- Category: Train updates
How to travel to and from Greece
As you may know Greece is experiencing great disruption across the country. Greece remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries to visit in Europe, but it’s important to understand some of the challenges of traveling there at this time. Read about the different strikes that are taking place, to help you arrange your trip.
If you do plan to travel to Greece ensure you’re aware of the current situation of the Greek train network. International trains to and from Greece are suspended, so it is necessary to make alternative travel arrangements to and from the country – some parts of your journey may be covered by your Eurail pass, but others will not.
Travel between Greece and Italy
We recommend you take a ferry to travel between Italy and Greece. With your Eurail pass you can get discounted or free ferry crossings between Ancona, Bari and Brindisi in Italy and Igoumenitsa / Patras in Greece.
Please keep in mind that a new port has opened in Patras, south of the old port. The train station of Patras is located next to the old port. Regular shuttle buses run between both ports.
Read more about Greece pass benefits.
Travel between Bulgaria and Greece
TRAINOSE, the Greek railway company, operates a bus service from Greece to Bulgaria. Eurail pass holders pay a special fare for this bus. It operates on the route Thessaloniki – Blagoevgrad – Sofia – Plovdiv.
View prices for the different routes:
|Route||One way||Round way|
|Thessaloniki - Blagoevgrad||€18||€28|
|Thessaloniki - Sofia||€20||€33|
|Thessaloniki - Plovdiv||€27||€42|
|Departure: 08:00||Departure/arrival: 14:00||Arrival: 16:00|
Buses operate daily. Reservations for this bus are compulsory and can be made in Sofia, Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Thessaloniki (Greece) at the following addresses:
- Sofia: central bus station, booking desk 3. Tel. 00359/2 8133331
Working hours: Mon-Fr 08:00-18:00 & Sat-Sun 08:00-16:00
- Plovdiv: central square 1. Tel. 00359/899 980 452 & 00359/32 624274
Working hours: 07:00-18:00 Mon-Fr
- Thessaloniki: main train station (special ticket issuing office for international buses of TRAINOSE).
Working hours: every day 06:30–14:00
Travel between Turkey and Greece
There are several bus services available between Istanbul and Thessaloniki. The following option isn't covered by your Eurail pass.
KTEL Bus: Thessaloniki – Istanbul
Departs daily at 10:00 and 22:00 from Irenes Street 17, in the centre of Thessaloniki
Approximate cost: €35
Duration: 12 hours
How to travel within Greece
Closed sections of Greece train network
- The narrow gauge railway around Peloponnisos (Patras – Alfios – Kiparissia – Tripolis – Kiato) has apparently been permanently taken out of service. However, the lines Olympia – Pirgos – Katakolo and Diakopto – Kalavrita are running as normal.
- The line running between Patras and Kiato on the northern coast is also closed, due to construction work. Travelers entering Greece by boat in Patras need to take a (TRAINOSE) bus to Kiato. From there they can travel by train to the SKA station. From the SKA station they can continue their journey by taking a direct train to Pireaus.
Travel between Patras – Athens (central train station) – Pireaus
When you enter Greece by boat in Patras, you first need to take the bus from the port to the train station and then take a (TRAINOSE) bus to Kiato. Here you can continue traveling by train to the SKA station in Athens. From the SKA station you can continue to Athens International Airport or take a direct train to Athens and Pireaus.
View the bus timetable from Patras to Kiato:
Travel between Patras and downtown Athens
If you want to visit the city center of Athens, you can also take a train from Kiato up to Doukissis Plakentias. From here you can take the blue metro line to Syntagma or Monastiraki. Or take a train from Kiato to Neratziotissa. Continue on the green metro line to Omonoia station (in Athens) or up to Pireaus port.
Please note that your Eurail pass is not valid on the metro.
To find train times in Greece use the Trainose website. The English section does not currently show train times, so you must use Google Chrome to view the travel planner in Greek – this will automatically translate everything and then you can find the train times of most Greek trains. If the planner states that ‘there were routes between … and …’ this means that that particular line has now been taken out of service (except for the suburban train Proastiakos between Athens Airport – Athens – Kiato which is mentioned at 'suburban trains Athens').