Car Rental in Thessaloniki
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Thessaloniki?
Thessaloniki is a great place to explore by car. A city with a history that dates back more than 2000 years and the largest metropolis in the sometimes underappreciated, but fascinating Northern Greece, it offers everything from impressive architecture to stunning beaches and unique cuisine. Thessaloniki is also within a four hour drive off four different countries: Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
One-Way Car Rentals in Thessaloniki
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Thessaloniki and drop off in another city include:
- From Thessaloniki to Athens - 256 offers from $6.23 per day
- From Thessaloniki to Patras - 68 offers from $30.54 per day
- From Thessaloniki to Alexandroupoli - 141 offers from $32.18 per day
Top ways to enter Thessaloniki
- Thessaloniki Airport. The third busiest airport in Greece, also known as Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia, is located just southeast of Thessaloniki’s city center. It serves more than six million passengers every year.
- Kavala Airport. About a two hour drive east of Thessaloniki, Kavala Airport hosts both
- domestic routes and flights to more than ten different European countries. Like many other airports in Greece, Kavala Airport is especially active during the summer months.
- Skopje Airport. Serving the capital of neighboring North Macedonia, Skopje Airport is just a two-and-a-half hour drive north of Thessaloniki. If you plan to come from North Macedonia to Greece by a rental car, first ask your car rental provider if they permit it. Also, make sure your EU entry documentation is in order.
- Athens Airport. By far the largest in Greece and among the 30 busiest in Europe, Athens Airport is a great regional air hub. It might be a five hour drive south of Thessaloniki, but there are many interesting stops you can make on the way.
Thessaloniki enjoys a humid subtropical climate. The average temperature in July is 27 °C (80 °F) and it’s not unusual for temperatures to creep higher. Winters are generally mild, although Thessaloniki is one of the few beach cities in Greece where snowfall can occur in January and February. Unlike in the more southern areas of Greece, summers in Thessaloniki are not significantly drier than winters.
Thessaloniki is the second most populous city of Greece. Although only 325 thousand people live inside the city proper, there are more than 1 million inhabitants in the greaterThessaloniki metropolitan area.
Top destinations and activities
- Rotunda. Arguably the most famous landmark of Thessaloniki, the Rotunda and its neighboring Arch of Galerius have been in their places for more than 1600 years. It was first built as a temple during the Roman times, then turned into a Paleochristian church, then a mosque, and finally a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though the Rotunda has suffered many earthquakes, it has always been rebuilt to retain the beauty of its early days.
- Saint Demetrios Church. Also known as Hagios Demetrios, this ancient church honours Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki whose resting place is under the basilica. Once one of the largest churches of the Byzantine Empire, it is still an important religious and historic monument.
- The White Tower. Another very important symbol of the city, the White Tower of Thessaloniki is both a monument and a museum dedicated to the city’s long and diverse history. Exploring its many collections is just as interesting as climbing its labyrinthine staircases or appreciating the view of the rest of the city from the tower top.
- Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum. Inhabited since prehistory — and not just by Ancient Greeks, but all sorts of other famous civilizations as well -— Thessaloniki is home to a wealth of fascinating heritage. The best place to start learning about it and put it in some context is no doubt the city’s archaeological museum — one of the best of its kind in the country, it is known for artifacts such as the stunning Derveni Krater.
Ladadika. The cobbled streets of Ladadika make up Thessaloniki’s main nightlife district. Here, you will find an abundance of traditional tavernas, bouzoukias, bars and clubs. During the Ottoman era, this was actually a marketplace. The neighborhood’s location close to the port made it a convenient place to trade, particularly products made with olive oil. (Ladadika literally translates to mean “with oil”.)
Ano Poli. This is one of the oldest districts in Thessaloniki. It was a sought-after residential neighborhood during the Ottoman occupation, and so today, you will still find many colorful Ottoman houses here painted in all shades of the rainbow. Ano Poli is a great place to go on an urban hike. As you allow yourself to get lost among the narrow streets and passageways, you will stumble across lots of incredible street art, quaint meze restaurants, and cute coffee shops.
Peraia. During the summer months, if you want to escape from the concrete jungle of Thessaloniki to the coast, you can visit the beach town of Peraia. It is located just 25km away from the city centre. Between June and September, a taxi boat connects Thessaloniki port and White Tower to Peraia and the scenic journey takes just 55 minutes. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas on the beaches of Agia Triada and Peraia, while there are a plethora of Greek and international dining options to be found on the main promenade of P. Kountouriotou that runs adjacent to the beach.
Try bougatsa. Thessaloniki bougatsa is a beloved sweet Greek pastry that is usually eaten at breakfast time or as a dessert. To make it, semolina custard is wrapped in layer after layer of hand-rolled filo pastry. Then, it is topped with a generous dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon. You can find it all over Greece. However, since it was invented in Thessaloniki, you should be sure to sample the delicacy in its birthplace! Bougatsa Bantis (Panagias Faneromenis 33) is said to serve some of the best bougatsa in town. So too is Bougatsa Giannis (Mitropoleos 106).
Traffic and parking
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 90 km/h (55.9 mph) on roads outside populated areas and 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated and built-up areas.
- While the larger roads are in good shape, some of the smaller, rural roads might have poor surfacing and potholes. Be careful when driving on them, especially after dark.
- Many gas stations might be closed during weekends and public holidays.
- It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers. Exceeding these limits can lead to steep fines and a licence ban. Exceeding the limit of 0.08% is a criminal offence and can lead to up to two years of imprisonment.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The general emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112. The police number is 100, the ambulance number is 166, and the fire brigade number is 199.
- Parking is free around Thessaloniki city center, and, fortunately, finding a parking space here is not as chaotic or challenging as it is in central Athens. The only areas that you should avoid are Nikis Boulevard by the sea and Tsimiski Street. You will see signs in place there to notify you that parking is illegal. If you park there anyway, you will be ticketed.
- Driving in Thessaloniki can sometimes feel nightmarish due to all of the traffic. For your own safety (and sanity!), it is usually best to avoid driving at peak hours when possible (around 8-9 am Monday to Saturday and 4-7 pm).
There are a number of toll roads, tunnels, and bridges on mainland Greece. Many travelers find them very hard to navigate and some choose to avoid using the toll roads altogether because of the very complex toll system that is in place. Different toll roads are administered by different private companies and so there is not a single, nationwide (or even region-wide) system in place.
For most toll roads, payment can be either made with cash at a toll gate, by a credit card, or with coins at an automatic toll machine. For some roads, an electronic transponder might be used to pay for using the toll road. Some rental cars may be equipped with such an electronic transponder. However, because of the aforementioned different toll systems that are in place, this payment method might work for some toll roads, but not for others. Determine out your route in advance and ask your car rental provider about the best way to pay for all the toll roads that you plan to use.
Find out more about toll roads in Greece on the European toll road website.
Ideas for day trips
- Chalkidiki. Located just to the southwest of Thessaloniki, the peninsula of Chalkidiki is one of the best beach destinations in this part of the country. Made up of three “fingers” that stretch deep into the Aegean, the region is known not just for scenic coastline and coves, but also for plenty of great hiking routes.
- Axios Delta National Park. Bordered by the Thessaloniki metropolitan area from one side and the sea from another, Axios is one of the most popular day trip destinations in the region. A large and protected wetland area, it provides a home to various sorts of wading birds and other wildlife. There is a network of walking and cycling trails, though a part of the park is also accessible by car. The drive from Thessaloniki takes only about 50 minutes.
- Kavala. While it may not be as popular with foreign tourists, the Greeks themselves consider Kavala one of the most beautiful places their country, and in a place like Greece, that is some claim. Come here for beautiful castles from different eras, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine. Kavala is about 160 km (100 mi) east of Thessaloniki.
- Prespa lakes. The Great Prespa Lake and the Small Prespa Lake are two beautiful lakes about three hours north of Thessaloniki that border both Albania and North Macedonia. A relaxing destination to be enjoyed at a slow place, the Prespas are home to many unique animal, bird, and fish species that you can observe from its coasts.
- Meteora. The Meteora Monasteries are one of the most popular excursions that you can take from Thessaloniki. Meteora means ”suspended in the air” and stems from the ancient Greek ¨metéōros¨. These gorgeous Orthodox monasteries are perched on top of cliffs and craggy bluffs. At one point, there were 24 different monasteries, but today only six remain.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Thessaloniki is the Renault Clio, closely followed by the Volkswagen Up and the Skoda Citigo. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
For more about traveling around Greece with a rental car, check out our complete guide.
- Thassos Island. With its golden coastline, calm waters, and relaxed atmosphere, Thassos is arguably the number one coastal destination in the area. Aliki Beach and Limenaria Beach are fun and busy, while the Scala Maries Beach has a quieter feel. While you’re here, make sure to also see the old harbour and visit the ancient mountain village of Potamia. Park your car in Thessaloniki and take an enjoyable three hour ferry ride to Thassos.
- North Macedonia. Greece’s smaller neighbor to the north is an underappreciated travel destination with a truly wild feel. The beautiful Lake Ohrid and the vast nature areas that surround it is a highlight, but make sure to also drive to little mountain villages, appreciate ancient historical sites, and pay a visit to the fun and busy capital city Skopje. If you’d like to pick up your rental car in Greece and drop it off in North Macedonia, first ask your car rental provider if they permit it. Also, make sure your entry documentation for North Macedonia is in order (Greece is a member of the EU, while North Macedonia is not).
- Albania. Similarly to North Macedonia, Albania is another up-and-coming travel destination with an untamed atmosphere, but it also boasts a long and beautiful Adriatic sea coast. Beach resorts like Sarande in the south and Durres in the north are obvious highlights. However, do also travel inland as Albania’s mountain scenery is among the most dramatic you’re bound to find anywhere in Europe. If you’d like to pick up your rental car in Greece and drop it off in Albania, first ask your car rental provider if they permit it. Also, make sure your entry documentation for Albania is in order (Greece is a member of the EU, while Albania is not).
- Athens. It might be a long six hour drive from Thessaloniki to the capital, but once you’ve come to Greece, it would be a shame not to visit it. Home to countless ancient sites, stunning museums, diverse neighborhoods, and gastronomic influences from all over the country, Athens truly is a destination like no other.
Car Rental Prices in Thessaloniki
- Convertibles - from $71 per day
- Station wagons - from $13 per day
- Large cars - from $8 per day
- Medium cars - from $6 per day
- Vans - from $35 per day
- Premium cars - from $101 per day
- Small cars - from $4 per day
- SUVs - from $8 per day
There are a number of things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Thessaloniki:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Thessaloniki is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 69% cheaper than the yearly average and an unbelievable 86% cheaper than renting a car in June. Come visit Thessaloniki in early spring!
Top 20 Cities near Thessaloniki
Katerini Car Rentals from $15.24 per day46.9 km / 29.1 miles away
Chalkidiki Car Rentals from $20.10 per day54.8 km / 34.1 miles away
Volos Car Rentals from $13.57 per day129.0 km / 80.2 miles away
Thasos Car Rentals from $16.38 per day138.1 km / 85.8 miles away
Kavala Car Rentals from $12.16 per day145.8 km / 90.6 miles away
Skiathos Car Rentals from $14.52 per day156.1 km / 97.0 miles away
Skopelos Car Rentals from $15.24 per day168.7 km / 104.8 miles away
Alonissos Car Rentals from $15.24 per day170.9 km / 106.2 miles away
Lemnos Car Rentals from $24.08 per day203.7 km / 126.6 miles away
Ioannina Car Rentals from $10.74 per day204.4 km / 127.0 miles away
Skyros Car Rentals from $16.38 per day215.9 km / 134.2 miles away
Alexandroupoli Car Rentals from $12.29 per day254.5 km / 158.1 miles away
Igoumenitsa Car Rentals from $15.83 per day257.2 km / 159.8 miles away
Parga Car Rentals from $18.26 per day258.7 km / 160.7 miles away
Preveza Car Rentals from $4.97 per day258.8 km / 160.8 miles away
Lefkada Car Rentals from $13.78 per day269.3 km / 167.3 miles away
Corfu Car Rentals from $6.44 per day279.6 km / 173.7 miles away
Piraeus Car Rentals from $13.57 per day292.6 km / 181.8 miles away
Patras Car Rentals from $10.30 per day295.0 km / 183.3 miles away
Athens Car Rentals from $3.25 per day299.2 km / 185.9 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Airport Car Rentals from $3.65 per day
Downtown Car Rentals from $6.39 per day2.8 km / 1.7 miles away
Thessaloniki Port Car Rentals from $11.01 per day13.2 km / 8.2 miles away
Volos Airport Car Rentals from $15.24 per day145.3 km / 90.3 miles away
Skiathos Airport Car Rentals from $14.52 per day156.1 km / 97.0 miles away
Skiathos Port Car Rentals from $14.52 per day157.2 km / 97.7 miles away
Ioannina Airport Car Rentals from $10.74 per day204.4 km / 127.0 miles away
Skyros Island National Airport Car Rentals from $16.38 per day215.9 km / 134.2 miles away
Alexandroupoli Airport Car Rentals from $12.29 per day254.5 km / 158.1 miles away
Preveza Airport Car Rentals from $4.97 per day258.8 km / 160.8 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $13.78 per day269.3 km / 167.3 miles away
Barbati Village Car Rentals from $354.95 per day278.6 km / 173.1 miles away
Corfu Port Car Rentals from $14.72 per day278.7 km / 173.2 miles away
Corfu Cruise Terminal Car Rentals from $354.95 per day279.3 km / 173.5 miles away
Corfu Airport Car Rentals from $6.44 per day279.6 km / 173.7 miles away
Athens Train Station Car Rentals from $25.84 per day288.4 km / 179.2 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $8.55 per day291.3 km / 181.0 miles away
Piraeus Port Car Rentals from $14.88 per day291.9 km / 181.4 miles away
Athens Port Car Rentals from $40.19 per day292.8 km / 181.9 miles away
Athens Airport Car Rentals from $3.25 per day299.2 km / 185.9 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Thessaloniki?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Thessaloniki?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Thessaloniki?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||5|
|Popular suppliers||SKG Rent A Car, Centauro, AACARS, Avance, Record-go|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$4 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|SKG Rent A Car||Peugeot 108||5||1||Small cars|
|Avance||Fiat Panda||5||1||Small cars|
|Centauro||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|AACARS||Peugeot 208||5||3||Medium cars|
|Record-go||Opel Corsa||5||2||Small cars|
|SKG Rent A Car||Hyundai i20||5||2||Small cars|
|Avance||Citroen C3||5||1||Small cars|
|Centauro||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|AACARS||Peugeot 108||5||1||Small cars|
|CarQ||Fiat Panda||4||2||Small cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.