Being a seat of both Greek and Roman power, Thessaloniki has been a sporting city throughout its history. Although there’s no more chariot racing to be done here, here are a number of other sports for the modern athlete to participate in or watch:

  • Soccer: Apollon Kalamarias, named after the Apollo of Greek mythology, is the Greek National Division soccer team based in Kalamaria, a suburb of Thessaloniki. Another good place to watch soccer is the Kleanthis Vikelides Stadium, which was used in the 2004 for the Summer Olympics and is now used by Thessaloniki's Aris (Ares) club team.
  • Basketball: Thessaloniki has produced Greece’s most famous basketball stars, including Panagiotis Fasoulas, who played at South Carolina State University, and Panagiotis Giannakis, the captain of Greece's championship-winning 1987 national team. The Aris Sports Club, which has been around for almost a hundred years, organizes Thessaloniki’s basketball team, which plays in the Alexandreio Melathron.
  • Baseball: One of Greece’s best local baseball clubs, the Neo Petritsi, practices in Charilaou, a municipality of Thessaloniki. Baseball in Greece is just starting to take hold, so if you enjoy the sport, come support this fledgling team.
  • Nautical Sports: Thessaloniki’s Nautical Club was formed in 1931 to take advantage of the city’s seaside location. In addition to rowing and sailing teams, the nautical club has five tennis courts and belongs to the Hellenic Tennis Association.