Wondering how to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki?
We did too! There’s honestly not a lot of information on how to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki, the costs involved and a step-by-step process of where to go and what to do…
This blog will give you clear information on the best way to get to Thessaloniki from Skopje because Matthew and I took this exact route. Now we live to tell our experience – all the prices, companies and little details you know to prepare yourself for this journey.
There are several ways to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki but there is one transport option that is the best for comfort, ease and being reliable. There’s so many things to do in Thessaloniki, it’s worth the trip over there! Here’s everything you need to know about getting to Thessaloniki from Skopje, North Macedonia.
QUICK ANSWER: Getting From Skopje To Thessaloniki
The best way to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki is by bus. The journey takes around 4 hours and it only costs 2,200 MKD ($38 USD) per person. The best bus company is called Simeonidis Tours and it departs for Thessaloniki from Skopje on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3:30pm.
The bus from Skopje to Thessaloniki departs from the Skopje Bus Station (the same one as the Central Train Station). You can buy tickets from the station, it’s best to book in advance to secure your seat on the bus and make sure to bring your passport.
How To Get From Skopje To Thessaloniki
Not sure how to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki? There’s honestly not much information on this route and that’s why we knew it was very important for us to cover this very well.
We looked at all the different options and ultimately decided there’s really only 1 good option. It’s affordable, comfortable and reliable.
Here’s everything you should know about getting from Skopje to Thessaloniki:
4x Transport Options To Get From Skopje To Thessaloniki
There is more than 1 way to get to Thessaloniki from Skopje…but should you consider all the other options?
We don’t think so! We asked locals and scoured the internet for information – the conclusion? Just take the bus because it’s simple, easy to book and reliable.
If you don’t want to take the bus, that’s fair enough! Here are all the transport options to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki.
1. Booking A Direct Bus
This is the BEST option if you want an easy, hassle-free ride from Skopje to Thessaloniki. The bus ride costs 2,200 MKD ($38 USD) per person and the journey time is around 3.5 hours, depending on how long it takes you at the border crossing.
The best company to book with is Simeonidis Tours but they only depart from Skopje to Thessaloniki on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3:30pm.
You’ll hop on a 19-seater sprinter bus (mini-van) which is very comfortable, new and comes with good air-conditioning systems. The only thing you need to do in advance is booking your tickets – we highly suggest buying them directly at the Skopje Central Bus Station to secure your seats.
We didn’t trust any of the sites online and when we embarked on the journey, online payment wasn’t a thing. Just make the effort to buy the tickets a week before your departure date and you’ll be sorted!
TTA TIP: Don’t forget to bring your passport – you’ll need it!
If you want to read the details of our personal experience taking a bus from Skopje to Thessaloniki, keep scrolling!
2. Taking The Train
Yes, you can apparently take the train from Skopje to Thessaloniki.
The Central Train Railway Station is right above the bus station in Skopje where the train will depart from. However…
…the train to Thessaloniki from Skopje is unreliable.
There isn’t much information about how to take this route and the info I could find out about it was pretty negative. There have been issues with crossing the border by train and not getting a stamp into Greece which could lead to trouble later down the line.
Apparently, the train departs very early in the morning from Skopje to Thessaloniki. It’s honestly super unclear whether this train is still operating. I wouldn’t take the risk or waste any more of your time looking at this transport option!
3. Booking A Private Transfer
If you want to splash some cash on a private transfer from Skopje to Thessaloniki, this is the most comfortable way for you to travel.
Most private transfers will pick you up from your hotel or Airbnb and take you all the way to your hotel/Airbnb in Thessaloniki on the date and exact times that you request. You will cross the border controls in the same car and there’s no need to change over. The cars are usually very nice, come with good air-conditioning systems and a nice driver!
We found 2 companies to book with for a private transfer – Viator and Skopje Daily Transfers. You can book directly online with Viator but if you want to book Skopje Daily Transfers, we highly suggest messaging them first to ensure they are still running the exact trip you want. Both companies offer private transfers for a little over $200 USD – like I said it’s pricey but it’s comfortable.
You can book a private transfer and the journey time will also be much less than any of the other transport options from Skopje to Thessaloniki!
4. Taking A Taxi All The Way
Want to take a taxi the whole way? We seriously considered this option because we thought it was a direct connection and it gets us from Skopje to Thessaloniki faster.
After we talked to several taxi drivers in Skopje about how it worked, this is the answer we got:
- The taxi will pick you up from your hotel/Airbnb
- You will drive to the border in taxi A
- You will walk across the border yourself
- There will be taxi B waiting on the other side
- You hop into that taxi and it will drive you to your hotel/Airbnb
Yes, that’s how it works! This seemed a little complicated to us and more stressful than sitting on a bus the entire way.
What’s the cost? Our taxi person quoted us €140 ($148 USD)! That’s pretty high and close to the cost of a private transfer so we didn’t think it was worth it for us especially because of how the transfer is all done.
You might get a better, lower quote than we did so you can definitely ask Skopje taxi drivers. If you want to book a taxi from Skopje to Thessaloniki, message us and we can send you the number of our taxi guy!
Skopje To Thessaloniki: Best Option Is A Mini Bus
After checking out all the other options, we landed on taking the bus and…
…we don’t regret that decision! If you want an easy, affordable option to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki – you won’t regret taking the bus either!
Which Bus To Take From Skopje To Thessaloniki?
The best bus company to take you is Simeonidis Tours.
Simeonidis Tours is a Greek company with bus transfers across Greece and the Balkans. They offer a shared bus or mini-van service, private transfer and city tours.
We used them because they seemed to be the most reliable company that had a consistent schedule from Skopje to Thessaloniki. They have big buses and they have mini-vans like a Mercedes Sprinter. On our journey, we hopped on a 19-seater Sprinter which felt very comfortable and well-maintained.
Skopje To Thessaloniki Bus Schedule
When can you go to Thessaloniki from Skopje?
Simeonidis Tours runs buses Monday to Saturday (with no service on a Sunday). Here’s the weekly bus schedule from Skopje to Thessaloniki.
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: departs at 3:30pm local time
- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: departs at 8:30am local time
The journey takes about 4 hours, depending on how long it takes your group to get through border control.
Where Is The Bus Station In Skopje?
Trying to figure out where to buy bus tickets and the station to depart from?
Skopje Central Bus Station is where you will find the ticket booths and your bus to Thessaloniki will depart from here. It’s located beneath the Skopje Central Train Station!
We basically lived in the city center of Skopje, making it very easy for us to make trips to inquire about the price, tickets and schedules. From the city center, the Skopje Central Bus Station is only a 15-minute walk away (a little harder if you have luggage). It’s only about a 5-7 minute taxi ride if you want to get in one!
It’s a centrally located station for everyone looking to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki.
How Much Is The Bus From Skopje To Thessaloniki?
The shared bus from Skopje to Thessaloniki with Simeonidis Tours costs 2,200 MKD ($38 USD) per person, each way. This is the cheapest option available to tourists trying to get to Greece from North Macedonia!
You can pay by a card or by cash at the ticket booth located at the Skopje Central Bus Station.
How Far Is Skopje From Thessaloniki?
The distance from Skopje to Thessaloniki is about 240 kilometers (150 miles). The journey along the way, if you pay the toll fees can be as fast as 3 hours. However, you will need to go through control before crossing into Greece.
This can make the journey more like 4-6 hours depending on traffic and if everyone’s documents on the bus are good.
In our experience, we left the bus station in Skopje at 3:30pm and arrived at the bus station in Thessaloniki at about 8:30pm. It took us nearly 5 hours because we had issues (that were fixed) at the border. Our personal experience is below if you want to read more!
How To Buy Bus Tickets?
The best way to buy bus tickets from Skopje to Thessaloniki is to go the Skopje Central Bus Station. Once you’re at the station, you can ask around for the ‘Thessaloniki bus’. They will direct you to a booth that says Rule Tours on the headboard.
Simply state when you would like to travel and the staff will tell you the time or give you options. Once you’ve chosen your departure date and time, simply buy the tickets. They cost 2,200 MKD ($38 USD) and you can pay by card or cash. You will need a passport to buy the bus ticket. Otherwise, ask them to take your name down to reserve a spot. You can come back on your departure date and pay then (after giving your passport)!
TTA Tip: Go earlier, buy a bus ticket in advance and don’t forget your passport! We bought ours a week before our departure date to secure our seats on the bus.
It seems like you can now buy tickets on FlixBus. They have a great app that’s pretty user-friendly if you are happy with the dates on the app. It’s not actually a ‘Flix Bus’, you’ll be booking as it’s fulfilled through Simoenidis Tours.
On the FlixBus app, they also don’t have all the departure times (only the 3:30pm service on Monday, Wednesday, Friday). If you want the morning service (8:30am) on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays – you will have to book the tickets in-person at the Skopje Central Bus Station.
Our Personal Experience: Crossing The Border From Skopje To Thessaloniki
Want to read our personal experience of getting from Skopje to Thessaloniki? You’re in for a treat! It was going all smooth till border control but I won’t spoil the story now.
Here’s how we got from Skopje to Thessaloniki (and all the details in between).
Booking The Bus Ticket
We searched for several transport options, we were wishing we could take a train across but it’s not possible. The next best option for us was the bus (which is more like a mini-van).
Matthew and I went to the Skopje Central Bus Station to figure out the real bus schedule and buy our tickets in advance. There wasn’t much information on how to get from Skopje to Thessaloniki so we didn’t want to take our chances.
We took a taxi to the Skopje Central Bus Station and entered the main hall. There are a bunch of ticket booths – we simply asked staff at the Information desk for the ‘Thessaloniki bus’, and they directed us to the middle ticket booth with “Rule Tours” above.
The staff could speak a little English, enough to get by which was perfect! We couldn’t pay for our tickets because it turns out – you need your passport to buy the tickets.
Thankfully, they took our names and reserved a seat for us anyway. We came back on our departure date, stated our names and then paid!
Our Journey From Skopje To Thessaloniki
We got to the bus station about 30 minutes early since we had to pay for our tickets. The bus leaves on time and to be honest, we were a little confused about which bus was ours!
At this point, we didn’t really know which company we were taking (as you book with Rule Tours but end up on Simeonidis Tours). We waited inside the bus station and there are quite a few people just hanging around asking for money. If you continue to the bus area outside the station, only people with tickets are allowed in that area.
We sat on a bench and waited for our bus. We didn’t know whether it was a big bus or a mini-van so it was all a shot in the dark. On the ticket, it said our bus would depart from bay #10 so we waited there. It didn’t show up and it was only 5 minutes before departure which was suspicious!
I was taking a picture for this blog of a van and saw that the door had ‘Simeonidis Tours’ and we asked to double-check if that was our bus in bay #8 (not #10). Turns out, that was in fact our bus!
We quickly went to the mini-van sprinter, the driver checked our tickets and we put our suitcase in the back of the van. The driver will ask you to put your passport in the box at the front of the van when you enter. He keeps these because he heads inside the immigration office to get the stamps for you and everyone in the van.
Crossing The Border
We had a few minor issues when crossing the border from Skopje to Thessaloniki. As the driver takes all the passports inside, he comes back out to get a certain person if the immigration officer requests it.
One person got asked off the bus and they sorted her out fairly quickly – within 10 minutes. We waited another 40 minutes and tried to figure out why it was taking so long! Next thing we know, the driver asks Matthew to step off the bus. The immigration (misunderstood) Matthew’s Schengen days. However, they were counting his time in Croatia. This was in 2021 before Croatia joined the Schengen zone which is why a lot of immigration officers were confused. It seemed to be a common mistake because of the lead-up time to Croatia joining!
This cost us more than an hour of waiting at the border control. Once they realized, he had more than enough days left in the Schengen – they were nice officers simply doing their job and eventually stamped us through. If nothing goes wrong at the border, you could reach Thessaloniki in as quick as 3.5 hours!
It’s Easy To Get From Skopje To Thessaloniki
That’s right, it’s pretty easy and affordable to travel from Skopje to Thessaloniki…
…once you have the right information and take the bus!
The bus to Thessaloniki from Skopje only takes 4 hours depending on how smooth border control and traffic goes. The price of a bus ticket is 2,200 MKD ($38 USD) which you can purchase at the Skopje Central Bus Station! Don’t forget to bring your passport when buying your ticket – you’ll need it!
We enjoyed our drive from Skopje to Thessaloniki with Simeonidis Tours. The driver was safe, efficient and patient even though we had a misunderstanding at the border. We still got to Thessaloniki in about 5 hours and we were dropped off at KTEL Macedonia (this is Thessaloniki’s bus station).
You’ve made it to Thessaloniki! Go enjoy your time visiting this beautiful Greek city.
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