Getting To Turkey

Posted by admin | Cheap Turkey Travel |

How does one get to Turkey? To be honest, that’s quite easy and we’re going to cover the most important methods and offer tips for each of them here.

1. Getting To Turkey By Plane

Turkey is a well connected country. You can reach Turkey by plane from pretty much anywhere in the world. The Turkish national carrier, Turkish Airlines, is a reputable company offering flights to Istanbul from many of the world’s major airports. Other than them, you can also catch cheap flights to Turkey from Europe, especially Germany and England. If you can’t find any good flights from North America then you should get a flight to either Germany and England and connect to Turkey from there. Timing is extremely important when trying to get cheap flights to Turkey or anywhere for that matter. Check out our cheap flights to Turkey page for more on this issue.

2. Getting To Turkey By Ferry

One can also reach Turkey by ferry. Most of the routes are linking Greek locations, mostly islands, with close-by Turkish locations as well as Cyprus with Turkey and, a bit farther, Italy with Turkey. There are several companies operating such lines. One of the most important is Anker Travel, which is operating several routes between Greek Islands and Turkey and has an interesting site where one can search for ferry departures and make reservations as well. One other major online ferry reservation site that is offering ferries to Turkey and that is worth checking out is UK-based aferry.co.uk. If you’re looking for a ferry from Italy to Turkey or vice-versa as well as alternatives to Greek-Turkey ferries you should look on Aegean Ferry Services. They have a good map showing all of their ferry routes. One of the most interesting is their ferry from Ancona to Cesme.

It is worth knowing that ferries running between Greek islands and Turkish coastal towns are very seasonal and thus their schedule is very erratic. If you don’t manage to find the schedule and book accordingly online you may want to contact a travel agent in the Greek island of choice a week or a couple of days before and arrange for ferry tickets to Turkey.

Also worth knowing is that trying to cross by ferry from Greece to Turkey is very easy for EU citizens. The rest may encounter problems so if you’re in this situation it is best to inquire about visas and border-crossing issues at your embassy.

Sites:
Anker Travel – offering ferries from Greek Islands to Turkey
AFerry.co.uk
Aegean Ferry Services

3. Getting To Turkey By Train

If you’re planning to use a train to get to Turkey then you can do so both from Europe and from Asia but not from every Asian neighbor. From Europe, you can go the Thessaloniki – Alexandroupoli – Istanbul route if you’re in Greece or, from London, you can either go through France – Hungary – Bulgaria or through Germany – Hungary – Romania – Bulgaria to Istanbul. The better route is the one that goes through Germany and Romania. From Syria, you can take the Damascus – Aleppo train and then you’ll need to get a bus to cross the border and reach Adana. From Adana you can take any train you like to any Turkish destination. From Iran, there’s a weekly train to Istanbul that goes through Ankara as well. From Georgia, you can take a minibus from Batumi to Sarp at the border, cross the border, get a Turkish minibus to Kars or Erzurum and then travel by train from there. And from Armenia, you can’t take the train to Turkey directly but you can take a train to Georgia and use the route we’ve mentioned from there on.

For European rail passes, you should check out both RailEurope and RailPass.

4. Getting To Turkey By Car

This is easy from Europe. You can enter either from Greece or Bulgaria and reach Istanbul through Edirne. The roads are in good condition in Turkey so that shouldn’t be a worry. You can also reach turkey from Iran, Georgia and Syria by car; not Armenia though since the border is closed at the time of this writing.

But can you get to Turkey by rented car? The answer is no. Maybe you can find exceptions to this rule, but almost all car rental companies will refuse such a request or, if given the chance, will ask you to post an exorbitant sum as collateral. You should check out our cheap Turkey car rental page for more on car rental in Turkey if that’s of interest to you.

5. Getting To Turkey By Bus

Using a bus to get into Turkey is another option. This is good and cheap if you’re planning to get into Turkey from a nearby country such as Bulgaria, Romania or Greece. For example, bus service from Constanta or Bucharest, Romania to Turkey costs around ~50 EUR at the time of this writing for a round-trip. For Greece – Turkey routes you can even book tickets online through Varan Turizm for Thessaloniki to Istanbul. If you’re planning to do that from a farther European country then it may get quite tiring although you can at times find such a service, especially from Germany or Austria.

From Asia, one can take buses from Georgia to Turkey in both Batumi and Tbilisi but service is irregular and one should inquire around. From Armenia one can go through Georgia by bus to Turkey. From Iran there are buses to Turkey from Tabriz and from Syria one can get a minibus (shared taxi) from Aleppo to Adana. If you’re starting your journey to Turkey in Damascus you should get the bus to Aleppo and switch to shared taxi there.

Thessaloniki To Istanbul Bus & Vice-Versa

Remember to always know all about visas and border crossings by doing full research and thorough preparation before leaving.

This concludes our article on how to get to Turkey. If you’ve got more to add on the topic of getting to Turkey then don’t hesitate to post a comment.

Getting Around Turkey

Posted by admin | Cheap Turkey Travel |

You’re going to Turkey on a trip and would like to know how to best get around the country? In this article we’ll explore some of the best options you can use. Here we go.

1. Getting Around Turkey By Car

You can easily get around Turkey by car. Most roads between Turkish cities are in good condition and even those that aren’t are undertaking serious renovation work and upgrades. Plus, on Turkish roads there are European-style signposts and tourist attractions are well marked with ubiquitous brown signs.

While it’s great to travel between Turkish cities by car, even though the drivers are at times a bit hot headed, it’s not so great to use the car into a major city such as Istanbul or Izmir. There are serious congestion issues in such cities and you’ll run the risk of seriously hampering your travel experience if you use a car. Plus, in Istanbul, if you book a well situated hotel, such as any of those in the Sultanahmet area, you’ll be quite close to many of the city’s major attractions. See our cheap Turkey hotels page and cheap Turkey hostels page for more on hotels and hostels in Turkey.

You can also rent a cheap car in Turkey. For more on this, check out our cheap Turkey car rental page.

2. Getting Around Turkey By Train

Getting around Turkey by train means using the services of Turkish State Railways – or TCDD. They have a comprehensive website where you can also buy train tickets online. TCDD runs an extensive network of train lines that go through all Turkey. Most of the network has been built up until the 1970s but major lines are undergoing serious upgrade work at the time of this writing. As an example, getting to Istanbul to Ankara by train or vice-versa meant spending up to eight hours in transit. That has been reduced to five hours and there are plans to reduce it further to four hours.

You can also buy cheap 30-day travel passes on the Turkish railway network from TCDD. You need to get these in person though since they’re not available online.

One problem with the trains in Turkey is that they might incur serious delays on long journeys – e.g. from Istanbul to Adana or from Istanbul to Kars. If that doesn’t bother you much then there’s nothing stopping you from taking a train journey as prices are cheap and trains are comfortable.

Site: tcdd.gov.tr

3. Getting Around Turkey By Bus

Bus service in Turkey is nothing short of excellent. Clean, comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable. Several amenities such as free tea or coffee plus biscuits served by a steward are usually included in the regular ticket price. One can use the bus to travel all over Turkey in excellent conditions. Nonetheless, no matter how enjoyable bus service might be it is still rough on you on long travel distances in which you’d be better off taking the plane.

Some of the most reputable bus companies in Turkey are Metro, Varan, Ulusoy and KamilKoc.

4. Getting Around Turkey By Plane

Getting an internal flight to travel between various Turkish destinations is one of the fastest ways to get around the country. There are several lines operating internal flights and one can usually find decently priced tickets on them. Of the most important, we mention the national air carrier Turkish Airlines as well as three privately operated low-cost airlines, AtlasJet, Onur Air and Pegasus Airlines. Search through them to find the best flight for you.

If you’re coming with Berlin Air into Turkey then it’d be useful to know that Pegasus Airlines has connecting internal flights for Berlin Air’s passengers.

One last thing to know is that it takes up to 90 minutes to get from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport so it’d be best to schedule a 4 hour interval in case you’re landing at Ataturk and need to get a flight at Sabiha Gokcen or vice-versa.

5. Getting Around Turkey By Ferry

There are fast catamaran car ferries running from Istanbul’s Yenikapi Feribot Terminal to short destinations inside the sea of Marmara such as Bandirma, Yalova or Bursa via Guzelyali. One doesn’t need a car to hop on one of these ferries. There are also car ferries crossing the Dardanelles between either Gelibolu and Lapseki or Eceabat and Cannakale.

Unfortunately, there are currently no major ferries running between Istanbul and any Aegean or Mediterranean coast destination. The same holds true for the Black Sea coast, either between Istanbul and any of the major cities located on it or between those cities. However, one might find ferry rides on very short distances between various Turkish locations, other than those listed above, but one shouldn’t count on this.

This concludes our article on how to get around Turkey. If you have more useful information that you would like to add on the topic of getting around Turkey then don’t hesitate to post it inside a comment.