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25.05.2018

Tips on Traveling to Turkey by Car

Travelling to Turkey by car can be a long but fun experience. If you are planning a road trip to Turkey, you need to carefully prepare your car for the road, as well as yourself. You can drive to Turkey via Bulgaria, Italy or Greece. If you drive through Italy and Greece, you will need to take a ferry. You don’t have to worry about bringing your own car to Turkey as they are allowed up to 36 months. If you stay longer, you would have to pay 260TL, 520TL, 780TL penalty for an extra of 1, 2 or 3 months. 

Routes for driving from Europe to Turkey

Option 1: 

Route: Germany - Austria - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Bulgaria - Kapikule 

Mileage: 1004 miles (1616 km) 

Duration: 15 hours 54 minutes 

Option 2: 

Route: Germany - Austria - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Macedonia - Greece - Ipsala (Edirne). This route includes taking the ferry. 

Mileage: 1206 miles (1942 km) 

Duration: 19 hours 5 minutes 

Option 3: 

Route: Germany - Austria - Hungary - Serbia - Bulgaria - Kapikule 

Mileage: 1077 miles (1734 km) 

Duration: 17 hours 3 minutes 

Option 4: 

Route: Germany - Czech Republic - Slovakia - Hungary - Serbia - Bulgaria - Kapikule 

Mileage: 1191 miles (1918 km) 

Duration: 19 hours 4 minutes 

Top 10 travel destinations in Turkey 

What to do when crossing the Turkish border 

Make sure to have your passport ready and check if your passport is up to date and is still valid. The border police will need to check if you have residency in another country and if you are living in your country of residency for longer than 185 days.

Showing your paperwork at the border is the most important part and in order for you to not waste your time, we recommend having at least one copy of each of the documents below: 

- An international driving licence 

- An international green card (traffic insurance) 

- Automobile licence 

- Automobile registration papers and tax number 

If you prefer, you can buy insurance for your car at the border. The border officials will register your car to your passport free of charge. 

If you are planning to rent a car in Turkey, just book a rental car online and pick it up at the airport. If you don’t drive manual, you will usually have to pay extra. To rent a car in Turkey, you need to be at least 21 years old and have at least one year’s driving experience. If you rented the car before crossing the Turkish border, make sure to carry a copy of the lease agreement with you. 

How to find driving directions in Turkey 

You will definitely find a gas station in most of the highroads. Most of these stations also have restaurants nearby. Make sure you download Yandex on your phone for GPS because it is more accurate than other maps. Also, Turkish drivers are amongst the most unpredictable and lawless drivers out there, so make sure you drive with authority and look out for fast drivers. Be warned, not everyone uses their indicators either. 

Look out for the speed radars and cameras in Turkey and make sure to stop at police checkpoints if they want to pull you over. You should try and learn how to say where you are coming from and where you are going in Turkish, just in case they don’t speak English. 

Road trip to Turkey from Europe 

Make sure you do your research before you begin your road trip. Get a big map and establish certain checkpoints for your route. Decide where you would like to have a break and check the distance between cities and countries. Have a mechanic check your car, your tires, and small things like windshield water and more. Pack up loads of water (especially if you are travelling in summer), first aid kit, and packed food. 

Most importantly, enjoy the trip and don’t let anything ruin your fun! If you are travelling with your family, you can find some games to play in the car and make a music playlist for the road. London to Istanbul by car is a 30-34 hour drive, and with breaks in between, it will surely take a few days. Good luck! 

A Local's Travel Guide to Istanbul 

Travel Guide to Turkey's Black Sea Coast

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