A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Athens vs. Thessaloniki for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Athens or Thessaloniki?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Athens and Thessaloniki. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Athens or Thessaloniki?

Athens

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is home to a population of over 3.7 million people. It's most famous as the birthplace of Classical Greece and the history in the city is incomparable to that found anywhere. It became the national capital of the modern Greek State in the 1830s, before which it was just a small village with a very impressive history. The city was redesigned by architects and city planners and incorporated large public squares, lots of green space, and wide avenues. The city has had its ups and downs both economically and politically, but it remains a beautiful and impressive place to explore.

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and serves as the capital city of the Central Macedonia region. It also has a rich history dating back more than 3,000 years. As a visitor, you'll find that the city has been touched by the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, all of which left their mark. In particular, the many Byzantine churches are quite impressive, with some of them listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Which city is cheaper, Thessaloniki or Athens?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €103, while the average daily cost in Thessaloniki is €107. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Thessaloniki in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Thessaloniki 63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Thessaloniki 126
Compare Hotels in Athens and Thessaloniki

Looking for a hotel in Athens or Thessaloniki? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Athens


Hotels in Thessaloniki


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Thessaloniki 11
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

Also for Athens, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • iMove Transfers Services Athens: $75
  • VIP VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $61
  • VIP VAN Athens Airport Transfer 1 - 4 persons: $101
  • VIP VAN Airport Transfer 5 - 8 persons: $105
  • VIP Ferry Ticket from Piraeus Port To Mykonos & Private Transfer included: $167
  • VIP Ferry Ticket From Piraeus Port To Santorini & Private Transfer Included: $174
  • VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $39
  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Transfers around Athens and city tours: $373
  • Transfers and Guided Tours in all over Greece, sightseeing and Private hire!!: $106
  • Transfer to Loutraki/Corinth from Athens: $166

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Thessaloniki

Also for Thessaloniki, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) to Ksamil: $1,555
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) to Saranda: $1,555
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) to Parga: $1,306
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) to Syvota: $1,223
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) to Igoumenitsa Port: $1,141
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki City to Igoumenitsa Port: $1,141
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki City to Parga: $868
  • Private Transfer from Thessaloniki City to Syvota: $809
  • Thessaloniki to Corfu Luxury Private Transfer: $723
  • Transfer up to 8 People from Thessaloniki to Parga - Sivota - Igoumenitsa: $664
  • Private Transfer From Thessaloniki/SKG Airport to Athens-ATH Airport-Pireaus: $627
  • Transfer service from Thessaloniki to Corfu, Ioannina, Parga, Syvota: $616

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Thessaloniki?

Prices for flights to both Thessaloniki and Athens change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Athens 30
    Thessaloniki 33
Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

For Athens, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Thessaloniki

For Thessaloniki, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Thessaloniki City Morning Walking Food Tour: $58
  • Dinner with a view in the historic center of Thessaloniki: $79
  • Thessaloniki Food Tour - Gastronomy Experience - 4 hrs: $137

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 28
    Thessaloniki 21

Tours and Activities in Athens

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Athens.

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Tours and Activities in Thessaloniki

For Thessaloniki, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Athos Peninsula Day Cruise from Thessaloniki: $73
  • Authentic Balkan experience: $523
  • City Sightseeing Thessaloniki Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $16
  • City Sightseeing Thessaloniki Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $24
  • Day Tour of Philippi, Amphipolis, and Kavala: $137
  • Dion and Mount Olympus Full Day Tour from Thessaloniki: $112
  • Ecobike tour in Thessaloniki: $4,479
  • From 2-Day Rail Tour to Meteora: $239
  • From Pella and Vergina Full-Day Tour: $57
  • From Train Trip to Meteora & Monastery Tour: $114
  • Full Day Meteora Tour by Train from Thessaloniki: $116
  • Full Day Tour to Edessa - Loutra Pozar from Thessaloniki: $93

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Thessaloniki 12

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168

Sample the Local Flavors in Thessaloniki

Also in Thessaloniki, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Private tour: Full day Wine tasting Naousa & Ag. Nikolaos: $535


When comparing the travel costs between Athens and Thessaloniki, we can see that Thessaloniki is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Athens or Thessaloniki?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Athens or Thessaloniki in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Athens and Thessaloniki. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Athens this time of year.

In July, Athens is generally around the same temperature as Thessaloniki. Temperatures in Athens average around 27°C (81°F), and Thessaloniki stays around 25°C (77°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Thessaloniki this time of the year. In Athens, it's very sunny this time of the year. Athens usually receives more sunshine than Thessaloniki during summer. At this time of the year, Athens gets 357 hours of sunny skies, while Thessaloniki receives 327 hours of full sun.

In July, Athens usually receives less rain than Thessaloniki. At this time of the year, Athens gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Thessaloniki receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Athens 27°C (81°F) 
    Thessaloniki 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Athens or Thessaloniki in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Athens as well as Thessaloniki. Many travelers come to Athens for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Athens is a little warmer than Thessaloniki in the autumn. The temperature in Athens is usually 19°C (67°F) in October, and Thessaloniki stays around 16°C (61°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Athens this time of the year. In the autumn, Athens often gets more sunshine than Thessaloniki. Athens gets 206 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Thessaloniki receives 159 hours of full sun.

Athens usually gets more rain in October than Thessaloniki. Athens gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Thessaloniki receives 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Athens 19°C (67°F) 
    Thessaloniki 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Athens or Thessaloniki in the Winter?

Both Thessaloniki and Athens are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Athens in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Athens is much warmer than Thessaloniki. Typically, the winter temperatures in Athens in January are around 10°C (51°F), and Thessaloniki is about 5°C (41°F).

Athens usually receives more sunshine than Thessaloniki during winter. At this time of the year, Athens gets 143 hours of sunny skies, while Thessaloniki receives 101 hours of full sun.

In January, Athens usually receives more rain than Thessaloniki. At this time of the year, Athens gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Thessaloniki receives 37 mm (1.5 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Athens 10°C (51°F) 
    Thessaloniki 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Athens or Thessaloniki in the Spring?

Both Thessaloniki and Athens during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Athens for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Athens is generally a little warmer than Thessaloniki. Temperatures in Athens average around 16°C (60°F), and Thessaloniki stays around 13°C (56°F).

It's quite sunny in Athens. In the spring, Athens often gets more sunshine than Thessaloniki. Athens gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Thessaloniki receives 196 hours of full sun.

Athens usually gets less rain in April than Thessaloniki. Athens gets 25 mm (1 in) of rain, while Thessaloniki receives 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Athens 16°C (60°F) 
    Thessaloniki 13°C (56°F)

Typical Weather for Thessaloniki and Athens

Athens Thessaloniki
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 5°C (41°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 7°C (44°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 9°C (49°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in) 13°C (56°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 18°C (65°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 25°C (76°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 16°C (61°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in) 11°C (52°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 7°C (44°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)


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Athens vs. Thessaloniki Travel Comparison

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