Thessaloniki Airport: How to get to the city center

How to reach Thessaloniki airport

If you are flying to one of the resorts of Greek trident – the region of Halkidiki, you will definitely need information on how to get from Thessaloniki airport to the center of Thessaloniki and the main Greek beach resorts: Nea Kallikrati, Nea Potidea, Sani, Neos Marmaras and others.

Before traveling to Thessaloniki write down the exact address of your hotel or apartment in Thessaloniki and download a city map and a public transportation map to your smartphone.

A brief information about Thessaloniki Airport

Makedonia Airport in Thessaloniki is located 17 km south of Thessaloniki. It is the main airport in northern Greece and is a hub for the following airlines: Aegean Airlines, Astra Airlines, Ellinair and the budget low-cost carrier Ryanair.

From Russia, regular direct flights to Thessaloniki fly from Moscow. The cost of a regular flight Moscow-Thessaloniki is 150 euros, and the travel time is just over 3 hours. In summer, charter flights are added to regular flights from dozens of Russian cities. From Ukraine, regular flights to Thessaloniki are from Kiev. A ticket from Kiev to Thessaloniki will cost you 100 euros each way and travel time is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Airport of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki Airport Terminal

There is only one terminal of three floors in Thessaloniki airport. The first floor is the arrivals hall, divided into two compartments: for international flights/flights from outside the Schengen area and for domestic flights/flights from the Schengen area. The second floor is the departure lounge, which also houses retail areas and bars. There are many ATMs on this floor. The top floor has 2 restaurants and several bars overlooking the runways. Below you can see a map of Thessaloniki airport.

Airport map

At the airport of Thessaloniki you can buy traditional Greek products, cigarettes, jewelry, and clothes. Here you can also pack your luggage.

A few kilometers from the airport there are hotels Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki at a price of 122 euros per night for a double room and Hotel Nikopolis at a price of 98 euros per night for a double room.

How to get from Thessaloniki airport to the city center?

There are three options for getting from Thessaloniki airport to the city center or to Greek resorts: change buses, cabs or rented cars. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ways.

Thessaloniki airport bus to the city center

The Thessaloniki Airport buses are usually new and air-conditioned, but very often crowded. The buses are operated by the transportation company O.A.S.TH.

There are direct buses from Macedonia Airport to the center of Thessaloniki. You cannot get from Macedonia Airport to Greek resorts of Halkidiki by direct bus: you will have to change at the bus station on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. Between the airport and the KTEL bus station of Halkidiki in Thessaloniki there are city buses #78, #78A and #78N which pass through the center of Thessaloniki. The address of the bus station is ΚΤΕΛ ΧΑΛΚΙΔΙΚΗΣ A, Pilea 555 35.

  • Bus No. 78 runs twice an hour during the day from 05:00 to 22:00 from the airport to KTEL station and from 05:50 to 23:00 from KTEL station to Thessaloniki Airport.
  • Bus route No. 78N runs in the evening and at night. The route runs every half hour from 23:30 to 05:30 from the airport to KTEL station and from 22:30 to 04:30 from KTEL station to Thessaloniki airport.
  • Bus route #78A departs only once a day at 05:00 in the direction from KTEL station to Thessaloniki airport.
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Thessaloniki bus

The total travel time from the airport to the center of Thessaloniki is about 30-40 minutes. The ticket is purchased from the vending machine on the bus. Keep in mind that the machine does not give change. The Thessaloniki airport ticket for one trip for an adult – 2 Euros, for students and pensioners – 1 Euro, for children under 6 years old free of charge. It is necessary to stamp the ticket, otherwise it will be invalid, in the yellow punching bag.

Ticket Komposter in Greece

You can get off at the Aristotelous Square (Platia Aristotelous) and at the railway station Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos in the center of Thessaloniki.

Bus from Thessaloniki airport to the Greek resorts in Halkidiki

If your destination is not in Thessaloniki city center but in another Greek resort town then you have to take a bus to KTEL bus station in Thessaloniki and change there to a bus to your resort in Halkidiki. You can get the number of your bus and its schedule at KTEL bus station booking office, where you can buy your ticket. You can see the schedule of buses to your resort on the website of KTEL Chakidikis bus station.

Thessaloniki Ktel Bus Station

You don’t have to take route 78 through the center of the city and make a loop. If so, you will have to take bus 79 at the airport and take it to the stop of A. S. IKEA (Anatolikos Stathmos IKEA) and then take bus number 36/36A/36B to the stop KTEL Chalkidikis. Bus fare on this route will cost you 1 euro for an adult and 0,5 euro for a child.

Greek resorts in the trident of Halkidiki are spread over its three “fingers”: peninsulas Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos. If your resort is on the nearest “finger” to Thessaloniki – Kassandra, you want to save money and you are not bothered by bus delays of an hour, it makes sense to go to your resort by bus. If you are going with children and you need to go to the “fingers” far from Thessaloniki – Sithonia or Athos, I recommend ordering a cab transfer.

Map of Halkidiki

I’ve listed the distance to the main resorts in Greece and the cost of a one-way trip from KTEL bus station in the table below.

Resort name Distance from KTEL bus station Fare
Callithea 78 km 9,7 Euro
Cassandra 81 km 10,2 Euros
Nea Kallikratia 33 km 4,3 Euros
Nea Mudanya 58 km 7 Euros
Nea Potidea 57 km 7,8 Euros
Nea Plahia 46 km 6,6 Euros
Neos Marmaras 107 km 14,3 Euros
Ouranoupolis 138 km 13,7 Euros

Please note that many buses, especially long-distance buses, leave only a few times a day, so it is better to check the schedule on the website in advance. Prices may also change, as happened in the summer of 2016 due to an increase in the VAT rate.

Airport bus to Thessaloniki

Bus from Thessaloniki airport to other Greek cities

If your destination is not on the Halkidiki Peninsula, you will need to take a bus from Thessaloniki Airport to the Thessaloniki Central Bus Station (not to be confused with the KTEL Chalkidikis Bus Station!) to travel to another Greek city from Thessaloniki (for example Athens, Larissa, Lefkada).

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The central bus station of Thessaloniki, Macedonia Intercity Bus Station (KTEL Macedonia), is located at Giannitson 244, Thessaloniki 546 28. From this bus station also depart to other countries: Bulgaria (Sofia, Bansko), Turkey (Istanbul), Macedonia (Skopje), the Czech Republic and even Germany. You can find details of available international bus routes and see their prices on the official website of Macedonia Bus Station, which is available in English.

The KTEL Macedonia bus station is 2.5 km from the main railway station in Thessaloniki (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos), where routes 78 and 78N stop.

Thessaloniki city bus public transport

How and where to buy a bus ticket at the airport of Thessaloniki?

The national currency of Greece is the Euro. As I said, bus tickets are sold in special machines inside the buses. The machine in the bus does not give change, so be prepared with small coins.

Ticket machine Greece

You can also buy bus tickets at the bus ticket booths in Thessaloniki.

Buy a bus ticket in Thessaloniki

Cabs from Thessaloniki Airport

The Thessaloniki airport cab stand is located at the exit of the arrival area. Depending on traffic congestion, the trip from the airport to the center of Thessaloniki will take you 35-40 minutes.

Some peculiarities of a cab in Greece:

  • When driving at night (from 00:00 to 05:00) the cost of a cab ride increases by 30%.
  • The driver must always turn on the meter. Make sure of it when you get into a cab.
  • It is possible to pay in a cab only in cash, which you should have in advance.
  • Under the Greek legislation one cab car can carry at most 4 persons at a time, including children.
  • Greek cab drivers do not know English or know it very badly, so it is recommended to write out in advance the exact address of your destination in Greek on a piece of paper.

Alternatively, you can order a cab transfer in advance online from a trusted Russian company. In this case a Russian-speaking driver will meet you at the airport in the arrivals hall with a sign during the day and even at night. If you order your transfer online you will get a discount, a guarantee of good service and a fixed price in rubles (the price will include all charges).

Cab in Thessaloniki

Rent a car

Rent a car suits independent tourists who do not like public transport and want to see as many interesting places as possible. You can rent a car if you are ready to pay for parking, toll roads and gasoline, as well as have extensive experience driving.

You can book a car rental in Thessaloniki airport and pick it up immediately upon arrival or in the city center or in the resorts of Nea Kallikrati, Nea Potidea, Ouranoupolis, Kallithea and others. It’s easy to travel in a rental car: it’s like driving your own car.

You can find a suitable rental car on the Myrentacar website, where prices from local rental agencies are compared. This service has several advantages: rental prices start from 10 euros per day, it is possible to find a car without a deposit and the deposit can be paid in cash.

Rent a car in Greece

How to get to Thessaloniki Airport

Depending on the time of the day you go from Thessaloniki center to the airport take bus 78 or 78N and get off at the Airport Macedonia stop. You can take this bus at the stop on Aristotle Square, the main train station of Thessaloniki, or at the bus station KTEL Chalkidikis.

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When going to the airport of Thessaloniki from the beach resort of Greece will be more convenient to order a transfer by cab, otherwise you will have to go first from your hotel to the bus station in your city, then – go to the bus station KTEL Chalkidikis, and then still wait for the bus to the airport.

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How to get from Thessaloniki airport to the center and cities of Halkidiki

Thessaloniki International Airport (IATA code SKG) is the main airport in northern Greece. It is located 13km from Thessaloniki city, near Kalamaria district. Since 1993 it takes the name of the historical region of Macedonia (formerly called “Mikra”). The airport serves Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, the popular tourist peninsula of Halkidiki, as well as the resort towns of Pieria region on the coast of the large bay of Termaikos.

Today, Macedonia Airport connects Thessaloniki and the whole of northern Greece with Russia, Great Britain, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Italy. Aeroflot and Aegean airlines fly directly from Moscow to Thessaloniki, while during high tourist season charter flights of other companies from many Russian cities are also added. From Macedonia Airport you can fly to many regions of Greece: Crete, Santorini, Athens, Chios, Corfu, Kalamata, Kos, Zakynthos, Samosai and others.

Terminals at Macedonia Airport

Macedonia Airport consists of one large passenger terminal and one cargo terminal. The passenger terminal is a large three-story complex with a capacity of about 4 million passengers per year.

The first floor is the arrival area (Schengen and international part). On the first floor of the airport building there are several points for baggage packing and the national Tourism Office of Greece, where you can get the information you need for travelers – next to the international arrivals area.

The second floor is the departure area, which includes 34 check-in counters, retail outlets, bars and kiosks.

On the third floor – there are restaurants and several bars overlooking the runway. In addition to the DutyFree store, the Thessaloniki airport has several stores where you can buy traditional Greek products, as well as souvenirs to remember your holiday in Greece.

Hotels near Makedonia Airport

There are several hotels near the airport, which can be reached on foot or by cab. We suggest you get acquainted with the hotels near the airport of Thessaloniki:

Tax Free

In order to receive your tax refund (TaxFree) before check-in you must go to the Global Blue desk in the departure hall, located in front of check-in desks A15-19. Cash refunds are possible, but only up to a maximum of €1,500.

How to get there from Thessaloniki airport

In the region of Kalamaria and Halkidiki peninsula all public transportation are buses and cabs. Therefore, when planning a trip from Thessaloniki airport to the city or coast where your hotel is located, it’s worth choosing a suitable route in advance.

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By bus

Bus from the airport to the city center – Bus route No. 78 (daytime), No. 78N (nighttime)

  • Bus №78 – runs every 30 minutes during the daytime – from 05:00 to 22:00 from the airport to KTEL station and from 05:50 to 23:00 from KTEL station to Thessaloniki airport.
  • Bus № 78N – runs in the evening and at night. The interval of movement is 30-40 minutes from 23:30 to 05:30 from the airport to KTEL station and from 22:30 to 04:30 from KTEL Macedonia station to Thessaloniki airport.

On Sundays and holidays the transport will have to wait 10-15 minutes longer. The travel time with all stops is about 45 minutes, the fare is 2 euros. Tickets for the bus can be purchased from the driver or the ticket machine, which is located in the bus.

The bus stop at the airport is just outside the terminal.

The route of the bus: Airport – Aristotelous Square (Platia Aristotelous) – city center – central railway station (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos) – KTEL Macedonia bus station (intercity bus station).

Bus from the airport to other cities in Greece – bus route #78 (day), #78N (night).

If your destination is, for example, Athens, Larissa, Lefkada, then to travel to another Greek city from Thessaloniki airport by bus you need to go to the central bus station Macedonia Intercity Bus Station (KTEL Macedonia) – this is the final stop of route #78.

From this bus station also depart for other countries: Bulgaria (Sofia, Bansko), Turkey (Istanbul), the Republic of Macedonia, the Czech Republic and even Germany.

Details on international routes, prices and schedules are available on the official website of bus station KTEL Macedonia.

Bus from the airport to the Greek resorts on the Halkidiki Peninsula

You will not be able to get from Macedonia airport to Greek resorts in Halkidiki (the main goal of most tourists) by direct bus. You need to have one transfer.

If so, you must take bus no. 79 at the airport and take it to the stop A. S. IKEA (Anatolikos Stathmos IKEA) and change to bus number 36/36A/36B to stop KTEL Chalkidikis (not to be confused with the bus station KTEL Macedonia!). From there you can take a bus to the villages on the peninsula of Halkidiki.

The buses run from 6:00 to 21:00: 60 minutes

You can buy tickets for the bus from the driver or from the ticket machine on the bus.

Please note that while the Thessaloniki airport bus runs every 30-60 minutes, the frequency of intercity buses at the bus station depends on the importance of the destination. To some cities on the peninsula buses leave only 1-2 times a day. The schedule can be found on the official website of the bus station KTEL Chalkidikis.

By cab

A cab stand at Macedonia Airport is located at the exit of the arrival area. The trip from the airport to the center of Thessaloniki will take you up to 20 minutes.

The standard cost of the trip from / to the airport in the city center is considered 30 euros, and to the Greek resorts in Halkidiki – 50-70 euros, depending on the class of the car and the number of bags. At the airport of Thessaloniki are still very common cases of “getting your hands dirty” on tourists who come to Greece for the first time. Cab drivers at the airport like to slap prices about twice the official. There is an effective way not to get into trouble with the “extratariff” (cost of boarding, the fare per 1 km, extra charge for night time (30%), extra charge for idle time in traffic, payment for each piece of luggage, take into account the feature that cab drivers do not like to turn on the counter, etc.) One of the most effective alternatives – call a cab through the Internet. Catching a cab at the airport is quite realistic, but at this option all the risks are transferred to the passenger, the cost of the cab can cost you 2 times more of the real fare. That’s why it is advisable to make a preliminary order in the search form below. Confirmation of the order will come to your e-mail, and the driver will be waiting at the exit from the arrivals area with a sign with your name on it. The driver can also help you with the luggage, and the payment in full will be made only after your arrival, which you will already know when booking a cab.

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By rental car

If you like to drive and have intentions to travel frequently around Thessaloniki or around Greece, it makes sense to rent a car, especially since you can do it right at the airport. In the arrivals area you will see many companies that allow you to rent a car: Sixt, Europcar, Hertz, Top Rent-a-Car, Enterprise, Avis and so on.

Speaking of good and inexpensive car rental service, it is better to choose a car in Greece with the help of a large car rental price comparison service. In most cases, it turns out much cheaper than renting one on the spot. It can be done directly at the airport, but car rental on the spot is usually the most expensive. In addition, even having 3-4 rental cars beforehand, it is not easy to compare their prices, as some companies apply different schemes of hidden fees. In particular, it may be expressed in restriction of daily kilometers, increased insurance payments, etc.

If you have reserved a car in advance, it will take you about 30 minutes to process all the documents and receive the car – and that is very convenient.

Please note that the earlier you decide to book the car, the more choices you will have. Go to the car reservation section . You can also pre-book additional options, such as a navigator or a child seat.

Find cheap flights to Thessaloniki

If you haven’t bought tickets to Thessaloniki, you can use our convenient search form right now. All you need to do is enter your departure and destination point and estimated dates of your trip, and then click “Find airline tickets”. The airfare finder will find the best route for you and show you the lowest price among airlines and airline agencies.

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