How to Buy Bus Tickets in Turkey

First and foremost, I cannot make bus reservations or obtain bus tickets for you! TurkeyTravelPlanner.com is not a travel agency.

Also, the only bus schedule information I have is here. Please do not send me a message asking for more. Whatever information I have, I immediately put on TurkeyTravelPlanner.com.

Here’s special information on getting to Cappadocia.

Turkey’s bus system has so many companies and departures that it’s usually not necessary to buy your ticket far in advance.

In fact, in the large cities and popular tourist destinations, it’s often possible to just go to the bus terminal on the day you want to travel, buy a ticket, and board the next bus.

The exception to this easy-bus-travel rule is national and Islamic holidays, and special events.

At holiday times, or when there are important special events or festivals (such as Istanbul‘s Formula 1 Grand Prix races), seats on the bus you’d prefer to take might be fully booked in advance.

So how does one reserve a seat on a Turkish bus?

If you’re in Turkey, ask your hotel to telephone a good bus company and reserve your seat a day or two before you plan to travel. You then go to the bus terminal in advance and pick up your ticket. This way, you’ll have a better chance of getting the seat you want (front, middle; sunny side, shady side) on the departure that’s most convenient for you.

Buying Bus Tickets Online

If you’re not in Turkey, some of the major bus companies have online ticket reservations systems, but in general the bus websites are not easy for non-Turkish-speaking foreigners to use. Either they’re all in Turkish, or difficult to navigate, or they simply don’t work right (which is sadly common among Turkish travel websites). And you may struggle all the way through the process only to find that you’re required to have a Turkish credit card or Turkish citizen identification number to complete the sale.

Brazilian TTP visitor Raquel Schaitza suggest that you call the bus company’s ticket reservation number via Skype. When her attempt at making a reservation online ended in an error message, she called the company and was able to make her reservation in English. Click here for Turkey’s top bus companies.

Buying Bus Tickets at Travel Agencies

What about travel agencies? Few of them will agree to make bus reservations for you, because they usually lose money on them. If you use a Turkish travel agency to reserve numerous other services for you (hotels, car rentals, flights, tours, guides, etc.), they may be willing to reserve your bus tickets for you, as these other services will pay for their time.

There are exceptions, such as Backpackers Travel in Istanbul, who will make reservations for you on certain bus lines. If you ask for bus tickets, you should also consider reserving other services, such as hotels and tours, through the same agency.


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