at offices 15 and 16 of Istanbul's Büyük
Otogar, is perhaps Turkey's
best bus company, with the
best-maintained vehicles (see photo
below to the right), most comfort and
the highest level of professional service.
Varan has its own private
bus terminals at Çağlayan (pronounced
CHAH-lah-yahn), near Kağıthane on
the European side, and at Ataşehir (AH-tah-sheh-heer)
on the Asian side, from which its
All Anatolia-bound Varan buses (ie,
buses going anywhere except Edirne and
Europe) originate on the European side,
and stop at the Asian terminal to pick
up additional passengers about 45 minutes
Free shuttle buses take
Varan passengers to the Çağlayan (European)
terminal from Taksim
Square and the Büyük
Otogar; and to the Ataşehir (Asian)
terminal from Gülfen Hatun Mahallesi,
Balaban Caddesi No. 25, Üsküdar,
and Rıhtım Caddesi, Hacıonbaşılar
İşhanı No. 32/1, Kadıköy.
(Shuttles run from a number of other
points, but if you're
staying near Sultanahmet none
of these is convenient.)
If you're staying near Sultanahmet,
and if your seat on a particular Varan
bus is reserved in advance (your hotel
can help you do this), it may save
you time to take a ferry from Eminönü to Üsküdar or Kadıköy and
catch the Varan shuttle bus from there
directly to the Ataşehir (Asian) terminal.
Some Varan terminals offer free Wifi—wireless
Note that because Varan has its own
private terminals, you can't
always go to the main bus terminal
and expect to climb aboard a Varan
bus. You may have to find
out where the private Varan terminal
is, and go there instead. Check this
in advance of travel.
Varan runs buses from Istanbul to:
here for a route map.
Varan also operates several buses
in cooperation with the IDO
fast ferries from Istanbul to Bandırma.
You sail on the ferry from Istanbul,
and when you reach Bandırma, Varan
buses are waiting to take you to Ayvalık, Bodrum and Marmaris.
Varan operates a once-a-week bus from Istanbul via
Kesan, Iskeçe (Xanthi), Gümülcine
(Komotini), Kavala, Selanik (Thessaloniki)
and Larissa to Athens (Atina), Greece. More...
Another Varan route goes from Istanbul via
Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia
to the Austrian cities of
Vienna (Viyana, Wien), Graz, Linz,
Salzburg, Innsbruck and Bregenz. More...
By the way, in Turkish Varan means
"The one that arrives," which is always
encouraging in a bus company.
Telephone the Varan Call Center at
+90 (212) 444 8999; or at Istanbul's Büyük
Otogar, tel +90 (212) 658 0270.