Athens to Meteora (Kalambaka) By Train

Fast Facts/Recommendations:

  1. Keep cash (in Euros of course) because cafe inside the train doesn’t accept credit cards
  2. The train tickets can be booked in advance online at Train OSE website
  3. Tickets are sold at train station too. However, I highly recommend buying train tickets online in advance because it’s cheaper, faster and hassle free.
  4. In Athens, the train leaves from Larissa Station.
  5. Larissa Station is Athen’s main train station. It is well connected by Athens Metro and is located on Red Line of the metro.
  6. If you’re arriving in Athens by plane, you can take Blue Line from the airport, get off the Blue Line at Syntagma station and take the Red Line to Larissa station.
  7. The Larissa Station is around 5 kms from Plaka, Athens and it takes around 20-25 mins to get there. If you’re staying in Plaka, make sure you take this time into consideration and leave early from your hotel.
  8. In Meteora, the train arrives in the town of Kalambaka.
  9. If you’re planning to take taxi to your hotel from Kalambaka station, make sure you have cash available with you because taxis in Kalambaka don’t accept credit cards.
  10. Train OSE‘s site didn’t allow me to book tickets using a Visa card. I used MasterCard and it worked fine. Not sure if it’s an ongoing issue, but don’t forget to use MasterCard or any other non-Visa card in case you run into similar issues.

Our Train Journey:

I, along with my wife and a couple of other friends, recently got chance to travel to Meteora from Athens by train. Now that I have done this journey, I can say that it’s definitely the best and the most pleasant way to get to Meteora from Athens.

The train even has a snack bar where you can buy snacks and beer. Imagine yourself enjoying the view of snow capped mountains from your train seat with a Greek beer in your hand. You are silly if you’re still thinking going to Meteora by car would be better! 😉

 

Snow capped mountains on our way to Meteora!

Snow capped mountains on our way to Meteora!

 

We took train 884 from Athens to Kalambaka which departs at 08:27 in the morning. As I stated, the train departs from Larissa Station in Athens. Since we were staying just 2 blocks away (at Centrotel hotel) from the station, we reached the station on foot in a few minutes. Once the train arrived, finding the coach and seats was pretty easy because the coach and the seat number was printed in the tickets we booked online.

 

More snow capped mountains on our way to Meteora!

Snow capped mountains on our way to Meteora!

 

Train arriving at Kalambaka station.

Train arriving at Kalambaka station.

 

The train arrived at Kalambaka on time. We took a cab from station to our hotel Alsos House, checked in and used the rest of the day to visit a couple of monasteries and go on Meteora Sunset Day Tour. After the tour, we relished the authentic Greek dinner in the town of Kalambaka. We decided to walk back to Alsos House since Kalambaka is a small town and everything is pretty near by.

Next morning, we took train 881 from Kalambaka which arrives at 05:42 AM. We reached station by cab which we had booked previous night. Please note that this train does not go to Athens directly, it’s a one stop journey. Our train arrived at Palaeofarsalos on time, and the other train which would take us to Athens was already there at other platform. We took an underpass to cross over to the other platform.

How to book:

Train OSE runs a daily direct service between Athens and Meteora (Kalambaka) and vice versa. There are many one stop options as well.

Services from Athens (Larissa Station) to Kalambaka:

athenstometeora_newschedule

Services from Kalambaka to Athens (Larissa Station)

meteoratoathens_newschedule

 

Train OSE’s website is in Greek by default, but English language is supported as well. Make sure you select English(EN) from the top left side on the site. While booking tickets on Train OSE‘s website, please select ‘Athens’ as your departing station and ‘Kalambaka’ as the arriving one. As I have mentioned above, the train leaves from Larissa Station in Athens which is around 20-25 mins from Plaka. Some people get confused between Larissa Station and Larissa. Larissa is a small town in Greece which has nothing to do with this journey.

Sometimes Train OSE‘s website doesn’t allow to book tickets using a Visa card. Worst part is it doesn’t even give a proper error message. Keep a non-Visa card handy if you experience something similar.

Where did we stay in Athens:

In Athens, we stayed at Centrotel hotel for 3 nights. The reason we chose Centrotel over any other hotel near Acropolis/Plaka is because of the following reasons:

  1. We’d to catch an early morning train (train number 884) to Kalambaka from Larissa Station and Centrotel is located just 2 blocks away from it.
  2. Centrotel hotel has great ratings on TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
  3. Centrotel hotel is very reasonably priced. We paid $65.73 per night for a double room. The total came out to be $210.99 along with taxes for 3 nights.

Please note that we’d traveled to Greece in shoulder season of May. Therefore, the room price may vary depending upon your travel dates and availability.

If you’re not traveling to Meteora, I would recommend staying in a hotel near by Acropolis/Plaka.

Where did we stay in Kalambaka:

In Kalambaka, we stayed at Alsos House for 1 night. The reason we chose Alsos House over any other hotel in Kalambaka is because of the following reasons:

  1. Alsos House is located right on the edge of Meteora rocks, providing stunning views through out the day and at night.
  2. Alsos House is run by a family. Since we had just 1 night in Kalambaka, we were not really looking for luxury. Instead, we were looking for friendly ‘hosts’ who would introduce us to history of Meteora and Greek culture.
  3. Alsos House has got great reviews on TripAdvisor (4.5 out of 5)  and is highly recommended by guests at Booking.com (8.7 out of 10).
  4. Since we were planning to pack lunch for our day out in Meteora, we were looking for a community kitchen. Alsos House provided just that.
  5. Alsos House is a good bargain when it comes to price. We paid around $60 for one night for a double room. Our room had a huge patio with amazing views of nearby rocks. The views from our patio were even more spectacular at night.

 

About the Author

devesh.s.sharma@gmail.com

21 Comments

Louisa

We book the same day round trip train ticket already. Like to have a taxi for 3 hours driving and waiting us to visit meteora. Wonder is it easy to find the taxi in the train station or we have to book the taxi first? Any reliable taxi driver can recommend? Thanks

Reply
Louisa

Is it easy to find a taxi in the train station? Or we need to book it first? We like him to drive and wait for us around 3 hours to visit meteora.
Any driver recommend? Thanks

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Louisa, taxis can be found at the train station without any advance booking. When the train arrives, go towards the small station building, that’s where you will find taxis waiting for passengers. You can talk to taxi driver as for your plan for the day. Don’t forget to keep cash though. Taxis in the town of Kalambaka didn’t accept credit cards when we visited. Feel free to reach out in case you need any additional details. Enjoy Meteora! 🙂

Reply
Jeana

Thank you Devesh for the great info! Will be visiting Meteora from Athens later this month. What a great help your narrative is!

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Jeana,

I am glad I could help. While I was planning this journey, I found very less information available online about this journey and that’s why I’d decided to write a post about it. I am glad you found it helpful. Have a fun trip to Meteora!

Reply
Eric

hi, i need to take a train from Kalambaka to Litochoro, but on the website, we can’t book online for the train i want to take. I just would like to know if there is a ticket office at Kalambaka station, ou if we pay directly to a guard or something

thank you ver much

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Eric,

Sorry about replying late. For some reasons. your comment ended up in spam folder.

As for your question, I’ve seen ticket counter at kalambaka station, but I would recommend you confirm it with Train OSE because I am not sure if they sell reserved tickets at the counter or just unreserved tickets. We’d booked our tickets online, and for our journey from Athens to Kalambaka and from Palaeofsolas to Athens, we’d got reserved seating. But, we’d unreserved seats from Kalambaka to Palaeofsolas. Hope this helps! Happy travels!!

Reply
Jeana

I also booked my tickets online but I believe you can purchase your tickets at the kalambaka station as well, space permitting. There is also a luggage storage for large luggage as well. Very safe. As for tours, I booked one tour using a local agency, but you can book from your hotel as well.

Ana

Hi,
I’ve already booked train from Athens to Kalampaka and booked a room at the Grand Meteora Hotel. We arrive at 1:20 p.m., want to head directly to hotel and go see Gran Meteoro with a guide and do a sunset tour. Any thoughts on a private guide, and what would be reasonable? Will do the sunset tour with others, but wish a private guide to the monastery, and possibly have the same guide for the following morning until train departs at 5:22 p.m. Also, what do we do with luggage?

Jeana

One further note – be careful at the Kalambaka Station. There are pickpockets and people who sit at the station looking like other passengers, just waiting for a chance to pull your bag from you as the train approaches. They have security guards there but I personally think they are colluding with these thieves. They see them there I am sure every day, but act as if it’s nothing.

Reply
Jeana

There is luggage storage at the train station. Inexpensive and secure. Can leave your heavy bags there and travel light to Meteora.

I booked both a day tour and an evening tour with Gran Meteoro. They were fantastic.

Reply
Carol

Hi, Travelling Engineer. Am planning to visit Meteora on June 9th by train. What is the difference between the A and B train tickets? On the return to Athens, will take Kalambaka to Paleofarsalos(8:19-9:17) then Paleofarsalos to Athens(11:45-15:24) for total travelling time of 7 hours. Is there anything to see in Paleofarsalos while we wait for 2 hours? The earlier train at 5:42 is faster but too early. With the longer ride, we will be able to have breakfast and enjoy Meteora a bit longer. Should I book online or buy them when I arrive in Athens? Thanks!

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Carol,

Class A tickets are more expensive than class B tickets because Class A have compartments. A compartment can accomodate total of 6 people. Class B is chair car seating like in airplane’s economy class. You can spot these differences on Train OSE’s site when you have selected your train and proceed to seat selection page.

As for things to do in Paleofarsalos, I am sorry but I have no idea about it as we didn’t stay there. You will have to search it online I guess.

Lastly, I recommend buying tickets online in advance. That’s what we had done. It’s not only cheaper to book online but it will save you time at the station.

Have a great time in Greece! Hope you’re visiting Santorini too! 🙂

Reply
Laura Ruderman

Did you do A or B class? Do you have a recommendation for which to do?

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hey Laura, I did class A from Athens to Meteora, class B from Meteora to Paleofarsalos (because train 881 didn’t have A class coaches) and class A from Paleofarsalos to Athens. As for recommendation, I enjoyed both the classes. Class A provide more privacy and space as you’re in a compartment. But, you may have to share the compartment with other people as it accommodates a total of 6 people.

Reply
Maewen

Hi Traveling Engineer

Thanks for doing this post – it’s difficult to find info on travelling from Athens to Meteora by train!

May I ask how early in advance you booked your tickets online? Also, did you have trouble reserving seats for the 881 train from Kalambaka to the transfer station? Also how much did your tickets cost?

Thanks!

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Maewen,

When I was planning Metrora trip trip, I had hard time finding information, and that’s why I decided to write this post. I am glad people are finding the post helpful.

As for your questions, I’d booked my tickets around 1 month in advance. For train 881, I dont think you can reserve your seats because it has all B class couches. Even we’d un-reserved seats, but you will not have any difficulty picking seats when the train arrives. That’s what we did too. Lastly, as for tickets cost, I think I’d paid around 30 Euros for the return trip.

Please feel free to reach out if you have additional questions. Happy Travels!

Reply
Leya

Hi!

Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s not easy finding travelling details about Meteora. I am planning my one day trip to meteora and to save some extra time I wanted to take the 23.55 train from Athens which reaches Kalambaka at 04:54. My only concearn is the timing bewtween the connecting trains, only 7 minutes! Do you know whether in Palaeofarsalos the train for Kalmambaka waits for the Athens train to arrive?

Thanks a lot 🙂
Leya

Reply
The Traveling Engineer

Hello Leya,

I believe it does wait for the connecting train to arrive. While returning from Meteora, we had a one stop journey and there was only 16 mins between the connecting trains. If I remember correctly, the train from Kalambaka was running late (15 mins or so), but we’d no issues changing platforms, finding our coach and settling down before the train departed from Palaeofarsalos. However, I would strongly suggest to reach out to TrainOSE and confirm it.

Have a safe and fun trip to Greece! 🙂

Reply
suzanne

Hello Traveling Engineer,
We are planning to Greece in October for just 9 days. We are planned to fly out to Santorini on the same day of arrival at the Athen Airport Arrival at 12.05hrs and we take the flight to Santorini same night. (23.15hrs) So we have a few hours to discover Athens. and then another full day in athens later during the week. Is one day and a few hours in Athens enough to see majority and what ever possible.

Also regarding the Meterora train ride. Do you suggest we do the one day train ride from Athens to Meteora or stay over night and take the 17.42 tain the next day.

Please give me your best advice.
Thanks

Suzy

Reply

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