I didn't have occasion to use either of Bitolas bus stations and so this is just a general observation.
The main bus station is about 1.5 km out of town, next to the railway station, and buses from here leave and arrive from Skopje, Ohrid and Sofia on a regular basis.
For a useful guide to times and prices check out MacedonianUK's page here - Bitola Bus Schedules
There is also a smaller bus station close to the city centre which appears to cover local routes although it seems that shared taxis are more commonly used.
I only had one occasion to use use a taxi here in Bitola, to get from the train station to my hotel.
The city is compact and emminently walkable and all the main sights are on and around the pedestrianised main street.
The train and main bus station however are about 1.5 Km out of town and as far as I'm aware there isn't a regular bus service to and from these and so if you don't fancy the walk then the best option is a taxi.
From my singular experience I found the taxi driver to be cheerful, the meter was switched on as soon as we started up and apart from a little bit of chaotic traffic the journey into the city hassle-free. At 60 Den for what turned out to be a fifteen minute journey this was also vry cheap.
There's always taxis outside the station to meet arriving trains and a couple of taxi ranks dotted around the top and bottom ends of the Shirok Sokak. Otherwise I'm sure your hotel will be happy to arrange one for you.
If, like myself, you appreciate a scenic train journey then you'll enjoy getting to Bitola from Skopje by train. There are four departures a day (early morning, mid afternoon, early evening and mid evening) with a journey time varying from 2hours 50 minutes (the 1700 express) to about 3 and a half hours.
I've only done this journey once, on the mid-afternoon train which was late arriving and very crowded. It was standing room only until Prilep (about an hour away) but on a warm early summer afternoon that was no hardship as we all leaned out of the windows watching the scenery go by (and smoking!).
The journey starts by roughly following the River Vardar south from Skopje and takes you through two mountain ranges with the fertile plains of mid-Macedonia in between. The slow train is quite fast until Prilep after which it stops at every station, some of which are ramshackle ruins barely standing and seemingly located in the middle of nowhere. This to me was the best part of the journey - I ended up with a carriage by myself which gave me the opportunity to crack the couple of beers I'd picked up at Skopje station but at the same time to watch the world go by out of my smoking window.
When you arrive at Bitola the station is about 2 km out of the city centre, easily walkable if you are inclined (and don't have a lot of luggage), but there are usually plenty of taxis available on the rank and my friendly guy cost me a mere 60 Den for the ten minute ride.
For the current (2011) timetable click HERE
We arrived by train in Skopje and from there we took a bus to Bitola.
It took a while to find out were to buy the ticket as not many spoke English.
But pen and paper will help or just say Bitola lots of times lol.
It took about 3 1/2 hours from Skopje to Bitola
think the bus left around 11.00 and costed about 8 euro each. think it was 470 each
you get seat numbers and they wear already taken but they had to go.
they people who were sitting on our places.
The 2 seats behind the driver dont have a number.
So i think the 4 seats left and right behind the driver are mostly empty and not aloud to sit here.
The websites name was on the ticket. But we just bought it at the bus station
I am still trying to figure out what this is. There were several models cruising Bitola, some parked. I tried hailing one thinking it was a taxi. Maybe I should have reserved one of this open air stallions.
The road to Bitola from E-75 via Prilep passes through some spectacular scenery, but the road is scary.
Take your time!
Make sure your brakes are OK!
Watch out for oncoming trucks on the wrong side!
Here is the time tables from Bitola Bus station operated by "Transkop"-Bitola buses..
They are National & International
EVERY DAY DEPARTURES:
05.00, 06.30, 07.30, 08.30, 11.00, 13.00, 14.30, 16.30, 19.00
04.15, 09.00, 11.00, 13.30, 14.30, 15.00, 17.00, 19.00, 21.00
05.00 (Sunday at 11.00)
PRICES FOR TRAVEL FROM BITOLA Bus Station
One way ticket/ Return Ticket
Bitola-Skopje 440/ 590
Bitola-Veles 340 /540
Bitola-Prilep 110/ 180
Bitola-Resen 120/ 200
Bitola-Ohrid 240/ 390
Bitola-Struga 240/ 390
Bitola-D. Hisar 60/ 100
Bitola-Kicevo 230/ 370
Bitola-Gostivar 320 N/A
Bitola-Tetovo 350 N/A
Bitola-Kvadarci 250/ 420
Bitola-Negotino 290/ 460
Bitola-Demir Kapija 330/ 520
Bitola-Valandovo 360/ 600
Bitola-Strumica 440/ 600
BITOLA-SOFIJA 1365/ 2325
SKOPJE-SOFIJA 990/ 1800
All prices are in MKD denars.
Bitola,has great bus conection with the rest of Macedonia, and also good rail conection.
Generaly the buses are the transport mode one will use in Bitola or around.
Ohrid is only 72 km away and there is an International airport.
Unfortunatly there is no daly connection to Greece altought the next town in Greece -Lerin (Florina) is only 32 km away.
Use to be train conection but that stoped just before '91 now only the taxis are mode of transport between Bitola and Lerin (Florina).
Taxis in Bitola are a plenty. it is very cheap way to get around.
Also as there is no transport connections between Bitola in Macedonia & Lerin (Florina) in Greece, taxis are only & best value to get on the other side of the border.
Here are few reputable ones:
Cager Taxi: +389 (0) 47 222970
Kabalero Taxi: + 389 (0) 47 227799
Baban konzul Taxi: +389 (0) 47 229716
Luna taxi: +389 (0) 47 255082
Top Kar Taxi: +389 (0) 47 9194
Prips Taxi: +389 (0) 47 9195
Leo Taxi: +389 (0) 47 9175
Usual rate to come to Lerin (Florina) to pick you up, or just deposit you at Lerin (Florina) bus station is €20.
Rate to take you to Solun (Tessaloniki) is €70 -jurney is 3 hrs or 220km.
There is no official place to leave your baggage at if you are making only a step visit to the town. But if you eat at the restaurant in front of the bus station, they may take your luggage for some hours. For me they did it.
If you catch a bus at the station, it will take you first up and up through the newer quarters of the city, at the end it arrives there where the two mosques are, the old part.
There is no left lugguage service in Bitola. But, just at the corner of the street where the bus and the trains stations stand (on the direction of the stadium) at the juncture of the road to Theseloniki (Solun), there is Hamburg Cafe and the owner of the cafe may keep your lugguage in his ware for a few Euros.
Bus station is just close to train station.
I would advice to have information about buses as soon as possible, and I also advice you to buy your tickets as soon as possible. I had difficulties to find a seat for the buses to Skopje.
Taxi ride is common in Bitola. Taxis are not the newest car types but they serve it's purpose. And taxi ride is quite cheap so I recommend the taxi ride. For a few denari (Macedonian money, 60 denari is about 1euro) you can get to any spot in the city. Taxi drivers are polite and friendly, always trying to make a conversation with you.
There are two types of taxi drivers at the station - the ones who cross the border and the others who do not. If you have time you can take the first one to the border for $5 and than walk to the Greek side followed by a bus trip to Florina. If you are on a hurry become a cousin of a driver for the mere $30 and cross all the way to Florina, where if lucky you might catch a bus to Thesaloniki. The third option is to pay $150 and be driven by the relative all the way to Khalkidiki resort. I would not advise this option - not economical!
There are trains to Greece and Skopje. In fact the train schedule is not very reliable.
This is the train station of Bitola.