Thessaloniki is located in Thermaikos Gulf, in the northwest corner of the Aegean. It is bordered west by the Axios delta. The municipality of Thessaloniki, the historic center, had a population of 325,182 in 2011, while the urban area of Thessaloniki had a population of 824,676 and the metropolitan area of Thessaloniki had 1,030,338 inhabitants in 2011. Is it the second largest economic, industrial, commercial and political center in Greece. It is an important transport hub for Greece and Southeastern Europe, especially through the port of Thessaloniki. The city is famous for its festivals, events and lively cultural life in general and is considered the cultural capital of Greece. Events such as the Thessaloniki International Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival take place every year, while the city also hosts the largest biennial meeting of the Greek Diaspora. Thessaloniki was the European Youth Capital of 2014.
Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC. from Cassander of Macedonia and took his name from his wife Thessaloniki, daughter of Philip II of Macedonia and sister of Alexander the Great. An important metropolis of Roman era and also Thessaloniki was the second richer city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430 and remained distinctive and a multinational port during the 5 centuries of Turkish rule. It passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on November 8, 1912. It houses many notable Byzantine monuments, including the early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. The main university of the city, the Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans.
Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, National Geographic Magazine included Thessaloniki in the top tourist destinations in the world, while in 2014 the Financial Times FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) magazine declared Thessaloniki as the best medium-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle. Among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is also considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece.