Thessaloniki Airport to City Center

Welcome to Thessaloniki, the vibrant cultural heart of Northern Greece, where ancient history and modern life blend seamlessly. Thessaloniki Airport (SKG), officially known as Macedonia Airport, serves as the primary gateway for travelers venturing into this historic city and the surrounding regions. Conveniently located about 13 kilometers southeast of the city center, the airport offers various transportation options for a smooth transition from air to urban exploration.

Understanding these options is crucial for planning your journey, whether you’re visiting for business, leisure, or a bit of both. This guide provides an in-depth look at each transportation method available at Thessaloniki Airport, helping you choose the one that best suits your needs, budget, and travel style. From the moment you land, your adventure in Thessaloniki begins with the journey to the city center.

Transportation ModeCost (Approx.)DurationFrequencyProsCons
Taxi€20 - €3020 - 30 min24/7Direct, convenientCostlier, variable rates
Bus€2.0040 - 50 minEvery 20-30 minEconomical, frequentLonger journey, crowded at times
Metro (Future)€2.50 - €3.0020 - 25 minEvery 10 - 15 minFast, modernNot yet operational
Car RentalVariableAs neededN/AFlexibility, personal spaceCosts (rental, fuel, parking), driving in unfamiliar area
Ride-SharingVariable20 - 30 minOn-demandConvenient, transparent pricingRequires app, prices can surge

Each transportation option has its advantages and considerations, ranging from cost and convenience to flexibility and travel time. Your choice may depend on factors like your budget, the time of day you’re traveling, and personal preferences regarding comfort and convenience. Whether you opt for the directness of a Thessaloniki airport taxi, the economy of a bus, the future speed of the metro, the flexibility of a car rental, or the convenience of ride-sharing, Thessaloniki is accessible and welcoming right from your arrival.

Thessaloniki Airport Taxi

Overview of Taxi Services

Upon arriving at Thessaloniki Airport, one of the most straightforward ways to reach the city center is by taxi. The taxi rank is conveniently located just outside the arrival hall, offering 24/7 services to passengers. Taxis in Thessaloniki are blue and white, making them easily recognizable.

Expected Cost and Payment Methods

The cost of a taxi ride to the city center can vary depending on the exact destination, traffic conditions, and time of day. Generally, you can expect to pay between €20 to €30 for a trip to the city center. It’s advisable to ask the driver about the estimated fare before starting your journey. Most taxis accept cash, and some may accept credit cards, but it’s best to confirm the payment method with the driver if you’re not planning to pay in cash.

Estimated Time to City Center

The journey from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. During rush hour or in case of heavy traffic, it might take a bit longer.

Tips on Finding Taxis and Avoiding Scams

Always use the official taxi queue outside the arrivals area to avoid unlicensed drivers and potential scams.
Ensure the taxi meter is turned on at the start of your journey to avoid being overcharged.

Consider taking a photo of the taxi number or note it down, just in case you need it later for reference or to retrieve forgotten items.

If you’re traveling late at night or have special needs, you might want to book a taxi in advance through a reputable company or app for added convenience and security.

Taxis offer a fast, private, and relatively stress-free way to get to your destination. Especially after a long flight, the comfort and convenience of stepping into a taxi and being whisked directly to your hotel or accommodation can be worth the extra cost compared to other transportation options.


Information on Bus Services

For those looking for a cost-effective way to reach Thessaloniki’s city center, the bus is an excellent option. The OASTH (Organization of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki) operates frequent bus services that connect Thessaloniki Airport with various parts of the city, including the central bus station. The most prominent route for travelers heading to the city center is bus number 01X (express) and 01N (night service).

Cost, Ticket Purchase, and Types

A single journey ticket to the city center costs approximately €2.00, making it a budget-friendly option for travelers. Tickets can be purchased directly from the bus driver, from ticket machines located at the airport, or at OASTH kiosks. Keep in mind that if you buy your ticket on the bus, you’ll need to have exact change. There are also options for multi-trip tickets, which can be more economical if you plan to use the bus service frequently during your stay.

Duration of the Journey to the City Center

The bus ride from the airport to the city center takes about 40 to 50 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses are equipped with luggage storage areas, making them a convenient option for travelers with baggage.

Advantages of Using the Bus Service

  • Cost-effective: The bus service is the most economical mode of transport from the airport to the city center.
  • Frequent services: With buses running every 20-30 minutes during the day, you won’t have to wait long for the next bus.
  • Accessibility: Buses are equipped to accommodate passengers with disabilities, ensuring a comfortable ride for everyone.

Metro (Under Construction)

Status of the Metro Service

Thessaloniki is in the process of developing a metro system that aims to connect the airport to the city center and other key locations throughout the city. Once operational, the metro will offer a fast, efficient, and climate-controlled way to travel, significantly reducing the travel time to the city center.

Cost, Operating Hours, and Frequency

The expected cost for a single journey from the airport to the city center via metro is projected to be around €2.50 to €3.00. Operating hours are anticipated to cover the majority of the day, with trains running every 10 to 15 minutes, offering a reliable and frequent service for travelers.

Estimated Time to City Center

The metro journey from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center is expected to take about 20 to 25 minutes, making it a swift option for those looking to save time.

Pros and Cons of Choosing the Metro


  • Speed: The metro will likely be the fastest mode of transportation from the airport to the city center.
  • Comfort: Modern, air-conditioned trains will provide a comfortable journey, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Frequency: With trains running frequently, wait times will be minimal.


  • Availability: Until the metro system is fully operational, travelers will need to rely on alternative modes of transportation.
  • Initial learning curve: First-time visitors might need some time to familiarize themselves with the metro system and stations.

The introduction of the metro service in Thessaloniki is highly anticipated, as it will offer an efficient and modern alternative to the existing transportation options. Keep an eye on official announcements for the most up-to-date information regarding the metro’s operational status and how it can serve your transportation needs in Thessaloniki.

Car Rental & Ride-Sharing Services

Car Rental Options

For travelers who prefer having their own transportation during their stay, car rental is an available option at Thessaloniki Airport. Several reputable car rental companies have desks in the arrivals hall, offering a range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets. Renting a car provides the flexibility to explore Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas at your own pace, making it an ideal choice for those planning to visit more remote locations or preferring a more personal travel experience.

Before renting a car, consider:

  • The driving conditions and parking availability in your destinations.
  • The requirement of an International Driving Permit (IDP), in addition to your national driving license, if you’re from outside the EU.
  • Insurances and fuel policies.

Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing services, such as Uber or local equivalents, offer a convenient alternative to taxis and public transportation. These services allow you to book rides directly from your smartphone, providing clear pricing and the ability to rate your experience. Availability and prices can vary, but they often offer competitive rates, especially for groups or during off-peak hours.

Benefits of using ride-sharing services include:

  • Ease of use and convenience.
  • Transparent pricing and the ability to pay via the app.
  • Feedback and rating systems for drivers and passengers.

Quick FAQ

A2: Yes, taxis and ride-sharing services operate 24/7 for those arriving late at night. Additionally, there is a night bus service (01N) connecting the airport with the city center, ensuring that travelers have an economical transportation option at any hour.

Taxi fares from the airport to the city center typically range from €20 to €30. Factors that can affect the fare include the time of day (night tariffs may be higher), the exact destination within the city, and traffic conditions.

Yes, bus tickets can be purchased directly from the driver, from ticket machines located at the airport, or at OASTH kiosks. For the metro (once operational), tickets will likely be available from machines at the station or possibly via an app or other digital platforms.

Ride-sharing services are available in Thessaloniki, offering an alternative to traditional taxis. Availability can vary, and it's recommended to check the latest status of these services and any local equivalents upon arrival.

Direct public transportation from the airport to other major cities is not typically available. However, the central bus station in Thessaloniki offers connections to various parts of Greece. Travelers can use the bus or a taxi to reach the central bus station from the airport.

Thessaloniki Airport and public transportation options strive to accommodate travelers with disabilities or special needs. It's recommended to contact service providers in advance to ensure any necessary arrangements are made. Most buses and taxis can accommodate wheelchairs, and assistance at the airport can be requested ahead of your arrival.


Navigating from Thessaloniki Airport to the city center is a straightforward process, thanks to the variety of transportation options available to suit every traveler’s needs. Whether you prioritize speed, cost, flexibility, or convenience, there’s a solution that aligns with your preferences. 

Understanding the ins and outs of each option—taxi, bus, future metro services, car rental, and ride-sharing—can significantly ease your arrival and help you make the most of your visit to Thessaloniki. Remember, the journey from the airport is just the beginning of what promises to be a memorable experience in this vibrant city, where history and culture meet the warmth and hospitality of Northern Greece.