Long Distance Travel In Turkey - The Intercity Bus

Updated 2010-01-20 08:57

Travelling Long Distances in Turkey - Intercity Buses 

Most long distance travel in Turkey is done by intercity bus. Private companies run buses between all the cities and larger towns and even some of the smaller towns in Turkey. As it is such a popular way to travel, each company will run several buses a day between major towns and cities. In cases where the intercity bus does not serve a particular town or village, it is possible to get to its nearest hub and then a connecting, local bus to take you to your destination.

Because the intercity buses are run by private companies, there is a lot of competition which benefits the customer. Buses in Turkey are modern, luxurious and comfortable and tickets are reasonably priced. A host will serve hot or cold drinks ' free ' every few hours and some bus companies have even equipped their intercity buses with satellite TV and wireless internet facilities.

Booking a seat on the intercity buses is simple. Of course, it's possible to book online or by phone but this can be difficult if your Turkish is limited. A face-to-face booking is much easier. Towns and cities in Turkey are served by a bus depot (otogar). The bus companies have their offices here ' all clearly marked with the company name ' and destinations with bus times are clearly listed. If you are near to your local otogar, go to the office of the company you wish to travel with and book your ticket. Staff are very helpful and if the language barrier becomes an issue, they will usually write down the time and day of your bus along with the price.

Don't worry if you are unable to get to the otogar. Most companies also have sub-offices dotted around the town centre and outskirts. You can book a ticket in one of these offices. If the office is on the bus route, you can catch your bus from there. If not, the company provides a service bus to take you from the office to the otogar.

A few tips:

If you're on a budget, take the night bus. You can sleep on the bus (saving the price of a night in a hotel) and wake up in your destination. Buses stop every few hours at otogars and service areas:
Have small change handy to use the (very clean) toilets. It's 50krs at the time of writing.
Hot and cold food is usually available and, of course, there's likely to be the obligatory kebab stall.
Use your mobile phone here. Most companies forbid the use of mobile phones on their buses. If your destination is Istanbul, the otogar is on the outskirts of the city. On arrival, ask your driver for a service bus to the city centre. For other cities, local connecting buses will take you to the centre. These are very cheap.

Many writers on Ex-pat Blog will describe travel experiences. Turkey's For Life is one such blog.
Written by JayP

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