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Çanakkale is a city on the southern (Asian) banks of Dardanelles. The city is the capital of Çanakkale Province. There are ferries from Eceabat and Kilitbahir on the European banks of the Strait landing in the city. Highways numbered D550/E87 (towards south) and D200/E90 (towards east) fan out of the city.
The city is surrounded by a ring road, with access to the centre from east and south. If coming from east (Lapseki) and intending to head south without overnighting in the city, make sure your driver either takes you into downtown or somewhere near the southern access road if possible. Attracting a ride on the ring road is not very hard but with the traffic volume being so low, especially in the evening, you may have to walk a very long distance.
North west, ferry
Of the possibilities to cross the straits, the 24-hr(meaning it works all day, not that it takes 24h to cross!) Eceabat–Çanakkale ferry line, with 20-min intervals during busy morning to midnight hours, is likely to be the most convenient choice to get to the city from European mainland. It costs 2 TL for foot passengers, and 20 TL for cars (flat fare, i.e. not dependent on how many people are occupating the car). It is easy to hItchhike this ferry. The crossing takes around 30 minutes. You can choose to hitchhike already on the ferry or directly after getting off, or you can turn right and walk through the village of Eceabat and start thumbing after you've left the village behind and are on a bigger road again. It will take you around 10 minutes to walk through Eceabat.
The ferry to Kilitbahir (5 minutes west of Eceabat) takes 10 minutes and goes more regularly. It also takes cars and is better to hitchhike as it is faster and more frequent. Passengers from must be aware that, under bad weather conditions, the sea-traffic in the strait is limited or cancelled, and crossing the strait may become impossible. A local said that sometimes just walking on to the Kilitbahir ferry (without paying) is tolerated, although it is so easy to hitchhike this is probably not necessary.
Once you are near the southern access road coming from the city centre, attracting a southbound ride is no problem at all. In Kepez, a southern suburb of Çanakkale, there is a big-box type store named Migros near the highway. Opposite is a junction with traffic lights and a large shoulder. You can get a fairly quick lift there. However, there is also a minibus stop there, so they may cause a bit of nuisance with their horns and flashing headlights to ask whether you'd like a ride (for a fee, of course).
This route also passes through the junction of the road leading to ruins of legendary Troy (signposted Truva, Troya, or Troia; shown as "Tevfikiye" on the map to right), about 30 km south of Çanakkale. If you are heading there, just get off at the junction and walk or hitch the remaining 2 km to the site.
Walk to Blaikesir Asf. (perpindicular to the sea) and not far after it meets with Troya Cd. there is a good place for people to stop. you should get a ride in a few minutes.
Dominic saw many foreign cars taking the ferry at Çanakkale, and presumed they were driving between the western coast of turkey and Bulgaria. If you are going from Izmir to Bulgaria crossing the Bosphorus here would save 4 google map hours and the hassle of Istanbul.