by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange
Several Turkish bus companies
run big, comfortable buses between Istanbul's Büyük
Otogar (Main Bus Terminal)
and the Pelopponese Bus Station (Stathmos
Pelopponisou Praktorio OSE) in Athens,
Greece (Atina)stopping at Xanthi (İskeçe), Komotini (Gümülcine), Thessaloniki (Selanik)
and Larissa. There
is at least one bus per day.
My friends at Efendi
Travel can probably
help you to buy bus tickets and train tickets,
as well as all other travel services. More...
Bus company websites have improved greatly in recent years. Most now have English-language versions, and make it fairly easy to find information, to make reservations, and to purchase tickets.
It's about a 12-hour ride between Istanbul and Thessaloniki,
with a stop at Alexandroupolis along
the way. It's a 20- to 22-hour ride
(1150 km/715 miles) between Istanbul and Athens,
with stops for meals, toilet, and smoking,
but no hotel (overnight) stop.
The one-way fare (single)
between Istanbul and Thessaloniki is
between Istanbul and Athens TL150.
Round-trip (return) fares may be discounted
Buses to Greece, the Balkans and Europe may depart from either the Büyük Otogar (Main Bus Terminal) in Esenler, or the Emniyet Garajı near Aksaray.
Click on the company names to go to
Otogar Office No. 127-128
Ulusoy runs buses from Istanbul to
Athens and return, each evening at 21:00 (9pm). The English-language version of the Ulusoy
website is easy to use, and allows you to make a reservation and buy your ticket. More...
Routes: No. 107
One of Turkey's biggest and best bus companies runs several buses daily between Istanbul and Thessaloniki, and at least one bus daily between Istanbul and Athens (with a stop in Thessaloniki). The English-language version of the Metro Turizm website is fairly easy to use, except that in the destination drop-down menus you must look for the Turkish version of the city's name, which in some cases differs from the name used in English:
Alexandroupolis = Dedeağaç
Athens = Atina
Komotini = Gümülcine
Thessaloniki = Selanik
Xanthos = İskeçe
Otogar Office No. 57
Tel: +90 (212) 658 0292, -0293, -0298,
Routes from Istanbul to Alexandroupolis,
Komotini, Xanthi, Kavala, Thessaloniki,
Larissa and Athens; and from Bursa
via Alexandroupolis and Komotini
Tur website has an English-language version, and a useful route map showing the route between Istanbul and Athens, but I was unable to access any information on departure times and fares.
my page for buses
to Bulgaria, other Balkan countries, and Europe.
Trains Istanbul - Greece
Alas, there is no passenger train service at all between Istanbul and Greece these days.
—by Tom Brosnahan