The buses are the cheapest public transportation to get around town, but you should be very clear in how to use them or which one to take, what is available on some websites, like IETT official, with English version, or just ask at your hotel. In Istanbul there are almost 500 lines, 3000 buses and 8000 different bus stops. There are two types of buses that carry passengers in Istanbul:
Those are what we all know as a bus, in Istanbul both public and private, while performing the same routes with the same rates and mostly the same stops. The public ones carry the logo of I.E.T.T.
You can purchase the tickets (jetons) for these public buses in various stalls and booths with the logo above, but there are not at all stops. The private buses work with these tickets but usually accept cash as well.
They are small buses that collect persons on the road. Some are called “dolmus”. Although there are not settled stops, they usually stop at the request of passengers, so you should notify the driver when the moment comes. Their routes can be seen on the front. Payment is made in cash.
Are buses advisible?
We recommend the bus especially for some very specific routes that are not covered by other transportations. The main touristic areas and downtown are well connected with other more efficient transports. Traffic in Istanbul is usually quite crowded and you can lose a lot of time on a bus. So, we recommend to your centric routes, metro, funicular, tram and ferry.
If you are going to visit somewhere not too far but not connected with the aforementioned transportations, take a taxi.