Monday, January 24, 2011


via Wikipedia
 There are lots of choices for getting around Istanbul. You can stroll through the old markets, grab a Taksi (no x in Turkish) back to your hotel, catch a tram and head to the next museum on your list, or hop on a Vapur ferry heading across the Bosphorus. Bus lines crisscross the neighborhoods and there are a couple of metro lines too, slowly expanding under the city. (Digging through all those layers of history takes a long time. Workers have to stop to catalog archeological finds every few minutes! I'll do a separate post on Friday.) If you're brave and want to rent a car, make sure it's an automatic. You don't want to roll back down the steep streets.

Another affordable option is the Dolmuş. Tourists might not like to cram into a crowded minibus, but locals find it the easiest way to get anywhere fast - all across Turkey. Most people without cars, and even those who do, use the dolmus every day.

Unlike a taxi, the dolmuş has a determined route, but will stop at any corner you choose. There are maps available of the larger minibus routes, but the smaller ones basically work like this...

Wait at the corner until one stops, or try to flag one down if they don't see you. Ask the boy where he's headed. (There's usually a boy hanging halfway out the side door who handles fares and passengers). Hop on, and tell the boy when to stop.

Today's dolmuş is a boxy minibus, but it wasn't always that way. Up until the 70s, Istanbul was full of old American cars filling the role. You could fit a lot of people in the backseat of a DeSoto! Climbing out must have been fun though.

via Food Vagabond

You should really visit Ayak for an amusing first-hand story about the village dolmuş! Thanks for the link, Ayak! :)

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Old Kitty said...

Well I never knew the letter "x" doesn't exist in Turkish! Wow!!!

Oh I love the thought of these dolmuses (plural dolmi? :-))!!!!! Sounds ever so convenient - especially as they stop at the bit where you want to get off!! Yay!!!!!

How wonderful to have had these big american cars as public transport!! That must have been some ride!! Take care

LTM said...

omg--LOL! I would love to see a buncha folks crammed in an old DeSoto... :D

Actually, when I visit other countries, I LOVE trying out the public transportation. You really get an inside view of their world. And in So. American countries, it can be a little scary~ :D <3

Carolyn V. said...

On any corner! That's cool! =)

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. This is so cool! I wish I lived somewhere that was this full of history and culture.

Ayak said...

I've had some wonderful (and not so wonderful) experiences of the dolmuş since I moved to Turkey. I did a post about the village dolmuş the year before last. (If you want to have a look:

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thanks for the link, Ayak! I included it in the post so people don't have to read comments to find it. :)

Golden Eagle said...

They sound easy to use--much better for the passenger than having to get off at pre-specified locations!


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