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Transportation in Istanbul

In Istanbul, for its large size and geographic irregularities, there are many different transports, which generally work correctly:

According to some, is the most convenient transport to get around the city. The T1 line covers the main points of interest in Istanbul (From Bagcilar to Kabataş, passes through the Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet Square, Galata bridge, etc..). There is also a “historic” or “nostalgic” tram, which comes from the Taksim Square and runs along the the Istiklal boulevard which is one of the main arteries of the European side of the city. Another nostalgic tram connects the neighborhood of Kadiköy with Moda, on the Asian side of the city.

The Istanbul metro network is quite limited and does not have much interest for travelers, but it is useful to get to and from the airport. Recently a new metro opened in the Asian side of the city. A northern extension from 4. Levent to Maslak was opened on January 30, 2009 and a South one from Taksim Square to Yenikapi, across the Golden Horn, which has been completed to Şişhane station in Beyoglu.

There are two underground funicular railways, one between Kabataş and Taksim Square and another between Tünel and Karaköy, passing under the Galata Tower, thise one is the oldest in the world.

Although it is the cheapest transport, buses in Istanbul can be complex to understand. There are private and public but in general are an important and popular transportation among locals.

In general, ships communicate the European side with the Asian, being an indispensable option for locals and foreigners, but also connect other areas on both sides. Similarly common are trips on the Bosphorus, Black Sea, Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn and they also rent boats for parties and private events.

City Trains
One line runs between Sirkeci, the main train station of the European part and Halkali, in a journey of 48 minutes. Another suburban line is in the Asian region, from the Haydarpaşa station to Gebze, a journey of about 65 minutes.

In Turkish we say “Taksi” and they are yellow. It’s easy to find them all day. They are usually cheap and safe and are a good option to get to certain parts of the city.


The two best known types of “tickets” are Jeton and Istanbulkart: the first is for a path and the second is a card with a balance that is valid for all kinds of transportations.

The general rule is that jetons are the easiest way to use public transport for travelers who will not make regular use of it.

The Istanbulkart supposed savings and convenience. You can buy them at stalls and booths in most of the stations and recharge it there or in automatic machines, mustly everywhere near a transport stop.

Transport to the Airport?

In our pages of Istanbul’s two airports we explain in detail how to get to and from the airports. Anyway, we repeat here that you can use Metro Line 1 (M1) to the International Atatürk Airport and remind you that for a better experience and more comfort, you can hire one of our private transfers with rates per vehicle.

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