This Turkey transportation guide will help you getting to and getting around Turkey. And what better way to see the culture than taking a local tour in Turkey.
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Turkey Transportation Guide
The cities of Ankara, Izmir/Ephesus, Istanbul, Dalaman, Antalya, Trabzon, and Adana have international airports. Turkish Airlines (THY) operates several domestic flights from these airports making travel between major Turkish cities easy. THY agencies provide information regarding fares, price reductions and timetables. Buses are available for travelling between the cities and airports.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world, including Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydin, Bodrum, Cappadocia, Dalaman, Istanbul, Izmir and Mersin.
Visit our partner Air Valid for Airline Reviews and Information about Turkey.
Flights to Turkey
Turkish Maritime Lines operate quite a few cruises along the coast for sightseeing. Eminonu, Sirkeci and the Galata Bridge, on the Karakoy side, are the origin points of these cruises. Advance reservations are a must. Tourists can also opt for organised tours to visit both sides of the Bosphorus . The ferry services may change schedules without notice so it is advisable to have alternate plans ready if the ferry lets you down. Don't plan connecting flights based on ferry timings.
The Turkish State Railways operate a rail network that connects most of the major cities in Turkey. The trains are equipped with sleeping cars, couchettes, restaurants, and lounge cars where passengers can choose between first and second-class service. In the Aegean region, large groups can charter the well-equipped steam trains that allow travellers to choose their route. This is an enjoyable and relaxed way of exploring the beautiful Aegean region.
There is a well-planned road network that links all the cities, tourist attractions and smaller towns of Turkey. The Istanbul bypass and the two Bosphorus (Bogazici) bridges leading to the Istanbul-Ankara Expressway have made crossing from Europe to the Asian side of the Bosphorus very easy. Two main roads, the E80 and E90, lead to Turkey from the European borders. These roads link the Iranian and Iraqi borders too. These expressways conform to the international road network standards applicable in the Middle East and in Asia.
Right-hand side driving is the rule here. The Turkish Highway Code, similar to that of European countries, is followed, as is the International Protocol on Road Signs. This ensures that tourists can follow signs easily. Yellow signs are used to indicate historical and archaeological sites.
The Istanbul-Ankara highway has a heavy stream of traffic. Once outside the cities, the traffic is thinner. The applicable speed limits are 50 km/hr in urban areas and 90 km/hr outside urban limits. Petrol availability is not a problem. Local drivers are known for their reckless driving so do take due care while driving. Wandering animals on country roads are common - be prepared for them.
The Turks have an amusing way of communicating with their friends using horns. The person honking away merrily may not be impatient or angry but may just be conveying something to a friend - so not all sounds of horns are meant for other vehicles on the road! You may find the street signs and parking facilities inadequate. Make sure you carry both your International Driving Permit and driving licence when driving. In the unfortunate event that you get involved in an accident, get in touch with the local police immediately.
Several rent-a-car services are available in Turkey. Airports, large hotels and ports are the best places to find rental cars. Travel agents and Tourist Information Offices are reliable sources for information on rental cars.
Bus travel in Turkey is quite comfortable and not very expensive. There is a bus terminal known as the otogar in all cities and towns where you can board the big Mercedes buses. To ensure good seats, bus tickets are best reserved a day or two before the date of travel. If you have to travel in non air-conditioned buses during summer, try to sit behind the roof vents. And remember, smoking is prohibited on most buses. Varan, Ulusoy and Pamukkale are reliable agencies running bus services, with each company covering different parts of the country. For destinations like Cappadocia, local carriers are available. Overnight journeys with lots of stops are the norm for travelling long distances.
Taxis and Dolmus
You can find plenty of taxis quite easily in Turkey. The yellow coloured taxis have meters that display the fare for a trip.
You can also travel by dolmus, a collective taxi service recognisable by its yellow band. These taxis run on specific routes and the fares, which are fixed by the municipality, are quite inexpensive. You can ride dolmus inside large cities and travel to airports, to the suburbs, and even to neighbouring towns. The front of the dolmus displays the route and the costs. Passengers can board the vehicle, sit and then pass along the fare to the driver. This way of paying the fare is quite normal so do not hesitate to hand over your money to a fellow passenger to pass along to the driver. It is cheaper to travel by dolmus than by taxis or even public buses.