In Turkey, buses are generally faster than most trains and provide inexpensive service almost around the clock between all cities and towns, and they're usually quite comfortable. Most offer complimentary tea, soda, and biscuits, though with smaller companies you will want to bring your own water in case beverages are not available. All are run by private companies, each of which has its own fixed fares for different routes and, usually more significantly, its own standards of comfort. Most bus companies, such as Varan, Ulusoy, Kamil Koç, Metro Turizm, and Pamukkale, which go between major cities and resort areas, can be counted on for comfortable air-conditioned service with snacks. There is often a close correlation between price and comfort, with the more expensive companies such as Varan providing the best amenities. Most of the larger companies have their own terminals and in larger cities run shuttles from locations around the city to the main terminal. Note that ekspres buses running between major cities are significantly faster and more comfortable than local buses. By law, all buses are nonsmoking.
Fares and Schedules
Buses traveling the Istanbul–Ankara route depart either city nearly every 30 minutes, and cost about 55 TL to 65 TL for a one-way trip. The Istanbul–İzmir fare ranges from about 70 TL to 85 TL. All buses make periodic rest stops along the way.
The larger companies have their own sales offices as well as websites and call centers offering e-tickets, though travelers without a Turkish ID number will likely have to purchase their tickets in person. For smaller companies, tickets are sold at stands in a town's otogar (central bus terminal); the usual procedure is to go to the bus station and shop around for the best route and price. All seats are reserved. When buying your ticket, tell the ticket agent that you would like to sit on the shady side of the bus; even on air-conditioned buses the sun can feel oppressive on a long trip.
Kamil Koç. 444–0562; www.kamilkoc.com.tr.
Metro Turizm. 850/222–3455; www.metroturizm.com.tr.
Pamukkale. 850/333–3535 ; www.pamukkale.com.tr.
Truva Turizm. 444–0017; www.truvaturizm.com.
Ulusoy. 444–1888; www.ulusoy.com.tr.
Varan. 444–8999; www.varan.com.tr.