Top Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Passengers on a Big Bus tour

    How long does the tour take?

  2. How long does the tour take?

    A complete circuit on the Red Route (City Tour) takes approximately 2 hours, and a complete circuit of the Blue Route (Golden Horn) Tour takes approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes. Tour length may extend due to traffic density.

    Please allow for more time if you plan to hop on and off at any of our stops.

  3. Tourists on a Big Bus Istanbul tour

    How frequent are the buses?

  4. How frequent are the buses?

    Istanbul City: Red Tour Seasonal Frequency:

    PeriodFirst DepartureFrequencyLast Departure
    April - September Stop 1: 09:15 30 minutes Stop 1: 16:45
    October - March Stop 1: 09:00 30 minutes Stop 1: 17:00


    Golden Horn: Blue Tour Seasonal Frequency:
    PeriodFirst DepartureFrequencyLast Departure
    April - September Stop 20: 10:00 30 minutes Stop 20: 18:00
    October - March Stop 20: 09:45 60 minutes Stop 20: 16:45

  5. Tourists on bus looking at Galata Tower

    Do I need to specify a date of travel?

  6. Do I need to specify a date of travel?

    All Big Bus tickets are open-dated, meaning you can travel on any day within 6 months of purchase.
    If you purchase a ticket that offers validity for more than 1 day, you must travel on consecutive days.

  7. Big Bus Istanbul

    What will I see on the tour?

  8. What will I see on the tour?

    Bus stops are conveniently located near popular landmarks and attractions so you can hop on and hop off as you please. Our routes been carefully designed to pass all the city's must-see sights, including the Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe palace, Galata tower, Bosphorus bridge, Taksim Square, Miniatürk, Rahmi Koç Museum and the New Mosque. Visit our top landmarks page for further information on what you can see and visit on our tour.

    You can hop on and off as many times as you wish, or you're welcome to stay on board for the entire route. Please see our tours information page to discover more.

More Questions & Answers

Tell me about the Big Bus tour of Istanbul

Big Bus Tours offers sightseeing tours of Istanbul by open-top double-decker bus. Commentary is provided in a choice of languages. You may hop on and off at any of our stops to visit attractions and places of interest.

Which days do the tours operate?

The Big Bus Tour of Istanbul runs every day of the year.

How will I know where to get off?

The pre-recorded commentary on the bus will announce each stop by number and location as the bus approaches. Please refer to our routes & maps information to plan which stops you would like to hop off at.

How do I redeem my ticket?

Tours start at Stop 1/20: Sultanahmet Square (between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, next to the main road). You can hop on the bus from any stop, but please note that e-vouchers must be redeemed with a customer service representative at Stop 1/20.
If you requested to have your tickets sent via SMS, remember that there is no need to print your tickets. Just bring your phone with you with the ticket page open to show it to one of our on street staff, who will issue you your ticket.

Where is the nearest stop to the Port and Atatürk airport?

Our bus stop number 4 on the Red Route is right outside the Port main terminal exit. Our main departure point is Sultanahmet (stop 1) for both Red and Blue Routes and is the closest stop to Atatürk airport.

What is the child policy?

A child ticket is available for children between the ages of 5 - 15. Children under 5 may travel free of charge. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Is it possible to hire one of the open-top buses for a private event?

Yes, buses are available for private hires and charters. For more information please or to receive a quote, submit an enquiry using our private hires and charters page.

Are the buses wheelchair accessible?

Yes, all of our buses are wheelchair accessible. Please contact us for further information.

There are no buses running due to weather conditions, what do I do?

Firstly, check the validity of your ticket. If you have bought your ticket online and have yet to have this scanned by our of our on-street representatives – it will still be valid for use for up to 6 months from the point you have purchased. If your ticket was bought on-street or has already been scanned by one of our on-street advisors, and we have cancelled our services due to weather conditions, you will be able to apply for a refund. Check out Term & Conditions for full details.

How can I find the stop nearest to me?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I bought the ticket but it’s for someone else. It has my name on it, is this ok?

You're all set! Simply show your voucher(s) to any member of on-street staff who will scan the QR code and hand over your yellow Big Bus Tour tickets. Don't lose them, they're like gold (cash) and cannot be replaced.

Can I buy tickets on the bus?

The easiest place to buy our bus tickets are in advance by booking online or from the Big Bus Tours app. If you want to buy when you’re in city and in person, Big Bus representatives are located at the majority of our stops. They will be able to sell you a ticket before you hop-on to the bus.

Where does the tour end?

You can hop-on and off at any of our stops (unless it’s a panoramic ‘non-stop’ tour). Download the Big Bus Tours app to discover all of our routes, stops and nearby landmarks & attractions.

Does one ticket cover all routes?

For the majority of our tickets, that’s a BIG YES. Look out for this when you’re booking your ticket online or buying in person. Each ticket will state how many routes are included. Typical exclusions are one-loop tours such as Night Tours which are usually panoramic ‘non-stop’ tours.

I bought my ticket but now can’t make that date, can I use it on another day?

Bus tour tickets purchased online or via the app are typically valid for six months up until the point of the ticket being scanned (redeemed) – then the clock starts ticking and you’ll need to enjoy your tour within the time purchased. This is usually, one, two or three days.

Can I use a two or three-day pass on different days?

You’ll need to enjoy your pass across consecutive days, so a two-day pass redeemed on Monday means your pass is valid Monday and Tuesday.

How do I know when the next bus is coming?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I am waiting at a stop and can’t see any buses, what do I do?

Hang in there! BIG cities like to throw all sorts of challenges at our drivers, who are doing their best to get to you as quickly (but safely) as possible. If you haven’t already, download the Big Bus Tours app to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking.

Contact us

For general enquiries, please get in touch using our contact form. For more specific answers please select one of the options below.