Getting Around The City
Most common ways of transportation in Trabzon are driving, taking a bus or a minibus. Taxi is also an alternative even though it is less popular and more expensive compared to major cities of Turkey (Note: taxi fares are even higher after midnight). Trabzon city centre is not too big and most places you’d visit are easily accessible via public transportation. On the other hand, tourists often visit Trabzon for mountains, Uzungöl, and nearby cities and towns. That’s why we recommend you to rent a car so that you can discover the region to the fullest.
The most popular and available type of public transportation is white minibuses connecting Meydan (city centre) with almost every district. A minibus ride costs around ₺2.5 (with slight differences for some lines) and you have to pay cash. The ugly part about minibuses is that it’s not organised directly by any company or municipal authority. There are no line maps, exact timetable or working hours. However, people in Trabzon are usually friendly and they will try to help you whenever you’re confused, despite the language barrier.
The bus system is operated by Trabzon Metropolitan Municipality. Information and timetable are available at the municipality’s website (http://www.trabzon.bel.tr/otobus-saatleri.aspx) (in Turkish). The buses don’t accept cash, you have to have a prepaid card (called “Takkart”). If you don’t have it, don’t worry. You’ll most probably find someone to help you (you can offer to pay cash to someone who has a card). For more information on the bus system you can visit the tourist information office at Meydan. (Nereden alınır????)
To rent a car is the best choice for more flexibility, and after all, it is the only way to visit most places out of the centre. There is a variety of local and international firms located at the airport and the city centre. However, we strongly recommend you to make a reservation in advance, especially during high season (summer).
There is something you should know if you are going to drive in Trabzon. Firstly, Trabzon attracts millions of visitor during the summer. Finding an available parking spot around Meydan (which is the very centre of Trabzon) can become a hard task. Secondly, most Turkish highways don’t accept cash payments. You should have an electronic device called OGS or HGS. However, there is no toll road in the region. The only places you might need one of these prepaid devices are national parks. Some national parks no longer accept cash. It is better if you ask if the rental car has either OGS or HGS.
Roads in and around Trabzon can be complicated due to geographical conditions. It is recommended to have a GPS device or an application (Google Maps is probably the best) downloaded in your smartphone (with internet). When you rent a car you can ask for a GPS device at the counter. Quality of main roads is usually more than satisfactory. You wouldn’t have difficult to reach most of the famous towns and villages such as Uzungöl, Hamsiköy etc. If you are planning to visit some hidden gems off the beaten path (which you should!) you might need an SUV and/or advanced handling skills. In each page dedicated to places to visit and day trips, we try to include transportation details.