Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Greece > Thessaloniki
|<map lat='40.65355504328839' lng='22.928466796875' zoom='10' view='0' float='right' />|
|Licence plate:||NA - NZ|
|Major roads:||E75, E90|
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Thessaloniki is a city in Greece.
West to Igoumenitsa
Go to the train station, which is also the inner-city bus station. From here, take bus 8 KTEL (the KTEL are the blue and white buses) to Makedonia bus station. From there, you can catch the bus #80 to the end of the line, then follow motorway signs walking (approx. 2km) to the toll station. Or rather than taking bus #80, just walk across the road (roundabout) till you come to an on-ramp where, according to Liva, is a a pretty good spot to stop cars.
It's really easy. Take the bus #27 from the center to it's end called Platia Stavroupolis/Stavroupolis square. Then take bus #85 and you're already on your way. Almost any stop of this bus leaves you on a good hitchhiking point, but I use the 19th stop, called 21st kilometer/ 21o chiliometro which is right on a petrol station on the way to Serres and to the Bulgarian border (to Sandansky, Blagoevgrad, Sofia). The road is E79 and it's not a highway, especially after the border. These city bus tickets cost only 50 cents (that you don't even have to pay) and take you quite some kilometers out of the city towards all destinations.
Im not sure if my advices will direct you to the same place, but I will try. Once you jump into the bus number 85 watch the village Liti. Cross the village and keep going. The bus will be going straight way all the way long. Once you notice a sign leading you to the right to the highway towards Serres, Bulgaria scream to the driver to drop you off. Pass the turn, and stand just behind it, because cars have to slow down to take this road. At this place it took me about 10 minutes to get a ride to Bulgaria.
South to Athens
This is not so easy to find but not so hard either. You must go to the bus station called KTEL. Buses #31, #12, #8 and #78. Then you'll take bus #80 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 wanna 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 50m.
There are many Hospitality network members in the city, so try your luck there.Livas had luck once at sleeping in the train station, - She asked the people on the train station if she could sleep there even though they where closed at night, and she could! She had security guards walking around all night and sleeping with her earplugs the guarded do wake me up one hour after opening, all people running around, herself sleeping like a baby. This is a tip anyway. It might be worth to tell you that she is a girl with a Swedish passport which might make it easier than for a boy.
We had luck asking the good people at Mikropolis/Micropolis Social Space, (see http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.6360852&lon=22.939539&z=17&l=0&m=s&v=9&show=/13098671/Mikropolis
- they were very friendly and advised us where we could squat for the night... also we tried a last minute couch request on the local couchsurfing group and got loads of replies so that's a good bet! Good luck young vagabonds!
Camp in the city center
The university campus in Thessalonniki is just in the city center and it's the perfect place to sleep in your van/tent/sleeping bag. Why? Because it's the only green place in the city (!) and because the police is not allowed to get in there! There are few guards but don't have the right to touch you. About common criminality, it's generally safe. Maybe not suitable for a girl alone, but in general nothing to be afraid of.
The tickets for the buses in the city are cheap, only 50 Cents. Still you absolutely don't have to pay. If you speak to the controller in a foreign language (showing that you're a tourist, not an illegal immigrant) they'll just leave you alone. If not, they first ask 30 Euros for the tax, you say you don't have. Then they ask your id card, you say you don't have it with you and then they'll just give you a paper to note your name and address, where you can write any fake name. Or even simpler you can give your real passport and they are supposed to send you the bill to your country. It's 100% SURE that they will not.
Thessaloniki is maybe the only place in the world where you can eat everyday for free so 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 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. You just follow the queue, take the food and eat it. There's never any control. There's nothing to be afraid of, just try to look more or less like a student. I mean if you're 50 years old with a huge backpack and two dogs, maybe somebody will notice that you're not supposed to be there. Otherwise it's absolutely no problem, I have brought myself more that 20 times my guests from abroad to eat there and nobody noticed them. Only disadvantage is that it is closed on weekends, summer holidays and not-working days for the university in general.