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Turkey Transport

To get around Turkey, there are two feasible options: road or air transportation. Ferries and railways are almost obsolete in Turkey. On the other hand you can use ferries to go to the Greek Islands. For more information see ferry transportation within Turkey and to foreign destinations.

With the start of new private airlines serving domestic destinations, air transportation has become cheaper and new cities are being served. For domestic flights see airline tickets within Turkey and for air travel from US, Europe and around the world, see flights to Turkey.

You can rent a car provided that you are used to driving in chaotic traffic. Turkish traffic is hard to deal with, but major cities are connected with motorways up to the Western standarts. Another alternative could be hiring a driver and a guide, especially a good option for large families or groups.

Bus Transportation in Turkey

Bus is the main public transportation mean in Turkey. It is cheap and frequent. Some bus companies have very modern buses in their fleet, the comfort level varies greatly from one company to another. There are only a handful of companies in Turkey that would be comfortable for a Western traveler.

The cost is about 4-8 USD (3-6 Euros) per 100 kilometers depending on the itinerary and the bus company. Since the bus market is very competitive and effective price reflects quality of service and the type of bus. Paying higher price is worth it.

Please note that many intercity buses stop at too many places, so it is advisable to choose company which sells ticket at a higher price.

Using bus and boat connection you can reach Aegean cities of Turkey from Istanbul. You can take IDO Istanbul Sea Transport high speed ferries, also known as "sea buses" because of their speed, from Istanbul to Bandirma and then travel to Izmir by bus. This would be nicer and faster than taking a bus from Istanbul to Izmir.

Railways

Unfortunately, Turkey’s economic policies of using highways as the main mode of transportation has resulted in lack of progress in Turkish Railways. Trains are mostly outdated and routes are limited. The only lines worth mentioning are Istanbul Ankara lines with sleeping cars or couchettes and Istanbul-Izmir line which includes a boat trip to Bandirma and then taking the train from Bandirma to Izmir.

The newest development in the railways is the Fast Train project from Istanbul to Ankara. This, along with the undersea railway tunnel in Bosphorus called Marmaray will enable travelers to reach Ankara from Istanbul in about three and a half hours from European side of Istanbul and for slightly less travel time from the Anatolian side. Train lines within Turkey and to foreign countries can be found at Turkish State Railways (in English) website.


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