Thessaloniki in detail

Flights & getting there

Thessaloniki is northern Greece’s transport hub and gateway to the Balkans. Major European airlines and budget airlines fly to Thessaloniki and within Greece.

Air

Makedonia International Airport

Besides Greece's Aegean Airlines, many foreign carriers use Thessaloniki airport for domestic and international flights. Prices and routes are fluid, so ascertain which companies are currently flying from the Makedonia International Airport website. Then visit a travel agent or book online.

If you're visiting Thessaloniki briefly, you can store luggage with Sky Bag at the airport.

Transport Options

Bus X1 (during the day) and N1 (at night) runs half-hourly from the airport (17km southeast of town), heading west through the city to the main bus station (KTEL Makedonia) via the train station. Tickets cost €2 from the airport to the bus station; €1 for short journeys.

Taxis to the airport cost €20–30, depending on the distance – it is a set rate, even if the meter reads a lower fee (this allows for airport charges and the differences in central locations). Call in advance if you need them to pick you up from town; the operator speaks English.

Boat

Ferries from Thessaloniki port are limited and change annually. To access the Sporades, you must depart from Volos (all year) or Agios Konstantinos further south during the summer period only. With private yacht charters you can sail to Italy, Turkey and Albania.

Consult www.ferries.gr or Karacharisis Travel for details and booking options for ferries from Thessaloniki.

Bus

Domestic

Thessaloniki’s main bus station, Macedonia Intercity Bus Station, is 3km west of the city centre. Each destination has its own specific ticket counter, signposted in Greek and English.

For Athens only, avoid the trip by going instead to Monastiriou bus station – next to the train station – where Athens-bound buses start before calling in at KTEL Makedonia.

Buses leave for Halkidiki from the eastern Thessaloniki Halkidiki bus terminal. The terminal is out towards the airport, reached via city buses 45A or 45B. From the main bus station, buses stop en route at the train station and Plateia Aristotelous. With waiting time and traffic, this 'express' service to the bus terminal can take more than an hour. Then there's the trip to Halkidiki itself. The whole production can take three to six hours. Consider renting a car for your Halkidiki trip or at least take a taxi (around €15) to Halkidiki bus terminal.

International

KTEL offers international services to Bulgaria and Albania. Direct services reach Tirana (€30, nine hours, twice daily), Sofia (€23, five hours, eight daily), Plovdiv (€30, 7½ hours, five daily) and Blagoevgrad (€20, four hours, eight daily).

Weekly overnight buses set out to the Slovak and Czech Republics (€80, 19½ hours), through Bratislava, Brno and Olomouc.

Small bus companies, such as Simeonidis Tours, serve Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Germany. Crazy Holidays operates three daily buses to İstanbul. It also goes to Skopje, Belgrade, Budapest and Tirana.

Bus Services from Thessaloniki’s Main Bus Station (KTEL Makedonia)

DestinationDuration (hr)Fare (€)Frequency
Alexandroupoli328 daily
Arta373 daily
Athens645hourly
Didymotiho418 daily
Drama215hourly
Edessa9.7015 daily
Florina175 daily
Igoumenitsa4382 daily
Ioannina316 daily
Kastoria3197 daily
Kavala1515 daily
Komotini3286 daily
Litihoro8.5013 daily
Orestiada6438 daily
Serres8.20half-hourly
Veria1715 daily
Volos2208 daily
Xanthi2011 daily

Train

Thessaloniki’s train station has ATMs, card phones and small modern eateries, plus an Orthodox chapel. Self-serve luggage storage lockers start from €3.

International

Daily international (also known as intercity; IC) trains serve Sofia (€17, six hours) and in summer only, Blagoevgrad (€12, 4½ hours) in Bulgaria. A service also goes to Skopje (€13, six hours) and Belgrade (€34, 14 hours). Check ahead at Thessaloniki train station or consult the OSE website (www.trainose.gr).

Domestic

Direct ICE trains serve Athens (€5, four to five hours, six daily), Paleofasala (for Meteora; €25, 1¾ hours, eight daily) and Larissa (€14 to €22, 1½–two hours, 17 daily). Regular trains also serve Veria, Edessa and Florina (mostly via Platy). Only two daily trains currently serve Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupoli in Thrace.