City Bus Service, Thessaloniki
You can explore Thessaloniki on foot. However if you don't have much time and you can not bear the heat, then take the bus. One single trip costs 80 Cents. If you buy the 90 cents ticket, you can have a second ride provided it takes place within 1.5 hours from the time you took your first ride. If you want to ride as many buses as you please, then the day ticket is Euro 4 and it is all worth it.
You can buy the ticket at the bus stations, kiosks or inside the bus (there's a machine). Don't forget to punch it.
The public transport system of Thessaloniki is rather poor, overcrowded unreliable buses, impolite personel and few lines. Tickets can be purchased from the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH) desks 07.00 21.00, or from the automatic vendors inside the bus.
Taxis are no good either...
On arrival at the Macedonia International Airport Terminal of Thessaloniki you can use the bus Line 78, route Airport - KTEL /central bus station, which goes directly to the city center. It takes up to 60 minutes and costs 0.70 euro , or take a taxi to the city centre. It takes 30 minutes and costs 15 EUROS depending on traffic.
Airport to City centre: bus No 78
Railway Station to City centre: buses no. 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17 & 37
The Thessaloniki Urban Transportation Organization recently announced the launch of the new Cultural Line No 50 of 1.9.2009.
It is a route to the "history of our city, with stops at many monuments that mark the long history from antiquity to the present.
The attitudes of the cultural line fitted special labeling, as well as printed in rolls with the map of the route and points of interest.
They give for free a brochure in Greek and English, available to each passenger, which contains a map of the central region Thessaloniki with the bus route and points of interest to passengers. They were given information about the monuments and other points of interest and place their approach at each stop.
For best information to passengers of the cultural line inside the bus where 2 screens displayed by computer, presenting the Greek (and soon in English) with its monuments and other points of interest which will pass the bus during the route.
Also syggested to the passengers 3 hiking trails, as users of cultural routes are allowed, on the same ticket, valid for 24 hours to disembark at any stop of the journey and after completing their tour, to continue with the next route.
There is a bus attendant, who isavailable to passengers for any further information.
Beginning and end of the cultural line is the White Tower (LEFKOS PIRGOS)
Departure times: 08:00 - 21:00 (June - September every hour exactly) Every 1 hour
09:00 - 16:00 (October - May at just one hour) Every 1 hour
Duration: 50 '- 60'
Ticket price: 2,00 € normal
1,00 € reduced
Not valid Travelcards or other free cards
After repetitive questions in the forums, i thought this should be a tip of its own..
Bus No 78 operates between the airport and the bus (KTEL) station, and it stops at the train station as well. You will need to cross the whole city from south-east to north -west and depending on the time and the day the ride should take between 40mins to an hour. The buses leave every half hour. You can check the bus timetables at www.oasth.gr
my opinion is to use bus78, instead of a taxi, it will take a bit extra time (but not that much), and it will be so much cheaper.the bus ticket costs 50cents prepaid and 60 on the bus, while the taxi will cost you something between 20-40 euros (i only assume, i have never taken this ride on a taxi). Plus, i tend not to trust greek taxi drivers with foreign travelers. I'm sure it's a minority that has given the profession a bad name, but there are a lot of incidents of rip-offs.
From the Airport take the bus #78. You have to cross all the city from East to West to find the Railway Station or the KTEL Bus Terminal. Check the map of #78 bus line, it is in Greek but very clear and easy to understand.
The start-terminal at the bottom is the airport, the end-terminal at the top is the KTEL Bus Terminal. KTEL is the common name for long-distance bus services in Greece. The last bus-stop on the map before the KTEL Terminal is the Railway Station.
Re- busses in Thes. I had to chuckle. Arrived in Thes last night out of Munchen and took the city bus into town (or part way). Started out fine but in not too long things slowed down considerably. It was very hot inside (November and cold stormy weather outside) and standing room only with a pack (no big deal though). Eventually going so slow that I figured by using the tourist street map and watching the street signs - (but most telling, observing for 20 minutes the unhurried guy walking same direction beside us keeping up and sometimes getting ahead)- that it would be quicker to bail and walk. So myself and a stranger that was a co-founder on board of the whiney overheated passengers club (we struck up a conversation) did just that and left that bus in the dust. All that said I'm at the Hotel Pella and would like to say that its a nice place with very nice staff, clean rooms and a nice breakfast layed out down stairs. I think its about as cheap and reasonable as a hotel will get here unless you go stay at the hostel which I'm told is a flea bag. Thats a shame for me as I like hostels. Thes has a some nice ancient/oldy/claudius slept here kinda sites and the Byzintine (I'm a spelling tard) museum was pretty cool and very well layed out. However Thes really seems to be more of a jumping off place for more interesting out of the way places. Ok, thats it. Hope its help to someone. Bolzee.
Moving around by bus, in Greece in general, is not one of the most pleasant experiences.. the schedules are followed "approximately" and sometimes it can be rediculously crowded. Not to mention that thefts are an everyday phenomenon. So, be patient, estimate that you need more time than what you are told, and guard your personal belongings. If you have a map of the city it can be relatively easy to move around. Their website has been significantly upgraded and now there is an english version as well (about time) :-) Tickets cost €0.50 if you buy them beforehand, from the kiosks, or €0.60 in the bus (student rates €0.25 and €0.30 respectively). Sometimes a bus ride can reward you with unexpected scenes, like the one in the picture!
There isn't a subway or tram network in Thessaloniki, so the only way to go around with public means of transport is to use one of the numerous city buses. They belong to OASTH and most of them are quite old and a little bit neglected. They're almost never punctual and during the peak hours (about 7 am - 9 am and 2 pm - 4 pm) they can be really cramped. When that happens you have to be careful because they're the best place for pickpockets. The majority of buses are air conditioned but some people still open the windows, so it's like there wasn't an air conditioning system.
Some drivers drive as if they were mad and many times they make use of their cell phones while driving. Most controllers are polite and helpful (if you need some information) but some older ones can get really rude when catching someone without a valid ticket.
Tickets can be bought from kiosks or newsagent's shops in the city for 0.50 euros (0.25 euros reduced) and must be validated in orange machines in the bus. There's also the possibility to get a ticket while on bus. That costs 0.55 euros (0.30 euros for a reduced ticket). What is more, there are daily tickets for 2 euros.
For information about the lines and schedules you can check OASTH site (www.oasth.gr) or make a call at their call center (tel. 185). Don't call that number from your cell phone as you'll be connected to Athens public transport call center.