City Buses in Istanbul, Turkey

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

Though you'll probably use the tram, MetroMarmaray suburban trains and ferryboats more, Istanbul's İETT city buses are useful for a some major sights and longer trips in and out of the city.

They tend to be slow and crowded, especially during the city's morning and evening commuter rushes.

Buy your jetons (tokens) or have your Istanbulkart transit pass ready before boarding the bus. (You can't pay fares on the bus.) More...

Better yet, use the Istanbulkart transit pass.

Besides the İETT buses operated by the city government, Istanbul has private buses owned and operated by private individuals and companies in accordance with city regulations.

Privately-owned city bus, Istanbul, TurkeyA private bus which operates under Istanbul city regulations.

Called Özel Halk Otobüsü ("Private Peoples' Bus"), these buses run on some of the busier routes, charging the same fares as city buses, but may allow you to pay your fare in cash (as well as by token or transit pass) on the bus. Otherwise, there's little difference.

If you're packed into the mid-section of the bus when your stop comes, say İnecek var! (een-eh-JEHK vahr, "Someone wants to get out!") so the driver will stop and wait for you to make your way out.

The İETT website has various maps and mechanisms for getting information on the system, most of which are in Turkish only, or do not work very well (if at all), or both.More...

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Presidency
İETT Directorate-General
Şahkulu Mah. Erkan-ı Harp Sok. No:2, Tünel
34420 BeyoğluIstanbul
İETT Tel: +90 (212) 444 1871
Directorate-General Tel: +90 (212) 372 2222 (pbx)
Fax: +90 (212) 243 0883

—by Tom Brosnahan

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