Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. Located in the historic region of Macedonia, Thessaloniki is in proximity to some interesting archaeological sites. The city itself is home to several museums, as well as a thriving restaurant and café culture.
The easiest way to reach Thessaloniki is by flying into its international airport. It is also possible to reach the city by car, bus, or train.
Consider exploring Thessaloniki, along with northern Greece and the Ionian islands, with this 14-day itinerary.
Duration: 1-7 hours
There are many ways to get from Athens to Thessaloniki. The fastest way is by taking a quick flight of under one hour. Many direct flights leave from Athens airport each day.
If you would like to explore Greece more in-depth, you might consider driving a rental car or taking a private transfer. This route takes about five hours, and passes by countless sites. Depending on how much time you have, you could consider stopping off at the Archaeological Museum of Thebes, seeing the ruins at Delphi, or even budgeting a few days to climb Mount Olympus.
There are also some public transit options for getting to Thessaloniki from Athens. KTEL runs buses from Kifissos Bus Terminal (KTEL Bus Station A) throughout the day, and trains leave regularly from Athens’ main railway station. Buses take about seven hours, while high-speed trains take four hours.
From the Greek Islands
Duration: 1 hour by flying, more by other methods
Despite the fact that Thessaloniki is a port city, ferry connections to the Greek islands are few and far between.
If you are staying on a Greek island, it is worth checking if the island’s airport offers direct flights to Thessaloniki. Flights from cities like Heraklion or Rhodes take just over an hour.
Otherwise, you have the option of flying to Athens or taking a ferry to Piraeus port and continuing your journey from there.
Duration: 3 hours
To get from the popular UNESCO Heritage site of Meteora to Thessaloniki, you can drive or book a private transfer. The drive takes just under three hours. On the way, you will be able to stop at historic sites like Vergina (a burial complex containing the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father).
If you prefer to take public transit, you can also travel by bus or train, although routes are indirect and may take some time.
A local bus runs from Meteora to the nearby town of Kalabaka, from where you can catch another bus to Trikala, the regional capital. KTEL buses connect Trikala with Thessaloniki several times a day.
In addition, several trains daily run from Kalambaka to Thessaloniki. This route involves a transfer at Palaeofarsalos Station, and takes from three to five hours.