A beautiful view from within central Thessaloniki-mobile

How to get from
Athens to Thessaloniki

Athens to Thessaloniki Trip Overview

Distance313 km (195.6 miles)
Price range$51-$640
Ride Duration Range53m-5h 20m
Earliest Departure04:00
Latest Departure23:00

Find up-to-date information on departure times, schedules, and prices so you can easily compare and book your tickets.

Travel Schedule Options from Athens to Thessaloniki

Taking a bus from Athens to Thessaloniki

The available amenities for this trip are currently unavailable. For specific questions, please contact our customer service, available 24/7.

The available amenities for this trip are currently unavailable. For specific questions, please contact our customer service, available 24/7.

The fastest: 5h

The cheapest: $51

The available amenities for this trip are currently unavailable. For specific questions, please contact our customer service, available 24/7.

The fastest: 5h 20m

The cheapest: $629





The fastest: 5h 20m

The cheapest: $572





The fastest: 53m

The cheapest: $65

The available amenities for this trip are currently unavailable. For specific questions, please contact our customer service, available 24/7.

A beautiful view from within central Thessaloniki

How to get from Athens to Thessaloniki

Athens is a city of ancient chaos with a bustling atmosphere. Still, when the shine has worn off and you’re ready for a more peaceful vacation in a quieter city, Thessaloniki awaits you.

Tucked away in the northeast of Greece, the 502-kilometer (312-mile) distance between the two glorious cities takes anywhere from 55 minutes to six hours to traverse.

Zip through the air by hopping on a direct flight or take a bus winding through the Greek countryside between the two epic cities.

The privacy-hungry might prefer to hire a private car or ride in a luxury van for a slightly quicker journey.

However you choose to travel, you won’t want to leave this wonderfully enticing city once you arrive.

What is Thessaloniki like? 

Nestled along the edge of the Thermaic Gulf, Thessaloniki is saturated with a glorious combination of epic history, seaside attractions, and modern culture.

A cultural wonder, the city has something for every traveler's taste thanks to its many museums, including the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, documenting the various periods of Greece’s epic history.

Relax on the beach, sample delicious Greek dishes, mingle with welcoming locals, and learn about history before partying the night away.

Unmissable must-see attractions in Thessaloniki

As the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedonia, there is no shortage of adventures in Thessaloniki. Keep these top sites in mind when building your must-see list:

  • Relax on Agia Triada Beach: Tucked away in the suburb of Thessaloniki, a short drive from the city center, this beach is the perfect location to cool off before or after a busy day of sightseeing. Sunbathe, swim, or snorkel in the gorgeous blue waters, or enjoy some fresh seafood and cocktails.

  • Wander Arestitoleous Square: This eclectic destination is a lively mix of neoclassical buildings and modern architecture where locals and tourists gather to pass the time. Check out the myriad of cafes, bars, and street sellers.

  • Go shopping in the markets: Explore the Modiano Market for food and eateries, Kapani Market for fresh food, and Athonos Square Market for handmade wares sold by local craftsmen, including wicker products and wooden furniture. If the budget allows, you’ll find a souvenir for every member of the family!

  • Go underground to discover the catacombs of John the Baptist: Located near the Hagia Sophia, which you should also visit, this underground gem is a must-visit for history buffs.

  • Party hard: With arguably the best nightlife in Greece, Thessaloniki is the best city to blow off some steam with its lively clubs. If that's not your scene, pick from the various delicious cocktail bars instead.

  • Wander around the Museum of Contemporary Art: Art lovers will adore the experimental center for the arts. It houses a variety of contemporary Greek art, including textiles and photography.

  • Pay your respects at Eletherias: Otherwise known as Freedom Square, this area is a Holocaust memorial for those lost in World War II. The Nazis deported almost the entirety of the Jewish population of Thessaloniki during the war, including many of the students, who were rounded up in Eletherias Square. Stop by the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, just two blocks away, afterward.

  • Visit the White Tower: Built in the 15th century by the Ottomans, the tower and its museum are a monument to Thessaloniki’s vast history, from its founding in 315 BCE to today.

  • Explore Thessaloniki’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites: While there are many to choose from in this epic city, some of the most popular include the castle, Vlatadon Monastery, the Byzantine Baths, the Roman Forum, and the Arch of Galerius.

How do I get from Athens to Thessaloniki?

If you’re looking for the best transportation methods to get to Thessaloniki from Athens, there are five options: flight, bus, train, private car, or luxury van.

By flight

Traveling by plane between Athens and Thessaloniki is the quickest method of transport, with just a one-hour flight time.

However, the journey is slower once you factor in check-in time and deboarding.

By bus

One of the most affordable options for traversing the distance between the two cities is hopping on a bus.

Operated by KTEL, which runs buses nationwide, travelers can hop on a 5- to 6-hour bus from Kifisou Station in central Athens.

While most buses to Thessaloniki depart from Kifisou, double-check your ticket details to locate the correct departure point.

You’ll arrive at Thessaloniki Bus Station, from which you can take a taxi or local bus to the city center and your accommodation.

Seats are relatively comfortable but don’t expect any fancy recliner chairs or a lot of legroom.

Pro tip: Bring a handheld fan to cool off because the air conditioning can be temperamental.

By private car transfer or private luxury van

For a more private experience, book a private car transfer with a driver to traverse the 502 kilometers (312 miles). It will take 5 hours and 30 minutes without any rest stops.

Alternatively, book a private minivan with Theodores Travel Tours so you can sit back and relax with more legroom. These options work best when traveling in small to medium groups to split the costs.

By train 

Taking the train for about $47 from Athens to Thessaloniki will cost more or less the same as taking a bus, which costs approximately $45. Still, it’s usually the most popular option among backpackers and luxury travelers.

Trains depart from Athens’ Larissa Station and arrive at Thessaloniki Station. Depending on the service and how many stops it makes, the journey will take between four and six hours.

The trains bless travelers with ample legroom, luggage space, and panoramic countryside views through large windows.

The best things about the journey from Athens to Thessaloniki

The majority of the journey between Athens and Thessaloniki will be spent on the motorway, so don’t expect too many dazzling sights on the way.

Bring a book or headphones to keep yourself entertained, or invest in a good travel pillow for napping.

However, pay attention when you get off the main roads because some stretches offer dazzling views of Mount Ossa's foothills.

You’ll also pass through various local villages, giving you plenty of opportunities to people-watch and learn how Greek locals live.

When is the best time to visit Thessaloniki?

With its comfortable Mediterranean climate all year round, Thessaloniki is visitable in the hot summer months or the cooler winter season.

Although the winter may bring spatterings of snow, it's a great time to visit to avoid the tourist crowds.

However, the best time to plan a trip to Thessaloniki is between mid-August and mid-October, when the city comes alive under the burning sun.

Is two days enough to spend in Thessaloniki?

For a quick visit, absolutely. But spend at least 4-6 days here to explore the city more slowly.

History buffs will need at least two days to conquer all the museums, and you should factor in a full day to explore the various beaches in the area.

Where to visit after Thessaloniki?

After sampling all the delights of Thessaloniki, head across the Thermaic Gulf to visit the Aliakmonas National Park to take in Greece’s natural beauty.

Or, if you want to compare and contrast city life, head northwards to visit Kavala to taste Macedonian history.

If neither appeals, head back south to explore the island of Alonissos. This heavenly destination is famous for its emerald waters, rare bird-spotting opportunities, and winding, cobbled streets.

Companies Operating from Athens to Thessaloniki

Average time

5h 20m

Average price

$572 - $640


Average time


Average price



Average time


Average price


Popular stations and stops in Athens and Thessaloniki

Departure stations in Athens

Athens Airport (ATH)

Thessaloniki Port


Arrival stations in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki - Any hotel

Piraeus Port


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