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Hop on - Hop off bus

Ruhr Area, Germany
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Hop on - Hop off bus

Somebody on the German forum asks if the red hop on - hop off buses don´t run anymore? There was a new line, the blue (?) line, is it still running?

Thanks in advance

patara01

Mount Dora, Florida
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1. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Hi Patara, There were two lines running when I was in Istanbul a year ago. One of them provided an evening tour, and another crossed the Bosphorus Bridge for some touring on the Asian side. We thought of taking that bus to see if the service or the information had improved, but in the end we ran out of time. I am, therefore, suspicious of the Hop On-Hop Off experience, but I am going to try and re-evaluate next month.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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2. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

I´m no fan of such tour buses too, but they quite popular for many german tourists.

So perhaps you can tell me about your notice, very much appreciated.

Tschüss

patara01

Mount Dora, Florida
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3. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Hop On - Hop Off buses are popular in many cities, and they are often a great way to gain a basic understanding of the geography of the city. I think Istanbul is just so easy to master in terms of main streets and important locations that the bus really is not necessary.

I felt like it was somewhat of a waste of both our time and money, but I understand that tourists who often use these types of buses would be attracted to those in Istanbul.

One other problem I had was the concept of the "Hop Off" theory. In other places when I have used this, you could leave the bus, and than catch another one in a hour or two. The day we took the bus there were only two buses working. The bus only stopped to let people leave once at Taksim. The people who had left the bus there in the morning had waited several hours for it to return so they could continue their tour. Accordingly, we did not dare get off of the Hop On Hop Off bus at all.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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4. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

I have asked Buraksan and he told me that the red buses actually aren´t running because of any problems, but the blue buses are still running.

Probably they might be a reasonable choice for tourists who don´t have any English (or Turkish) knowledge and who feel a little overwhelmed and perhaps scared by this huge city.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

i took the Green Line a few day ago. It was one hour long, and I hopped off at the Egyptian market (spice market) to explore. No other bus ever showed up to re-board, and this was around noon. It wasn't like the day was over! I ended up walking back to my hotel in Sultanahmet, a bloody long way.

I paid 50 Lira for a very dumb trip. The recorded commentary was rather useless also, not matching the view out the window much of the time.

The other one was two hours for the same price. I should have taken that one instead! At least it was a longer trip. Just beware ever hopping off. You may never get to hop on again. I'm just glad I didn't get off at some remote spot!

The third choice was an evening one to see the lights. I think it was the same price.

The worst hop on hop off bus I've ever used in all my travels, and I've ridden many of them.

Edited: 27 September 2013, 05:10
Ruhr Area, Germany
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15,092 posts
119 reviews
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6. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Thank you very much for your report, very useful for me. I have posted it in the German forum.

I remember that we often had complains about those bus tours but I didn´t know if they have improved their service now.

Mount Dora, Florida
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7. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Some how they do not seem to have mastered the basic concept of Hop On & Hop Off. We did not dare get off the bus as we had observed people who had been stranded. Probably best to suggest that if people take this tour they just stay on the bus.

I'm not sure if it is helpful for initial orientation. We knew the basic geography of the city before we took the bus. I did not think it was very useful in providing information on how to return to places.

I think it is significantly over-priced for what it provides.

Johannesburg, South...
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8. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Is the hop on hop off bus better now? In May 2014? Bus every half an hour?

If one buys a 48 hour ticket, can one use the bus at night?

In October 2013, I used the hop on hop off bus. I wanted to go on an evening tour. However the bus left at about 6pm and picked up people on the way back and simply did it's route returned. I could not get off as there would be no later bus. When I asked, they said I should have waited for a later bus. But the bus had a huge sign saying " night trip". So this painted on but not applicable!!

Mount Dora, Florida
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9. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

Hi Nelliegraeme, It has been almost five months since I have been in Istanbul, but in December the Hop On Hop Off bus was providing the same service you describe in your post. I generally like a Hop On Hop Off tour, particularly in a new city with which I am not familiar, or under circumstances where my time is very limited or when I elect to travel without a rental car and need to use other forms of transportation.

Unfortunately I have never had a good experience with this service in Istanbul. I do not know if the company has simply not developed a vision for the concept or if it is just difficult to develop a great Hop On Hop Off route when a great many of the things visitors go to Istanbul to see are located adjacent to one another in a pedestrian mall where a Hop On Hop Off bus would be neither necessary or even practical.

A few times I have tried to imagine what route I would develop to provide visitors with the best experience on a Hop On Hop Off tour. I so much enjoy seeing a huge city like Istanbul from the windows of a moving vehicle, and I can be very happy simply looking out at the businesses and buildings on my route. There are few things I enjoy more than when one of our friends with a personal automobile drives us around the city. I personally do not require major scenic views or ancient sites to enjoy driving through the city.

I believe, however, that I am in the minority. I think most visitors expect a Hop On Hop Off experience to actually drive them by things of significance. They also expect to be able to leave the bus and explore an interesting neighborhood with the assurance that they can board another bus and return to the starting point when they finish their exploration. I have never been on the Hop On Hop Off bus when anyone could guarantee that there would actually be a bus after the bus I was on that I could catch to complete the route.

This Hop On Hop Off concept has been a bit of a mess for at least the last seven years, and when I left in December I saw no evidence that it would be improved any time in the near future to more closely match similar services in other major cities.

I evaluate it as confusing with a high level of risk if you actually hop off the bus, and a low level or reward because the route does not really introduce you to any significant sites. It is also ridiculously expensive for what it offers, and I have never felt comfortable recommending it to visitors.

I have serious mobility issues, and one of my favorite activities is simply to be driven around the city. For these two reasons I still take the Hop On Hop Off bus almost every time I visit Istanbul. It gives me a good chance to rest while providing me views of the city I could not obtain on my own. If you are among the minority of people who share these two conditions you might enjoy the Hop On Hop Off bus. Just be warned that in spite of the name, the possibility that you may actually be able to leave the bus is not guaranteed, and the price of the experience does not justify it for most people.

Whe ever I write about the Hop On Hop Off bus I always hope to be followed by some local person who can announce that the problems have been corrected and the service is now an outstanding experience. Thus far this has not happened.

10. Re: Hop on - Hop off bus

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