Friday, 2 July 2010

Travelling by Dolmus in Turkey

The humble Dolmuş (pronounced Dol-moosh) sometimes referred to as a shared taxi is the cheapest way to travel in Turkey, Dolmus buses vary from city to city sometimes a small minibus sometimes a converted transit van. They normally stick to a set route although I have known them to go off route to drop you off closer to you destination in Istanbul. Dolmuş stops are indicated by a blue bus stop style sign with a large white “D” on it in some areas in other areas there are no marked stops, however Dolmus buses will stop and pick up or drop off anywhere along their set route you just have to hail them like a taxi.

The sign in the front window of the Dolmuş usually indicates the route of the bus saying both the departure and destination point. It is generally accepted that the Dolmus never runs on time, and in fact the name Dolmuş translates as a taxi that doesn't start until its full (stuffed full) with passengers.

Once you have hailed the Dolmus take a seat and pass your money to the passengers in front who will pass it forward to the driver, the dolmus is cheap so use small coins and notes it will only irritate the driver if you pay with a 100 Turkish lira note, anyway its difficult to drive a bus, talk on a mobile and change up 100 TL for a 3 TL fare all at the same time.

The Dolmuş will almost certainly be crowded and the style of driving might be a little different then your used to, this can be particularly unnerving if you find yourself hurtling down mountain roads full of hairpin bends and sheer cliff drops to the sea whilst the driver chats a way to his brother on his mobile or has a conversation with someone at the back of the bus seeming to pay no attention to the road at all.

If you use the Dolmuş to get around as opposed to taxis you will save money. For example a Taxi drive from Olu Deniz to Hisaronu will cost about 20TL where as the dolmus will be just 3TL.

When riding the dolmus remember to do what it says on the bumper sticker “Panik Yapma” don't panic......

I found this rather comical video guide to catching the dolmus check it out it covers everything.


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Nomad said...

I have made my first short film and it's about crossing the bay of Izmir by ferry.

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