Istanbul, a city straddling two continents, offers a myriad of transportation options. Among these, the dolmuş and minibus services stand out as a practical and cost-effective way to explore the city’s bustling streets. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through Istanbul’s dolmuş and minibus networks, unraveling the secrets to making the most of these unique transport options in 2023.

Discovering Dolmuş: Istanbul’s Shared Taxis

What is a Dolmuş? Originating from the Turkish word for “filled,” a dolmuş is a shared taxi service, accommodating up to eight passengers. Operating day and night on predetermined routes, these yellow minibuses provide a convenient alternative to traditional taxis, as each passenger pays only a fraction of the fare they would otherwise be charged.

Dolmuş Departure Points and Routes in Istanbul: European and Asian Side

To catch a dolmuş, you can either head to the departure point for a particular route or flag one down on the street. The front window on the passenger’s side typically displays the route and destination.

Popular dolmuş routes include:

  • Taksim to Besiktas, Bakirkoy, Yeşilköy, Kadikoy, and Uskudar
  • Üsküdar to Kadıköy
  • Kadıköy to Taksim, Nişantaşı, and Şişli
  • Topkapı to Taksim
  • Eminönü to Şişli and Nişantaşı

These minibuses operate 24 hours a day, with a service schedule of every 10 to 15 minutes.

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Dolmuş Fares and Payment in Istanbul

As of 2023, dolmuş fares in Istanbul are as follows:

  • 0 – 4 KM: 12.00 TL
  • 4 – 7 KM: 13.00 TL
  • 7 – 11 KM: 14.00 TL
  • 11 – 15 KM: 14.50 TL
  • 15 – 20 KM: 15.00 TL
  • Over 20 KM: 15.00 TL (with an additional 25 cents for each extra kilometer)

Tours Harnessing Public Transport to Unveil City Wonders

Embark on enthralling tours that masterfully employ public transport to unveil the city’s many marvels. Immerse yourself in the rhythm of local life, effortlessly traversing between landmarks and uncovering hidden gems, all while sidestepping traffic and embracing the adventure.

Exploring Istanbul with Minibus Taxis

Minibus Taxi: A Larger Alternative

For those seeking a larger transportation option, minibus taxis offer a similar experience to dolmuş services but with increased capacity. Like the dolmuş, these minibuses follow predetermined routes without set stops, allowing passengers to disembark at their desired locations. However, keep in mind that this mode of transportation may not be ideal for travelers with luggage.

Minibus Taxi Routes and Fares

Minibus taxis operate on a variety of routes throughout Istanbul, including the following:

  • D21: Üsküdar – Kadıköy: 7.75 TL
  • D31: Kadıköy – Taksim: 24.5 TL
  • D32: Kadıköy – Nişantaşı: 24.5 TL
  • D33: Kadıköy – Şişli: 24.5 TL
  • D40: Kadıköy – Moda Ring: 12 TL
  • D42: Topkapı – Taksim: 14.75 TL
  • D45: Eminönü – Şişli: 14,5 TL
  • D46: Eminönü – Nişantaşı: 13 TL
  • BŞ/2: Beşiktaş – Taksim: 12 TL
  • BŞK/5: Beşiktaş-Ortaköy-Kuruçeşme-Bebek-Bebek Yoküsü-Etiler Metro: From 12 TL

DOLMUŞ: D-31 – The Easy Way from Taksim to Kadikoy

DOLMUŞ: D-31 minibus is the popular route that connects Taksim and Kadikoy quickly and conveniently.

The D-31 Istanbul bus starts at Taksim-2 and ends at Kadıköy. There are 16 stops along the way, covering important areas of the city. You can catch it every day. It runs regularly, so you don’t have to worry about missing it.

Similar to dolmuş fares, minibus taxi fees are determined by distance. Payment is made directly to the driver, and passengers should avoid using high-value notes to ensure smooth transactions.

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Service Hours and Schedule of Dolmus and Minibuses in Istanbul

Both dolmuş and minibus taxi services in Istanbul operate 24 hours a day, providing travelers with convenient transportation options at any time of the day or night. Additionally, these services operate on a regular schedule, with buses departing every 10 to 15 minutes, making them a reliable choice for travelers looking to get around the city quickly and efficiently.

How to Use Dolmus or Minibuses in Istanbul

Payment is made directly to the driver once the dolmuş begins its journey. It is recommended to avoid using high-value notes, as this can be inconvenient for the driver. If unsure about the fare, simply observe other passengers or ask for assistance by inquiring, “Bilet ne kadar?”

To exit the dolmuş, passengers should say “Inecek var!” (Inejek var) or “Müsait bir yer…,” (Musait bie yer) both of which indicate the desire to disembark at the next available stop. Find more Turkish helpful phrases…


Navigating Istanbul’s dolmuş and minibus taxi networks in 2023 can be an exciting and cost-effective way to explore this vibrant city. Armed with this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of these unique transportation options, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Istanbul.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a dolmuş and a minibus taxi?

While both dolmuş and minibus taxis are shared transportation options in Istanbul, dolmuş services accommodate up to eight passengers, whereas minibus taxis have a larger capacity. Additionally, minibus taxis may operate on different routes than dolmuş services.

Is it safe to use dolmuş and minibus taxis in Istanbul?

Both dolmuş and minibus taxis are considered safe means of transportation in Istanbul. However, as with any form of transportation, it is essential to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

Are dolmuş and minibus taxis suitable for travelers with luggage?

While it is possible to travel with luggage on dolmuş and minibus taxis, it may not be the most convenient option, especially during peak hours when these services can become crowded.

How do I know if a dolmuş or minibus taxi is going in the right direction?

The origin and destination of each dolmuş and minibus taxi route are displayed on the front window on the passenger’s side. Make sure to verify this information before boarding to ensure you are heading in the right direction.

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