A Historical Rail Connection

Flights between Istanbul and Thessaloniki can be pricey, especially if you are planning on travelling during peak season. A much cheaper alternative is to take a bus, which offers a comfortable ride and great scenic views.

There are 4 buses that leave Istanbul Europe for Thessaloniki every day, so you can easily find a departure time that suits your schedule. Make sure to book ahead of time to avoid disappointment!

Istanbul to Thessaloniki

A one-way ticket from Istanbul to Thessaloniki will cost you around $39 if booked in advance. Prices tend to be much higher on the day of departure. Book in advance to get the best deal and avoid disappointment.

The earliest train connection between Istanbul and Thessaloniki was established in the mid-nineteenth century by the Tanzimat regime under the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid. The aim was to create a direct link from Constantinople to Thessaloniki bypassing Serbian and Bulgarian territory. It also served the economic interests of the city which had grown in size during that period. The line was carefully built away from the border and the sea to avoid destruction from warfare.

In the first years of operation the train was particularly successful. It carried a mix of passengers including Turks and foreign visitors from the Balkans. In 2010 however, the OSE decided to cancel this last international train to Thessaloniki.

As a result, the most convenient way to travel between these two cities is by bus. Various providers operate bus services between the cities including Eurolines Deutschland, Infobus, Arda Tur and FlixBus. Check the schedules and fares on Omio to find the best option for your trip.

Flights between the two cities are available on both Turkish and Greek airlines. The fastest flights will be on the Aegean Airlines route and take around 1.3 hours. However, you can also find cheap fares on other routes by searching for a connecting flight.

Thessaloniki is home to several airports including Thessaloniki International Airport. The airport is located in the south of the city and has domestic and international flights to destinations such as New York, Larnaca, Tel Aviv, Boston, Paris and London. Thessaloniki International Airport is also a hub for freight and air cargo.

Taking the bus from Thessaloniki to Istanbul is a convenient and affordable way to travel. You can choose from a variety of buses, including economy class and business class. The price of a bus ticket from Thessaloniki to Istanbul starts at just $42 if booked in advance. If you are looking to save even more money, consider booking a one-way ticket instead of a return.


The city of Istanbul was an important hub for the Ottoman Empire and the Balkans. Its importance was due to the fact that it was the gate between Europe and Asia, but also because of its location in the middle of the Black Sea and its inland port, which made it very accessible for ships from many countries. This is why it became a center of cultural and commercial activities, which is reflected in its impressive architecture and the many museums and churches that can be found in the city.

The first train line from Istanbul to Thessaloniki was built by the Greek Railway Company in 1883. The OSE started working on a new line that would connect the two cities in 1885. The construction was going well until the Ottoman government decided to annex Eastern Roumelia, contradicting the Berlin protocol, and Bulgaria took over the nearly completed line from Belovo to Vakarel.

Fortunately, the line was quickly resumed and the train ran on June 1, 1889. This was the first time that trains from Vienna reached Thessaloniki through the Orient Express route, but the service would soon be terminated.

Today, getting from Istanbul to Thessaloniki by bus is a simple process. Many companies like Eurolines Deutschland, Arda Tur, and Infobus offer direct buses to the destination. The price of the tickets is quite reasonable, starting from $46 (EUR40) on average. The buses depart most frequently from Istanbul, Buyuk Otogar (Esenler) and arrive at Thessaloniki, Monastiriou – KTEL.

Traveling from Istanbul to Thessaloniki on a bus is also environmentally friendly. Carrying a passenger over 100 kilometers requires only 0.6-0.9 liters of fuel, which is significantly less than the amount required by high-speed trains or even a gas-powered car.

Moreover, buses have numerous amenities to make your trip more comfortable. From free Wi-Fi to ample legroom and reclining seats, the bus will ensure that you’ll reach your destination rested and relaxed. Plus, the coaches are designed to have low noise levels so you can enjoy your ride without distractions. For these reasons, traveling by bus from Istanbul Europe to Thessaloniki is a great choice for those looking for an affordable and comfortable way to get there.


The distance between Istanbul and Thessaloniki is around 365 miles or 587 km. Travelers can reach the destination by plane, bus, train or car. The flight is the fastest option, but it can be expensive. Alternatively, travelers can save money by taking a bus or train. Buses are the cheapest way to travel from Thessaloniki to Istanbul. The bus trip takes 9 hours and can be relaxing and enjoyable.

The bus service from Thessaloniki to Istanbul Europe is operated by several companies including Simeonidis Tours, Metro Turizm and Arda Tur. Buses are typically modern and comfortable, and they can accommodate up to 32 passengers. Several bus routes run daily on this route, and tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the bus station.

For travelers looking for an even more comfortable experience, there are private coaches that offer a premium ride. These buses have reclining seats and free Wi-Fi access. Some also feature power outlets to recharge devices. This is a great choice for business trips, and it can be very convenient for family vacations. In addition, these buses often have bathrooms and snacks available on board.

The Chemins de Fer de la Turquie d’Europe was constructed quickly to fulfill Hirsh’s strategic goal of connecting Constantinople with Thessaloniki without passing through Serbian or Bulgarian territory. The line was carefully placed away from enemy countries and the sea to avoid destruction by warfare. At a later stage, Alexandroupolis received a northern bypass road to make this connection complete.

Although the train trip is not the fastest, it offers a very comfortable ride. There is plenty of room to stretch out, and the train has excellent food options. It is possible to buy a drink on board, although the prices are high. The trains are equipped with a variety of sleeping accommodations. There are 52 double bunk compartments in five carriages. Each cabin has a table, sink and small refrigerator.

Getting from Istanbul to Thessaloniki by ship is a more time-consuming option. It will take about 7 days to travel the 595-mile (860-km) trip. The fastest ships leave from Ambarli and arrive into Thessaloniki every 1-2 weeks.


Taking the bus from Istanbul to Thessaloniki is one of the fastest ways to get between the two cities. The trip takes about nine hours and covers a distance of 367 miles. It is operated by several companies, including Arda Tur, Metro Turizm, and Alpar Turizm. Buses leave from Istanbul Esenler Otogari and arrive at Thessaloniki Monastiriou Bus Station.

When planning your trip, consider how much time you want to spend in each city. This will help you decide whether the destination is a good choice for your budget and schedule. Also, consider what activities you enjoy doing and if there are any family-friendly attractions. Then, choose the option that will fit your needs and budget best.

Although Thessaloniki has a great many sights to see, most travelers tend to spend more time in Istanbul than in Thessaloniki. This is because Istanbul offers a much more diverse range of things to do. It is a perfect choice for couples and families who are looking for fun activities and a vibrant city life.

The White Tower presides over an ahistorical waterfront plaza that fills with Thessalonians on sunny days. African and Greek traders lay down blankets brimming with black market sneakers and flimsy wagons of cheap jewelry, while kids chase pigeons and parents sit on stone walls that embrace landscaped plots of greenery. Bikers whiz along a carefully defended bike lane and joggers dodge fisherman casting off into the Aegean Sea.

Both cities offer an amazing array of restaurants that feature the best local cuisines. In addition, they are known for their great coffee and a wide variety of sweet desserts. You will find everything from fast food to fine dining in Thessaloniki and Istanbul.

Although Thessaloniki is not famous for its beaches, it has a few nice spots to relax by the water. The best beaches are located in the nearby coastal resorts of Halki and Selanik. In the past, Thessaloniki was a seaside resort for Europeans, and the city’s pier was home to a large number of ships. It was here that the first trade union was founded, when socialist ideas were introduced in the Ottoman Empire through a newspaper called La Solidarite ouvriere.

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