Turkish people drive on the right-hand side of the road. Istanbul is highly pedestrianised, which
creates some problems for the city's many drivers. It is very important
to pay attention to people walking on or near the street in any
major Turkish city. In general, foreign nationals who intend to
drive in Turkey need only a valid licence, which means that your
home-country licence will suffice. However, an international driver's
permit, which can be obtained through your home-country automobile
club, may be useful if you are stopped by the traffic police.
Bright yellow in colour, Turkey's taxis are often easy to find and
relatively inexpensive compared to other European countries. Most
taxis use meters which charge passengers according to the distance
Similar to ordinary buses, Turkey also offers dolmus or minibus
services. Like regular buses, most dolmus' operate on a fixed scheduled
route, often picking up and dropping off passengers en route to
their final destinations. In fact, you can flag down a dolmus from
the street, just as you would a taxi. The signs marked Dolmus Durak
indicate places where drivers usually stop when flagged down. When
you enter, sit down and then pass the correct amount of money to
the front via the other passengers. Just before your stop you must
yell out "Inecek Var" (pronounced in-a-jeck-var) to let the driver
know there is someone who wants to get off. Be prepared for frequent
stops but know that dolmus' are considered
to be even cheaper and more convenient than the regular public buses.
The Akbil electronic
travel pass is definitely the best feature of the constantly
improving Istanbul public transportation network. Akbil is short for
‘akıllı bilet‘, which means intelligent ticket. And that’s
exactly what it is. It’s a basically a small stainless steel button
in a plastic holder, together not bigger in size than any key on
your keychain. Akbil serves as computerized fare tag which you can
use for all public transportation except on a dolmuş or minibus.City Buses
City buses reach every corner of the city, but they may prove to
be difficult to board and exit, particularly during rush hours.
Bus numbers are indicated in bold and followed by an ordered list
of visited districts. There are two types of buses operating in
Istanbul, the private buses and the city-run
"belediye" buses. Although they do not publish any route maps, you
can find a bus going to your destination by inquiring at any bus
station office. When taking a belediye bus, you need to use Akbil.
However, when taking a private bus, you can either pay the driver in cash
or use your Akbil.
Istanbul is one to the first cities to build an underground railway.
This short route built in 1800's is still working between Karakoy
and Beyoglu. Today, there is a considerable work to expand the
Ferries are slower but larger than sea buses. Like sea buses they
are very useful to avoid traffic. Ferries on most of the routes
below run every 15-30 minutes. We highly recommend ferry tours to
the islands and the Bosphorus.
Sea Buses are fast catamaran type boats. They are a very good alternative
to city buses www.ido.com.tr
Train routes are very limited in Istanbul. They are useful for residents
but not very interesting for visitors. There are two main routes:
1. Sirkeci - Kumkapi - Zeytinburnu - Bakirkoy - Yesilkoy - Kanarya
2. Haydarpasa - Bostanci - Kartal - Pendik - Tuzla - Gebze
Buses seem to be the most convenient, effective and inexpensive
mode of transport for long distance journeys. As there are numerous
coach companies scattered throughout Turkey, you would be wise to
ask friends and colleagues which companies are the most reliable.
The bus companies in Turkey are all privately owned, very competitive
with one another, and vary in comfort and services. Fares and destination
times should be available outside bus offices. During some holidays
and certain times of the year, advance reservations may be necessary
for a long bus trip. Reservations are generally handled by ticket
agents throughout Turkey's larger towns and cities.
Intercity coaches (Bus) Terminals are ISTANBUL OTOGAR and ISTANBUL
HAREM The Turkish State Railway
The Turkish State Railways offer service to many areas of Turkey.
When planning an intercity train trip, it is wise to take the blue
train (mavi tren), an express or motor train. These trains run faster
than the other types of trains and are generally more comfortable.
Train seats on the better trains must be reserved in advance, and
it is advisable to reserve sleeping cars well in advance. Railway
Stations are ISTANBUL Asian Side HAYDARPASA and European Side SIRKECI Info: (0212) 527 00 50 - 51