Mark Mazower’s Salonica: City of Ghosts should be at the top of any Thessaloniki-themed reading list. (The city is also known as Salonica.) Publishers’ Weekly calls Mazower’s book “Part travelogue, part history and part cultural study.” It’s a comprehensive, extensively researched book chronicling the rise of Thessaloniki as one of the world's first truly cosmopolitan cities. Emphasized most is the city's unique confluence of cultures; it discusses the influence Jews, Muslims, Christians, Ottomans Turks, and Greek nationals have all had on Thessaloniki's history.

If you are daunted at the thought of a 500 page book, it might be better to investigate some of Thessaloniki’s quicker reads. Local newspapers and magazines are an indispensable source of information, but unfortunately, as you can see from this list, all of the city’s offerings are in Greek only. If you speak Greek, great! If not, you can quickly learn from Colloquial Greek : A Complete Language Course by Niki Watts. The Colloquial series aims to help tourists get by but also impart a deeper, more permanent understanding of the language – so be prepared to sit down and really read this one. A less comprehensive phrasebook and guidebook, extremely helpful for those pressed for time, is Lonely Planet Greek Islands .

One useful Thessaloniki web site with an English translation is http://www.saloniki.org/ (click on the British flag in the upper right). This can be your internet portal to Thessaloniki; here you can listen to the local radio, read news and trivia, and view maps, webcam images, and upcoming events.