It’s easy to get from Thessaloniki Airport to city center. You can use a public bus, taxi / transfer, or rental car. Here’s some more information.
Transportation from Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia (SKG)
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. It’s located to the north of the country, in the region of Central Macedonia, and is located right on Thermaikos Gulf.
The airport in Thessaloniki is called Makedonia (SKG), and is one of the busiest airports in Greece. It has recently been extended and renovated. Dozens of international and local flights arrive on a daily basis at its two terminals, T1 and T2.
The airport is located about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the city center. Here’s how to get from Thessaloniki airport to the city center by bus, taxi or rental car.
Take the public bus from the Airport to Thessaloniki
The cheapest way to get from the airport to Thessaloniki city center is the public bus.
The bus which goes to Thessaloniki center during the day is bus No 01X. There is also a night service, bus 01N, which runs a slightly different route. These buses are often referred to as 1X and 1N, or even X1 and N1 – they are all the same.
The Thessaloniki airport buses leave from right outside the airport terminals, and run through the city centre along Egnatia Street. Many visitors will get off at Aristotelous Square.
The bus stops at the Central Railway Station, where passengers can connect with the train to Athens, Meteora, or various other regions in Greece. The last bus stop is at the Macedonia Intercity Bus Station / Makedonia Regional Coach Terminal (known in Greek as KTEL), which is a little out of town.
Depending on the time of the day or night, the Thessaloniki airport bus runs every 20-35 minutes. Your journey should last about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic. Schedules are available on the official Thessaloniki bus website and app: OASTH / m.OASTH.
Note: You will also notice another bus route, no 79, departing from the airport. This one doesn’t go to the city center, so just ignore it.
How to buy Thessaloniki airport bus tickets
The airport bus fare is only 1.80 euro, which makes it the most cost-effective way to get from Thessaloniki airport to the center.
The easiest way to buy your bus ticket is at the small kiosk by the bus stop. They also accept debit and credit cards, so you don’t need to have any cash with you.
If your flight is arriving after 21:00, the ticket booth will probably be closed for the evening. In this case, you can buy your ticket from the automatic machine on the bus itself.
Note, however, that the machine only accepts coins, and doesn’t give change. So you should try to have the exact amount (1.80 euro) if you can, or perhaps a 2 euro coin.
Remember to validate your bus ticket
Once you’ve bought your ticket, you will need to validate it. Just insert it at any orange machine on the bus, and the date and time of your trip will be printed on the ticket. A bit old-fashioned if you ask me!
If you have a lot of luggage, try to sit as close to the bus doors as you can. The bus interiors in Thessaloniki are rather narrow, and the buses tend to get quite crowded.
This makes it particularly difficult to walk past the other passengers with a large suitcase, or any size of suitcase really… I’m talking from experience!
To exit the bus, you will need to press the button before your bus stop. Don’t forget to keep your ticket until you are off the bus.
Take a taxi / transfer from the airport to the city centre
If you’d rather avoid the bus service, another way to get from Thessaloniki airport to the city is a taxi. You will find the taxi stand at the arrivals area, and there are taxis operating 24/7.
You can either hop in a taxi after you arrive at the airport, or use one of the popular apps, Uber / FreeNow (formerly known as Beat). Taxis in Thessaloniki are painted dark blue and white – nothing like the yellow taxis in Athens!!
Taxi prices from the airport to the center and vice versa are set. The cost of a taxi ride is 25 euro from 05:00 to midnight, and 35 euro from midnight to 05:00. It should take you around 30 minutes to reach the city centre.
Pre-booked private transfer services
Another option is a private transfer service. It’s a little more expensive, but it offers peace of mind as the driver will meet you at the airport. You can book this service right here.
Rental cars in Thessaloniki
If you want to explore the surrounding areas of Thessaloniki, you could also consider renting a car. There are various car rental companies at the airport, so you should be able to find something to suit your needs.
In fact, you can pre-book your rental car in Thessaloniki through Discover Cars, an online platform which allows you to compare several major car rental companies.
With that said, if you are first staying in Thessaloniki for a few nights, I would strongly suggest not renting a car straight after you arrive. Parking in Thessaloniki is notoriously difficult, and there are many one-way roads and pedestrianized streets.
Overall, getting around the city in a car is not a very good idea, especially if you are not used to driving in Greece. It’s much better to get around on foot, bus or taxi.
So, in a nutshell, it’s best to rent the car on the day you are going out of the city. Discover Cars can drop your vehicle at various places in the city.
Otherwise, you can always take an organized day trip from Thessaloniki. There are many wonderful options, such as Meteora, Vergina, Mt Athos and Pozar thermal baths.
Conclusion: Best type of transportation from Thessaloniki airport to the city
So, what’s the best way to get to central Thessaloniki from the airport? It all comes down to personal preferences, as it’s a balance between fare cost and convenience.
While the bus ticket only costs 1.80 euro, buses are often crowded. In addition, depending on where your hotel is in Thessaloniki, you might need to walk a considerable distance after you exit the bus.
On the other hand, a taxi or private transfer offers more privacy and convenience. This will be handy if you are tired after your trip, or if you are traveling with children. A taxi will cost you a minimum of 25 euro, depending on the time of the day.
FAQ about Thessaloniki airport transportation
Here are some common questions about Thessaloniki and the airport:
How much is a taxi from Thessaloniki to the airport?
The price for an airport taxi in Thessaloniki is 25 euro from 05:00 to midnight, and 35 euro from midnight to 05:00.
Is there Uber in Thessaloniki?
Yes, Uber exists in Thessaloniki. There is also another app, Free Now, formerly known as Beat.
How do I get to Halkidiki from Thessaloniki?
You can get to Halkidiki on a KTEL bus, taxi / prearranged transfer, or car rental.
How do you get around Thessaloniki?
If you like walking, it’s easy to get around Thessaloniki on foot. Alternatively, you can use public buses, taxis and bicycles, or hop on one of the boats operating during summer.
Is Thessaloniki Greece worth visiting?
Thessaloniki is a fantastic destination to visit, either for a quick city break or a longer stay. It has a long history, a vibrant ambiance, great markets and seriously fantastic food!
Here’s my detailed article on why Thessaloniki is worth visiting! And, if you are interested in Greek cuisine, Thessaloniki is one of the best places to go!
Why is Thessaloniki called SKG?
Apparently, the IATA code SKG comes from ThesSaloniKi Greece, or SaloniKa Greece.
More guides about Greece
Have a look at these other guides about Greece!
- How to get from Athens to Thessaloniki by train
- How to take the Athens airport metro
- Tipping in Greece
- What to pack for Greece for every season
- The Greek alphabet and 20 useful words
- Best SIM cards for Greece