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Travel by bus or car in Turkey

My husband and I are travelling to Turkey in November-we wonder if it is best to ride a bus (Dolma) or to rent a car?
Also, are there any absolute must see places that are not the big tourist sites?

Thank you!

Posted by
110 posts

Here is what my family did on our vacation. We took a bus from Istanbul to Izmir and picked up a car in Izmir so we would not have to drive in a big city. I would look at ticket prices and travel times for buses then price a rental car and compare fares/fees. Personally I think driving was the better option. BUT the over loaded semi trucks using both lanes around sharp turns was a little scary.

We found a lot of side of the road ruins and sites just by driving and seeing signs and pulling over. One time we saw a road sign and the only word we could make out was "Zeus" so we pulled over and it was a large temple ruin a long side a road in the middle of an olive grove. There was only one guy sitting in a small both selling tickets at the site. It was fun to climb around the site and have it all to our selves. Sorry I do not know what road we were on but there are sites like this all over Turkey.

We also spend time at Ephesus and the site is so large it felt like we had it to ourselves even though school groups were there.


Posted by
141 posts

Thanks so very much for your reply to my question travel by bus or car! Just wondering if you have any must stay places to stay? Again thank you!

Posted by
4 posts

Car! The roads were surprisingly good and it is not difficult to get around and you have so much more flexibility. My husband and I rented a car in Ankara and drove to Goreme to Antalya up the coast to Fethiye, inland to Pamukkale, back to Selcuk and dropped car off in Izmir to fly to Istanbul. If you go to Cappadocia I highly recommend to stay in Goreme at Kelebek hotel. We were there four nights and it absolutely is the best hotel in Goreme in my opinion and it is not that expensive. It was honestly the best place we stayed on our 3 week trip of Turkey. I reviewed it on Trip Advisor. Kas on the coast I loved. Beautiful quaint town with so much to do in the vicinity. Pamukkale I would not go back to but I am glad that I went and saw it. We stayed at Hotel Bella in Selcuk, the second best place we stayed on our trip. Loved Ephesus and surrounding area. In Istanbul we splurged and stayed at Hotel Adamar. Rick Steves lists it as one of the best views of Istanbul and I picked it on his recommendation in his book. I would stay there again in a second. One: because the views are that good from the rooftop where you can have dinner or go anytime for tea and Two: because of the location- it is central to everything in Sultanahmet and easy walk to Galata bridge where you can get access to the rest of the city.