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Bus Travel in Turkey

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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Bus travel is the easiest, most popular way to travel within Turkey. Buses in Turkey are often the cheapest and usually comfortable alternative to travel. 

There are many bus companies to choose from, and each city has a bus station. Popular bus routes in Turkey include; Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir, and Cappadocia, connecting cities all around the country. There are even routes to Greece, Bulgaria, other Balkan countries, and other parts of Europe.

What Are Turkish Buses Like?

The buses, operated by hundreds of companies large and small, are modern and comfortable, with air conditioning, entertainment (movies, audiobooks, TV, computer games), a steward to bring you snacks and drinks, and even free Wifi Internet connections on some buses (and more in the bus terminals).

Turkish buses are generally suited for 30 people. Two seats per row on the right side of the bus and one seat per row on the left. Strangers of opposite-gender can't sit together in Turkey, so you don't have to worry even if you purchase a ticket from the two-seat row.

Remember that Turkish buses are not usually equipped with onboard toilets, so use the terminal facilities before boarding and at the mola (rest stops) about every 2 to 2-1/2 hours along the way. Drinks, snacks, and meals are available at the stops, and smokers can light up (no smoking is allowed on public buses).

Bus Routes & Departures in Turkey

Bus departures are frequent, and fares are low to moderate in Turkey. You can find a bus each hour of the day at 30-minute intervals. For example, buses depart on the 450-km (280-mile) 6- or 7-hour journey between Istanbul and Ankara about every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, for an affordable price. 

Bus trips of more than 8 or 10 hours are tedious. It's better to break a long journey into shorter trips, to take a plane, or to take a train with couchettes or sleeping cars

Flights to & in Turkey

Routes & Bus Companies

Buses run everywhere, even cross-country (Istanbul to Artvin: 1352 km, 840 miles, 24 hours). The most popular bus routes run between Antalya, Izmir, Cappadocia, Istanbul, and Bursa

Here are routes, fares, and travel times from Istanbul to other cities

Turkey's most popular bus companies are Pamukkale Turizm, Kamil Koç, and Efe Tur. Each has its own website and reserves tickets online.

Here are the major bus companies, some of which have websites with schedules and fares.

Bus Fares & Tickets in Turkey

You can buy tickets to most buses online or at a ticket office. Most of the applications and websites to purchase a ticket have an English option.

When you purchase a ticket online, you will get a text message on your phone with your boarding and seat information. You can also get your ticket printed in a ticket office to ensure a smooth experience. 

If you decide to buy your ticket from a ticket office, remember there isn't a central ticket office in Turkey. Instead, there are stands for each bus company. This can be confusing for people when purchasing a ticket in the office. That's why it is recommended to reserve your ticket online. 

Here's a comparison of costs, times, and comfort between modes of transportation.

 

How to Buy Bus Tickets in Turkey

İstanbul busses

Carrying Luggage in Turkish Bus Travel

Generally, the luggage you entrust to the bus company for shipment in the baggage compartment is safe. However, as in every transportation method and country, incidents can happen, and valuables get lost. So, remember that all valuables should be carried with you personally and carefully protected when you are on public transport.

Explore Turkey by Bus Today!

Traveling by bus in Turkey is generally an affordable and comfortable option. The whole process can be hassle-free when planned beforehand. 

Turkish buses offer many free amenities and connect most of the cities within Turkey. Buying your ticket online and paying attention to your luggage when traveling with a bus is recommended. 

Regardless of your transportation choice in Turkey, remember to enjoy your trip and make many memories. 

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

FAQs

Are Turkish buses safe for travel?

Absolutely, millions of people use Turkish buses for traveling all year round. While there are incidents from time to time, they tend to be more common due to adverse weather conditions.

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