Turkey Public Transport: Everything you need to know!



When planning to live in Turkey or any other part of the world, one of the first issues someone should deal with is public transport. This is something that causes many Turkish people to roll their eyes. The reason is obvious: the price. Cars are not cheap in Turkey. As someone who lived in Germany, also referred to as the homeland of automotive, I can say that the high prices for cars are not only a concern for low-income families in Turkey; it is a fact impacting many people desiring to buy a car.

Turkey Public Transport
Exercise caution when selecting a taxi in major cities like Istanbul; there’s a possibility of being scammed!

I do not have a car and personally do not favor buying one shortly. The main reason behind my opinion is not the high price, not meaning that this would be easy for me 😉; instead, there are additional factors like insurance, inspections, and repairs, which are related to high costs and time. What do I mean by time? It is not easy to find a trustworthy workshop in general, especially for someone not having much experience with this type of issue, as well as foreigners not knowing the “foreign” work culture found in these branches.

People aim to find someone naive they can trick by presenting unnecessary issues related to your car to increase the price for the repair. You, who are too young and inexperienced to refuse their proposal and too inexperienced in the Turkish language to talk with someone not knowing anything in English, will face a situation nearly impossible to succeed. So, I think you got the idea behind my thinking. This does not mean that buying a car is unreachable in Turkey.

Car or Public transport?

A few foreign students I know own a car. They belong to high-income families and live more than an hour away from school. Using a car for such a long distance seems logical. Other Turkish people live with their families in parts of Ankara far away from their university and use the car of their parents to attend the courses. These people are also the ones not attending the courses due to time spent when coming to school and vice versa.

A car is very useful in Turkey due to the distance between the cities resulting from the size of the country. It is not new that the car is a medium to increase the mobility of the user, but through the ages, a new medium has gained popularity, referred to as public transport 😉.

Comparison to other countries?

Let me tell you that the means of transport are tuned according to someone’s needs in Turkey. What do I mean by that? It means that you have exactly the transport option offered for reaching your destination. If you want to travel between cities there are long-distance buses, which reach nearly all parts of Turkey, including small villages of no more than 100 people having no other type of public transport than the minibus provided by the government to enable their access to fundamental infrastructures found in the closest bigger town. I can say that the long-distance bus system between the cities is much more advanced and accessible in Turkey than in Germany.

I have used the bus several times for distances of more than 12 hours in Turkey and can underline the ease of making use of this practical system. There are many websites and applications to buy the most tuned ticket for someone. Popular roads like from Istanbul to Ankara or Izmir and vice versa have buses every hour.

How are the prices for transport?

An average tour from Istanbul to Ankara takes around about 7 hours and costs on average 70 TL (9 euros according to the currency exchange rate at the beginning of 2021). A flight ticket for the same route just takes an hour and costs about 150 TL depending on the season. By train, it would take 4 hours and cost you 85 TL.

In general, I prefer to use the bus because it is uncomplicated and flexible in time. I have also used the train several times, which is quicker than the bus and is more comfortable due to the size of the train itself and the seats which are most of the time leaner in buses. Many people I know are using the plane to reach their destination, but this seems to be less favorable for me, because of the higher price and the strict times.

I am the type of person who appreciates flexibility and tries to distance himself from decisions that determine or fix my actions. When I take the bus I can buy a ticket close to the time of the departure and do not have to buy a ticket many weeks before like usual when taking a flight. There can always be issues facing you including your strictly planned timescale. The return policy for transport issues is most of the time complicated. To prevent the time and stress I prefer using the bus as many people do.

There exists a shuttle bus service, resembling a train’s direct route, where only buses are permitted to operate.

What are the Challenges of Owning a Car in Turkey?

Discover why many Turkish people find car ownership daunting due to factors such as high prices, insurance costs, and challenges with finding reliable repair services.

How Do High Car Prices Impact Mobility in Turkey?

Explore how the high cost of cars in Turkey affects accessibility and mobility for individuals, especially those from low-income families or foreign nationals.

What Factors Influence the Decision to Own a Car in Turkey?

Delve into the considerations individuals weigh when deciding whether to purchase a car in Turkey, including affordability, insurance, maintenance, and cultural differences in the automotive industry.

How Does Public Transport in Turkey Address Mobility Needs?

Learn about the extensive network of public transport options in Turkey, tailored to meet diverse transportation needs, including long-distance buses, minibusses, and trains.

What Are the Advantages of Using Long-Distance Buses in Turkey?

Discover the convenience and accessibility of long-distance bus travel in Turkey, including frequent schedules, affordability, and ease of purchasing tickets through various online platforms.

Is Train Travel a Viable Option for Transportation in Turkey?

Explore the benefits of train travel in Turkey, such as speed, comfort, and reliability, compared to other modes of transportation like buses and planes.

Why Do Many People Prefer Bus Travel Over Air Travel in Turkey?

Understand the reasons behind the preference for bus travel over air travel in Turkey, including flexibility, affordability, and avoidance of strict schedules and booking requirements.

How Does Public Transport Support Connectivity Across Turkey’s Cities and Regions?

Learn how public transport infrastructure in Turkey enhances connectivity between cities and regions, facilitating economic development, tourism, and social integration.

Have you ever encountered a city where ships serve as a regular mode of transportation? Remarkably, your public transport card is valid for ship journeys as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Public Transport in Turkey

How Reliable is Public Transport in Turkey?

Turkey’s public transport system is generally reliable, with buses, trains, and minibusses operating on regular schedules. However, occasional delays may occur due to factors such as traffic congestion or weather conditions.

Are Public Transport Tickets Affordable in Turkey?

transport in turkey, public transport in turkey, transportation in turkey
View of the metro in Ankara

Yes, public transport tickets in Turkey are relatively affordable, making them accessible to a wide range of individuals. Prices vary depending on the mode of transport and the distance traveled, but overall, public transport is a cost-effective option for getting around.

In general, I would say that transportation in Turkey is more affordable than in other countries I have seen. Even for tourists, public transport in Turkey is more achievable and accessible. You can buy a ticket card without any difficulties and load money onto it. If someone is a student in Turkey, they are allowed to have a student transportation card, which charges less.

While a normal passenger pays around 15 TL for a bus or metro ride in Ankara, a student pays 7.50 TL. “Aktarma” or transfer is even cheaper, costing 4.50 TL. So, in case you need to take the bus after the metro, you pay less and not the full amount. There are many ways for cheaper public transport in Turkey.

What Are the Benefits of Using Public Transport in Turkey?

Using public transport in Turkey offers various benefits, including cost savings, reduced traffic congestion, environmental sustainability, and the opportunity to avoid the hassle of finding parking in busy urban areas.

How Accessible is Public Transport for Tourists in Turkey?

Public transport in Turkey is accessible to tourists, with information available in multiple languages at major transportation hubs. Tourists can easily navigate the public transport system using maps, signage, and smartphone apps.

What Safety Measures Are in Place on Public Transport in Turkey?

Public transport operators in Turkey prioritize passenger safety, with measures such as security personnel, surveillance cameras, and emergency protocols in place to ensure a secure travel experience for passengers.

Can I Use Public Transport to Travel Between Major Cities in Turkey?

Yes, Turkey’s public transport network includes long-distance bus and train services that connect major cities across the country. These services offer comfortable and convenient travel options for intercity journeys.

How Can I Purchase Public Transport Tickets in Turkey?

Passengers can purchase public transport tickets in Turkey from ticket counters at transportation terminals, vending machines, authorized agents, and online platforms. Many operators also offer mobile ticketing options for added convenience.

What Should I Know Before Using Public Transport in Turkey?

Before using public transport in Turkey, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with routes, schedules, ticketing procedures, and etiquette. Additionally, be prepared for crowded conditions during peak travel times, especially in urban areas.


Navigating public transport in Turkey is a convenient and affordable way to explore the country’s vibrant cities, historical sites, and picturesque landscapes. With a reliable network of buses, trains, and minibusses, travelers can enjoy seamless connectivity and hassle-free travel experiences across Turkey.