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Getting Around: Public Transport in Turkey

25th September 2015

Turkey has a wide range of public transport options to suit a variety of needs, so no matter how far you want to travel they’ll be some mode of public transport available. Let’s take a look at these transport options in depth.

The Bus
Ah the humble bus might not have the best of reputations in many places but no matter how bad your local buses may be, you can be sure that the buses in Turkey are very high quality and they also travel frequently between Turkish towns and cities.

Turkey also have coaches available that travel from city to city and are ideal for long distance travel.  These coaches are inexpensive and offer a range of luxuries including coffee/tea breaks, bathroom breaks and they also have on board Wi-Fi.

Buses that travel between Turkish towns are called Dolmus they again offer very affordable prices. In busy tourist towns, Dolmus's travel frequently, so you won’t have to wait too long. The Dolmus have quite the popular reputation with tourists due to their efficient travel and expert service. 

Getting departure times in advance can be tricky so you’re best of picking up timetables for the local buses when getting to your destination. Travel agents and tourist information spots will also be able to provide assistance.

BUS TICKETS can be purchased here via KamilKoc

Travelling by train is another popular option for tourists but there are limits to exactly where you can travel to and in some cases travelling by bus instead can be faster. Although on the plus side the train will likely be less crowded and be a more comfortable journey.

There is a number of high-speed trains available that provide travel between larger Turkish cities. There’re three routes these high-speed trains take; the first is between Ankara, Eskisehir and Istanbul. The second is between Ankara and Konya and the final one is between Istanbul, Eskisehir and Konya.

Other slower trains are also available between other locations in Turkey and all the information for train schedules are available at Turkish train stations and some information is also available online.   

If you want to travel around Istanbul you’ll also have the option of using the Istanbul Metro that operates similarly to the London Underground and New York Subway. Currently there are 70 Metro stations around Istanbul and more are under construction.

The Istanbul Metro guarantees fast and safe travel all around Istanbul, currently there are five lines available the M1, M2, M3 and M6 lines all travel around the European side of Istanbul while the M4 line travels around the Asian side. If you’re wondering the M5 line is currently under construction and will be on the Asian side.

No discussion of travelling by train in Turkey can be considered complete without discussing the Marmaray rail line. The Marmaray rail project is still in the process of being completed but the first phase has been successfully finished and travel is available.

The project’s main aim is the construction of an undersea rail tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait and the modernization and regeneration of existing railway lines along the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

Currently there are 41 stations open and more will be added when phase 2 of the project is completed, but for now you can still travel quickly and safely around Istanbul using the Marmaray rail line.

Metro Network for Istanbul can be found here

Depending on how familiar you are with Turkey you may have heard bad things about taxi travel in Turkey. And unfortunately a lot of tourists have suffered a range of problems ranging from rude drivers, dangerous driving and scams.

Taxi travel is still an option though but for your safety there are a number of precautions you can take that will improve your experience. Firstly make sure to take note of the taxi’s license number in case you need to report a problem and if possible ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you they will likely know reputable drivers and firms.

Finally when leaving the airport or train station never let anyone march away with your bags and put them in their taxi, this is a sign of a particular infamous scam. Some airports will have their own transportation available for hotel drop offs so if they’re available they are usually a safer option.

These troubling taxi stories are usually related to taxi’s in larger Turkish cities most notably Istanbul but they can happen anywhere so be cautious.

Taxi Apps - Uber (International) / Bitaksi (Istanbul & Ankara)

Turkish Ferries
Ah smell that sea air! The ferry is a popular travel option for tourists who want to experience something new after all not many places are as surrounded by the sea as Turkey is so as well as being a relaxing and interesting travel method it also gives people the opportunity of a new experience. It may surprise some people but not many people will have likely travelled by ferry before.

Turkish ferries travel all around the seas surrounding Turkey so you can easily and quickly travel across the Marmara Sea to get from Istanbul to Bursa. There’s a number of different routes available and the views offered as you speed along the sea will show you a whole new side of Turkey.

Some Turkish ferries also have the option of you bringing your car onto the boat so that is an added bonus for driving enthusiasts.

Istanbul Ferry Timetable can be found here

Aeroplane travel is a relatively inexpensive and fast way to travel across Turkey.

Turkish airlines is the most prominent air carrier available, along with Turkey's budget airline 'Pegasus Airlines'. Pegasus Airlines is very popular with tourists and locals and offers affordable prices for internal flights around Turkey.

Turkish Airlines internal flights can be found here

Pegasus Airlines internal flights can be found here

For Turkish Residence Permit Health Insurance, see below link


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