City and private buses
City buses, which are green or red, and private buses, which are blue, run regular routes from such central areas as Taksim, Mecidiyeköy, Beşiktaş, Kadıköy and Bostancı to many different parts of the city.
At bus stops, you will find a list of the hours of departure for different bus routes. On city buses, you can pay with either a paper ticket or an Akbil; on private buses, you can pay directly with money or with an Akbil.
Buses that cross over the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge require two tickets (a double payment). Passengers who board the bus after it crosses the Bosphorus only have to pay a single ticket price. The same is true on all other bus routes, regardless of how long your journey lasts. The price of a single ticket is 1,3 YTL; if you use an Akbil, the price falls to 1,25 YTL.
Dolmuş is a large yellow taxi that accommodate up to 8 passengers. Bus tickets are not accepted on dolmuş. The most popular dolmuş routes are those from Taksim to Bostancı, Kadıköy, Bakırköy, Yeşilköy, Ataköy, Topkapı and Fındıkzade, respectively; from Şişli to Kadıköy and Bostancı; and, from Taksim to Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı. Dolmuş depart only after all of their seats are occupied.
On average, minibuses carry between fourteen and fifteen. The destinations passed on a minibus’ route are typically written on the front window and on a billboard on top of the bus. One can only pay with money on minibuses.
Minibuses run from the central minibus stations in Şişli, Beşiktaş, Bakırköy and Kadıköy to a variety of destinations. If you are worried that you might have boarded the wrong bus, ask the driver. Alert the chauffeur before you arrive, and he will stop the bus in order for you to get off.
All of the taxis in Istanbul are yellow, and display signs reading taxi (taksi) on their roofs. It is safer to board taxis at official taxi stops. If you do board at a taxi stop, it will be much easier for you contact the taxi driver later if you forget anything in the cab, or for any other reason. You can also stop taxis while they are driving on the streets. The license plate and stop that the taxi belongs to, should be written on the top of the cab. You can take down this information.
The fee for taxi rides is calculated with a taxi meter. The taxi meter begins at 1,73 YTL and increases by 1,25 YTL for each kilometer traveled. The standing-rate is after five minutes 20 YKr per minute. It is important to have change on you when you board a taxi, as drivers will often not have change for large bills. After midnight a fifty percent increase in the taxi rate comes into effect.
Travel between cities
You can make reservations and purchase tickets for travel by bus within Turkey at the offices of a number of different bus firms, which are found in Taksim, Beşiktaş, Kadıköy and almost every other neighborhood in the city.
Buses leave from the Esenler Station on the European Side and from the Harem Bus Station on the Asian Side. Buses to other European countries leave from the Esenler Station.
For more detailed information about travel, ticket prices, and routes:
Buses within the city: www.iett.gov.tr
Buses outside of the city: www.otogar.com
Lost items bureau: (9)0212-297-5631
The Esenler Bus Station: (9)0212-658-0505
The Harem Bus Station: (9)0212-333-3763