Visitors are sometimes puzzled when booking a train ticket in Greece. Here is how to book a train ticket on the Hellenic Train website, and a few tips that will get you the best price possible.
Trains in Greece
The train is a great way to travel around Greece. It is efficient, convenient and punctual. Don’t let its outside appearance put you off – the trains are clean and comfortable, and have everything you need.
There are three ways to book your train ticket in Greece: on your laptop, through the HELLENIC TRAIN mobile phone app, and in person. Let’s check each of them in detail.
By the way, if, like many visitors, you are looking to visit Meteora, you can book an organized tour from Athens to Meteora. Your tour provider will arrange all transportation for you, not only from Athens to Kalambaka, but also around the majestic monasteries.
Book your Greek train ticket online
If you’ve been to Greece before, you may remember that the train company used to be called TRAINOSE. In summer 2022, the name was changed to HELLENIC TRAIN.
You can easily book your Hellenic Train tickets online. It will only take you a few minutes to book your ticket.
Go to the official HELLENIC TRAIN website, and you will immediately see the booking options. You will need to select your departure and arrival stations, whether you want a one-way or a return ticket, and your travel dates.
At the next step, you will be able to see all available itineraries for your chosen dates. You will need to select which one you want, for each leg of your trip.
Depending on your itinerary, you may see two types of services: ICE and IC. The services marked as ICE are slightly faster, as they only stop at Larissa and Thessaloniki. They are more expensive than those marked as IC, but they are a lot more modern, and, in my experience, can be less busy. Here’s a guide on using the train from Athens to Thessaloniki.
After you’ve chosen your preferred service, you will need to select your class and seats. Class A offers a little more legroom, but is more expensive. Most people will be happy with Class B, which looks like this on the IC services.
Note that the default option that comes up is Class A – so if you prefer to travel in Class B, make sure you select the right wagon.
Once you’ve selected your seat(s), you will be asked to fill in the names of passenger(s) and will proceed to payment. You can pay by debit / credit card or PayPal.
Your tickets will be emailed to you in a PDF document. You can either print them out, or save them on your phone / tablet / other electronic device.
Note that various discounts are available – more on that later on.
Book your train ticket in Greece on your mobile
I usually book my Greece railways tickets on the HELLENIC TRAIN app. You can download it for both Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store). There used to be an extra discount for people booking their tickets on the app, but not anymore 🙁
Once you have downloaded the app, you will need to choose a PIN and password. Make sure you take a note of them as they won’t autosave.
You can then check the timetables and buy your ticket through the “issue ticket” menu. Select the departure and arrival stations, choose the time when you want to travel and select your class and seats. You can then proceed to payment.
The tickets will be instantly available on the app, and will also be emailed to you as a PDF document.
If you are using the HELLENIC TRAIN app, here is what you need to pay attention to
Note that the app doesn’t work when there is no internet coverage or if you have no data. Also, make sure you have the PIN or password handy before you travel, as you won’t be able to retrieve your tickets otherwise.
To be on the safe side, you can always print your tickets from the PDF document and show them to the ticket inspector. Make sure the QR code has been printed properly. Or you can just save the PDF document on any electronic device.
Related article: How to buy a SIM card in Greece
Book your train ticket in person at the train station
If you are a spontaneous traveller, you can always book your ticket directly at the train station. Just make sure you allow for enough time before the train departs, as there may be queues.
You will receive a paper ticket, that you can show to the inspector on the train. If you buy a return ticket, make sure you hold on to the ticket for the second leg of your trip, as you won’t be able to reissue it if it’s lost.
Note that Friday and Sunday evenings are popular times to travel, so don’t expect to find a last-minute seat. Generally speaking, it’s best to buy your Hellenic Train tickets in advance.
Ticket prices and discounts on the trains in Greece
While many travellers will pay a full price ticket, there are several ways to get discounts for the trains in Greece.
Children, students, young people under 24 years old and people over 65 years old are entitled to various discounts. Children under 4 years old travel for free.
Disabled travellers are also entitled to a discount. You can travel on the train as a wheelchair user, but you will need to inform the train company in advance.
If you book a return trip on any IC services you get a 20% discount, and if you book early you get an additional discount. The policy for ICE services tends to change now and then, so check before you travel.
You can have a look at all available discounts and offers here.
FAQs about trains in Greece
Visitors who want to travel by train in Greece often ask the following questions:
How do I book train tickets in Greece?
You can book train tickets either online, or in person at the train station.
How do I buy train tickets in Greece online?
You can buy train tickets in Greece online either through the official HELLENIC TRAIN website, or through the HELLENIC TRAIN app, available for Android and iOS.
How do I book train tickets from my mobile?
You will need to download the HELLENIC TRAIN app, make an account, choose the dates and times you want to travel, and issue your tickets. Make sure that you remember your password and PIN, as you will need them to retrieve your tickets.
What documents are required for train reservation?
No documents are required. If you are booking your ticket online, you will need to type in your name and surname. It is possible to pay by debit / credit card or PayPal.
How do I get a train ticket from Athens to Meteora?
There is only one direct train per day from Athens to a town called Kalambaka, near the Meteora Monasteries. There are more routes, but you’d have have to connect at a town called Paleofarsalos. You can get your train ticket from Athens to Meteora either online, or in person.
What are the trains in Greece called?
As of summer 2022, the company running the trains in Greece was rebranded and is now called HELLENIC TRAIN. If you’ve been to Greece before, you may remember the old name, TRAINOSE.
Taking the train in Greece
So there you go, now you are an expert in booking your train tickets in Greece!! Here are a few more informative guides:
- How to take the Athens airport metro
- How to take the Athens airport bus
- Strikes in Greece
- How to use the Athens metro in the city
- Useful words in Greek