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Thessaloniki

6,409 bytes added, 07:05, 1 October 2019
South to Athens
=== East towards Kavala and [[Istanbul]] ([[Turkey|TR]]) {{E|90}} ===
This route is widely perceived to be difficult. If you are lucky it can be easy if you get to a Turkish truck. Take bus #27 from the centre (e.g. Kamara) until the very end of the line. [UPDATE: bus #83 no longer starts where bus #27 finishes. Instead ask your #27 bus driver where to get off for bus #83] Switch to bus #83 and go a few stops until you see the motorway. Get off when you see a JetOil rest area on the other side of the motorway. Just follow the bus and go under the motorway to reach the other side. Once you are there, rally the petrol station personnel to help you (they are very nice!). Show them your Istanbul (or Kavala or whatever) sign and ask them to tell you if they notice someone going to Turkey. Be prepared to convince the paranoid drivers that you are not wanted by the police and show them your passport. Getting a ride can take anything between one minute and five hours. If it just does not work at the petrol station see the options below (thumbing up on the road etc). Also, there should be a toll station (peage) about [http://hitchwiki.org/maps/?place=6374 15 km east of Lagynas], near Analipsi (where bus #83a is supposed to go). When you get to the border you might want to switch to a passenger car because the truck could be stuck in customs for a while.
 
Attention: The Jetoil rest area is now rebranded to 'BP Oil' in green colour. They told me (July 2016) that they changed the name last year.
I met a spanish hitchhiker who was asking me for the Jetoil, by the time we both didn't know that we were already in the right place.
Another option: Bus #83 goes all the way to Lagkadas. If you stay on the bus until it reaches this small town, you can try hitching out in the direction of Kavala, Istanbul, etc.
From the toll it took 5 minutes to get a ride to the Turkish border. August 2015. Liron
* I took bus like other guys, from Kamara Square, in Thessaloniki to Lagkadas. Actually I couldnt catch the gas station in below. But I went to last point (a bus station) at Lagkadas and used a bus which were going to Rentina. You have to buy a ticket for this bus. It was aroun 1-1,5 euro. And you can explain the situation to the man who sells this bus ticket. He will translated it to greek for the bus driver. Because you have to get off at tolls, near the lake. You can continue hitchiking at this point. I know you won't remember me, but I waited less than 2 mins. I get off from Rentina bus, walked 1 min to the tolls and a trucked stopped near me. By the way, I am a Turkish. MAybe he could understand it from my face :) Anyway we went together to border gate. There was a huge truck population for some bordes process. I get off from first truck and started to walk to gate. Greek police men asked something and I answered. They were so cute to me. After passport control you will see duty free and Everest (like resting area) . You cant walk from Greek gate to Turkish gate. You have to use a car. And you can ask to drivers who resting in this area. I could find a driver who were going to Çorlu, Tekirdağ. And I get off at Çorlu. Samet, November 2015 * "We took bus 27 and go to KTEL Macedonia. And walked few minutes to Motorway. We waited 2 or 3 hours under the rain. Two Turkish truck gave up. But They said "You should wait at JetOil, Turkish trucks waiting this station." Turkish Truck Drivers are very good and truthful guys. Dont worry, go and ask them" Ahmet, May 2016 * We (1 girl, 1 guy) went to the BP station, had to change from the 27 to the 83 bus along Lagkada Street. The manager at the station was very friendly and spoke to us when we first arrived; he said that many hitchhikers use this site and come here almost every day to hitch a ride and that someone always ends up giving you a lift. At the BP station there is a seating area and a little market - the place is open 24/7. We put our stuff down and went around asking turkish truck drivers if they were headed to Istanbul, we would also ask normal drivers walking into the market. The manager helped us out a lot here, he taught us how to spot Turkish vs Greek trucks, and even asked drivers if they were headed our way. We ended up with a ride to Kavala with a random Greek guy driving a mercedes. We waited around for approximately 4 hours (Ryan C, Sep 2017). * We (1 girl, 1, boy) took the bus #83 to the last station. Here we ask for the bus 91A and stop to Analipsi (Ανάληψη). We walked 15min and joined the toll. From the toll we waited 5min, a Turkish truck stoped. The all trip Thessaloniki - toll costed us 2€, but really efficient. (Adrien L, July 2019.) *For me the best option to reach the bp gas station was to take the bus 83b, it stops 300m further and you just walk 5 minutes back in the direction you came from. For me it was super fast to get a ride till alexandroupoli. You just have to walk around and ask the drivers directly because they are really scared to take you. The guy I went with even wanted to see my passport. So be prepared to convince the people that it’s not a risk if they will take you. (Blanka, September 2019) === North-West to [[Skopje]] (FYROM[[North Macedonia]]) ===
"Don't bother to hitch hike to the border!!!
Take a bus #8 (or #31?) from Egnatias street in the centre to KTEL (last stop). You can also take bus #45 which goes between KTEL Makedonia and KTEL Halkidiki (you want to go to ''Makedonia''). Then switch to bus #81 which you can find on the upper platform. Afterwards, you can do different things. You can get off at a first bus stop after you drive over the highway Athens-Skopje - [http://g.co/maps/3qj6m here]. Be careful, the first big crossing you going to come to is the crossing with the ring road (you are going to driver underneath it) while only the next on is the one you need (you are going to drive above it). Then you have to walk almost 2km backwards (if you walk fast it takes 20 minutes) and you can hitch on the junction to the highway to Skopje. However, if the bus goes into Agios Athanasios you can better get off and find your way from there (it seems that this bus goes differently depending whether it is #81 or #81A and depending on some external stuff; you can talk to the driver to make sure).
*''My girlfriend and me stood at the junction just next to the old paytoll, which seemed to be the best place since cars were going rather slowly. After 10-15 minutes we were picked up by a North Macedonian woman who brought us to the border. A week later I hitchhiked alone from the same spot and was picked up after 40 minutes and got to the junction with Polykastro before which the highway goes into one line for 500 metres. On that spot I thumbed and got to the border after another 40 minutes. December 2011, [[User:Rozwal|Rozwal]]''
*''My friend and I (two guys) stood here for 4 hours and despite many cars passing only one North Macedonian guy stopped but he asked for money. Then we put up our tent in the nearby field and tried our luck the next day. After another 2 hours we got picked up by Albanian workers that took us to Polykastro. There are no petrol stations or shops nearby, so bring food and water just in case! August 2012, [[User:Chaba|Chaba]]''
Alternatively, you can get off [http://goo.gl/maps/aLQTM here] which is reported to be a better place for cars to stop. But there you have a lot of cars going to the West, while if you come the previous stop you will have cars going only towards Polykastro or the border.
Take Buses #31, #12, #8 or #78 to the bus station called KTEL. From there take bus #80 or #80A to the village called ''Malgara''. You can go down on the station "''25 Martiou''" which is the closest to the tolls (in Greek ''ikostis pemptis martiou'' if you want to ask the driver). There you can ask and find the toll station (in Greek ''diodia'') easily. You'll have to walk about 2 km to find it, but then there is a possibility to get a ride even straight to Athens. Before you enter the motorway where the toll station is, you will have to go through some fields. If it's night be careful, just before the motorway there is a small ridge that is a bit steep and there is water flowing down, you need to find your way around it. If it's day, from the fields you can see a small canteen on the motorway, head to that direction, you can bypass the ridge there very easily and also you don't need to jump the fence (easy to jump though) because there is an entrance/exit for the canteen. From the canteen you will see the tolls, they are less than 50 m away.
 
[edit] First of all, it appears greek bus stops do have several names. "25 Martiou" is written on the roadsign but on the bus, it's announced differently. I messed up because of that various times so always be sure to ask the driver to signal your stop. Finding the canteen is a bit of trial and error, but still easily possible. In case you don't find the toll station, from the canteen go right (following the "Athen" roadsign) for about 1,5km to find a small (but picturesque) side stop (August 2017).
 
[edit] Some of these buses don't go all the way to Malgara so you have to get out at one stop in the middle of nowheren before the bus turns back to Thessaloniki and wait for another bus with the same or different number that goes to Malgara. It can be a little confusing so the best way is to tell someone on the bus where you want to go and let them tell you when to get off for the next bus and the station ''ikostis pemptis martiou''. (September 2019)
For those not wanting to take a bus or want to hitch closer to the city (and aren't scared to walk), go to the the A1 motorway going towards Athens. It runs right beside the city centre. Starting from near the train station after walking 2kms you will arrive at the international bus station. From there it's a 6km walk along the motorway to where the E90 highway joins on to the A1 road to Athens. This is a good spot due to the high amount of Turkish trucks coming straight from the border and bypassing the city as well as any traffic coming from the north. Stand at the end of the onramp where there is a shoulder for traffic to pull over and you can get a ride to Larissa or even Athens.
[Update: watch out! the ''21o chiliometro'' and probably Assirus spots are not anymore the right spots to go towards Serres and Sofia. There is now the Egnatia highway and nobody drives this way and if he does it takes several hours to arrive to Serres. Also, in the point where the bus stops used to be a petrol station, also no more in use. ]
 
OPTION 2
Take bus 83 (any of them will get you there, even the express) from Aristotellous Square stop (on Egnatia Street). You want to get off at the Kombo Gerokomeiou exit (Google maps doesnt show the bus stops this far north, but on the opposite side of the highway is a gas station called Derveni Gas S.A.). MAKE SURE you explain to the bus driver you want to get off at this exit. Otherwise, he might not get off the highway here and the next stop is too far to walk back from. Stand on the shoulder of the ramp. There is not a lot of traffic here, so it might take you up to an hour to get a ride, but I think its worth it because most of the cars going as far as Bulgaria will get on the highway here. Good luck!
=== North to [[Kilkis]] ([[Greece]]) ===
* This way is easier because you don't need to change bus stops, it is the way mentioned in the Northeast to Sofia section. Take the bus #27 or #27a from the centre the the final s top ''Platia Stavroupolis'' (Stavroupolis square). Then at the same place take bus #84 / #84a and you're already on your way.
Stay on bus #84 whilst it passes through 2 villages, Liti and Melissochiori. When it is out of Melissochiori, at one point the bus will cross the road going to Kilkis and you will see signs for Kilkis. When you are at the cross roads you can press the stop button on the bus and it will stop just after the cross. There is a bus stop there. Then you are at a great spot for hitching a ride to Kilkis, Gallikos or even North Macedonia (but not the most common way to Skopje. it is a different border).
== Sleep ==
It's not so safe anymore. The drug business moved there, as unbelievable as it sounds. People selling drugs and fighting over things related to them, passerbys get attacked.. If someone has a van maybe it's okay. But sleeping in a tent or sleeping bag is an invitation to get robbed. It's the worst place to sleep, really. Try Seih Sou, the forest on the hills above the city. Or any crowded place in the center.
 
We slept at a deserted camping space by the beach in Ag. Triada, which is really worth a visit. We even made a big fire at night and it didn't disturb anybody. This place is about 30km south of Saloniki and you can reach it within 1,5h by bus. From the famous ottoman tower take the bus to ikea. At the last stop ask for the bus to Perea and Ag. Triada. The last bus will pass by the airport and enter a cupple of villages before you get to Triada. Ask for the old camping at the beach, locals will guide you.
== Public Transport ==
I took one shower in one hospital 500 metres from the television broadcast antenna. There are three hospitals close to each other and I just tried one. After walking around in the hospital and talking friendly to some nurses I was able to take a shower and shave. May 2012. Len
There is also the "national swimming pool" which is open to the public for some hours during the day. Swimmers have to take a shower before entering the pool and nobody checks who enters them, so you might grab the chance for a bath there. It is located in the center of the city, near the University. Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/q9XRl (Jan 2015) Last time checked, the national swimming pool was out of service. It worths to ask around about it first if it's still not in use. (July of 2018)
One even safer option is the student residence. Noone here checks who enters. Ever. Even if they see you like a complete stranger with a tons of baggage and ask you anything, just tell them that you are visiting a friend or whatever. After you enter, go upstairs to any floor and you'll find common baths everywhere. It is located near the swimming pool at the city center. You can enter 24h. Location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/H8WZU (jan 2015)
== Free food ==
Thessaloniki is perhaps the only place in the world where you can eat everyday for free easily. Next to the campus of Aristotles university, Egnatia street, after the crossroad with 3rd September street there is the university canteen. Ask anybody for ''fititiki leschi''/φοιτητική λέσχη. There you can find a free full meal twice a day. 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-20.00. These free meals are provided for the university students, but even if you're not one, you don't have to pay and you don't have to show a student ID or any document. Just follow the queue, take the food and eat it. There's never any checks. There's nothing to be afraid of, just try to look more or less like a student. Only disadvantage is that it is closed on weekends, summer holidays and not-working days for the university in general. Picture of the building [http://www.makthes.gr/filestore/modules/news/68918/lesxi.jpg here].
 
Alternative entrance :
when you are there look to your right. At the end of the grass there is a stair case, you can go up directly to the dining hall.
I don't think you really need this because it's very is easy to enter trough the main door.
This might not be true any more, have heard that this year they started checking for a student pass.
* '''My friends were there (1st week of September 2012) and they were asked about student cards, so they replied that "we are from Erasmus and still waiting for Greek ones, but of course we have our normal"... OK! OK! com'on, there is no problem, so you only have to say "I am a student" if any doubtful problem occur'''
 
• SEPTEMBER 2015: there was a guy at the entrance that check some of the people for student card but he don't care much. I just walked after a couple so we look like we are a group, he asked them something in Greek and we entered without showing ID.
{{IsIn|Greece}}
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