Alexandroupolis is a small town with a harbour and an airport. Though the Lonely Planet describes it as "dusty", it has a rocky beach, and a typical Greek nightlife.
There are several trains from Thessaloniki. Slow trains take 6h (9€), fast ICs take only 4 1/2h (16€).
Train connections are relatively frequent to the rest of the country, though the rail link to Bulgaria via Dikea has been canceled until further notice. Trains are running only to Dikea, 15km short of the Bulgarian border. There are no buses from Dikea to the border city of Svilengrad, with taxi and hitchhiking being the only options to access Svilengrad and the extensive Bulgarian rail network for the time being.
National Network of Buses or KTEL operates a frequent schedule of buses to all the major cities of the country. Shuttle buses depart twice daily to Athens (approximately 8–9 hours) and there are hourly connections to Thessaloniki.
OSE, the national train operator, has set a daily bus shuttle to Istanbul that departs the main station early (around 7AM) every morning. Tickets are usually easy to find and can be booked in the ticket office.
KTEL also has a bus to Istanbul. Go to the KTEL bus station in town for cheaper prices than online.
There are no cheap youth hostels, but a couple of mid-range hotels by the seaside. Backpackers often just stay at the beach near the train station. There is also a camping located right on the beach.
There's a significant Greek-American retiree bar scene, and the city's proximity to the Turkish border with legal prostitution and a much higher level of individual income, makes the nature of crime here entirely predictable. It's dirty and old and working class with a lot of free time and little regard for freedom or human dignity, but not particularly given to violent crime. This might be a very nice town in 10 years following any generation gap.