|My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Macedonia > |
||How to get to Pella
This way to the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
|See our new map of Pella on the next page,|
showing the location of the EO2/E86 highway,
Pella village, the Archaeological Site and New Museum.
The Archaeological Site of ancient Pella
is at the modern village of Pella, 1 km the north of the EO2 National Road
(E86 European Route
) between Thessaloniki (40 km eastwards) and Edessa (38 km westwards).
Along the EO2/E86 highway, the turn-off for ancient Pella is signposted. If you are coming from Thessaloniki you will see Pella village on a low hill to your right (north).
Around 100 metres after the turn-off is a crossroads of the old national road
and the wide dual-carriageway avenue which leads directly to the village (see the map of Pella on page 5
(see below) between Thessaloniki and the nearby town of Giannitsa turn off from the EO2/E86 and stop at the bus stop
at this crossroads, then turn back to the main road. The buses do not go into the village.
Bus passengers have to walk from the bus stop into the village (for the new museum) or archaeological site.
There are no taxis in the village, and although there are local buses they are infrequent and there is no information about timetables at the bus stop.
If you want to go to the Archaeological Site
first, continue northwest along the old national road for 1 km. This road is almost straight, with fields on either side. There is is very little traffic, which is just as well as there are no pedestrian sidewalks.
The road ends at the entrance to the Archaeological Site, so you can't miss it.
A back road leads north from here, along the east side of the site towards Pella village and the new Archaeological Museum. The road is known as Megalou Alexandrou Street
, although there are few street signs in Pella.
To go to Pella village and the new Archaeological Museum
from the bus stop at the crossroads, continue 1 km northwards along the wide avenue.
There are signposts to the museum, but they become fewer the closer you get to it.
Continuing straight through the village, at its centre there is a modern statue of Alexander the Great on a horse to the right, in front of the town hall. Turn left here onto Lefaki Street
and follow the yellow road sign to the museum, another 800 metres to the west. On the way is a square with an old water fountain built into an ancient tomb. The museum is at the end of Lefaki Street.
Around halfway along the road from the bus stop to the village, a signposted footpath to the right (east) leads 100 metres to an ancient multi-chambered tomb
in the middle of a field. The underground tomb is fenced off, but the entrance can be seen from the path. To visit phone (+30) 23820 31160.
As well as the cafes and restaurants in the centre of Pella, a cantina van serving refreshments is usually parked outside the Archaeological Museum. There are toilets at the site and the museum. There is also a snack bar at the museum.
|For further details about
Pella Archaeological Site and Museum,
including opening times and tickets, see:
page 1: Introduction to Pella.
Due to Greece's economic crisis, information about opening times, timetables, fares, prices, etc. is changing continually.
Many tourist information offices have been closed, and many official websites offer no indication of these changes.
Below is the most up-to-date information we have been able to find. If you have any more up-to-date information you would like to share, please get in contact.
Pella and Vergina from Thessaloniki
Most visitors spend 2 hours or less at Pella's archaeological site and museum. From Thessaloniki and other local towns it is possible to visit Pella, Veria and the Macedonian Royal Tombs at Vergina (ancient Aigai) in one day, especially if you have your own transport. Using public transport it can get a bit tricky.
For further details, see our travel guide to Veria:
Travelling between Veria and Vergina
Travelling between Veria and Pella
(1919-1992), the Greek
discovered and excavated
the Royal Tombs at Vergina.
Bronze bust near Thessaloniki
|Unless you have your own transport, are hitch-hiking or can afford a taxi (80 - 100 Euros return from Thessaloniki, see below), the only way to get to Pella is by bus.
Travelling by bus is generally the most economic and efficient way to get around Greece. Inter-city buses are usually cheap, comfortable and air-conditioned. Stops are made every 2-3 hours at roadside restaurants with toilet facilities.
However, recent cut-backs in services and information caused by the country's economic crisis, as well as strange anomolies and gaps in the coverage in certain areas mean that travellers have to be more careful about planning their journeys.
One of the great problems of the decentralized Greek system of independent regional and local KTEL (pronounced "ku-tel", with a short "ku" as in "cup", and emphasized "tel", as in "tell") bus companies, is that often one company can not or will not provide information about the services of another. This can make route planning very difficult.
||See details of bus stations
in Macedonia and Thrace, including Thessaloniki, as
well as Athens and Larissa:
How to get to
|KTEL Pellas inter-city buses
Inter-city buses to Pella and towns of the Pella municipality
are operated by KTEL Pellas (ΚΤΕΛ Ν. Πέλλας),
based in Thessaloniki, Giannitsa and Edessa.
Leoforos Philippou 31, on the corner of Pavlou Mela Street,
KTEL Pellas ticket offices at bus stations
Athens: 210 5120887
Larissa: 2410 235815
Thessaloniki: 2310 595435
Edessa: 23810 23511
Giannitsa: 23820 22317
Aridea: 23840 21249
Skydra: 23810 89222
Kria Brysi (Kria Vrisi): 23820 61506
Website: www.ktelpellas.gr (Greek only)
There are schedules in Greek (Δρομολόγια, dromologia), but no information about routes or fares. Pella is not even mentioned.
There is information in English about buses between Thessaloniki
and towns in the Pella municipality on the KTEL Macedonia website
KTEL Pellas bus company
Local buses around Pella are operated by Astiko KTEL Giannitsa
(Αστικό ΚΤΕΛ Γιαννιτσών).
Dimarchou Stamkou 1, 58100 Giannitsa.
Bus station: 23820 22848
Website: www.ktelgiannitsa.gr (Greek only)
Buses from Giannitsa to the centre of Pella village (12 km),
via Nea Pella.
Monday - Friday every hour 6:50 - 20:30
Saturday every 2 hours, 8:15, 10:15, 12:00, 13:30,
14:15, 18:15, 20:15
Sunday 10:15, 12:15, 18:15, 20:15
Times are from the company website (winter 2014-2015).
There is no information about fares or departure times from Pella to Giannitsa. Ask local people.
There are also buses between Giannitsa and Archontiko,
the site of several Macedonian tombs.
Astiko KTEL Giannitsa
KTEL "Macedonia" central inter-city bus station, Thessaloniki.
Buses to/from Thessaloniki
KTEL Pellas buses from the KTEL "Macedonia" inter-city bus station in Thessaloniki to the towns of Giannitsa and Edessa stop at Pella.
For information about KTEL "Macedonia" bus station, see:
How to get to Macedonia, Greece.
There are buses every half hour, 06.00 - 22.30 hours; there are fewer buses at the weekend.
Schedule and ticket information in English for buses between Thessaloniki and towns in the Pella municipality is available on the website of the KTEL Macedonia bus station, Thessaloniki:
The word "routes" in the address is misleading: the website presents only timetables and fares between Thessaloniki and other towns, without route details or maps.
Bus route: Thessaloniki - Chalkidona - Pella - Giannitsa
- Kria Vrisi - Skydra - Edessa - Aridaia
Bus fare: €4.10. * See list of bus fares below.
Distance 40.8 km. Journey time around 40 minutes.
Buses stop at the village of Chalkidona (or Halkidona, Χαλκηδόνα), between Thessaloniki and Pella. Change buses here for Veria if you want to visit Vergina (see below).
The bus stop at Pella is 1 km south of Pella village, 100 metres north of the EO2/E86 National Road. Passengers have to walk from here to the archaeological site and the museum. See details above.
There is usually a bus timetable posted at the Pella bus stop.
It seems ridiculous that buses do not take passengers into the centre of Pella, which would take just a few minutes.
Buses to/from Edessa
Although Giannitsa (Γιαννιτσά) is the nearest town to Pella (12 km), the 48 km distant Edessa (Έδεσσα) is the capital of Pella Municipality and the local transport hub. You can take the Thessaloniki bus and get off at Pella.
Edessa itself is well worth a visit: a charming town, with dramatic cliffs and waterfalls, below which are the ruins of the ancient city of Logos.
See the useful online guide to Edessa with maps:
PDF brochure at edessacity.gr. Opens in a new window.
There are also train connections from Edessa to Veria, Thessaloniki and Athens (see below).
Buses to/from Athens and
other places in Greece
There are 9 buses daily each way between Thessaloniki and Athens Terminal A, 2 of which also stop at Piraeus.
Journey time: 6.5 hours
Ticket: €39, return €59
For further details, see: How to get to Macedonia, Greece
There are two buses between Athens, Larissa and Edessa every day.
Athens - Larissa - Edessa: 08:30 and 14:30
Edessa - Larissa - Athens: 08:00 and 14:00
Fare Athens-Edessa: €50.90. * See bus fares below.
Journey time: around 6 hours.
There is a 20 minute stop at a roadside restaurant with toilet facilities.
From Edessa you can take the bus to Thessaloniki (see above) and get off at Pella.
Buses run between Edessa and Thessaloniki approximately every hour from 7:00 to midnight.
Buses Ionnina - Edessa
According to the KTEL Pellas website, buses between Ionnina (Ιωάννινα) in Epirus, northwestern Greece, and Edessa, via Aridaia, Skydra and Giannitsa, run on Friday and Sunday only.
The website provides no route information, but gives the same ticket price of €32.60 for all destinations.
www.ktelpellas.gr (Greek only)
Bus fare Ionnina-Edessa: €32.60
Journey time: around 4 hours
|Bus fares to / from
Pella Municipality, Central Macedonia
Central inter-city bus station, Thessaloniki.
|Bus tickets For some inexplicable reason, many bus stations will not sell you a ticket in advance, it must be purchased on the day of travel. Where you board a bus at a roadside stop, you can buy a ticket either from the driver or a conductor.
Where online tickets are available they may be a little cheaper, but many bus company websites are in Greek only and online translations are often inaccurate and can be misleading.
Be sure to ask the price of a single and return fare ("allez-retour"), especially if you are buying a ticket on the bus itself. Some bus drivers and conductors may charge you for a return ticket if you do not specify you only want a single!
Fare reductions are available on some KTEL buses for:
students (25%), people wth special needs (50%), soldiers (25%), families (50%), social tourism workers, groups (by arangement).
Appropriate ID or documentation is required.
|There are no trains directly to Pella, but you can take a train from Athens or Thessaloniki to Edessa, from where you can take the Edessa - Thessaloniki bus to Pella (see above).
This makes sense if you intend to use Edessa as a base for exploring this part of Macedonia, including Veria, Vergina
(see below), Naousa and of course Edessa itself. Otherwise the bus from Thessaloniki is much more convenient.
Trains in Greece are run by OSE (Ο.Σ.Ε.):
www.ose.gr (Greek and English)
Train schedule and fare information at Trainose, the official OSE website for passenger train information:
www.trainose.gr (Greek and English).
The site has recently improved its information in English. However, rather than show timetables and fares, you have to use the ticket booking interface, name the desired departure and destination stations and enter planned date of travel. The site then shows the trains and fares for that particular journey on that day. If you click on a train or route number in the list, a tab opens showing stations along that route.
See a map of the Greek rail network by Thorsten Büker:
||See details of train travel
and stations in Macedonia:
How to get to
From Thessaloniki to Edessa
There are frequent trains daily each way between Thessaloniki and Edessa, on the Thessaloniki - Edessa - Florina line, known as the Thessaloniki Suburban Railway (SUB; Greek, ΠΡΟΑ).
The train route:
Thessaloniki - Adendro - Platy - Alexandreia - Veria - Naoussa - Skydra - Edessa - Florina
Some services require changing trains at Platy, the junction for the Thessaloniki - Larissa - Athens railway line.
Journey time Thessaloniki - Edessa around 1.5 - 5 hours, depending on type of train
and waiting time for connections at Platy.
Ticket €7 - €14.50, depending on type of train.
Phone the Thessaloniki station or OSE Travel Service office in the city for latest information
(see How to get to Macedonia, Greece).
After Edessa, some trains continue to Amyntaio (2 hours) for buses to Kastoria. The line then continues north to Florina (3 hours) for bus connections to the Prespa lakes.
The passenger railway line to Kozani and the train station there were closed in 2010, probably permanently. Kozani can now only reached by bus.
Having made this journey by train, we can say that the trains
were cheap, frequent, punctual and a pleasant ride.
From Athens to Edessa
If you are travelling by train from Athens or Larissa, and you want to go straight to Edessa or Veria without going to Thessaloniki, you can change trains at Platy (Πλατύ), 35 km northeast of Veria.
The journey time is up to 7.5 hours, depending on type of train and connections.
|By car / bike / taxi
The petrol station on the main street between Pella village and the EO2 / E86 highway.
|If you want to avoid motorway tolls, there are always alternative roads, which are usually slower but often more interesting, especially if you are on two wheels.
We recommend buying a good up-to-date roadmap in your home country. Maps published in Greece vary considerably in quality and accuracy, often lacking essential information such as scale. Distances between cities are often as-the-crow-flies rather than road distances, and vary according to route taken. Spelling of Greek place names differ from map to map, and often from road sign to road sign.
From Athens the main north-south A1 motorway (part of the E75 European Route), a toll road, heads to Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city.
The E75 European Route turns north from the A1 motorway just after Nea Malgara (Νέα Μάλγαρα), 25 west of Thessaloniki. (The A1 motorway continues to Thessaloniki as the E90.)
If you want to drive directly to Pella and avoid Thessaloniki, turn north onto the E75 European Route. Drive north for 12 km towards Agios Athanasios (Άγιος Αθανάσιος), then turn west (left) onto the EO2 National Road (E86 European Route) towards Chalkidona, Pella, Giannitsa and Edessa. Pella is 12 km west of this junction.
The E75 continues north to the border with the Republic of North Macedonia (formerly part of Yugoslavia).
From north of Thessaloniki the EO2 National Road (part of the E86 European Route) leads northwest through Central Macedonia to Pella, Giannitsa, Edessa and eventually to the Albanian border.
For further information about the EO2 National Road
see How to get to Kavala.
Road distances and estimated driving times
All distances are approximate, and vary according to route.
|Athens - Thessaloniki
||5 hrs 30 mins
|Athens - Pella
||5 hrs 40 mins|
|Athens - Giannitsa
||5 hrs 45 mins|
|Athens - Edessa
||6 hrs 15 mins|
|Athens - Veria
||5 hrs 30 mins|
|Athens - Vergina
||5 hrs 35 mins|
|Thessaloniki - Pella
|Thessaloniki - Giannitsa
|Thessaloniki - Edessa
||1 hr 30 mins|
|Thessaloniki - Veria
|Thessaloniki - Vergina
|Pella - Edessa
|Pella - Giannitsa
|Pella - Veria
|Pella - Vergina
Central Macedonia has the second highest population density of Greece, centred on Thessaloniki. The roads are busy, and traffic is fast and furious. To drive or ride a motorbike or bicycle you need good maps, patience, stamina - and nerves of steel. The way is hard and the weather is hot; and when it rains, it comes down in buckets. Many two-wheel travellers suffer from sunburn to exposed areas of the body: when you are whizzing along, the breeze cools the skin; it's only when you stop that you realize how much sun you've caught. Ouch! Keep covered.
Still, if you can hack it, having your own wheels allows you to cover places in northern Greece which are difficult or impossible to access by public transport.
Away from the main roads, driving and riding is more relaxed, although you always have to keep alert for pedestrians, cows, goats, dogs and parked farm vehicles in the middle of the road, as well huge buses, trucks and tractors hurtling towards you along narrow lanes.
Car and bike rental
A great range of cars, vans, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles can be hired in Greece. Deals vary so much that it is impossible to include detailed information here.
Hitch-hiking is possible though particularly difficult in summer when most vehicles are full of families and groups of holiday-makers and all their luggage. On many roads traffic moves too fast for vehicles to stop safely. It is especially difficult to hitch out of large cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki. On the other hand, I have often been offered rides by locals while walking along country roads; they are amazed to see a foreigner hiking around the countryside.
Many Greeks have become less willing to give rides to hitch-hikers since the recent sharp increase in crime.
Many taxi drivers are willing to negotiate a price for long distance journeys and day-trips. You may find this attractive, especially if there are 2-3 of you wishing to visit an out-of-the-way village or archaeologicial site, of which there are many in Macedonia. Take a packed lunch and plenty of water.
You can reckon with around 1 Euro per kilometre (there and back), including around 2 hours waiting time. As an example, in 2011 a taxi driver offered me a taxi ride from Asprovalta to Amphipolis (20 km) and back, with around 3 hours for visiting the museum and archaeological site, for 50 Euros.
|Photos, maps and articles: copyright © David John,
except where otherwise specified.
Some of the information and photos in this guide to Pella
originally appeared in 2004 on davidjohnberlin.de.
All photos and articles are copyright protected.
Images and materials by other authors
have been attributed where applicable.
Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.
If you are interested in using any of the photos for your website,
project or publication, please get in contact.
Higher resolution versions are available on request.
My Favourite Planet makes great efforts to provide comprehensive and accurate information across this website. However, we can take no responsibility for inaccuracies or changes made by providers of services mentioned on these pages.
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in Kavala's historic Panagia District