Want to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center?
Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place! Matthew and I recently traveled to Thessaloniki spending 3 wonderful days exploring the sights, eating all the bougatsa and enjoying walks along the promenade.
But before you can enjoy the city – you got to get there first! There are several options (4 to be exact) to choose from based on the amount of time you’re willing to spend, the convenience and of course, the amount of money you’re willing to spend on transport.
They have made it quite easy from SKG airport to the city center no matter how you want to travel. Here’s a complete guide to getting from Thessaloniki Airport to city center (and back).
How Far Is Thessaloniki Airport From City Center?
Matthew and I always dread a long car ride to and from the airport because it makes such a difference sometimes!
Thankfully, Thessaloniki Airport isn’t far from the city center! Thessaloniki Airport is only approximately 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) away from the general city center.
This makes the journey by car from Thessaloniki Airport to city center around 20-30 minutes depending on traffic and routes you take.
If you’re taking the bus, it might take longer because the bus will make several stops along the way. Want to be on the safe side? The bus can take as long as 40 minutes (or more) depending on the time of day and traffic.
We timed our personal experience taking the bus and at 6:40 am – it took us around 30 minutes to get from the bus stop near our Airbnb to SKG Airport.
Is There A Train From Thessaloniki Airport To City?
No, there’s no train available from Thessaloniki Airport to city center.
Unfortunately, it’s not like getting from Athens Airport to the city center where you can walk for a few minutes, hop on a train for 9 euros and easily make it in time (without worrying about peak traffic hours).
Is Uber Available In Thessaloniki?
Uber is kind of available in Thessaloniki.
Here’s why I say ‘kind of’: You can use the app to order a taxi. It’s not your usual Uber guy picking you up, it will be an official taxi car. This means they won’t display the price before you book a car and you have to simply trust the meter.
We have been ripped off before in Greece for taxis which is why it’s probably our last choice and only if we absolutely have to take it.
Don’t worry, there’s another app in Greece to use instead of Uber. Download the BEAT app and it’ll work similarly to Uber. We couldn’t work out whether the BEAT app locked in the fare (as Uber does) but we never paid too much more than what was on the app!
How To Get From Thessaloniki Airport To City Center
Getting from Thessaloniki Airport to city center doesn’t have to be difficult. I know it can seem like that at first. When I was trying to figure out what we were going to do, there were barely any sites detailing how to do what. In the end, with the help of Google Translate, we figured out our best route and all the options!
I’ve compiled the 4 ways to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center to make it much more simple for you to understand (rather than doing what I did jumping from site to site).
Before I continue, I should clarify: the name of the airport has a few variations. These are some of them – Thessaloniki Airport, Makedonia Airport, SKG Airport and Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia. It’s a lot, I know but they are used interchangeably and shouldn’t be a problem – there’s only one airport in the whole area!
Each option is fairly straightforward and you simply have to choose the one that is best for you at the time. Here are the 4 best ways to get from Thessaloniki International Airport to city center.
1. Thessaloniki Airport to City Center by Bus
There’s only 1 public transport option to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city, and that’s the bus! It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to get around the city and obviously to and from the airport as well.
Here’s all you need to know about taking the airport bus. We personally chose this option because it was the easiest and cheapest way for us!
Which Bus To Take?
There are 2 buses you can take to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center (and back):
- 01X Bus
- 01N Bus
Traveling during the day? Look out for the 01X Bus which runs throughout the day, Monday – Sunday.
Traveling after 11:10pm at night? Take the 01N bus which pretty much goes the same route – it’s just that this bus only runs through the night.
How Long Does The Bus Journey Take?
The airport bus service from Thessaloniki airport takes approximately 25-40 minutes depending on traffic.
Price For Bus Tickets
The bus is the cheapest option to get from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center. It only costs around €1.80 for a one-way ticket. You can pay as you board the bus, there is a machine onboard. However, the machine doesn’t give any change so you’re most likely paying €2 instead unless you have the exact change of course.
We paid €2 each for a one-way ticket. How affordable, right?!
Important: You can only pay by coins – no bills and no card payment available.
Bus Timetable From Thessaloniki Airport To City Center
The bus from Thessaloniki Airport to city center is fairly frequent. The timetable depends on your starting point and which bus stop you’ll be hopping on. There also isn’t a number you can rely on, eg. every 30 minutes. You just have to check the schedule here.
From Makedonia Airport to city center, the first bus (01X) starts operating at 6:10am and the last bus is at 10:40pm.
From Thessaloniki city center to the airport, the first bus (01X) departs at 5:15am and the last bus departs at 9:40pm.
If you arrive after 11:00pm, you’ll need to take the 01N bus for the night service which runs till 5:55am.
Where To Find The Bus?
The bus is located directly outside Thessaloniki Airport, once you step outside the doors. Look for the bus signs, they are usually blue poles with the bus numbers stopping there.
The bus is *usually white and it will have the bus number on the left corner of the display. You can always double-check with the bus driver if it’s the correct bus or ask where the bus stand is if you can’t find it.
If you’re trying to get from the city to Thessaloniki Airport, you’ll need to use this website by the Transport company to figure out the closest bus stop to your location – I must warn you it’s a little confusing and took me some time to figure out. You can also use the bus stop we used which is a pretty popular one – 01X Bus Stop In Thessaloniki City Center.
2. Thessaloniki Airport to City Center by Taxi Service
The most convenient way to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center is by taxi.
You simply have to step outside the airport, find a taxi (they are usually dark blue) and get inside. In our experience, if Greek taxis can get away with a quote – they might do it. Although we have also had positive experiences where they just stuck to what the meter said. It’s really a mixed bag of what you’ll get if you take a taxi.
Should You Take A Taxi?
It’s easy enough to take a taxi from the airport – it’s honestly the most convenient option without much advanced planning required. Apparently, the taxis have a fixed rate – whether that stands true or not, we can’t tell you.
The best thing about taking a taxi is that you get door-to-door service. They will take you straight to your hotel, Airbnb or even the next town along the coast!
How Long Does A Taxi Ride Take?
A taxi ride from Thessaloniki Airport to city center will take around 25-30 minutes depending on the time of day and peak traffic hours. It’s one of the fastest ways to get from A to B.
Price For A Taxi From SKG Airport To City Center
As it’s the most convenient, it could become the most expensive option. They say there is a flat rate for daytime and nighttime – not sure this is completely true!
The daytime rate for a taxi from Thessaloniki Airport to city is about €25 and the nighttime rate for a taxi €32 from midnight till 5:00am.
Where To Find The Taxi Rank At Thessaloniki Airport
Simply step outside SKG airport and there will be lines of dark blue taxis, ready to go!
3. Thessaloniki Airport to City Center by Private Transfer
A private transfer is simply a ride you arrange online beforehand that will meet you at the airport when you arrive.
Whenever we’re digital nomads in Asia, it’s our favorite way to arrive because there is no haggling, no negotiation and someone welcomes you with a sign on your name. Amazing!
The good news is private transfers are available all across Greece!
Is A Private Transfer Worth It?
Don’t want the hassle of figuring out how to get from the airport to the city center?
A private transfer allows you to book well in advance, pay online and have someone meet you at the airport. You get a fixed price upfront which you can pay right away and there won’t be the stress of negotiating later.
It’s worth it if you like to plan ahead and hate negotiating! You will likely pay a little more for the convenience but not by much.
The Best Private Transfer Company
We highly recommend choosing a reputable company. When using private transfers, our top choice is Welcome Pickups. They are available in more than 20+ countries which gives you the convenience to use them in most places as digital nomads landing somewhere.
How To Book A Private Transfer
You can book through their user-friendly website, simply add in your details (destination, pick-up time and date of arrival) and pay the price.
Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email confirmation and you don’t have to worry about getting from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center! They will sort you out.
Price For A Private Transfer From Thessaloniki Airport To City
The price for a private transfer can depend on the city you’re arriving in and the distance you are traveling.
A private transfer via Welcome Pickups from Thessaloniki Airport to city center will cost you about €25 for 1 person with 1 piece of luggage. Whenever I add an extra person (there’s usually Matt and me), the price doesn’t seem to rise which is something to keep in mind.
4. Thessaloniki Airport to City Center by Car Rental
Looking to travel around Thessaloniki and beyond?
A car rental might be the best option for you! A lot of people seem to do road trips along the coast while hitting Thessaloniki.
There’s a beautiful town nearby called Kavala which makes a great day trip. You can also make your trek towards the popular Greek tourist destination, Meteora for an out-of-this-world view. Meteora is more like a 4-5 hour journey from Thessaloniki but totally possible (and comfortable) with a car rental!
You can rent cars directly from Thessaloniki Airport. However, we wouldn’t say you NEED a car to explore Thessaloniki – unless you plan on traveling to a nearby town or Meteora as mentioned.
Which Car Rental Companies Are Available At Thessaloniki Airport?
On the ground floor of the Arrivals hall, you’ll find all the car rental companies in Thessaloniki. You have about 4 car rental options at the airport:
You can either book in advance online for the best deals or you can try your luck at the airport to see if they will give you a good deal. We’ve never gotten a better deal in person for car rentals and instead, we use RentalsCars.com to compare and book a rental car.
Price For A Car Rental At Thessaloniki Airport
The price can depend on several things like peak season vs low season and the kind of car you choose. The price can range from $25 USD to over $150 USD. It really depends, you just have to check with the car companies for an accurate price.
How To Get From The City To Thessaloniki Airport?
It’s pretty much the same options and process as getting from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center.
You probably wouldn’t get a car rental just to get to the airport which leaves you with 3 options:
- Take the bus (01X or 01N)
- Order A Beat Taxi
- Hail A Taxi
A taxi or Beat will cost much more than the bus and it’ll only save you about 10 minutes. If you want convenience, they are both great options! We recommend the bus – it’s super cheap and easy! At least that was our experience.
Our Personal Experience Getting To Thessaloniki Airport From City Center
Matthew and I took the bus from the city center to Thessaloniki Airport without any issues in the early hours of the morning (on a Sunday, I might add). We decided to take the airport bus because of several reasons:
- it was much cheaper than any other option…by far
- it took around the same time a car would (once you’ve booked it on an app)
- it was more reliable for us at the time we left (6:30am)
- the bus stop was only 2 minutes away from our Airbnb
After searching the internet and translating information on which bus to take and from which bus stop to get on. I found this website to help figure out which stop is closest to you: https://oasth.gr/en/airport-macedonia/.
The site is quite difficult to use, I spent a good chunk of time getting to our bus stop. If you want a verified (by us) bus stop from the city center to Thessaloniki Airport – this is the exact spot where we caught the bus: 01X Bus Stop In Thessaloniki City Center.
The bus was about 2-3 minutes late. We hopped on, bought our tickets from the machine on the bus then validated them. They say it costs €1.80 but the machine doesn’t give any change – so it ended up costing us €2 each instead.
Final Tip: Don’t Forget To Validate Your Bus Ticket
There’s an orange box/machine and that’s where you can insert your ticket to validate it. They don’t check very much but if you’ve already bought your ticket, you might as well validate it. If they happen to check, you might get fined!
Conclusion: What’s The Best Way To Get From Thessaloniki Airport To City Center?
We think the best way to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center is by taking the airport bus. It’s cheap (only €2) and it’s only 10 minutes slower than taking a taxi or private transfer.
The bus service is pretty reliable and efficient in Thessaloniki. If you want more convenience, a taxi is available right outside the airport. A private transfer is perfect for you if you want to book in advance and have a fixed rate!
You choose what’s best for you at the time, you shouldn’t have any problems getting to and from Thessaloniki Airport. It’s all fairly simple! We hope you enjoy visiting Thessaloniki, we had an awesome time exploring and relaxing in this lesser-known Greek city.