexpo’s central location it has a good bus connection to the airport, to the train station as well as to the Opening and Closing Venue, Megaro; and to Kitchen Bar hosting the WOMEX 12 DJ Summit Showcases.

Bus number 78 takes you from the airport to Helexpo and then continues to the main train station; it operates at 20-minute intervals throughout the day (78) and 30-minute intervals during the night (N78). A taxi from the airport to the city centre or Helexpo won’t cost you more than 20-25 euro. The bus routes between the main train station and Helexpo are numbers 2, 3, 8, 10, 14, 17, 37 and 78.

There are several bus routes that stop at different bus stations around Helexpo at 2-minute intervals (numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 24, 27, 28, 31, 33, 37, 39, 45, 58, 78, 78N, 83). The venue has two accessible entrances: the northern gate, number 1, on Egnatia Street; and the southern gate, number 2, on Stratou Avenue.

Helexpo on Google maps
154 Egnatia Street
Thessaloniki 54636



Thessaloniki's concert hall, Megaro, will host this year's Opening on Wednesday evening and the final Award Ceremony on Sunday morning. The venue has a great technological infrastructure and acoustics, and has been designed to host a range of cultural activities, from concerts to ballets.

Megaro is ideally situated at the eastern edge of the new waterfront promenade, offering an excellent view. Its high quality programme confidently contributes to the cultural, social and economical development of the city, aiming to establish Thessaloniki as the cultural centre in the broader area.

The distance between WOMEX’s main venue, Helexpo, and Megaro is approximately 3.5 kilometres. You may choose to walk along the sea front, take a taxi, or catch the bus (approximately 9 stops). The bus routes connecting Helexpo and Megaro are numbers 5, 6, 33, 78 from bus station Lefkos Pirgos, close to the White Tower.

Megaro on Google maps
25 Martiou Street & Paralia
Thessaloniki 54646


Kitchen Bar
Courtesy of Yannis Psathas

Kitchen Bar

Kitchen Bar, a nocturnal venue at the Thessaloniki harbour, will host the WOMEX 12 DJ Summit, bringing a taste of global club culture to WOMEX. There will be two special club nights on Friday and Saturday with a full DJ line-up.

Kitchen Bar is approximately 2.5 kilometres from the main venue Helexpo. You could either take a 25-minute walk along the seaside or jump on the bus at H.A.N.TH bus station, close to the southern gate, number 2. However, buses stop running around midnight. Number 3, 5 and 6 will still pass by H.A.N.TH in the hour after midnight. Early birds can choose bus number 3, 12 or 39 and get out at Plateia (“square”) Emporiou; number 58 until the terminal stop, Eleftheriou Venizelou; the airport bus number 78 to Plateia Aristotelous; or take number 5, 6 or 33 and leave the bus at Plateia Eleftherias – the bus stop which is closest to the venue. Take a taxi to get to your hotel after the club. The nearest taxi station is at Plateia Aristotelous. Maybe you can even stroll home as many of the hotels are within walking distance in the area.

Kitchen Bar on Google maps
Dock 1 at the Port

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