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I've been doing some online searches for a friend staying in my hostel here in Batumi who wants to travel to Istanbul tomorrow.

Now I know there are direct buses from various cities in Turkey to Tbilisi, because I took one from Samsun last year, and they pass through Batumi on the way.

But oddly, I can't seem to find any references online about which companies might let passengers board in Batumi to go to Istanbul. When I search I can only find people asking about buses over the past five years, but no solid answers.

So are my eyes funny or is there really this odd gap in the Georgia/Turkey bus connections?

We know there's no train but I assume if there's not a direct bus that getting to the border on a marshrutka and then taking a dolmuş to Trabzon and then finally taking a nice comfy long distance bus to Istanbul will work and won't be too difficult. But a direct bus will still be more straightforward if there is one.

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2 Answers 2

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There are several bus companies, both Turkish and Georgian, which run buses from Batumi to Istanbul (all starting in Tbilisi to my knowledge). The offices in the Batumi bus station are all located next to one another, but there are also a couple more offices more centrally located (for example, at the corner of Chavchavzade and Gogebashvili). Either way, tickets are easy to get.

Most companies offer tickets for a few times a day. It's also much cheaper to get the tickets in Georgia than to travel to Hopa or Trabzon and take a Turkish bus from there.

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Would you happen to know rough travel times and prices? –  hippietrail May 14 '12 at 4:31
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@hippietrail I wish I could remember the details, beyond that all companies offered essentially the same deal. The bus takes the Hopa-Rize-Trabzon route, so adding a very slow border crossing, you are looking at about 24h. The price was very low... probably half of what you'd get were you to leave from a Turkish city, and that's not counting the cost from Batumi to Turkey. –  SigueSigueBen May 14 '12 at 4:37
    
Well he passed your answer on to him and I haven't seen him since so I guess it worked - thanks SigueSigueBen (-: –  hippietrail May 14 '12 at 17:34

Yes, there are buses by the company "Metro Turizm" going from Batumi bus station to Istanbul Aksaray Otogar every day in the morning and in the evening. In the high season you should buy tickets a week or two beforehand. Though, there are other companies' buses having the same route but be careful NOT TO USE 'Golden Turizm' buses! They often sell fake tickets! And they do not follow safety rules!

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