Once expats have gotten used to the capital's public transport system, getting around in Ankara is relatively easy. The city is quite accessible by public transport, especially in the city centre, though expats in the suburbs may want a car for a more convenient commute.
Public transport in Ankara
Ankara's EGO General Directorate provides the city's energy and gas as well as its bus and metro services, and there are also commuter rail lines. For metro, rail and bus services, expats can use a prepaid AnkaraKart transport card, also known as an EGO card. There are single- and multi-use cards, and school and university students and teachers are eligible for discounts.
Recently, private public buses (known as OHO) have begun accepting EGO cards, allowing the two providers to fully integrate. Ankara's bus network is dense and well serviced.
EGO buses are run by the municipal and are recognized by their blue-and-white paint jobs. The OHO buses, operated by a private corporation, are blue.
The EGO CEP'TE app helps commuters to keep track of bus times, stops and routes.
Ankara's metro system is composed of four main two-line routes, with a fifth metro in the works. The existing metros can be classified into the east-west Ankara light rail and the north-south Ankara Metro heavy rail. Though sometimes crowded during rush hour, the metro is the easiest and quickest way to get around longer distances in Ankara.
The Baskentray (also known as CapitalRail) is a commuter railway that runs along the city's east-west axis and provides access to the suburbs. It is well integrated into the metro system.
The Yenimahalle–Sentepe line is a 2-mile (3.25km) cable car line with four stops and provides access to the steep Sentepe district.
Taxis in Ankara
Dolmuşes (Turkish for 'overloaded') are shared minibus taxis with set routes indicated by signs on the front. These share taxis are an inexpensive and flexible alternative to buses, but can be crowded and chaotic. In Ankara, dolmuş fares are fixed by the city municipality.
More familiar yellow taxis are also available in Ankara, though these are one of the more expensive modes of transport in the city. Tariffs and per-kilometre fares are set by the municipality, and expats who phone to request a taxi should be aware that the taxi might charge the distance travelled to pick them up.
Ridesharing services like the international Uber and the local BiTaksi are great for calling a driver – expats should be prepared for dolmuş and taxi drivers who might not be able to communicate in English.
Driving in Ankara
In Turkey, traffic drives on the right side of the road, and the roads are well surfaced and have clear signage, but driving around Ankara can be challenging, and many prefer to use public transport. Expats who decide to drive will have to contend with narrow and one-way backstreets and fast drivers.
Are you an expat living in Ankara?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Ankara. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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