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Istanbul to Fethiye Bus

Our travel tips and experience on catching the 12 hour Istanbul to Fethiye overnight bus.

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Fethiye Panorama

Any travel where you are stuck in a small seat in an upright position sucks. Whether it is the dreaded long haul flight from New Zealand to the United Kingdom or an overnight bus between cities there are usually no comforts to be found. So with some hesitation we booked ourselves on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus.

Blue Mosque Istanbul

Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic reasons why you should catch overnight buses. I won’t go into the debate of overland versus air travel in terms of environmental issues as that is a totally different kettle of fish that warrants multiple posts.

But other reasons that matter to most travellers is that firstly, you usually leave late at night and arrive early in the morning which gives you at least an extra day or two of sightseeing rather than having to transfer and wait at airports. Secondly, the majority of overland travel including trains and buses can be cheaper than flying. Once you add transfer costs to/from the airport plus the flight then overland travel is cheaper. Although I will concede that in Europe it is hit or miss with so many cheap flights available with budget airlines.

Finally overnight buses are a great way to save on accommodation. We hate forking out an additional $50 for a late night accommodation so every penny saved means we can indulge our passion for adventure travel or local food at a later date.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus pre-departure

The first thing to note is that there is not really any way to pre-purchase your Istanbul to Fethiye bus tickets prior to your arrival in Turkey. We googled every option looking for help but came up drawing a blank. Doing what we do best, we left it to chance and knew that it would sort itself out once we were on the ground in Istanbul.

No surprises it was incredibly easy to book our trip. We found out that Metro Turizm bus (one of the largest in Turkey) travels overnight from Istanbul to Fethiye every day from 9pm so it was a matter of showing up at the Taksim Square Metro Turizm office (map here) and buying our bus tickets for 60 TL (approximately US$30) on the morning of our departure.

We were even given a free shuttle from the Taksim Square office to the main Istanbul Otogar (bus station) outside the city centre an hour before our overnight bus left.

The Journey

Our tickets said the Istanbul to Fethiye bus would take 12 hours. Factoring in Turkish time we calculated more like 13 – 14 hours in total. Having resigned myself to the fact that I was going to get, at most, an hour or two of sleep we settled in for the long haul.

Immediately we were impressed by the service on the overnight bus to Fethiye. Our seats reclined more than most economy seats on airlines. And the back of each seat was fitted with a small TV screen. Unfortunately my Turkish consists of about 10 sayings to get me by so it was pretty hard to follow what I think was the Turkish version of Days of our lives.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus

Once seated we were offered traditional Cay Tea (pronounced Chai) and Turkish coffee plus a range of snacks. This continued throughout the night whenever we stopped. Which turned out to be about every hour.

We had hoped that would have toilets onboard but no luck there. But thanks to all the frequent stops this isn’t a problem.

Settling in with my book while Adela slept like a log. She has that wonderful gift of being able to sleep anywhere! While the majority of Turkish drivers are have feet made of lead with heavy acceleration and braking our driver was smooth as silk. So believe it or not I even managed about 4 hours of sleep.

I love travelling overland as you do get to see the countryside at it’s best. Waking as the dawn broke high in some mountains still covered in snow is a great way to start any day. We have fallen in love with Turkey and are already trying to plan how we could work here for a few months sometime.

Fethiye Panorama

We have fallen in love with Fethiye

Arrival in Fethiye

Turns out that we were spot on and our overnight bus pulled into the main Fethiye bus station at about 10am. Only an hour behind schedule which is early in our opinion.

We were quickly greeted with smiles and handshakes as seems traditional in Turkey. Everyone is so friendly and just wants to have a chat. And once they found out where we were staying it was a matter of grabbing a lift with a local to our accommodation on the waterfront.

If you want any help sorting out your journey on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus then get in touch and hopefully we can help you out!

 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. TravelEater

    May 1, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    Love Turkish buses (and I hate bus trips)! I especially love the lemon scented hand wash they give out. Turkey is such an amazing country with incredible history, sites, food and some of the kindest people anywhere. Enjoy your trip!!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Just got back to Edinburgh and we just want to go back to Turkey so badly! Agree with you on the food and people. Both amazing!

      • mabel

        May 5, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        I lived in Istanbul for 1 year and traveled all around Turkey. It’s lovely

  2. Spencer

    May 16, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    I so want to go to Turkey! I have been there for a day trip and loved what I saw. I can’t wait to get there. It is top of my wishlist!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      What did you do when you only had one day there?!

      • Spencer

        May 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        We went there on a day trip from Lesbos about 25 years ago. I was only 15 and it was a family holiday. From memory I think we just wandered around the old town of Ankarra for a while.

  3. southern travels

    May 30, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Major thankies for the article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  4. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    June 16, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Great post, very useful! Will definitely keep it in mind when we do that leg of the trip ourselves!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 18, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      When are you going Caro? You will LOVE Turkey 🙂

  5. Kelly

    June 18, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Yaaayyyyim so excited to travel around turkey! Thanks for the post it was really great info! We’ve heard some amazing things about Turkish buses 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM

      I only wish we knew a little more Turkish so we could have chatted with everyone 🙂

  6. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    hey there! we’re currently in Montenegro for a month but trying to plan our next step. We were thinking of a week or 2 in the Fethiye area before going on to Armenia. Would you recommend that area? Is 1 week enough or are there 2 weeks worth of seeing to be done? Also, I’m just looking into travel options but your review of the bus made me a little less wary of going that route! -Erin

    • Cole Burmester

      June 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Hey Erin thanks for stopping by! The bus to Fethiye was fine. Although if you want to fly then there are lots and lots of cheap flight options too. It just saves you a nights accommodation and you arrive direct into Fethiye.
      A week would be fine there. Would you consider doing a Sail Turkey trip or something? Fethiye is not too big but a great base and lots of day trips could be taken from there. Are you spending longer in Turkey?

  7. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Thanks Cole! Right now we don’t have any definite plans but I think we’ll only spend a short time in Turkey. We want a few weeks in Armenia and have to meet up with some friends in Italy at the end of August. We’re definitely doing budget travel, so I don’t think we’ll do a sailing trip, but we’ve found a great rental in the Fethiye region which we’re thinking might be nice for day trips, relaxing, experiencing the country a little bit. We’re in Montenegro right now, which is beautiful but HOT so the weather might influence our next move 🙂 I don’t know yet how we’ll get to Istanbul but probably bus and train from here.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Wow Armenia would be really cool! Just slightly jealous 🙂 If you want any other tips please get in touch with us any time and let us know your plans. Always love to share other travellers tips with our readers.

  8. Ada

    August 18, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Hi cole wondering if you have any tips and prices for accomodation in fethiye. Thanks in advance

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Hi Ada,
      Thanks for dropping by the blog. Definitely recommend checking out Fethiye Guest House. Run by some awesome people and the breakfast is one of the best we have ever had for a hostel. They have private and dorm rooms.
      We did a Sail Turkey cruise from Fethiye. Might be worthwhile checking it out – https://www.fourjandals.com/europe/busabout-sail-turkey-review/

  9. Ada

    August 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Thanks for the response Cole.Love the blog by the way.

  10. Lisa

    January 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Hi,

    Asking for some advice! I am looking into traveling to Turkey this year for a cruise with Topdeck that departs and ends in Fethiye. Once my cruise ends on Saturday, I plan to take the bus back to Istanbul for a flight that leaves Sunday at 12:15pm. Do you think that is cutting it too close? Are their cabs from where the bus drops you off?

    Thank you!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your message! The overnight bus for us was fine on time and worked out cheaper than flying. There are plenty of taxis around the area that the bus arrives in Istanbul. I am sure you could probably book one as well although not sure who to contact on that sorry.
      Cheers,
      Cole

    • Oktay

      March 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Hi Lisa

      There is also a metro line under otogar if u wanna go to airport. Just take metro line and stop in zeytinburnu and change the line from there to the airport it takes appromixately 20 minutes otogar-airport. . Of course there is a taxi stop there as well, but ask the price first.have a nice journey

      • Cole Burmester

        March 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Thanks so much for your extra tips Oktay! Much appreciated 😉

        • Oktay

          March 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

          You are welcome Cole, u have a wicked blog. very informative. Have a nice day.:)

  11. Nádia Pontes

    March 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Hi! Your post really encouraged me. We shall do that on May. Would you have tips about Fethiye? Thanks!

  12. Vanessa

    July 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I am planning a trip to Turkey at them moment and I leave next week. You guys seem experienced in the matter so I was wondering if I could ask a few questions? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Send us an email on our contact page or ask on here Vanessa 🙂

  13. Kim

    February 22, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    Hi Cole, my son is booked on Turkey Sailing in May, 2014 and will take the Metro Turizm solo from Bayrampasa to Fethiye the night before sailing. An email yesterday from Smarttraveller.gov.au advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to any area within 10kms of the Turkish border with Syria. Wondering what the general consensus is amongst travelers heading south at present.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 4, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Hey Kim,
      Yes there are dangers when you travel but usually it’s the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately the places your son is travelling is not close to the Syrian border. Have a chat with the Sail Turkey team as they are the ones on the ground though so can let you know what the current situation is.
      He will love it!
      Thanks,
      Cole

  14. Michael

    March 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Unfortunately, we are impatient so spend a lot of time taking internal flights. However the bus system in Turkey, from what I read has improved. You made a good schedule though. Traveling overnight to arrive 10am so free to start the day. Good thinking

  15. hagar

    May 4, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    hii you didnt mention how much did the bus ticket from istanbul to fethiye costed you? and from where can i acess the buss?

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Europe

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Europe

Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

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Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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