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My flight lands in Istanbul Ataturk Airport at 2am on a Saturday. There's a ferry from Yenikapi to Bandirma at 7am, which I wanted to catch so that I can then catch an onward train to Izmir the same day.

Is it possible for me to get to Yenikapi Ferry Terminal on time to catch the ferry using public transport at that time of the day? Or if not, is it possible at all to get from the airport to Yenikapi later (there's a ferry later in the day too)? There seems to be a Havatas bus from Yenikapi to Ataturk but there isn't any indication as to whether this bus service runs the other way round too.

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Any reason you want to take the train to İzmir? The bus is (almost) always the better choice in Turkey. –  SigueSigueBen Aug 12 '12 at 15:51
    
@SigueSigueBen: No particular reason. I just happen to like train journeys! –  Ankur Banerjee Aug 12 '12 at 16:18
    
Me too. That's how I justified taking the 36-hour İstanbul-Diyarbakır when the bus takes half the time! –  SigueSigueBen Aug 12 '12 at 16:42
    
    
I was amazed at how easy it was to hitchhike from the airport into the the city before sunrise when I was last in Istanbul. I was hitching with a younger blonder guy though. –  hippietrail Aug 12 '12 at 17:08

1 Answer 1

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This Havataş bus appears to be new (it's certainly new to me), so I can't comment on their service.

Istanbul's public transit does not run regularly at night but the buses to Atatürk Airport are fortunately one of the exceptions. If you use the clunky (in terms of interface and translation) İETT How to go there? website, you'll find that there is a public transit option involving a change of bus that will get you to Yenikapı on time:

ATATÜRK HAVALİMANI  03:30:00    96T ÖMER.DÜRÜK.CAMİİ    03:50:00
ÖMER.DÜRÜK.CAMİİ    05:36:00    96T YENİKAPI İSTASYON   05:57:00

You can only search on exact strings with correct accents so "Ataturk" and "Yenikapi" won't give you any results.

The trip as quoted by the website will cost you four bus tickets which you'll have to find, unless the bus drivers accepts cash (technically they don't sell tickets on the bus, but most drivers will actually do so by carrying electronic tickets which they sell privately).

You might want to look into whether the 03:30 96T from ATATÜRK HAVALİMANI doesn't just continue through directly to YENİKAPI İSTASYON as I expect it does, or if the 96T from ÖMER DÜRÜK CAMİİ at 05:36 didn't start at the airport. If nothing else, you'll save yourself 2 bus tickets and an hour and a half sitting outside a mosque (cami = mosque) at night. Whatever you do make sure you have a backup plan because you can't trust the İETT website!

Keep an eye out for the Havataş bus since it'll leave from the same place as the city buses (but don't get on the similarly-named Havaş bus!). You should also be ready to abandon the whole public transit idea for a taxi at if you start running into problems. It's not actually that far, so it won't run up too much of a fare.

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