Traveling by plane
According to top-medical-schools, there are various airlines in Turkey that cover the large distances in the country quickly and easily. Turkish Airlines (TK) and Pegasus Airlines (PC) connect Istanbul and Ankara with Izmir, Adana, Trabzon and Antalya, among others. SunExpress (XQ) operates the Istanbul – Antalya route.
Traveling by car/bus
Turkey has a well-developed road network. There is no general toll obligation, but there is for various stretches of motorway, tunnels and bridges. Toll motorway routes: Edirne – Istanbul (Mahmutbey), Istanbul – Bolu, Istanbul – Ankara, Cesme – Izmir, Izmir – Aydin, Adana/Ceyhan – Osmaniye – Gaziantep – Nizip – Sanliurfa, Iskenderun – Ceyhan and Nigde – Mersin. Toll Tunnels & Bridges: All three Bosphorus Bridges, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in the north, the Bogazici Bridge in the south and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge in the north of Istanbul are subject to tolls for journeys from Europe to Asia. In addition, a toll is payable for Ozman-Gazi Bridge and Avrasya Tünel (Eurasia Tunnel), which connects the European part of Istanbul with the Asian part. The toll fees are settled exclusively via the electronic payment system HGS (Hizli Geçis Sistemi). To do this, you buy either a vignette or a prepaid card, which are available at every Turkish post office (PTT), at motorway service stations or rest areas and are topped up for payment. In Germany you can get the vignette at all İşbank branches. Gas stations can be found on the main roads at regular intervals. Gas stations are usually open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; sometimes around the clock on motorways. Maintenance, repair workshop and restaurant are mostly connected. Unleaded petrol is available throughout Turkey. Repair shops are generally located on the outskirts of large cities and on the main thoroughfares. In the event of breakdowns or accidents, the best thing to do is to call the ADAC international emergency number. This offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. Loss of documents and money to medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Most major highways are four lane expressways and are in good condition. However, you should also expect slow cars or even donkey carts on these inland roads, which may not be lit at night. In built-up areas, the roads often show significant differences in quality. Main roads may have six lanes alongside small side roads without any potholed surface. Remote places can often only be reached via miles of unpaved slopes. Motorways, on the other hand, are generally in very good condition.
The different road categories are signposted as follows: Motorway: green background with a white motorway symbol in the middle. European roads: green background, an E and a two-digit number in white lettering, eg E70. Expressways: blue background, in white letters a D and a three-digit number, eg D100.
There are car rental companies in cities and at all airports. The driver must be at least 21 years old and have held a valid driver’s license for at least one year. An additional young driver fee may be charged under the age of 25. For some vehicle classes there is sometimes a maximum age of 70 years. More information can be obtained from the local tourist offices.
There are taxi ranks at airports and in cities. Taxis can be recognized by their yellow color. Metered taxis are available in Ankara and Istanbul. Nevertheless, you should negotiate the fare beforehand; especially on longer journeys. In the greater radius around villages and towns, ‘shared taxis’ (Dolmuş) operate on fixed routes. These are not particularly comfortable, but they are inexpensive. The fare is calculated according to zones, which are specified in a table in the dolmuş. Despite the prescribed fares, you should inquire about the prices beforehand, as otherwise ‘special prices’ are often required, especially for remote destinations, night trips or bad weather. Stops are marked with a D.
All of the country’s cities are connected to one another by regular bus connections. Buses depart at any time of the day from bus stations (Otogar or Terminal) in big cities, and often from Market Square in small towns. Bus travel is the cheapest way to get around in Turkey; often faster than the train. You can buy tickets in the branches of the bus companies, both at the bus station and in the city offices, but also from the bus driver. The comfortable buses usually have free WiFi, television, air conditioning and a bus attendant. Snacks and drinks are free.
Traffic regulations: – 2 warning triangles must be carried. – Alcohol limit for drivers of cars without a trailer: 0.5 ‰, all others 0.0 ‰. – children under 150 cm tall and weighing up to 36 kg must be transported in child seats on the back seat; Children taller than 150 cm also on the back seat, but with a 3-point belt with child seat cushion. Children under the age of 3 must be carried in suitable restraints. – Between December 1st and March 31st snow chains must be carried and vehicles must be equipped with winter tires. Snow chains may only be used on snow-covered roads, studded tires only on snow-covered or icy roads. Speed limits: in built-up areas: 50 km/h; on rural roads: 90 km/h; on motorways: 120 km/h.
The national driver’s license is valid for stays of up to 6 months. Vehicles with foreign license plates may stay in the country for a maximum of 2 years. The international insurance card for motor transport must always be carried with you. One should check before departure whether the international insurance card for motor transport is also valid for the Asian part of Turkey.
Traveling in the city
In big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir there are extensive bus and subway networks. In other places only buses that i. Generally very punctual. Istanbul: Public transport in Istanbul is regulated by buses, subways, suburban trains, trams and ferries. The Asian and European parts of Istanbul are connected both by the suburban railway through the Marmaray Tunnel under the Bosphorus and by numerous ferries, from which one can enjoy a magnificent view of Istanbul. The Istanbulkart is an electronic ticket for all public transport in Istanbul. It is available and rechargeable at the airport, bus stations and ship piers, at city transport service points and online. Ankara also has a well-developed public transport network of buses and subways. Since the center is quite small, many destinations are within walking distance. Izmir: The public transport network consists of a metro line, a suburban railway line connecting the airport with the city, ferries across Izmir Bay and buses, among others.
Locally on the way by train
Rail transport only plays a subordinate role in rural regions of Turkey. However, trains operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) run between larger cities several times a day. – Regional trains are the most common. They serve numerous routes. – Mainline trains provide faster connections between major cities. – High-speed trains travel between Istanbul, Konya and Ankara at up to 250 km/h (journey time Istanbul-Ankara: 4 hrs 20 mins, Istanbul-Konya: 4 hrs 30 mins). Other high-speed lines are Ankara – Konya and Eskişehir – Konya, which are linked by a connecting curve at Polatlı. – The Blue Night Train serves the Ankara-Izmir and Konya-Izmir routes. – The Eastern Express runs from Ankara to Kars through Anatolia (journey time: 24 hours). Tickets can be purchased online from TCDD, from TCDD machines at train stations or from travel agencies. Reservations are not mandatory but recommended for the Istanbul – Ankara bullet train and other long-distance trains.
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are also valid in Turkey. The Balkan Flexi Pass is available for unlimited rail travel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey for a choice of 3, 5, 7, 10 or 15 days.
Traveling by ship
There are numerous ferry lines serving the Marmara region around Istanbul and some lines reaching to Bursa, Izmir and Canakkale. Ferries connect the European side of the coast from Eminonu, Karakoy and Besiktas with Kadikoy and Uskudar on the Asian side. A car ferry crosses the Dardanelles from Gelibolu (Gallipoli) and runs from Çanakkale to Eceabat and from Gelibolu to Lapseki. There is a weekly ferry between Tasucu on the Turkish mainland and Kyrenia on Northern Cyprus – journey time: approx. 6 hours. Different companies serve different regions: Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri – Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean; Izmir Deniz Isletmeciligi – Izmir; Antalya Ulasim – Antalya; Gestas Deniz Ulasim – Canakkale; Akgunler Denizcilik – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.