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Istanbul is the biggest city of Turkey, partly in Europe and partly in Asia.

Hitching in

If you drive highway look around and ask your driver to let you out in place where you see a Istanbul in walking distance than ask local people for bus/metro. For example Paşaköy. You should have some small local cash to pay for ticket. Or walk :)

Update 2022: Definitely have some lira before hitchhiking into Istanbul. Both times we did it we were left far away from the city center so you will have to get on public transport and for this you should buy an Istanbul card instead of a one-pass unless you're literally just passing through the city. The city is absolutely huge and getting an Istanbul card is a must unless you want to pay double every time you enter public transport (15Tl for 1-pass tickets vs 7,67tl for a ride with the card). Even though you have to pay for the Istanbul Card itself, after 5 or 6 rides it's already much better to have had the card, we learned this the expensive way. You can buy the card on kiosks and you only need to buy one as you can use it for as many people as you want. When the funds run out topping it up is as easy as placing the card on the ticket machine white illuminated area and uploading tl into it. Blackriding sadly seems to be impossible or at least improbable as every entrance and exit of the tram or metro is guarded and the bus drivers only open the first doors.

Also you can get out at fuel stations and ask there for ride to city

Hitching out

Northwest towards Greece , Edirne, Bulgaria E 80 E 84

Test option - Ispartakule Park Area North

Ispartakule Park Area North is a fuel station on E80 highway (See Google maps for getting there and update how its. There is bus 76E going to Sehit Serife Bacı Lisesi bus stop not far place)

Out of city option

You can get out of city bus 303 from Yenibosna Metro to last bus stop Silivri Halk Otobüsü Bekleme Garajı (or bus 303B from Otogar Metro till bus stop Mimarsinan Mah). Ticket cost 11 TL and you can pay only with Istanbulcard.

A) 4 km walk away is E8O highway emergency line, 5 km walk away is Karbey Dinlenme Tesisi rest stop.

B) 5 km walk away is D-7 higway toll place Kınalı Gişeleri

If you want to be at E8O highway emergency line faster get out from bus at Kamiloba stop and walk 1.6 at Çakılyolu Sk street.

A good middle option seems to be taking bus 303 to station Selimpaşa from where it's about a 30 minute walk to the E80 or about a 40 minute walk to the first gas station on the E80 and catching a ride is easy. The first few cars will go to Silivri but you are bound to catch a ride going towards Edirne relatively quickly.

Getting to suburbans of Istanbul

Another way to get to city's western outskirts is to take the metro from Aksaray close to Sultanahmet in the old city centre, and ride it till Yenibosna station (2.0 TL pp, roughly €0.80). Then, take the public bus #448 (Yenibosna Metro-Mimarsinan; an extra 2.00 TL pp), which departs from the stops right next to metro station. You will ride this bus for a long time, roughly an hour, until where it quits the motorway west and turns to right in a cloverleaf interchange near the village of Mimarsinan, where the bus eventually heads. Get off at the stop right at the very location bus turns right, this is where as much west as you can get on Istanbul's public transportation. Then walk a bit further from the junction, and start thumbing.

Trains out of city

For those who rather not try hitchhiking through the overgrown western suburbs of the city, a slightly more expensive but a lot easier way to follow this westbound route to Greece may be to take the morning train to Muratlı from Sirkeci station in central Istanbul, and then hitch your way forward to Greece via Tekirdağ from there. See Muratlı article for full details.

Once you have passed the border, try to stay in the car which took you through, as the first 20-30 km on the Greek and Bulgarian side are one of the worst places to hitchhike in Europe. Local people there are afraid of stories about immigrants from Iran and Afghanistan etc. so it's especially hard to get a ride.

Check the article on Kapikule-Kapitan Andreevo border crossing if you're going towards Bulgaria as it can be difficult.

Westwards towards Cannakale (via Tekirdag)

Take Bus #34B/C/BZ/G to the last stop and start hitchhiking with a Tekirdag sign there

East and south towards Ankara, Black Sea coast, Antalya E 80

From parking on motorway O4

Rest Stop Nr. 1: Take bus 19, 19C, 19Y, 19T or just ask which bus is going to 'Ferhatpaşa the stop you have to get off at you will see a road going in a circle like a big roundabout its Flat Prof Dr Necmettin Erbakan Park from there search Mirkelam Dinlenme Tesisleri İstanbul rest stop (40.98854931087875, 29.192601039813262) on E-80 / O-4.

When arriving from the bus stop you will find the gas station completely fenced and you might think about climbing or cutting it. But there is a 'legal' open door in the middle of the fence. The gas station itself has alot of traffic also for long distances.

Mirrorworld used this spot in 2022 and in just 30 minutes waiting time he was offered rides to Eskisehir, Ankara and finally also to Samsun. Best spot ever.

Rest Stop Nr. 2: Take Metroline M4 in direction Tavsantepe and get out at Pendik Istasyonu. Change to Busline KM18 and get out at Mehmetcik Vakfi. You're just next to a big highway reststop, where you will also catch all the traffic coming from SAW Airport. Coordinates: 40.92008 29.35054

From Şekerpınar close to Gebze

Get on the 111, 112 or 200 and stay on the bus almost all the way to the last stop (get off approximately two or three stops before).

You are now located a little bit south of the O4 (E80) heading East towards Ankara. You will need to walk a little bit northwards in order to reach a ramp. There is a bus stop on the on-ramp. You can hitch out from there unto the O4 (E80) going East.

Most people who will take you might just drive for another 10km or so. There are lots of petrol station on the way in this giant suburban maze but chances are only local people stop there. You will have to go for about nearly 20 or 30 km until you will actually be out of the Istanbul metropolis.

If you want to avoid 30 km of urban hitch hiking, from the last stop of 112 take bus 134BK (other 134 buses may work as well) which leaves across the road from where 112 ends. Ride until the end and transfer onto 133Ş and ride it until the last stop. You are then in Şekerpınar and can walk the 2km to the main motorway Anadolu Otoyolu E8O

Update 2022: There is no reststop or gasstation at the Otoyolu at Şekerpınar. The highway is a really huge one with cars going very fast. Walking or trying to hitchhike on the highway in this part of Turkey is definetly not recommended. You can take the onramp though, but you will only be able to catch traffic coming from Şekerpınar and other surburbs.

Other 2022 update There is no rest stop but the lane of the enterance becomes a shoulder lane in like 50 meters.Move a bit away from the lane so the cars from that enterance can see you and thumb all the highway cars and you'll have a ride in no time. As the police in Turkey are completely ambivalent towards thumbing on the highway catching a ride is pretty easy as long as you don't mind super-fast cars flying by you.

From Bostancı Köprüsü (Bostancı Bridge)

From Taksim Square take bus 129T (Taksim - Üst Bostancı line), which, like the other transcontinental bus lines, requires two tickets (3.50 TL). Get off at the leaf-clover interchange called in Turkish Bostancı Köprüsü (literally Bostancı Bridge), close to its last stop. You can recognize the interchange by big signs saying Bostancı and İçerenköy (besides the usual İzmit and Ankara signs) there. Then, after getting off the bus, walk past the interchange until you see a safe shoulder down the road a couple hundred metres away. Start hitching there ready with a sign saying at least ‘Gebze'/'Izmit’, it’ll make you more visible

There is a petrol station exactly 9km before Izmit where you can be dropped off. It is recognizable for its BP petrol station and Burger King restaurant. Trucks are regularly parked here and bound for all points in Turkey, while sometimes one can even find a lift all the way to neighbouring countries.

For Mediterranean cities such as Antalya, you should also take this eastwards route till Adapazari, then head south via motorway D650 from there.

The free walking option

While most people would find it more comfortable to take a bus to the outskirts and then start hitchiking there is another, slightly more challenging, option. Generally it is actually faster to just find a good piece of highway somewhere close to where you stay (even if it's in the centre of Istanbul), get ON the highway and put your thumb up. You are unlikely to wait more than 3-5 minute before a car pulls over (many people don't really mind stopping on the highway) and the police is very unlikely to give you any trouble

From Taksim: Walk down Cumhüriyet Caddesi for about 40-50 minutes. It's a big avenue which is easy to find (alternatively just follow the signs on Taxim for Şisli). After 40-50 minutes you'll see Cevahir shopping center on your right side and that's about 200 meters from where you'll start hitching. If you manage to get lost (hard as it's a big avenue without any real tricky intersection or anything) you should just ask your way to Cevahir shopping center. After the 40-50 minute walk (about the time when you pass Cevahir shopping center on your right side) you'll see the highway. This is th spot where the Mercidiköy bridge starts and about 70-80 % of the traffic is bound for the Asian side. When you get to the highway (which is actually about 10 meters over you as you are under the bridge) you'll see the Mercidiköy bustation to your left. Turn left,walk 20 meters until you see a small footpath leading up to the highway, climb up, thumb up, and smile at your audience (often about 50-60 people) who are waiting for the Metrobus to come. They might even give you an applause if you just put up a show.

Important: BE PATIENT AND DON'T JUST ACCEPT ANY RIDE. Wait for someone who's going at least past the main intersection in Atesehir (say that you want to go direction Gebze/Izmit on the autoyol). Even though almost no traffic is going far from here it is important that your first ride is gonna take you to the O4 highway after the two highways merges and that may mean declining 1, 2 or 4 rides. Ask to get dropped of at the highway and not at some on-ramp or something even more silly (this is Turkey remember). You may have to repeat it one or two more times before you get out of Istanbul just because of the city's enourmous size.

Alternatively you could wait for a ride to take you across the bridge and get dropped off at the paytolls on the Asian side and find a ride onto the E8O from there.

South towards Yalova, Bursa or Izmir

See below the Eskihisar links for a road/bridge alternative. See Eskihisar for how to get to the ferry jetty on the route and how to get into the ferry for free. The route via Eskihisar is also the shortest way to Izmir and its adjacent area in western Turkey.

Opet - Mehmetçik Vakfı Petrol petrol station / rest stop on E80 highway next to Mehmetçik Vakfı bus stop. Buses 130H, 132, 132B and KM 18 stopes there. Place isnt far from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport

Doğalhane Dinlenme Tesisleri petrol station / rest stop on E80 highway next to Çayırova İtfaiye bus stop. Bus 133Ş stops there

Marmaray metro east in the direction of Gebze. Get off at Osmangazi Station (two stops before Gebze) as this is closer to the D-100 highway that will carry you east. Walk roughly 300m north up the road from the station until you get to the circle-underpass junction with the D-100 highway. A nice position just after the start of the on-ramp, where cars are still moving slowly, should score you a ride in minutes.

However, the majority of traffic here seems to be going to Izmit, which is past the bridge. Turn down rides if you have to until you get one going over the bridge, to Yalova/Bursa/İzmir etc. If you're really stuck, take a short ride and ask your driver to drop you off on the side of the road at the off-ramp going to the bridge, and continue hitching from there or after the interchange. If you're really stuck on that road leading up to the bridge, you'll have to walk a few km along it until you get to the Petrol Ofisi fuel station, about a Kilometre before the bridge. Hitch at the on-ramp to the highway from there.

Wild camping

Hacı Osman Korusu park wild camping - ride metro line 2 to Darussafaka station and next to it on the circle corner of streets Buyukder and Ulu streets you can climb over the fance to Hacı Osman Korusu park Get only a bit inside but be carefull there ar some sharp plants

You will find many beaches on Prince islands, but many of them are privatised. You should walk away from the towns to find some wild beach.

Büyükada island wild camping - you can get by paid ferry there (Kadıköy, Bostancı or Kartal). Be aware that the forests are sometimes closed due to wild fires and the police might be even more strict if you're caught camping (not to mention the danger to yourself if there ever was a fire). You can camp on the top of the island between Aya Yorgi Manastırı and the communication tower. You will have some shade from the trees and a nice wind (at least during summer). You can take one of the small buses to get closer from the ferry. BA-2 is the one that will get you the closest but is stops at 9 pm, otherwise you can take the BA-5 that runs until 11-12 pm. Be aware that you should not drink water tape on the islands. OGM (nature protection) may bother if you stay late in the morning, but you should not get fined, turkish or foreigner.

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)

Turkish cities with more than 100.000 inhabitants

> 1.000.000: AdanaAnkaraBursaGaziantepIstanbulİzmir

500.000–1.000.000: AntalyaDiyarbakırEskişehirKayseriKonyaMersin

300.000–500.000: AdapazarıBatmanDenizliElazığErzurumGebzeKahramanmaraşMalatyaSamsunŞanlıurfaVan

100.000–300.000: AdıyamanAfyonAğrıAksarayAntakyaAydınBalıkesirBandırmaBeylikdüzüBoluCeyhanÇorluÇorumDarıcaDerinceDüzceEdirneEsenyurtİnegölİskenderunIspartaİzmitKarabükKaramanKayapınarKırıkkaleKırşehirKızıltepe