Visitor Guide to Turkey
     
 
Turkey Travelling by boat?
Turkey getting around by plane?

Travelling by plane

Major cities are served by airlines as well, with reasonable prices, beating the bus travel experience especially over longer distances. Tickets can be conveniently bought at the Istanbul domestic terminal and local ticket offices of Turkish Airlines , Onur Air , Fly Air , Pegasus Airlines and Atlasjet among others . Many of the large cities have daily connections to the traffic hubs Ankara and Istanbul, others will have flights on specific days only. Upon arrival at regional airports there will often be a connecting Havas bus, which is much, much cheaper than taking a taxi. They may wait for half an hour, but will be available after the arrival of major flights. In some spots a whole fleet of minibusses will be waiting for an important flight, they will head out for cities in the region. For instance, flying to Agri in the East a connecting minibus will head for Dogubeyazit within twenty,thirty minutes or so, so you don't have to travel into Agri first, then wait for a Dogybeyazit bus. Do ask for such easy connections upon arrival!
[edit] By bus

Turkey has a good long-distance bus network with air-conditioned buses, reserved seats and generally good service quality, at least with the big operators. There are now a few firms providing luxury buses with 1st class seats and service. Standard buses, however, have seats narrower than in economy class on airplanes. Buses are often crowded, and smoking is prohibited except by the driver. Cell-phone use is also restricted on many buses.

Bus travel is convenient in Turkey. Go to the Otogar in any of the major cities and you can find a bus to almost any destination within half an hour, or a couple of hours at the most. Buses are staffed by good drivers, and a number of assistants. During the ride you will be offered free drinks, a bite or two, and stops will be made every two hours and a half or so at well-stocked road restaurants. The further East you travel, the less frequent buses will be, but even places as far as Dogubeyazit or Van will have regular services to many places hundreds of kilometers away. Only the smallest towns do not have a bus straight to Istanbul or Izmir at least once every two days.

Finding the right bus quickly does require some help and thus some trust, but be careful. Scammers will be waiting for you, and some may assist you in buying a ticket to a bus that won't depart in the next two hours. Sometimes there simply is no other bus, but on other occasions you will be sitting there while other buses with the same destination start well ahead. If you have some time to spare: check the departure (and arrival) times of other companies, that may save you time overall. Still, if you indicate you really want to leave NOW (use phrases like "hemen" or "shimdy", or "adjelem var" - I am in a hurry ), people will realize you are in hurry, and off you go on the next bus departing for your destination.

Turkish Airline

If you have several operators to choose from, ask for the number of seats in the buses you compare. Roughly, a larger capacity implies a greater comfort (all bus-seats have approximately the same leg-room, but larger 48-seat buses are certainly more comfortable than a 15-seat Dolmus, which may be considered a 'bus' by the company selling the seat). Also, the bus company with the largest sign is usually the one with the most buses and routes. If possible, ask other travellers you meet about their experiences with different operators: even big operators have different standards of service, and even with the same operator the standards may vary from region to region.

Don't be surprised if halfway down to some strange and far-off destination you are put out of the bus (your luggage will often be already standing next to it) and transferred to another. The other bus will "buy" you, and will bring you to the destination. This may even happen for 'direct' or 'non-stop' tickets.

Sometimes long-haul bus lines will leave you stranded on some ring-road around a city, rather than bringing you to the centre. That can be annoying. Inquire ahead (and hope they don't lie). On the other hand, many companies will have "servis aracı" or service vehicles to the centre, when the Otogar is on the periphery of a city, as they nowadays often are. In some cities these service vehicles are used by many companies combined, and a fleet of them, to different parts of the metropolis, will be waiting. The company may also choose to combine the passengers of multiple buses; meaning that you may have to wait until another bus or two arrives before departing. Keep your ticket ready as proof you were on a bus (though most of these services are run on good faith). In some cities (including Ankara, discluding Istanbul), the municipality have prohibited the use of service buses due to their effect on traffic. In that case, you might have to take a public bus or metro to get to your destination. One should probably avoid using taxis (at least departing from the Otogar) since they usually tend to abuse their monopolic position by refusing to go to closer destinations, behaving rudely towards the passenger, charging on the night tariff, etc. If you have to take a taxi, it is usually suggested that you do it from outside the bus terminal.

Seating within buses is partly directed by the "koltuk numarası" or seat number on your ticket, partly by the ritualistic seating of women next to women, couples together and so forth. So don't be too annoyed if you are required to give up your seat. In general, as a foreigner, you will have the better seat much of the time.

One hint: it often is easiest to take a seat in the back, whatever the number of your koltuk, and not be bothered for much of the ride. This is particularly true if you travel alone, and want to keep it that way. Although the last row may be reserved for the driver-off-duty, who wants to sleep. And remember: many buses pick up short-track fare along the ride, and park them in the last two or three rows. Also keep in mind that the back of the bus may be more noisy compared to the front, since that is where the engine is located. If you have a bicycle it will be transported free of extra charge. In most buses it fits in the luggage area of the bus- Make sure you have the tools to fold your bike as small as possible (height matters most)

Another alternative to local bus travel in Turkey is the 'Fez Bus'. A Hop on hop off travel network that links Istanbul to all the best places to see in western Turkey, and a few that are a bit off the tourist trail. The bus runs hostel to hostel and they have an english speaking tour leader on board that lets you know about everything there is to do. The pass can last a few days or all summer and there are departures every other day. It may be a just little more expensive than the local bus, but really flexible and a lot less hassle. You can buy passes anywhere but it is run by Fez Travel in Sultanahmet http://www.feztravel.com * http://www.turkeytravelservice.com

 

Source: (Wikitravel)

 

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