Buses is the main form of transportation in Turkey as there is a limited railway network which is in a good condition. The intercity bus market in Turkey is among the largest in Europe; each year more than 100 million passengers travel with intercity buses inside Turkey. The entire bus network is operated by an estimated number of more than 400 bus companies, which include small companies having just a few buses, to very large companies having more than 1000 buses in operation. In addition to the companies operating scheduled bus traffic there is also a large number of private bus companies specialized in bus charter and other touristic services.
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Intercity bus Turkey
Intercity buses run between all cities in Turkey, from almost any city with more than 5000 people there is a daily intercity bus to Istanbul, between larger cities there is several daily departures and between very like cities like Istanbul and Ankara there are more than 100 daily bus departures.
As a very special thing the Intercity buses in Turkey operate with a Steward / Stewardess on board service Tea, coffee and attend to the well being of the passengers, some companies have tried to remove this additional feature, to save cost, but they soon reintroduced it!
The buses used for intercity transportation vary in size and layout, on busy route double or large single deckers are used, on shorter routes buses for about 30 persons are used, in many cases the buses are layed out with 1+2 setting arrangement, meaning one side of the bus has two seats the other site has one seat, this is secure privacy of the passenger and secure that single travelling women can sit alone.
The international bus network from Turkey include buses to Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, Albania and Bosnia, to the countries nearby there is daily departures e.g. from Istanbul, for the countries a bit further away there is bi-weekle or weekly departures.
Tickets for intercity buses
Another special thing about the intercity buses market in Turkey is how the ticket sales in handled, unlike most European countries, there is no central selling point at most bus station, but each bus company operating from the stations has their own sales point at the bus station, this can make it a bit complicated when you need to figure out which buses actually operate between cities.
Buying a ticket online is becoming more and more popular in Turkey, especially the corona virus has boosted the market for online tickets, when you buy an online ticket you in most cases can select the seat and are required to select your gender, this will then be visible for the next passenger buying a ticket.
The tickets bought online are in most cases not a real ticket but just a voucher, at the bus station you can print out the ticket by the outlet of the company you are travelling with, but this is not mandatory, you can also just board the bus and show the QR code of your voucher to the bus driver.
Domestic bus routes
As mentioned above some of the bus routes in Turkey have lots of daily departures, below we have listed some of the most popular bus routes in the country.
International bus routes
As mentioned above, there is international bus connection from Turkey, to several countries on the Balkan Peninsula, of course most of the buses go to the neighboring countries, below we have listed some of the most popular international bus routes from Turkey
|Istanbul – Sofia||Istanbul – Varna||Istanbul – Burgas|
|Istanbul – Plovdiv||Istanbul – Thessaloniki||Istanbul – Alexandroupoli|
|Istanbul – Athens||Istanbul – Xanthi||Istanbul – Belgrade|
Buses from Airports
In Turkey there are quite a few airports with a substantial number of passengers, if you are flying on holiday in Turkey, you probably will land in one of the airports listed below, from all airports there are several ways of getting to the nearest largest city and tourist resorts nearby.
|New Istanbul Airport||Istanbul Sabiha Gӧkçen||Antalya Airport|
|Ankara Airport||Izmir Airport||Bodrum Airport|
Bus companies Turkey
The number of Intercity, city, regional and bus charter companies in Turkey is enormous, as mentioned above around alone 400 companies operated scheduled bus lines, in addition to this there are city and regional bus companies in any city with a population about 50000 in some cases even in smaller cities. Below we have listed some of the largest bus companies in Turkey.
|Metro turizm||Istanbul Kalesi||Pamukkale|
|Topçam Turizm||İstanbul Seyahat||Balıkesir Uludağ|
|Astor Seyahat||Efe Tur||Özkaymak|
|Ali Osman Ulusoy||Nevşehir Seyahat||As Adana Seyahat|
|Kamil Koc||Nilüfer Turizm||Hatay CSR Turizm|
|Sakarya Vib Turizm||ATS Turizm||Lüks Yalova Seyahat|
|Güney Akdeniz Seyahat||Ulusoy Turizm||Isparta Petrol Turizm|
|Kütahya Astur||Lüks Kahramanmaraş Turizm||Ses Turizm|
|Buzlu Turizm||Malatya Medine Turizm||Best Van Turizm|
|Kale Seyahat||Marses Turizm||Alanyalılar Turizm|
|Artvin Ses Seyahat||Gülen Turizm||Batman Yıldızlar Turizm|
|Sıla Özlem Seyahat||Beydağı Turizm||Yeşil Muş Ovası|
|STR Turizm||Bitlis Taç Turizm||Bayramiç Seyahat|
|Huntur||10Tur||Taç Akçay Turizm|
|Tokat Almus Turizm||Cideliler Turizm||Karabük Doğuş|
|Çukurova Ekspresi Seyahat||Barış Turizm||İstanbul Kalesi|
|Star Ok Turizm||Safran Turizm||Bafra Seyahat|
|Has Turizm||Süha Turizm||Keşan Birlik|
|Es Turizm||Özlem Diyarbakır||İzmir Turizm|
|Ben Turizm||Özberkay Turizm||Asuman Turizm|
Bus stations Turkey
Due to the large number of passengers travelling by bus, Turkey of course also has some pretty large bus stations. If you are in Istanbul you should visit the Greater Istanbul bus station, probably this is one of 3 largest bus stations you can find in Europe. Below we have listed the main cities in Turkey, if you click on the link you can see the information and address of bus stations and stops or like in case of Istanbul you can see addresses of several bus stations.
Coach hire Turkey
Turkey being a popular tourist country has of course lots of buses available for tourist transfers from airports, for tourist tours and for general bus rental, buses for tourist groups can be rented in all tourist town like Alanya, Belek, Side etc and of course also in all other larger cities, buses can be rented from agencies or online, if you are staying in a hotel, they can for sure also assist your with a bus rental.
The buses used for charter are usually quite new and in great condition, of course it can happen that a bit older buses are used on busy rental days.
FAQ bus Turkey
Yes, bus travel in Turkey is generally quite safe, as mentioned above most buses even have a steward or stewardess on board for assisting passengers. As any ware when traveling with an intercity bus you should of course not leave value items and documents in luggage for the hold.
Buses where you have an actual bed are not available in Turkey, the buses are comfortable and have reclining seats, but it’s not a bed! If you are travelling overnight and prefer a bed to sleep in, you should check out trains, they are more expensive, but on some routes there are overnight trains with sleeping cabins.
No travelling by bus in Turkey is very affordable, this applies to using public transportation in cities as well as intercity buses.
Domestic travel restrictions in Turkey, has been constantly changing since the Corona pandemic outbreak, for flights as well as for trains and buses there are restrictions you will have to comply to like e.g. wearing a face mask, you can find more information about Covid situation in Turkey on the website of the Turkish Ministry of Health and information for travellers on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it is also recommendable to the check the website of the US Embassy in Turkey.
Before travelling to Turkey, you should also check your home countries travel restrictions for visiting Turkey, and very important check the coverage of your travel insurance in relation to Covid Travel.
Yes, from most Turkish airports there are public buses and cheap shuttle buses, from the largest airports you also have metro. If you fly to one of the airports near the tourist resorts, you would find affordable shuttle buses to many hotels. If you are a family traveling you could also consider a private transfer which is not that expensive in most cases.
Yes, there are many buses driving between Turkey and Greece, the main hub for the buses to Greece is of course Istanbul, but you also have buses from other cities in the northern part of Turkey.
Yes, there are buses from Turkey to Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Plovdiv and many other cities in Bulgaria, buses run daily, the most buses depart from Istanbul, but you can also find buses from a few other Turkish cities.
In Istanbul there are several bus stations, the main one is the Greater Istanbul bus Terminal, which is an enormous bus station, but do to the size of the city there are many other bus terminals, so be sure to check exactly from where your bus departure, if you search online, you should see all information about the departure location. You can see a list of the most used bus stations in Istanbul here.
For Bus companies
If you are a bus company operating in Turkey and wish to be included in this document, please feel free to contact us, which you can do here