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Istanbul Main Bus Terminal

Istanbul‘s mammoth Main Bus Terminal (Büyük Otogar) serves all of Turkey, plus GreeceRomaniaBulgaria and the Balkans, and central Europe.

Here are Turkey’s major bus companies.

Here’s how to buy bus tickets in Turkey.

This Great Istanbul Bus Terminal (Büyük Istanbul Otogarı), as it’s formally named, is 10 km (6 miles) northwest of Sultanahmet Square in the district of Bayrampaşa, near the district of Esenler (map).

(If you’re starting your trip from the center of Istanbul, you may want to consider departing from the Harem Otogar instead. More…)

(If you’re going to the Balkans, Armenia, Georgia or Iran, consider the Emniyet Garajı.)

You can travel between the Büyük Otogar and Sultanahmet via tram and Metro (map). Click here for instructions.

Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, by Tom Brosnahan
A good book to read on the plane or bus…

You can also get there from Istanbul‘s Atatürk International Airport (map) by Metro. Click here for instructions.

To travel between the Otogar and Taksim Square, the most direct way is via IETT city bus 83-O (Otogar-Taksim), which runs every 20 to 25 minutes from 06:30 am to 21:30 (9:30 pm). The trip takes about one hour. You must buy a jeton before boarding the bus.

With 168 ticket offices and gates, its own Metro station, shops, restaurants, hotel, police station, clinic and mosque, the Büyük Otogar is virtually a town in itself. You can catch a bus to Berlin or Baghdad, though you’re more likely to be looking for one to EdirneEphesusGallipoli or Cappadocia.

See my chart of Buses from Istanbul to Other Cities.

You can usually just show up at the Büyük Otogar and catch the next coach to your destination in less than an hour, except at holiday times, when many buses may be fully booked in advance.

Hundreds of companies run thousands of buses,mostly big, comfortable and new, day and night. Dozens of companies connect Istanbul and Ankara, with a bus leaving at least every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. More on bus travel in Turkey…

Here’s the Büyük Otogar website (in Turkish).


Major Bus Routes

Bus Companies

Harem Otogar

Istanbul Maps

Buses to Greece

Buses to Bulgaria & Balkans

Sultanahmet by Metro

Atatürk Airport by Metro

Istanbul Transport

Transport in Turkey

Istanbul Hotels

Istanbul Homepage

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