In the city center, a 20- to 30-minute walk will take you to most attractions, restaurants, and shops. Taxis are usually easy to find, unless you're going to the Upper City. Many taxis are reluctant to make this trip because there is little guarantee of a return fare down, and they may -- unlawfully -- refuse. But if you're in the cab before you state your destination, there's little the driver can do but take you there. Otherwise, if you don't want to walk up, you can hop on bus no. 23, which leaves from Eleftherias Square.
By Bus -- Bus tickets cost .50€ from kiosks (periipetera) or .60€ on board (exact change required). A price hike is in the offing, so check these prices upon arrival. Keep your ticket in case a conductor boards the bus to check them; fines of 30€ are standard for tickletless riders.
By Taxi -- This is your best bet except, as noted under "Getting Around" above, when you want to go to the Upper City. Have someone write out your destination in Greek, so that you can show the driver where you want to go. Most hotels will call a taxi for you, or try Macedonia (tel. 2310/550/599) or Lefko Pyrgos (tel. 2310/214/900).
By Car -- There is little reason to have a car in Thessaloniki. Traffic is terrible and legal parking spots are almost impossible to find, even at the large public parking lot in Plateia Eleftherias. But having a car for excursions into northern Greece will allow you to see and enjoy a lot more than you would either from a bus or on a guided tour. Keep in mind that if you take a day trip, you'll spend at least an hour getting out of and another hour getting back into the city. It makes much better sense to see what you want outside of town on your way in, or out, of Thessaloniki.
Most car-rental agencies -- including Avis (www.avis.com), Budget (www.budget.com), Eurocar (www.eurocar.com), and Hertz (www.hertz.com) -- have offices at the airport. A car with unlimited mileage costs from 60€ per day in high season. (Reminder: High season is during the Sept-Oct trade and other festivals.) Be sure to ask if the price quoted includes all taxes and insurance -- and be sure to take full insurance if your credit card does not provide it. Tip: It is almost always cheaper to book a car with an international agency from abroad, not from within Greece.
By Boat -- It's possible to take ferries and boats from Thessaloniki to a number of Aegean islands (including Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos) and to the Sporades (Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonissos). Many travel agents around Plateia Eleftherias and Aristotelous Square sell ferry tickets. Centrally located agencies include Polaris Travel, 81 Egnatiou (tel. 2310/276-051), and Zorpidis Travel, 4 Salaminos (tel. 2310/555-955; www.zorpidis.gr). The harbor police/port authorities can be reached at tel. 2310/531-504 (to -507). The website for Greek Travel Pages (www.gtp.gr) is also useful for boat schedules.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.