Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece and it is located in the north of the country. From the port of Thessaloniki, you can travel by ferry to the North Aegean islands, the Sporades, the Cyclades and Crete. The vibrant city is also a popular holiday destination, famous for its rich history, multicultural past, superb cuisine and exciting nightlife.
The gorgeous waterfront of Thessaloniki and the port in the background
Thessaloniki - passenger port
The port of Thessaloniki is the largest in the North Aegean and one of the most important ports in northeastern Europe. The passenger port is located between piers 1 and 2. They are the ones closest to the city center, on the southeast side of the port. You can get to the passenger port through the main gate on Navarchou Kountouriotou and Salaminos Street. The ferry terminals are very close to the port entrance and can be easily reached on foot or by car.
Thessaloniki ferry schedules 2021
At the moment, there is 1 weekly ferry crossing from the port of Thessaloniki to the Greek islands, departing every Saturday at 21:00. The ferry itinerary is the following: Thessaloniki, Lemnos, Lesbos (Mytilene), Chios, Samos (Karlovasi and Vathy), Fourni, Ikaria, Mykonos, Syros, Piraeus.
You can find more detailed information about the 2021 ferries from Thessaloniki in our travel blog.
Ferry routes from the port of Thessaloniki
The port of Thessaloniki serves routes to the North Aegean islands (e.g., Lesbos, Lemnos, Chios, Samos), the Sporades (e.g., Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos) and Crete, as well as to some popular destinations in the Cyclades, such as Mykonos and Syros.
Bear in mind that ferry routes operating from the port of Thessaloniki are subject to change every year. Find up-to-date ferry schedules and information on ferry crossings from Thessaloniki to the Greek islands on Ferryhopper.
Ferry from Thessaloniki to the North Aegean islands
The ferry route from Thessaloniki to the North Aegean islands operates only on certain years. There is normally 1 weekly crossing and the ferry usually travels to Lemnos, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Fourni and Ikaria. The route is served by standard ferries that have cabins as well as a car deck. On our ferry routes page, you will find all the information you need to travel by ferry from Thessaloniki to Samos.
If there are no ferry crossings from Thessaloniki, the connection between northern Greece and the North Aegean islands is served regularly from the port of Kavala, a town approximately 160km east of Thessaloniki.
Ferry from Thessaloniki to the Sporades
The Sporades are an island group in the northwest Aegean Sea. Only 4 islands of the Sporades are inhabited: Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. During high-season (from mid-June to mid-September), there is usually a daily ferry connection from the port of Thessaloniki to Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. The route is normally served by high-speed ferries and the trip duration ranges from 3.5-4 hours.
If the route from Thessaloniki is not available, you can take the ferry to the Sporades from the town of Volos (about 220km south of Thessaloniki). In the summer, there are daily crossings from the port of Volos to Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos.
Ferry from Thessaloniki to the Cyclades
During the summer, the port of Thessaloniki is usually connected to some popular islands of the Cyclades, such as Mykonos, Syros and Naxos. There are normally 2-3 weekly crossings and the journey lasts 8 hours or more depending on the destination. All ferries serving this route have cabins and a car deck. You can find more details about the Thessaloniki - Cyclades ferry route in our blog.
If you want to travel from Thessaloniki to Mykonos, check our page with the latest information about the ferry crossing.
Ferry from Thessaloniki to Crete
The route from Thessaloniki to Crete is usually available during high-season, with ferries departing 2 times per week. The trip lasts approximately 30 hours, so we recommend booking a cabin for a more comfortable journey. Ferries traveling from Thessaloniki to Crete also have a car deck.
The beatiful neoclassical building of the passenger terminal
How do I get to the port of Thessaloniki?
Thessaloniki is located on the northwest coast of the Aegean Sea and can be reached by bus, train or plane. The port is very close to the city center and the railway station, while the intercity bus station is not very far either.
From the city center to the port of Thessaloniki
The port of Thessaloniki is right next to the center and is easily accessible by car, taxi or bus. There are several bus services from the city center to the port. You can take bus 15 and get off at the stop Limani (“port”), which is less than a 3-minute walk from the port’s main gate. Alternatively, bus routes 39, 39A and 03K (stop Dioikitika Dikastiria), and bus routes 05, 06 and 33 (stop Plateia Eleftherias) also bring you very close to the port.
The center of Thessaloniki is not very big, so If you prefer to take a taxi, the ride will probably not take more than 10 minutes. The fare is not very expensive, but bear in mind that extra charges may apply for luggage items. If you like walking, it should take you maximum 25-30 minutes to get to the port on foot.
From the railway station to the port of Thessaloniki
There are daily train services to Thessaloniki from Larisa, Volos, Florina and Athens as well as from other cities in central, northern and southern Greece. There are also international train connections from Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, Skopje, Veles, Niš, Belgrade and Bucharest.
The New Thessaloniki Railway Station (Neos Sidirodromikos Stathmos Thessalonikis) is located on Monastiriou Street, about 1.5km from the port and close to the center. Just outside the station, you can find a taxi rank and several bus stops. To get to the port of Thessaloniki, take bus 03K and get off at the stop Limani. If you prefer to walk, it takes about 20 minutes to get from the station to the port on foot, while the taxi ride shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
From the intercity bus station to the port of Thessaloniki
There is an intercity bus service (KTEL) between Thessaloniki and several cities in Greece. There are also international bus services from many countries, namely Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Roumania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany.
The Macedonia Intercity Bus Station (KTEL Makedonias) is located approximately 3.5km from the port of Thessaloniki. Some intercity buses also make a stop at the railway station.
If you are arriving at the railway station, you can take the 03K bus and get off at the stop Limani to get to the port. If you are arriving at the Macedonia Intercity Bus Station, you will find a taxi rank and a bus stop just outside the station. You can take bus 12 and get off at Dioikitika Dikastiria, which is less than a 5-minute walk from the port’s main entrance, or catch bus 31 and get off at Antigonidon (about 10 minutes on foot).
There are also several bus routes (e.g., 52, 09, 02Κ, 45) that go to the Thessaloniki Railway Station. Alternatively, the taxi ride from the intercity bus station to the port takes about 10-15 minutes.
The White Tower, one of Thessaloniki's most famous landmarks
From the airport to the port of Thessaloniki
The Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia is located approximately 18km from the port and can be reached by taxi or bus. Bus route 01X passes through the center of Thessaloniki and makes a stop at the railway station. From there, you can catch bus 03K to get to the port. If you prefer to go on foot, get off at the stop Kolomvou, which is less than a 10-minute walk from the port.
The taxi ride from the airport to the port takes approximately 30-35 minutes and the fare shouldn’t be higher than €30 (rate from 05:00-24:00).
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By car or motorbike to the port of Thessaloniki
You can get to Thessaloniki by car from northern and western Greece via Α2 (Motorway 2, also known as Egnatia Odos or Egnatia Motorway) and from central or southern Greece via A1 (Motorway 1, also known as Athens - Thessaloniki - Evzoni Motorway). A1 and A2 are part of European Routes E75 and E90 respectively. In either case, you can reach the port directly without having to pass through the city.
Parking at the port of Thessaloniki
The port of Thessaloniki has 2 paid parking lots. Parking 1 (P1) is located right in front of the passenger terminal and is open 24/7. The entrance is on Aksiou Street, 50m from the port’s main gate. The other parking lot (P2) is next to gate 6, also close to the passenger terminal. The entrance is on Kountouriotou Street and opening hours depend on the day of the week. There are also paid parking garages in the area around the port.
Useful info and travel tips for the port of Thessaloniki
The port of Thessaloniki is located very close to the city center and right next to Ladadika, a historic district that is known for its vibrant nightlife. Within walking distance from the port, you will find several ATM machines, banks, pharmacies, cafés, restaurants (fast-food and sit-down), patisseries and shops. There is also a passenger terminal next to the port’s main gate. The terminal is open 24/7 and has duty-free shops, Wi-Fi access and an information kiosk.
Tip: the old port’s pier 1, located next to the ferry terminals, has been transformed into a cultural hub of the city. There, you will find several museums as well as a café-restaurant, where you can grab a bite right next to the sea.
Important phone numbers for Thessaloniki
Some useful contacts to keep handy when traveling to and from Thessaloniki:
- Thessaloniki Port Authority: +302313325821-4
- International Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia: +302310985000
- New Thessaloniki Railway Station: +302310599035
- Information on train schedules: +302310599421
- Macedonia Intercity Bus Station (KTEL Makedonias): +302310595400
- Information on public transport: +302310981100
- Thessaloniki tourist information centers: +302310229070, +302310231473
- Thessaloniki tourist police: +302310554871
- Port parking lots: (Ρ1) +302310593181, (Ρ2) +302310593500
- European emergency number: 112
View of the glorious sunset with Mount Olympus in the background
Vacation in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki (also known as Saloniki or Salonica) is the capital of Macedonia. While it is a lively modern city of more than 1 million people, it has a relaxed, easy-going vibe, as if inviting you to go slow. Compared to towns in the south of the country, the influence of the East is more pronounced in Thessaloniki, something that is evident in the city’s lifestyle, architecture as well as in its delicious cuisine.
Thessaloniki has a multicultural past and has remained an important metropolis throughout its long history. Just stroll around the center to discover the beautiful Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments that make the city feel like an open-air museum. Or go for a walk in the picturesque old town to marvel at the beautiful view of the sea. Thessaloniki also hosts several cultural events throughout the year, so if you have time, we recommend checking out what is happening in the city during your visit.
What also makes Thessaloniki unique is its gorgeous waterfront, which extends from the port to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. The 4.5km walkway is always bustling with life and is the perfect place to promenade, bike, jog or just relax and enjoy the view. If the day is clear, you might be able to see the beautiful peaks of Mount Olympus in the distance. And don’t miss the stunning sunset! The magnificent colours will take your breath away.
Thessaloniki is also considered the gastronomic capital of Greece and its center is full of restaurants that serve superb dishes at very good prices. Not to mention the delicious desserts that you can try in the famous patisseries. The vibrant fititoupoli (“college town”) is also known for its exciting nightlife. In the city’s amazing bars, clubs and kafenia, you can listen to live Greek music, drink amazing cocktails and dance to the latest hits.
But that’s not all! If you want to go for a swim, Thessaloniki is very close to the peninsula of Halkidiki, which boasts some of the best beaches in Greece. Read on to find out more about Halkidiki and its heavenly beaches!
Things to do in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is an ancient city that was established in the 4th century BCE. It was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople and an important multi-ethnic metropolis and port of the Ottoman Empire. The beautiful monuments, churches and museums testify to Thessaloniki’s glorious past and are definitely worth a visit if you want to discover the city’s history. Most of them are either in the city center or within walking distance from the center.
Some of the best things to see in Thessaloniki are:
- the fortress of Heptapyrgion or Yedi Kule (“seven towers”)
- the Ano Poli neighbourhood (“upper town,” the old town of Thessaloniki)
- the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
- the open-air Kapani market
- the city’s beautiful waterfront
- the Ladadika neighbourhood (historic district and popular night spot)
- the Byzantine church of Agios Demetrios
- the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki
- the Alaca Imaret mosque
- the Museum of Byzantine Culture
- the Roman Forum of Thessaloniki
- the Costakis Collection of Russian avant-garde art
Tip: if you happen to be in Thessaloniki in November, you should definitely go to the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. For 10 days, the city becomes the ultimate movie lover's paradise, with screenings of amazing films and filmmakers arriving in town from all over the world.
The walls of Thessaloniki surrounded the city in the Middle Ages
Food in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is famous in all of Greece for its delicious cuisine. You will find several restaurants, kafenia (meze restaurants) and tavernas in the center, and especially in the area around the port as well as close to Venizelou and to Ionos Dragoumi Street. We recommend trying the hünkar beğendi (beef or lamb stew with smoked aubergine purée) and the soutzoukakia (spicy meatballs).
If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll be very happy to know that Thessaloniki has some of the best patisseries in the country. The city is renowned for its kazan dibi (type of caramelized milk pudding), trigona (sweet filo pastries filled with cream), pourakia (chocolate-covered praline wafer rolls) and tsoureki (type of sweet bread).
Nightlife in Thessaloniki
A few years ago, National Geographic included Thessaloniki in the top 10 nightlife cities in the world. Indeed, Thessaloniki’s nightlife scene is legendary. From chill bars with fantastic cocktails and wild nightclubs where you can dance till dawn, to trendy rooftop café-bars overlooking the sea and hidden kafenia with live Greek music, the city offers countless options to suit all tastes.
Some of the hottest nightlife spots in Thessaloniki are Ladadika, the areas around Valaoritou Street, the Roman Forum and the White Tower as well as Proxenou Koromila Street and the city’s waterfront. Thessaloniki is also perfect for bar-hopping, as most of these areas are within walking distance!
Trip from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki
Halkidiki (or Chalkidiki) is a little lush paradise with turquoise waters, pine forests and gorgeous mountains. There, you will find not only the best beaches close to Thessaloniki but some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece.
To get to Halkidiki from Thessaloniki, you can catch the bus from the Halkidiki intercity bus station (KTEL Chalkidikis), which is located approximately 10km from the city center and is accessible by public transport. Trip duration from Thessaloniki to Halkidiki ranges from 30 minutes to more than 3 hours depending on your destination. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, but bear in mind that the fare might be quite expensive.
The Halkidiki beaches that are closest to Thessaloniki are Nea Iraklia and Nea Kallikratia. Other popular beaches that you can visit are: Sani, Possidi, Kallithea, Sarti, Porto Carras and Elia.
A stunning beach with turquoise waters in Halkidiki
Where to book ferry tickets from Thessaloniki online
Book cheap ferry tickets to and from Thessaloniki on Ferryhopper at no extra cost. See all available routes on our Map of ferries, find ferry schedules and offers, compare prices and plan your trip from Thessaloniki to the Greek islands in just 4 clicks.