Ikea Thessaloniki: 10 Reasons To Make the Journey

May 12, 2009 10 Comments by

IKEA Thessaloniki

Why Ikea, Thessaloniki, a two and a half hour drive from Bansko? Greece — another country and another world. Join me on my review of Thassaloniki’s IKEA and its potential value to Bulgaria’s property owners.

I went in April, and the trip made a refreshing change of scenery — along with a welcome boost of warm sunshine. But this article is for Bulgarian property owners, in the main. My review on Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, and its attractions i’ll save for another time. That said, next to IKEA there’s a huge shopping mall which would be a pleasant trip in its own right.

But first, why go to Ikea in Thessaloniki?

Firstly, because we’ll have to wait until next year, before Sofia gets its own IKEA. And secondly, because IKEA can give you an easy route to designing an attractive apartment or home — for both rental and living in.

So here are the Top 10 Reasons To Go To IKEA, Thessaloniki:

1.  One Stop Shop. You can get achieve a contemporary look in one shop. You can get some similar things for less in Mr Bricolage, Metro and Sofia. But nowhere else can you get all your bathroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen.

2.  Preparation Before Shopping. You can prepare your shop before the trip simply by using IKEA tools and resources online. The web site has loads of ideas. But be warned: you may change your mind when you get there. I was impressed with the huge size and number of displays in this IKEA. Mirrors, hooks, racks and even pictures semm to become essential.

3.  Soft Furnishings. If there’s just one thing owners who wish to rent should do, its to buy soft furnishings for their property. Ikea has a huge range of soft furnishings to soften your property and give it the wow factor. From dining room table cloths, rugs, bed spread covers, duvet covers and fabric light fittings, its a load easier to inject style into your apartment than the often drab and conservative and sometimes over priced furniture packages.

4.  Rental Inventory and Cooking Items. IKEA choice here is immense. A few decent pans, whisks, cooking utensils, tea towels, mugs will impress your guests. Its often the smallest details that make a difference.

5.  Shopping Mall. You can do your other shopping very nearby. There is a huge shopping centre with most of the major store brands and clothes and shoe brands. Some interesting home stores as well are found in the shopping mall as well, Its all well laid out, not busy and with a supermarket too.

6.  Price. Well you know what the price is before you go. And whilst some would say it is overpriced — I would only agree on some products. Comparable quality is what to look for. For really cheap items head for Metro and to some extent Mr Bricolage in Blagoevgrad. For other higher quality items I’ve found it more more expensive in Bulgaria than IKEA.

7.  Lighting. Finding stylish light fittings seems to be a challenge in Bulgaria. The choice and price for IKEA’s lighting alone will make a huge difference to the feel of your apartment. In particular, some well designed ceiling lights, to replace your standard issue fitting, will go a long way to indiviualise your apartment. A stylish apartment will rent easier and command more rental in the long term.

8.  Food. No, not the IKEA meatballs — but the restaurant there was excellent. But a huge range of restaurants, just by the shopping mall nearby. I found the welcome taste of fresh fish and a meze well worth the Greek prices.  A typical meal in Bulgaria is under half the price of Thessaloniki.

9.  The City Of Thassaloniki. Thessaloniki is a destination city in its own right. Greece’s second largest. Stunning quality cafes, bars and restaurants await. A relaxed water front meal, with the sweet smells of the Aegean Sea, is worth the trip alone.

10. Improve Rental Returns. Okay, you certainly don’t have to go to Thessaloniki to make you property look great. But I am confident that a contemporary, fashionable design will help property owners attract clients in the cut throat Bansko rental market. most important, an attractive property will ensure your guests recommend others and will return. Please take a look at part 1 of my article on apartment rental:  http://banskoblog.com/rent-apartment-help/

There’s a bizarre upside to visiting IKEA in Thessaloniki after the town centre — everything is priced in English. If, like me, you’ve struggled your way through cyrillic, the last thing you feel like is deciphering Greek.

An obvious option for owners from abroad, is to fly to Thessaloniki and hire a car — and then drive to Bansko. This provide the fin opportunity of exploring the coastal area of Halkidiki, as well as other areas. For more info on car hire and transfer take a look at this article: http://banskoblog.com/sofia-transfers/.

If you’ve just stumbled upon this site, and wish to check out some excellent Bansko accommodation options then take a look at this:

http://banskoblog.com/bansko-accommodation/

And finally, my over riding impression on Greece. How come they are all living, or seem to be living, like Greek Kings?

The wealth on display is truly breathtaking… a monied feeling approaching Monaco. Its the only way I can describe what I’ve now seen twice in Thessaloniki. The same expensively dressed and groomed look I find in many of the new Greek tourists increasingly enjoying Bansko.

The only explanation of all this money that I can think of, is that it must have been given to them by the EU!

I could see a very healthy agricultural sector with barely a patch of soil unutilised. Are the Greek banks generous? Or are the people just entrepreneurial and hard working?

But one thing really struck me:  There is so much land still uncultivated in Bulgaria — almost everywhere you look.

Bulgaria will receive a huge boost to its economy as it starts to take advantage of investment in agriculture.

Overall I urge Bansko regulars to take a trip to Greece soon. For those in UK pounds then an improving pound will help the costs… with a large beer costing between 5 and 6 euros, you may feel homesick for the 1.5 leva (€0.70) Bulgarian variety!

http://banskoblog.com/bulgarian-wine-beer-best/ for more on one of my favourite topics!

Useful Info On IKEA:

Web site for IKEA Thessaloniki with map: http://www.ikea.gr/stores/?store=4&language=0

IKEA Address:

12th km Thessalonikis – Peraias
57001 Pylaia, Thessaloniki
Customer Service Line:
801 11 22 722
fax: 2310 475 150
e-mail: cs.thessaloniki@Ikea.gr

IKEA Opening hours
Monday – Friday 10.00 – 21.00
Saturday 10.00 – 20.00

What is your experience of furnishing your property?

Have you been to IKEA in Thessaloniki? Please comment below – they are very welcome.

Owning

About the author

I enjoy technology, internet, web sites and apps. Love travelling around Bulgaria. Skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, and ocasional windsurf, cooking and good food.

10 Responses to “Ikea Thessaloniki: 10 Reasons To Make the Journey”

  1. liz says:

    ahhh… to reach the Aegean sea after a two and a half hour drive. How cool is that? Never mind the 5-6 Euros for a beer. It’s worth it!

  2. Lance says:

    thanks for that Liz, and what’s more there’s no hassle at the border -in either direction. It really is a joy having the ability to pop in to Greece.

    the “beer index” can become a bit obsessive, amongst drinkers and there’s no doubt when it’s really affordable then it does somehow add to the fun.

  3. Wizz Air Offer 20% Off: Today Only | Banksoblog says:

    [...] Read more about my recent trip to Thessaloniki IKEA here: http://banskoblog.com/ikea-thessaloniki/. [...]

  4. mike says:

    ”The only explanation of all this money that I can think of, is that it must have been given to them by the EU!”

    Thats not true!

    We ‘ve been at EU for almost 30 years,yes we had some subsidies from EU but we used this money for real improvment of our standard of living

    Ok lets go back to the topic!
    A visit to thessaloniki is a must,especially downtown!Really great nightlife,with numerous choices from big club venues to small traditional bars with live music.One of the best restaurant is ”yamas” with an breath taking view to aegean sea and white tower

    You can also visit the famous byzantine museum and other museums and galleries as well as the white tower,the biggest landmark of thessaloniki.Very close to ikea you can find NOESIS ,thessaloniki’s science museum!

    Near ikea is the mediterranean cosmos,the second biggest greek mall.You can find all uk clothing brands plus famous European brands like Zara and Pull and Bear.Of course you can also buy all the latest electronic gadgets and cool stuff like tvs etc

    I hope you find this comment useful

    Mike from thessaloniki

  5. Lance says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thank for your comments. My guess at the explanation of Greece’s price rises was actually from a Thessaloniki friend I was with a year ago… but I suspect we agree on this point as you say the standard of living has improved with EU money. Standard of living increases often lead to price rises – for good old supply and demand reasons.

    But having visited the city twice now, I totally agree that it really is a fabulous place to spend your days and nights.

    Yes I omitted the name of the huge shopping mall, Cosmos – so thanks for that. It was a real pleasure in there.

    I am trying to remember the amazing location of the all day restaurant in a warehouse building on the old docks. There I enjoyed the best Greek salad I have ever had. Just took it to a whole new level. Will check out Yamas next time.

    More tips would be welcome, and thanks again Mike,

    Lance

  6. mike says:

    its called kitchen bar!
    Its actually one of the best restaurants of thessaloniki,but its really expensive!

  7. LanceNelson says:

    Hi Lawrence, thanks for your kind comments.

    For Thessaloniki go to transfer section and look for axeman. You will find it easier and not a lot more expensive to be driven and helped. But there may be others I am not aware of: anyone know?

    There are many hire sites — but I have not had a report back from anyone who can recommend a specific van hire company. Be aware that some hire places specifically exclude insurance for Bulgaria. So check this out before arriving. If you are driving on Bulgarian motorways (like certain stretches of E79) you will need to buy a ticket — or risk a fine from the KAT (Police).

    Overall flying to Thessaloniki makes a lot of sense and, as I love Greece, and the superior food there (in general) then its perfect for not just IKEA but for a two country holiday. For those flying into Sofia, I recommend AIKO for furniture and kitchens. Its full of Bulgarian buying — which is always a good sign.

  8. Simon Temblett says:

    Dear Lawence,
    dont know if it is possible to rent a van and drive it over, but I do shopping trips to Ikea with a van and I could meet you there and bring you back here, let me know if it would help
    Simon
    email stemblett@hotmail.com
    visit http://www.st-properties.com/
    call 0893 526 531 (BG mobile)

  9. ed wood says:

    I like your comment about the Greeks living like kings – clearly we now know that they managed it on German and French credit !! It'll be closed today, there's a general strike on :-)

    • LanceNelson says:

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for letting us know about the strike affecting Ikea.

      I now wish I had written here what I said at the time to my Greek friend. I could have been a smart arse — as I did believe a crash was imminent. When I heard the long term loans banks were giving on motor cars to people on very modest incomes, it felt all wrong. As you say, had no idea the amount of leverage. Sofia now has its own Ikea http://banskoblog.com/2011/09/ikea-sofia-home-fur….

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