While on holiday or living in Turkey it’s helpful to know how to travel around Turkey and what Public Transport is like. Here is my little Guide to Public Transport in Turkey. Please let me know your tips and advice on Public Transport in Turkey in the comments below.
The Dolmus is an excellent Jump on Jump off mini bus. It’s name comes from Dolma which means to stuff, as the Dolmus is famous for being stuffed full and can be a bit hot and smelly during the hot summer months. But still it is a cheap and affect to get around your local area. With most services running 15 min or less apart and will stop wherever you ask.
There are two types of Dolmus the classic is the little mini bus. The other is a car or taxi type vehicle, which is designed to carry around 5 or 9 people. These dolmus run from set points and are mainly seen in city centers. These tend to wait until they are full or near to full before leaving you can stop them wherever you see them and get dropped at any point. They can be a little more expensive say 1 or 2 lira.
The Dolmus varies in price starting around 50 Kurus and normally maximum 3 lira depending on distance. I love the Dolmus system and always miss it when I go home as it makes getting around easy and cheap.
By Coach is one of the most popular ways to get around Turkey. There are thousands of Coach routes all across Turkey. They are regular, normally on time and an affordable way to get from “A” to “B” and back again.
The Coaches are clean and modern, most now have individual TV sets were you can watch movies, listen to music and watch TV and some offer access to the internet. You will also be offered a refreshment tea/coffee/juice and a snack. You can also ask for water at anytime during the Journey. They have regular stops to pick up passengers which are great if you need a quick stretch and depending on the distance of your journey they will also stop for an extended duration to allow you to stretch your legs and freshen up. All Coaches are air conditioned.
Be aware if you plan to travel by coach during Bayrams in Turkey you should book ahead as Public Transport can be extremely busy during these times. Though normally you can book your seat a few days ahead of time or even on the day.
I have travelled many times by Coach around Turkey and have always found it an enjoyable experience and find the service excellent. I would also advise making sure you know a little Turkish or take a cheat sheet with you as the Driver and staff will not speak English or only very little.
There are many different Bus Companies, Kamil Koc, Metro, Varan, Ulusoy, Efe Tur and many more. You will find ticket offices in most towns and you can also book online with many of the companies.
Taxi’s are yellow like the New York Cabs. As you would expect they are not the cheapest way to get around town but at times are necessary, however they are a lot cheaper than the ones from home. You will probably look to pay anything between 5 lira upwards depending on the distance. It’s good to find a local firm and make friends with a few of the drivers and keep their number handy that way you always have a good reliable service and know you will be fairly charged.
For long journeys it is better to negotiate a price before you start out that way you know you won’t get ripped off.
Ferry is another mode of transport but only in Istanbul, the ferries are an easier way of getting to parts of Istanbul that otherwise by car could take you a few hours. The ferries are frequent always busy but a great way to see Istanbul.
In the Cities like Istanbul Trams are a great mode of Transport but be warned they can be extremely busy and tightly packed especially at peak times. You can also travel by train in Turkey however there is not a wide network. The best Link is the high speed train between Ankara and Istanbul which only takes 6 hours.
Overall public transport in Turkey is good and affordable and you will never be stuck waiting for hours on a bus!
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.