The long-awaited time of holidays in a hospitable country of Greece is already here. The only thing left to do is to find yourself on the steps up to the airplane, and the giant bird made of iron will spike to deliver you into Thessaloniki Airport. It is a place where you will start an adventure about exciting, shrouded with myths and legends sunny Hellene.
Have you already determined the means of transport that will deliver you from Thessaloniki Airport to city center? We offer you several ways to get from the airfield to the very heart of the city – there is certainly at least one to your taste.
Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia”
Thessaloniki Airport MAKEDONIA is the second-largest airfield in mainland Greece. It stands 15 kilometers southeast of Thessaloniki. The initial name of the airfield is Mikra Airport. In early 1990, it was replaced by a new one to honor the historic area of Makedonia. During the Second World War, the airfield was used for military purposes. Two years later, since the end of the war, it started to cater to the needs of civil aviation. At present, the International Airport “Makedonia” annually services about 3.5 million passengers. Due to the relatively small size and the increased workload of the air harbor, one has already planned the airfield modernization for the nearest future. It will help to improve the grade of service, expand the area of the terminal and aircraft parking, increase the acceptance rate, and improve the infrastructure of the airport.
There are two terminals in Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport. One of them services passenger flights, while the second one caters to the needs of cargo flights. The airfield welcomes both domestic and international flights (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, etc.). The passenger terminal occupies a three-story building and features all the necessary equipment for proper work. The ground floor features a landing zone, split into two parts for the better comfort of passengers. The first part focuses on the provision of service for the domestic flights and the Schengen arrivals; the second one services international aircraft and planes, coming from the countries which lie beyond the Schengen area. The departure hall is situated on the second floor. Here, you can also take a stroll through a shopping mall. The third floor invites passengers to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or a refreshing beverage at one of its cafes and bars as well as have a delicious meal at a restaurant, observing the landing and takeoff of the aircraft.
Having your luggage packed and left in the baggage locker, you can take a stroll through the airport, while waiting for the right flight: do some shopping in the Duty Free, visit the confectionery, exchange money in the currency exchange office, use the services of a bank branch or ATM, a post office department, and other organizations set within the airfield. There is also a children’s playground, a VIP-lounge, and free Wi-Fi on the territory of the building. Outside the airport, there is a parking lot, suitable for almost 1.500 vehicles.
Thessaloniki Airport transport
Having admired the beauty of Thessaloniki from your porthole and having taken the first pictures of Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport building, start your long-awaited Thessaloniki holidays. There are several ways to get from Thessaloniki Airport to the required hotel. If you do not have anyone in Greece who can meet you right by the airport building and give a lift to the necessary location, do not despair – there is always a way out.
Those tourists who do not like to travel in a big group of people can use the means of local public transport, Thessaloniki Airport car rental facilities, Thessaloniki taxi, and transfer service. In a short time, this list will be complemented by the long-awaited Thessaloniki metro. Its construction took a lot of time and effort due to the endless number of artifacts found by the builders. Though the current major line does not imply any stations near Makedonia, one plans to construct it in the airport’s neighborhood in the nearest future.
Thessaloniki Airport buses
Thessaloniki bus depot provides everyone with an opportunity to travel in comfortable buses supplied with air-conditioners. A relatively small cost is one of the major advantages of this type of transport. But there is also a downside: Thessaloniki buses run according to a particular schedule, which means that you will have to wait before you can go in the required direction. In general, schedule availability is not a problem. However, you should note that the majority of Greek buses is always late. Thus, you might face more issues on the way like a large number of passengers and overcrowded bus cabin. That is why getting to Thessaloniki city center by bus is comfortable only for those travelers who come without children and a large amount of baggage.
You can find the nearest bus stop in close vicinity to the airport building. The buses to the city center run on the around-the-clock basis:
- №01X delivers passengers in the daytime, from 5:00 to 22:00;
- №01N makes trips at night, from 23:00 to 5:30.
The travel time is about 40 minutes. The buses depart two times an hour. You can buy the tickets right in the cabin, from a ticket machine. Make sure that you have the exact sum as the machine does not give the change. The ticket cost is €2. The children under 6 years travel for free. All kids aged between 6 and 18 years pay only half of the ticket cost.
Thessaloniki taxi service
A taxi is a quicker and more convenient way to get to the city. You can easily recognize these vehicles: they are painted blue and have white roofs. Taxis usually stand near the exit of the arrival terminal. However, before you decide to take one of them, make sure that you know all the peculiarities of a taxi cost:
- telephoning for collection is a subject to a charge — add about €2;
- the payment depends on the data showed by the meter – make sure that the driver switched it on. At night and on holidays, the tariffs increase for about 50%;
- you will have to pay for a taxi order to a certain time;
- expectation and transportation of oversized baggage are provided for extra charges.
You must speak foreign languages to make a taxi driver aware of the necessary direction. Herewith, not all taxi drivers speak fluent English. We offer that you buy a map of the area and show a driver the required destination on it. It will be also useful if you write down the Greek name of this place beforehand. Unfortunately, no one is safe from the risk of fraud. The drivers often choose longer routes to make more money on their passengers.
Thessaloniki transfer service
A transfer is an excellent choice for safe and comfortable transportation in a strange city and outside its area as well. You can order the necessary vehicle in advance before a plane leaves your native land. You have to fill in a small booking form online that can be found on the website of a transfer provider. Do not forget to indicate the date, the number of passengers, and select the route of a trip. Aktis.taxi is one of the popular transfer booking services in Greece. Among its advantages are:
- a fast and simple booking procedure via the website or over the telephone;
- a possibility to choose the necessary vehicle class: in Thessaloniki, you can order vehicles of Standard, Comfort, and Premium classes, as well as minivans of Comfort and Premium classes;
- a personal English-speaking driver will be waiting for you with a name-tag in the area of the arrivals. He will help you with luggage and make yourself comfortable in the cabin;
- the absence of a necessity to make prepayments; if your flight is delayed due to some technical reasons, a driver will wait for you at no cost;
- the amount of money set during the booking procedure will not change upon any reason;
- if you travel with children, they will be provided with the car seats of the corresponding categories.
Additionally, you can determine beforehand all the future stops on the route and learn about the possibility to visit some of Thessaloniki attractions.
Thessaloniki car rental
To hire a car is another alternative to get to any location in Thessaloniki and beyond its area. It is a time- and cost-effective solution that allows you to switch off the limits when you plan a Thessaloniki sightseeing route.
Special services offer to hire a vehicle from any class. A customer makes a booking via the Internet. The vehicle will be served at a given place within the airport area by the time of your arrival. If you are going on holidays with a family and not ready to let someone drive your car, if you are not afraid to travel within unfamiliar area, and aim to visit the maxim amount of attractions, then hiring a car is a perfect match for you.
Best things to do in Thessaloniki
Upon arrival at Thessaloniki city center, you should try to visit the most popular places in the city. Thessaloniki Seafront promenade is among the most recognizable attractions of the city. It is a lively place at any time. Moreover, it provides fascinating views of Thermal Bay and houses the most distinguished landmarks of Thessaloniki, for example, the White Tower, Alexander the Great Monument, a modern iron installation “Umbrellas,” Aristotle Square with its magnificent buildings, picturesque streets, the world-famous Statues of Aristotle, and Eleftherios Venizelos Monument.
This place sits within walking distance from Agios Dimitrios Basilica, one of the most popular churches, dedicated to the celestial patron of Thessaloniki. A few steps away, you will see another featured landmark, called Roman Forum (Ancient Agora). The promenade is a nice place to take a stroll to the port, which houses a lot of museums, contemporary art galleries, cinemas, and a restaurant.
By the way, if you wish to enjoy the unique taste of Thessaloniki food, you should necessarily take a glance into one of the local taverns, situated in Thessaloniki Ladadika, near the area of Thessaloniki Port.