How to get to Meteora from Athens or Thessaloniki by bus and train
Meteora is a stunning — such an out of this world place to visit! If you want to spend some time there but don’t fancy driving, getting a taxi or going on a scheduled tour, you can always get the train or bus to Meteora. Whether you’re travelling from Athens or Thessaloniki, both bus and train will get you there and it’s not complicated. Here’s how you can get to Meteora from Athens or Thessaloniki by train and bus.
From Athens to Meteora
There are scheduled trains to Kalambaka departing Larissa Station in Athens daily. To make your way there from the city centre or the airport, you’ll need to take the metro.
Step 1 – Metro
When you’re in Athens take the red metro line (M2) to Larissa (direction/last stop Aghios Antonios). If you’re planning to go straight from Athens International Airport, you’ll need to take the blue line (M3) first to Syntagma station (direction/last stop Egaleo) and then change onto the red line (M2) line. Take the red line four stops (direction/last stop Aghios Antonios) until you get to Larissa Station.
Once you’re at Larissa, find the way out to street level and you’ll see the main railway station.
Step 2 – Train
Trains to Kalambaka tend to leave from the platform on the opposite side station which you get to via the walkway. This can change so check the platform first just in case! Take the train going to Kalambaka.
You may notice that most of the trains going to Kalambaka are not direct. This means you’ll have to change. Usually this means changing at a stop called Palaepfarsalos. If you’re on an indirect train, get off at Palaepfarsalos station to get a connecting train to Kalambaka.
You’ll probably see a lot of other people doing the same thing so you should find the correct platform easily but listen to the train announcements when on the train or better still, ask at Larissa Station. If not, there should be someone to ask when you arrive at Palaepfarsalos. Just be aware that you may not have a lot of time between trains in some cases.
- There’s usually one direct train from Larissa which goes straight to Kalambaka from Athens. It tends to be the first train of the morning (just after 7am).
- If you’re spending time in Athens before heading to Kalambaka, you’ll find automatic storage lockers for your luggage at Larissa.
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The bus doesn’t really take that much longer than the train but of course, this time won’t always factor in traffic. If you’re on a budget, going by bus is a great option for getting to Kalambaka. If you’re travelling from Athens, you’ll need to head to Liosion KTEL Bus Station [maplink].
From the airport
Travelling straight from the airport is a different route as you can take the X93 bus to Liosion.
You can also take the metro from the airport to reach Liosion KTEL bus station. The nearest metro stations are Kato Patissia and Agios Nikolaos on the green line (M1). To get there from the airport you should take the blue line (M3) to Monastiraki station first and then change onto the green line for either Kato Patissa or Agios Nikolaos. You’ll have a walk of between 10-20 minutes depending on which metro stop you get off at.
From Liosion bus station, the journey to Kalambaka will take about 5 to 6 hours depending on traffic.
From Thessaloniki to Meteora
To get to Meteora from Thessaloniki you’ll need to head to the main train station.
There’s no metro service in the city but you can easily reach it by bus or walking if you’re close by. If you’re coming from the airport, you can take bus 78 (or the 78N night bus) there.
If you’re already in town, then you’ll find several buses that go there including the 9, 14, 37, 51, 52 and 64. Once at the station, simply take the train to Kalambaka.
There may be direct and indirect trains so check first. Most indirect trains may stop at Palaepfarsalos station since it’s the same train you’d pick up in Athens at Larissa station.
Head to Thessaloniki’s bus station on Monastiriou — it’s not far from the train station. Here you can take the bus.
You can take the same bus from the airport, the 78 (or night 78N bus) or one of the other buses like the 12, 80, 82B and 82E. There are more so check the bus boards at the stops. Also make sure you check the direction of the bus!
Buying metro, train and bus tickets
You can easily purchase metro, train and bus tickets for your journey.
Once you are in the metro in Athens, you can use one of the machines to get your ticket or go to the ticket desk. If you’re just heading straight to Larissa, then you can get a single journey ticket. If you plan to stay in Athens first, then you may need to buy another type of ticket.
For bus or train tickets you can easily purchase the on the day of your trip but during high season it may be a good idea to book them in advance. Here’s how:
Train tickets – TrainOSE
Using TrainOSE – the main train ticket platform – is straightforward once you’ve changed the language to English.
KTEL Bus tickets
For bus timetables, head to the KTEL Trikala website — the bus service for the Thessaly. You can purchase your ticket on the day at the station but in summer seasons, the route may be busier. If you want to book online in advance, you can use the online ticketing system.
If you’re travelling from one of the major cities, here’s the most updated bus KTEL timetable for 2022.
This should help with planning your trip to Kalambaka to visit the Monasteries of Meteora.
Check out my post that will give you 8 things to see and do while visiting Meteora’s monasteries once you’ve booked your trip so you can find out a few things to see and do in Meteora.
Enjoy! Let me know how your trip goes and which monasteries you were able to visit.
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