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Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

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Lynnwood, Washington
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Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Hello,

Next summer I'm planning a trip to Georgia with stopover in Istanbul.

I'm planning to fly from Istanbul to Tbilisi, but I'm also thinking about taking the bus instead, for two resaons:

1. It must be interesting and picturesque. I haven't been in Georgia for years, and I've never been in Turkey, so I'd love to spend 30 hours on the road and to see the countyside.

2. The Turkish Airlines has pretty stiff baggage restrictions for this flight, I've heard that the bus companies are more generous.

What scares a bit me is the border crossing at Sarpi. I've heard that this is a real pain and that people can get stuck there for many hours.

Did anyone ever take this bus? Is the border crossing really so bad? I will have the Turkish visa, so at least I won't have to spend time on getting it. Plus, if I'm traveling by bus, I think this should be better organized.

I would appreciate your comments.

Thank you.

Batumi, Georgia
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1. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

The border crossing at Sarpi is very well organized these days and shouldn't very long at all. Also please take a look at my thread today regarding new Georgian visa regulations that come into force on 01 September 2014.

C_B in Batumi

Lynnwood, Washington
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2. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Great, thank you!

It seems that I still fall under "Visa Free Nationals" category if I go for only 3 weeks.

Edited: 22 August 2014, 15:10
Kuala Lumpur
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3. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Hi Peter,

I am visiting Turkey in November and in the process of considering if I should also spend a little time in Tbilisi. May I know where do you take the bus from Istanbul to Tbilisi? How regular are they and what is the cost? I have only just started doing some research.

Lynnwood, Washington
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4. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Hi,

I don't know much myself yet. I know that there are probably 3 bus companies that go to Tbilisi, they go from different locations. One of them is Metro Turizm (http://www.metroturizm.com.tr/), I think it's a biggest one. Their site has an English version, so you can find some information there. Their bus goes I think at 18:00, and it takes about 30 hours to get to Tbilisi.

Kuala Lumpur
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5. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Thank yo Peter. I'll have a look.

Moscow, Russia
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6. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Buses to Tiflis (that's how Tbilisi sounds in Turkish) take a start from AKSARAY Bus Sation (10 min walk from Aksaray metro station). There are number of buses, some go to Tiflis, some to Baku via Tiflis. Times are usually 12 and 3PM (at least these I used recently). Cost is $50 and it takes between 27 to 30 hours. There are more beautiful roads in Turkey, this one is just O.K. Ask window seat. Metro buses are quite comfortable (more than most air travel journeys). Border crossing might be crowded but it is bearable. I did this 3 times and will do again. No baggage restrictions and 3 times cheaper.

Bon Voyage!

Edited: 10 June 2015, 21:42
Lynnwood, Washington
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7. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Good information, thank you!

Kuala Lumpur
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8. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

Thank you for the update Michael. 27-30 hours, long journey!

Muenster, Germany
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9. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

I'm planning to go to Tbilisi (and further on to Yerevan) by bus from Istanbul in early September. I'm wondering whether I need to do the booking in advance or whether I can rely on getting a ticket the day I arrive in Istanbul. Does anybody have an idea? Michael from Münster

10. Re: Istanbul - Tbilisi - Istanbul by bus

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