The 4 best ways of moving around Turkey

Turkey travel
Photo by Mar Cerdeira on Unsplash

So, you have decided to travel to Turkey. Wether you plan a beach holiday in Antalya, a balloon trip in Cappadocia, island hopping in Marmaris or a city trip to Istanbul, you may have noticed Turkey is a huge country with a lot to see, and many cities and sites are far apart. In this article we will talk about what are the easiest, fastest and safest ways to move around during your Turkey-adventure!

Below we explain how to travel Turkey by Airplane, Turkey by rental car, Turkey by bus and Turkey by train!

Travelling Turkey by airplane. 

Turkey has a huge network of more than 50 domestic airports, served by several airlines. The main airlines to use for domestic travel are Pegasus,  SunExpress, Turkish Airlines and Anadolujet (a domestic subsidiary of Turkish Airlines). 

Flying within Turkey is safe and very affordable. At the time of writing a one-way ticket from Istanbul to Antalya can be booked for as little as $28/€27. You can use the tool below to check on your tickets. Many travellers fly to Istanbul first as the airport with most international connections, “Istanbul new airport”, is located there. A quick city-trip in Istanbul can therefore easily be combined with a beach-holiday in the Turkish riviera. A flight, for example from Istanbul to Antalya takes around one hour. 

For the ones looking for adventure, the eastern cities of Turkey and Cappadocia are also very well connected to both Istanbul and Ankara. The longest domestic flight you can have within Turkey, from Istanbul to the most eastern cities will be around 2 hours and 10 minutes.

You can find the best deals for domestic flights within Turkey here.

Travelling Turkey by rental car. 

In recent decades Turkey has come a long way with their network of highways. The roads are new, of good quality and up to the standards you may be used to in Europe or the United States. They are safe, and going around Turkey by car will give you a chance to enjoy nice views and a chance to explore places which would normally be hard to reach. 

Many roads in Turkey are toll roads, a fee will have to be paid depending on the segments of the road you use. They are not very expensive, and most of the time it will be automatically charged to your rental company which will charge you afterwards. Driving from Istanbul to Izmir for example, is a five hour drive which will cost you around $30/€28 in tolls (at the time of writing), charged to you in Turkish lira. However in return you get amazing views and long, smooth highways.

It has to be noted that though the traffic rules are generally the same, traffic etiquette may be a little different to what you are used to. It is not uncommon to be overtaken from the emergency lane, to be honked at for not going fast enough, or to see people speeding or crossing red traffic lights. However if you are a little more vigilant in traffic than you are at home, you will be fine.

It however makes life easier to rent a car which gives you the upper hand in traffic. You can probably imagine the different position you have in traffic with a Renault Clio, compared to a Ford Kuga. However unlikely it is for something to happen, getting a quick and reliable travel insurance for a small fee within minutes by clicking here can make your mind more at ease while on the way.

While renting a car in Turkey, it is best to use rentalcars.com. The most reliable car-rental companies in Turkey are in their system and its easy to figure out the best price for the type of car you want to rent.

Travelling Turkey by bus.

For many years, travelling Turkey by bus is a very affordable and comfortable way to get around the country. Its mostly used by locals and many cities and villages are well connected by a network of bus operators using modern, clean and comfortable touring busses. You will enjoy the privilege of relaxed travel while reading your book, having a nap or soaking up Turkey’s beautiful sights while getting to your destination.

Compared to travelling Turkey by airplane, you will obviously spend more time on the road, yet you will spend a lot less money compared to buying a flight ticket. A trip from Istanbul to Antalya can be made for as little as $15,50/€15, and tickets are easily and securely booked within a few minutes via busbud. This will ensure you have your ticket ready and will not have to stand in line or run into language barriers while buying your bus ticket in Turkey.

travel in turkey by bus

Travelling Turkey by bus is safe, affordable and comfortable, but if you are after privacy and a little more flexibility, we recommend renting a car as an affordable alternative.

Travelling Turkey by train.

Since the early days of the Turkish republic, a lot of time and money has been invested in a continuously modernising and expanding network of regular and fast-trains. 

Though not all, many cities are connected by train, most conveniently Istanbul and Ankara, with a fast-train connection taking as little as 3 hours. 

There are also more touristic lines, such as the eastern-express running from Ankara to Kars and many other connections connecting the east and west of Turkey. 

Tickets within Turkey (and anywhere else in Europe) are safely and easily booked online. This will ensure you don’t have to cue for your tickets, or stand in any lines trying to figure out where to go. You can buy your tickets securely trough their app and keep a digital ticket on your phone, which can be scanned by the Turkish railroad employee who will check your ticket.

These were the 4 best ways to travel around Turkey. Wether you go by plane, car, bus or train, make sure you plan ahear to save time and money! 

Bonus tip:

Planning to just fly, get to the hotel and relax? In that case it is best to book your airport transfer before. Use Intuitravel to book the cheapest and most convenient shuttle to your final destination. Save yourself the hassle and make sure a driver is waiting for you with a sign with your name on it, so you waste no time and money. Use the search function on their site or below, and simply enter your arrival airport and hotel name, after which they will find you the best deal with reliable drivers.

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