There is no doubt that the covered markets include a different aspect of the way of life of Thessaloniki. They are characterized by a distinctive atmosphere that travels the visitor to another era. Among them are Kapani, Modiano, Athonos, and Bezesteni, from which the two first are the biggest and the most popular ones.
What is Kapani in Thessaloniki?
Kapani (or Vlali Market) is the oldest traditional market of Thessaloniki that dates from the 15th century, while it is located on the west side of Aristotelous Square. The first version of the market's name derives from the Turkish expression "Un Kapan-i" which literally means flour market.
After the beginning of the Greek revolution of the northern parts of Greece in 1821, the Ottoman rule executed at Kapani a great number of Greeks and Greek officials who were accused of being members of the Greek secret revolutionary organization (Filiki Etairia). Among them, bishops, priests, and George Vlalis the first member of Filiki Etairia in Thessaloniki. His name was given to the market after 1912 when Thessaloniki became a member of the Hellenic State.
Kapani is very close to Egnatia Street and more specifically it's located at the right part of Aristotelous as someone is heading to the seafront. It includes a series of shops that sell meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits but also house gear, clothes, and shoes. Small cafés and restaurants offer extraordinary spots to admire and "inhale" the special atmosphere and smells of the market.
Where is Modiano Market in Thessaloniki?
Modiano is another covered market that can be found just some meters from Kapani. It is a bit closer to the "seafront area", and located at the right part of Aristotelous as someone is walking downhill.
It was built between 1922 and 1925 after a great fire on the site of the old Talmud Tora synagogue. The name of the market derives from the Italo-Jewish architect of the project Eli Modiano who was the owner of the area and the market itself.
Apart from the shops that sell a great variety of products Modiano Market is famous for the nice tavernas that it hosts where someone can taste interesting dishes and traditional recipes.
Why visiting the covered markets of Thessaloniki?
Both Kapani and Modiano offer countless shopping opportunities at very affordable prices. Among others, someone can find many kinds of meat, fish, herbs, spices, cheese, and many other things that have to do with cooking, as well as clothes and shoes.
For those who like the atmosphere of the market but doesn’t want to buy something, there are many choices of small cafés or small restaurants where the visitor can have ouzo and mezedes (something like Spanish tapas).