The Turkish population never seems to be without a means of transportation for a landmass as large as Turkey, extending from the tip of Greece to Syria, from Bulgaria to Iran and Iraq to Georgia and Armenia.
Indeed, its list of transport choices, from buses and bikes to trains, rental cars, and more luxury seaplanes, is one of the best things about Turkey for a traveler. Here’s what you need to know about Turkey getting around.
It’s very easy to fly to Turkey, but it’s a big country (maps). I’ve noted distances and travel times for all major and many minor destinations, both in kilometers and miles.
The most used means of transportation in Turkey are:
- Trains and Trams
- Renting a Car
Turkey, being one of the largest countries in the world. It offers an extensive and wide network of transportation.
Turkey is one of the best places for sightseeing. Indeed, it also offers one of the best transport options. You can enjoy a wide range of transportation in Turkey. The transportation varies from buses, rental cars, bikes to luxurious seaplanes. Here are all the things which you need to know about getting around Turkey.
How to get around in Turkey?
“Renting a car in Turkey? You must be crazy!” That’s the most typical reply anyone will get from those who have already tried it.
When you have nerves full of steel, a bottomless pit of patience, and a penchant for honking the horn. Surely, then driving in Turkey will be an enjoyable experience. But, If you opt for this adventure, you must keep certain things in mind drive with safety. Also, the rare use of a turn signal could mean the complete opposite of what you think it does. But, if you have the desire to travel everywhere in a car then you must follow up on yours.
Renting a car is relatively easy as long as you have a means of ID, such as your passport and driver’s license. Most travelers from Europe and North America can use their own country’s driver’s license. They don’t need international driving. But, it is always better to check with your rental car company ahead of time to be sure.
Turkey Auto Rental/Hire Prices
Regular rental fees vary from TL120 to TL180 and up (including some insurance), but there may be additional charges.
Fuel is also a significant part of your cost (TL24+ per US gallon):
Cost of fuel for rental cars per km (approximate):
1 liter (95-octane unleaded gasoline/petrol) kurşunsuz benzin: TL6.30
(A gallon of 1 US = 3.7853 liters)
(1 Imperial gallon from the UK = 4.546 liters)
(@ 12 km/liter) 100 km (62.14 miles): TL533
(Bus ride of 100 km: TL14)
(Euro diesel engine (diesel) 1 litre: TL5.75)
By renting a car that runs on Euro diesel (ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel), you will be able to reduce your fuel cost dramatically because these cars are capable of greater fuel efficiency than gasoline cars.
|If your daily per-person travel budget is…|
|It’s economical to rent a car if you’re traveling with…|
3 or 4 persons
2 or 3 persons
One or more persons
Trains and Trams
Trains are not that much popular in Turkey. Most travelers and the average resident don’t travel through trains. Also, the networks which are serving in the city are very much extensive. But, cities such as Izmir, Istanbul, and Ankara are about to undergo a massive overhaul.
There are many high speed-train line projects, such as Ankara-Sivas, Ankara-Bursa, and Ankara-Izmir. All these projects are said to be completely working by 2023.
Train Ride Cost
A one-way/single full-fare ticket between major cities could cost you.
On most 10- to 12-hour trips for a Pullman seat for one adult, one-way trips from TL40 (single). (TL55 may be a similar intercity bus fare.)
TL70 for a one-way (single) adult ride on a high-speed train between Ankara and Istanbul.
Per passenger in a sleeping compartment on sleeper trains TL67 to TL93 (TL92 to TL118 for a single traveler in a 2-berth sleeping compartment)
Bear in mind that passengers aged 60 years or older are entitled to a 20 percent discount on the train fare on every one-way/single trip (but not the expense of a sleeping car).
Round-trip/return fares are 20% off, but since only one discount applies, there is no discount.
Motorbikes are also one of the best ways to observe the beauty of nature. The motorbikes are also known for a thrill. Scooters and motorbikes are the favorites for young and adventurous travelers. They are comparatively inexpensive and easy to rent. A popular rental is an electric scooter. Roaming around the city on a bike is also cheap and affordable. This means of transportation is becoming one of the main forms of transport for Turks.
Flying to and Around Turkey
Turkish Airlines is the one that has the best Business Class products in the world. It also has excellence in the economy, flies just about everywhere. This airline also offers several unique amenities that other airlines don’t have. It all begins at bargain prices while participating in the biggest and best global alliance. This airline offers a wide range of flights that perfectly fits your budget and schedule. Turkey is a very easy place to navigate by plane. Even the Turks, who traditionally prefer to travel by road, are now more interested in flying more. The reason for this transition is clear as the flight takes ten times less time to travel. As, a flight from Izmir to Istanbul takes just one hour, compared to a bus ride that can take up to 10 hours. There is a very well saying “Time is Money”, and today everyone wants to save their time.
Airfares & cost of flights in Turkey
The first thing to know: it will cost more, maybe twice as much, if you purchase a ticket for a domestic flight from a travel agent outside Turkey! As if you were going to purchase it while you were in Turkey, or from a travel agent or ticket sales agent in Turkey.
What to do before you arrive in Turkey if you want to purchase your domestic flight tickets? Simple: purchase your ticket in Turkey through a travel agent!
You can pre-purchase your ticket, pay by credit card and obtain an e-ticket by email.
|If your daily per-person travel budget is…||Consider flying if the distance is more than…|
|€30 to €60||750 miles (1200 km)|
|€60 to €100||500 miles (800 km)|
|€100+||200 miles (300 km)|
Ferries and Vessels
Ferries are another common mode of transport, particularly in and around Istanbul, through the Bosphorus, in and around Izmir, and from the Bodrum and Marmaris holiday resorts in Turkey to the Greek islands. As they are subject to change, you’ll need to study the costs and frequency of services. Again, this form of travel is inexpensive on the main routes served in Istanbul, while day trips to the Greek Islands amount to approximately EUR 35.
The seaplane is a relative newcomer to the transport market. The seaplane, privately owned, flies travelers from Istanbul to the coastal regions. The only licensed company that operates this service is Seabird Airlines, and prices are very high compared to regular travel by bus and train. It does, however, reach 85% flight capacity and plans to extend its operation from Istanbul to Ankara. If you fancy a different transport choice and a cool-view one-off experience, then why not take a seaplane? The seaplane is a relative newcomer to the transport market. The seaplane, privately owned, flies travelers from Istanbul to the coastal regions. The only licensed company that operates this service is Seabird Airlines, and prices are very high compared to regular travel by bus and train. It does, however, reach 85% flight capacity and plans to extend its operation from Istanbul to Ankara. If you fancy a different transport choice and a cool-view one-off experience, then why not take a seaplane?
You must purchase your billet (pass) at a special ticket kiosk in advance for most city buses. At major bus terminals and transfer points, kiosks are located, and often attached to shops near bus stops. Normally, the fare is about 2.
Often private buses run on the same routes as city buses; typically they are older and accept only cash or tickets.
Costs of Bus Ride in Turkey
Traveling in Turkey by convenient, modern bus costs around TL8 per 100 km (62 miles).
Inter-city bus fares vary according to the operator, the route, and, in some cases, the time of day or day of the week, the facilities used (more luxurious buses may cost a bit more).
Discounts are also given for round trip/return trips, kids, special deals, and for tickets bought from the website of the bus company.
Dolmuşes are minibusses or, often, taksi dolmuşes (shared taxis) that run within a city on fixed routes. Usually, they’re quicker, more convenient, and just marginally more expensive than the bus. Dolmuş stops are labeled with signs in larger cities; look for a ‘D’ and a text reading ‘Dolmuş ⁇ ndirme Bindirme Yeri’ (Dolmuş Boarding and Alighting Place). Near major squares, airports, and intersections, stops are generally conveniently located. Near major squares, airports, and intersections, stops are generally conveniently located.
Several cities, like Istanbul, Zamir, Bursa, and Ankara, have underground metros. These are typically fast and easy to use, but in order to find a route map, you can have to go through the ticket barriers. Most metros require you to purchase and insert a jeton (transport token; about 2) into the ticket barrier.
Many towns have tramways (trams), which are a fast and effective way to get around, and only cost around 2 T to use.
In Turkey, what is the fastest way to travel?
A bus, a rental car, a train, or an aircraft?
These forecasts are in the Turkish Lira. (Rates of Exchange).