Getting Around Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki’s central city is favourable to the walkers, with it’s narrow, hilly streets and promenade. Walking is the best option and you can usually walk around the central city stress-free, though there is a lot of uphill walking if you wish to get to the top of the cityscape. There are numerous bus-routes around the city if you feel like walking is not going to work for you, as well as a good taxi service.

Bus

The cheapest method to reach the city from the airport is by bus. The city operates 2 main bus lines to the airport, Bus Route Nr. X1 “KTEL – Airport ” (05:00 am – 21:00 pm) and Bus Route Nr. N1 “KTEL – Airport ” (Night Service) (23:00 pm – 04:30 am).

Airport bus line 78 waiting on the platform

The buses run every 30 minutes and the journey takes around 40 minutes, though can be subject to traffic. Bus fare is only 2€ and a ticket can be purchased on the bus or with cash at the automated vending machines, bear in mind you’ll need exact change as the machine doesn’t give change! There is also a limited opening hour ticket booth available just before you leave the airport outside the bus stop, here you can purchase tickets and change is available. The bus will stop at any of the numerous stops along the route if there are people to pick up and drop off. Note that there is no extra space available on these airport bus services, so they can be difficult to navigate and cramped if you have a lot of luggage.

Taxi

Taxis are the other option available, should you wish to avoid the issues of public transport. Taxis are queued outside of the airport arrivals terminal at a designated rank and are available 24/7. You can grab any taxi and they are metered. The taxi service cost can vary, but you can be expected to pay around 20-30€ for the ride which takes around 30 minutes at most.  If you are looking for a different option, consider booking with Welcome. Welcome offers a private, pre-booked transfer option for the same price as a local taxi, but with a great range of extra benefits. Drivers are all qualified and English speaking to make your transfer into the city affordable and simple. Book your Thessaloniki Airport Taxi today!  Taxis are also available to either flag down or take from the ranks, located around central hubs (central city, promenade, hospital etc). Note that there is a surcharge after 23:00 pm, however, taxis are usually quite affordable, helpful and efficient. 

Things to note about taxis:

  • Only take licenced taxis from the rank. They are blue and white in colour and should have a licence on the dashboard.
  • Make sure the driver turns on the meter.
  • English might be an issue, so have your address or destination name written in Greek, they often have GPS in the cabs.
  • There are no card facilities in the taxis so make sure you have cash. Smaller notes are often preferred.
  • There is a surcharge for taxis in the evening.
  • You may be charged for a lot of luggage.

taxi-thessaloniki-small

City Centre

Thessaloniki’s city is very walkable, and you’ll find most people walk or take the bus to get around. Bus services are relatively regular, and routes are operated by multiple bus lines. You will find that some of the more popular buses around the city are quite jam-packed at peak hours, so it can be a rather uncomfortable journey as seating is limited. Bikes are not common aside from along the promenade as the streets are busy with people.  Tickets for the buses are purchased on the bus, and you are able to take connecting buses to reach your destination if you purchase a two-journey or three-journey ticket. These are also available on the bus for purchase. It is slightly cheaper, and change is available, if you purchase tickets from one of the OASTH bus booths located around the central city, though they are not open for long. The most popular one is located in Kamara (by the Arch of Galerius) or at small convenience stores, you will see dotted around the streets. Note that if the bus service is not a night-operated line, most buses will terminate around 23:00 pm and start at around 05:00 am, depending on the line. Remember, if you purchase one of these multi-journey tickets or you don’t purchase a ticket from the bus, you will need to validate your ticket by punching a code onto it – this is done through the orange machines located on the buses. More timetables and information are found on the OASTH website. http://oasth.gr/#en/masterinfo/list/78/73/

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