By Bus&Car to İstanbul

Dance with the rhythm of different cultures
Arriving Istanbul by Bus

Istanbul has a quiet big bus terminal, “International Istanbul Intercity Bus Terminal”, is at Esenler. (10 Km to Sultanahmed). With 168 ticket offices and gates, its own Metro station, shops, restaurants, police station, clinic and mosque, the Esenler Otogar is virtually a town in itself. Almost all international buses first visit the Bus terminal. There are regular Coach (Bus) services between Turkey and Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia and Switzerland as well as Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Buses from Europe are following the Greece and Bulgaria routes mainly. The two main routes are like this; Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – Turkey and Germany, Italy, Ferry to Greece – Turkey.

Below you can find information about bus travel from neighbor countries to Turkey.

Greece to Istanbul:

Varan : Runs once in a week. Buses leaves on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 18:00 hrs from Athens, make stops at Larissa, Thessalonica, Komotini, Xanthi, A.Polis, Kesan (TR). Arrival to Istanbul is at 12:30 next day. Travel time around 18,30 hrs. Return ticket costs 121.20 Euro (One way 67,5 Euro). Tel: 00 30-210-5135768 Athens.

Austria to Istanbul

Varan : Runs twice a week. Buses leaves at 20:30 from Wien on Tuesday and Friday.. Passes from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bulgaria and arrives in Istanbul. Travel time is 27 Hrs. Return ticket costs 170 Euro and one way 100 Euro. Tel: 0043 – 1 504 65 93 Wien. Check for summer schedule.

Bulgaria to Istanbul :

There are regular daily bus services from Sofia – Varna to Istanbul. Buses leaves at Sofia traffic market. Travel distance is 600 km with 8hrs travel. There are many bus companies running in this route and buses are available almost every two-hour.

Varan: Varna Office: +359 879 356 219
Has: 00 359 2 980 60 88, Avar: 00 359 02 31 41 98

Romania to Istanbul:

There are regular daily bus services from Bucharest , Constanta, Craiova, Brasov to Istanbul. Travel Distance is 700 km with 10 hrs travel time. Tickets costs 400,000 Lei.(10 Euro).  Toros (Bucuresti Gare ne Nord) : 00 4 0 21 – 223 18 98, Murat (Bucuresti) : 00 40 21 – 336 62 15

Macedonia to Istanbul:

There are regular daily bus services from Skopje, Kumanova, Tetova & Gostivar to Istanbul. Express tur: + 389 2 11 720 (Skopje), +389 42 213 303 (Gostivar)

Iran to Istanbul:

There are regular daily bus services between Tehran and Istanbul. Buses leaves at Azadi Bus terminal at Tehran, Travel distance is 2800 Km and travel time is around 40 hrs. Ticket costs 20-25 USD.(140,000 Rial). Iran Peyma: Jomhuri Square , Tehran. Tel: + 912 108 22 28. Besides direct buses, it is also possible to travel to Istanbul by changing buses which is shorter in time, but a bit more expensive. Alternate is to take a bus from Tehran to Maku, than a minibus to Bazargan the border town. Walk the border and reach the Turkish town Gurbulak take a minibus to Dogubeyazit. Than take a bus to Istanbul.

Armenia to Istanbul:

There are also buses from Yerevan/ Armenia to istanbul every Saturdays, The bus leaves from Kilikia Bus Station (Admiral Isakov Ave.  Tel: (374-1)  54-07-56 , ETD: Saturdays  (22.00) –  can change with little notice,  Length 2000 Km, travel time 41-48 hours . Tickets cost 50 USd and you shall pay an extra of 10 USD at Batumi/ Georgia (Plus transit visa). In summer they operate on Monday and Thursdays also.

Georgia to Istanbul:

The buses leaves from Tbilisi and Batumi, first travels to Turkish city Trabzon, than continues to Istanbul travel time 40 hrs and costs 60 USD. There are several buses daily between Tbilisi and Turkish city Trabzon. I advice breaking the trip in Trabzon. And continue with another bus from Trabzon

Arriving Istanbul by Car, Motor, Van, Etc.
Those who wish to come to Istanbul with their vans, minibuses, automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes, sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other transport vehicles, will have to provide the following documentations before entering the country:
  • Passport.
  • International driving license.
  • Car license (document where all details related to the car and the owner’s name are registered). If it is somebody else’s vehicle a power of attorney should be provided.
  • International green card (Insurance card). The TR sign should be visible.
  • Transit book “Carnet de passage” (for those who want to proceed to the Middle East).

Driving is on the right side and drivers must give way to the right at all times. The speed limit on motorways is 120kph (70mph), 90kph (55mph) on main roads and 50kph (30mph) in towns.

There are roads from the CIS, Greece, Bulgaria and Iran. Drivers may either choose the northern route of Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and then Bulgaria, or the southern route through Belgium, Austria and Italy with a car-ferry connection to Greece or Turkey.