The best way to get from Heraklion Airport to city center is by pre-booking a taxi. The cheapest way is by bus, unless your hotel offers a free transfer!
Heraklion International Airport on the Greek island of Crete is also known as “Nikos Kazantzakis Airport” in honor of Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek writer and philosopher.
Heraklion Airport To City Transport Choices
If you have a flight booked to Heraklion airport in Crete and need to get into the city center, you can choose from taking a taxi, bus, or rental car. I’ll assume that your hotel in Heraklion does not have a transfer service or you wouldn’t be reading this guide!
The distance from Heraklion airport to the very heart of the historic center of Heraklion is between 4.6km and 6.6kms. The reason for the difference in distance is that taxi drivers would take different routes depending on traffic. You can see why here on a map.
Travel times from the airport in Heraklion to the city center can be 15 minutes on a good day. The journey times could take up to 30 minutes on a heavily trafficked day in August.
Pre-Book A Heraklion Airport – City Center Taxi
In my opinion, the easiest way to travel from Heraklion airport to town is to pre-book a taxi.
While it will cost you 5 Euros more than picking a taxi from the queue outside the airport, it has many advantages.
- You know the price of the Heraklion airport transfer upfront
- The driver waits for you inside arrivals terminal building with your name on a paper
- All pre-booked drivers speak way better English than regular ones
- No standing in line for a taxi on busy days (you don’t want to do this in August!)
- No haggling over a taxi fare
I recommend Welcome Pickups to pre-book your taxi from Heraklion airport. I use them on my trips, and find it a lot easier to have one thing ticked off my list when preparing to fly.
Take A Taxi From The Queue
You can always take a taxi from the queue outside Heraklion airport into the city. There is a designated taxi rank outside arrivals.
If you’re traveling outside the peak season, you’ll always find a taxi within five minutes. During July and August in particular, they may be a longer wait for taxis outside Heraklion airport.
The price of a taxi from Heraklion airport depends on the time of year, the final destination of your hotel in Heraklion and time of day. You can currently expect to pay 10-15 Euros.
Heraklion Airport Bus Service
The cheapest way for passengers to travel from Heraklion airport to the city centre is to take a bus. Three bus lines (10, 6, and 12) currently follow the same route into the centre of Heraklion, and after diverge to continue on separate routes.
Bus services leave from Heraklion Airport to the center of the city about every 10 minutes, with the bus ride taking about 20 minutes. Currently, if you buy the ticket inside the bus the airport bus tickets to Heraklion town cost 2.50 Euros. If you pre-buy them, the cost is 1.50 Euro.
There are variations in the Heraklion airport bus timetable depending on the time of year and time of day. Fortunately, there is an excellent official website and an app you can download. You can even buy tickets on the app.
To take the bus from Heraklion airport into the city, you need to walk out to the main road near the luggage storage place. You can find the route to the bus stop on the map here.
Driving from Heraklion Airport to the center
If you plan to make some side-trips or a road trip from Heraklion during your vacation, a convenient way to get from the airport to the city center is by renting a car.
You should keep in mind though that parking space in Heraklion is at a premium. You might want to check that your accommodation has parking spaces first.
There are many car rental companies available at the airport, including big name and local car rental companies. I recommend Discover Cars for car rentals in Greece – They are very affordable as they use a lot of local businesses.
Driving in Heraklion (or anywhere in Crete for that matter!) can be a little challenging, especially during the peak season when the streets are crowded, and parking spaces are limited. But if you're an experienced driver, renting a car can be a fantastic way to explore the island on your own and at your own pace.
Private Transfers from Heraklion Airport to Heraklion City Center
You might be better off with a private transfer if you are a large group, or are carrying oversized luggage.
Package Holidaymakers Heraklion Airport Arrival
While it’s unlikely you are reading this if you have a package holiday booked, you might be curious as to how the system works.
Basically, a tour rep will meet you in the arrivals hall of Heraklion airport. Then, they will walk you all outside to a line of gates where you’ll queue to go through. Here, they check your booking to make sure you get on the right bus, and then you will be taken to your hotel resort.
- How long to stay in Heraklion?
- Best things to do in Heraklion
- Heraklion tours and day trips
- The Palace of Knossos (near Heraklion)
- How to get from Chania to Heraklion
- Is Chania or Heraklion better?
- Heraklion ferry port to Heraklion airport
Frequently Asked Questions
Readers looking to travel between Heraklion airport and the old town often ask questions such as:
How much does a taxi transfer cost from Heraklion airport to the city center?
The cost of a taxi from Heraklion airport to the city center depends on the time of year and time of day, ranging typically between 10-15 Euros. The travel time is about 15 minutes to the center fro the airport.
How frequently do buses operate from Heraklion airport to the city center?
Buses from Heraklion airport to the city center typically depart every 10 minutes. There are 3 bus lines leaving from the airport to the center, and the public bus transportation is the cheapest option when it comes to transportation.
Is renting a car a good option for travelers arriving at Heraklion airport?
Renting a car can be an excellent option for those who plan to explore more of Crete on their own and at their own pace. However, parking spaces in Heraklion are limited and driving can be challenging during peak season. It is recommended to check if your hotel has parking spaces before renting a car.
Can you walk from Heraklion airport to the city center?
Walking from Heraklion airport to the city center is not recommended, as it can take about an hour and it's normally very hot! It is best to take pre book a taxi, take a regular taxi or bus, or arrange for a private transfer to get from Heraklion International Airport to the city center.
Are there any shuttle buses from Heraklion Airport to Heraklion City?
There are currently several bus lines but no shuttle buses available from Heraklion Airport to the city center as the public transport is frequent and cheap, and taxis are priced competitively. You can book shuttle buses to other parts of the island though.
Dave's a travel writer from the UK who's been living in Greece since 2015. As well as writing this guide on different ways to get from Heraklion Airport to Heraklion city, he's also written hundreds of other travel blog posts about the Greek islands and other destinations in Greece. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond: