Use a Dolmuş in Turkey: Rules You Should Know!

Last Updated by Heike on June 27, 2021
Ride a Dolmuş in Antalya in Turkey

Taking the dolmuş can be one of the most folk activities to do in Turkey! But what is a dolmuş? Do you know how it works?

In Turkey, a dolmuş is a small collective bus that operates in cities and in the countryside. The dolmuş is one of the most important means of public transport and if you will travel in Turkey and Antalya, you should, for sure, know how to use it, because the dolmuş has its own way of functioning.

Lucky for you, this article will explain, in detail, all the useful information you need to use the dolmuş during your trip to Turkey and in Antalya. Here we go!

Basic Information About the Dolmuş

Dolmuş means "it's full" in Turkish. The name comes from the fact that a dolmuş does not leave until it has enough passengers. Cars, minibuses, boats, and motorboats can be used as dolmuş.

In the past, a dolmuş was used exclusively in Istanbul to cross the Bosphorus or the Golden Horn. The small motorboats or "kayık", waited at the piers until there were enough passengers on the ferry, only then did they set off. Today, there are usually set sailing times.

Since 1931, dolmuş traffic has also been on the roads. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine public transport throughout the country without a dolmuş!

Dolmuş Routes

A Dolmuş travels between two points on a precisely defined route and at a fixed time interval. Passengers can get on and off wherever they want on this route. All you have to do is signal the dolmuş from the roadside and it will stop to pick you up.

If you want to get off, tell the driver and he will stop at the next opportunity.

Dolmus waiting for tourists in Antalya in Turkey (Editorial)

Dolmuş Stops

There are no precisely defined stops for a dolmuş except for the initial and final stops. In Antalya, there are about 70 different routes served by the dolmuş. It's estimated that there are about 1800 "stops" on these routes. If you are in a dolmuş and want to stop it somewhere, you just shout "Inecek var" which means "someone wants to get off" and the driver will stop immediately if nothing prevents it.

The dolmuş also operates between cities, so from Antalya you can go to Akseki, Aksu, Alanya, Finike, Kaş, Kemer, Manavgat, Beldibi, and Belek, and other places, by dolmuş.

Dolmuş Prices

The prices for each route are fixed. Payment is mostly made in cash, which is passed from the passengers to the driver. The driver has a small box on his right next to the gear stick, into which he puts the small change in the appropriate compartments. This enables him to give change even during the journey. No tickets are issued on the dolmuş.

Now you are quite ready to get in a dolmuş and experience a folk way to travel around town. Did you ever take the dolmuş in Turkey? How did you like it? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Also, read about taxis in Antalya and our complete guide to renting a car in Antalya.

If you are planning your trip to Antalya, you might be interested in our hotel selection in Antalya guide and our Antalya Ticket Shop, both available to make your trip easier!

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Comment Below

    • Dear Graham,
      thank you for reaching out. Mostly, you cannot find dolmuş routes in a city map, dolmus travels between two points on a precisely defined route and at a fixed time interval. You should ask people if there is a dolmuş, which goes to point XY, be sure everyone will show you the dolmus. If you raise your hand from the roadside, the driver will stop and pick you up.
      For non-Turkish speakers, it seems to be a little bit challenging at the beginning, but once you started to use dolmus you will enjoy to travel like locals do. In touristic areas, most of the drivers speak a little bit English or even German.
      We wish you a lot of fun in Antalya, a nice stay in Turkey and a safe flight back home.

  • Similar to Graham’s comment, basically this article is just telling me that dolmuses exist and they have routes. That doesnt help me at all as a visitor. I’d like to know precisely what the routes are, otherwise there is no point in writing this article.

    For instance: i am staying in old town antalya and want to go to 7 Mehmet for dinner and am trying to figure out how to get there. There isnt a tram that goes there, so i’d like to understand if there is a dolmus. You say Dolmuses have very precise starting/ending locations and routes, so why aren’t they shown on a city map? You can look up the city tram line and their stops on a map, so i dont understand why you cant with dolmuses. Am i just supposed to wait on the street for a dolmus and ask them where they are going and hope they go to 7 Mehmet?

    • Dear Alex, thank you for reaching out. Actually, yes in deed, you should just go out an ask people for the dolmuş route, probably you will not find the route in any map. They are very often subject to change and you will not find a map with dolmuş routes within the city. So just ask for help, Turkish people will be happy to assist you.
      Please let me know,if you have any further questions
      Wish you a lot of fun in Antalya, a nice stay in Turkey and a safe flight back home

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