Use Public Transportation in Istanbul to Reach Most Places of Interest

Picture of the nostalgic tram in Istanbul, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Practical Information, Transportation

Public transportation in Istanbul has improved for the better over the past few years. Most people still take taxis to commute between the various points of interest, but it’s often not the best choice.

In this article I’ll point out the benefits of using public transportation, what the common lines are for tourists, when they operate, and what sightseeing spots they service. You will be amazed.

Public Transportation as the Smart Alternative

It’s an understatement to say that Istanbul traffic is a problem. The latest renovation works of Taksim Square make it even worse. Roads are always heavily used, and gridlocks are common from 07:00 till 10:00 in the morning, and again starting 16:00 until often late in the evening. This makes public transportation a nice alternative.

I will only focus on metro, tramway and funicular systems because buses will be stuck in traffic just like taxis. This is also by no means an overview of every public transportation line Istanbul has to offer, but merely the most interesting ones for tourists.

Please scroll to the bottom of this article for a large map with all the lines and the relevant sightseeing spots at the different stops.

When to Use Public Transportation or a Taxi?

  • physical condition — By default, using public transportation requires you to walk a bit more. Some run underground, so be prepared to take stairs although most such stops have moving staircases. Decide according to your physical condition.
  • fares — The fare to take public transportation is about 2 TL per person per ride. So, let’s take the following example. The cab fare to get from Sultanahmet to Taksim is 11 TL, regardless of the amount of people in the cab. From Sultanahmet to Taksim by public transportation requires you to first take the tramway, followed by a funicular. The trip for one person costs just under 4 TL. So, the latter is a great idea when traveling alone, as a couple or even as a party of three. Yes, even three people during rush hour because you’ll win time and money since the taxi meter also adds small amounts when standing still in traffic.
  • time of the day — Most lines operate between 06:00 and 23:00 (see details below), so outside of these hours you must rely on a taxi which is safer at that time of day anyway.

How to Pay for Public Transportation?

There are basically two ways to pay for the fare: either you get a token (jeton) from the sales booth or vending machines (jetonmatik), or you use the Istanbul Card (Istanbul Kart) — an electronic boarding pass. If you use a token you’ll pay 3 TL per ride, with an Istanbul Card you only pay 1,95 TL per ride, and get discounts for every transfer you make. So I strongly suggest you to get an Istanbul Kart.

T1 – Kabataş-Bağcılar Tramway Line

T1 - Kabataş-Bağcılar Tramway Line in Istanbul, Turkey.

T1 – Kabataş-Bağcılar.

This is probably the most important line. This air-conditioned tramway basically connects Sultanahmet with Beyoğlu and Taksim (by funicular). This line has many stops of interest to tourist:

  • Beyazit — Grand Bazaar, Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Sultanahmet — Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, etc.
  • Sirkeci — train station
  • Eminönü — Spice Bazaar, ferry docks
  • Karakoy — connection to Tünel (T), which brings you to the end of Istiklal Caddesi
  • Tophane — Witt Istanbul Hotel (walk up the hill), Istanbul Modern, water pipe (nargile) establishments, cruise ship docks
  • Kabataş — connection to Taksim via funicular (F1), fast ferry or sea bus docks to the Princes’ Islands and Kadıköy, 5 min. walk to Dolmabahçe Palace

First train: 06:00
Last train: 00:00
Frequency: every two minutes during rush hour

T – Karaköy-Tünel Funicular

T - Karaköy-Tünel Funicular in Istanbul, Turkey.

T – Karaköy-Tünel.

This is actually the third oldest passenger underground railway system in the world. The look of the trains still reflects this. This funicular takes you in 90 seconds 573 meters uphill to Tünel, at the end of Istiklal Caddesi. From there you can easily reach Galata by walking downhill or have a stroll on Istiklal Caddesi. Alternatively, you could take the nostalgic tramway (NT) until Taksim Square.

First train: 07:00
Last train: 21:00
Frequency: every two minutes

F1 – Taksim-Kabataş Funicular

F1 - Taksim-Kabataş Funicular in Istanbul, Turkey.

F1 – Taksim-Kabataş.

In June 2006 this long anticipated connection between Kabataş and Taksim was taken in use. This modern air conditioned funicular ride takes only 2,5 minutes. From Kabataş you can walk to Dolmahbaçe Palace, take the fast ferry boats to Kadıköy or the Princes’ Islands, and connect to the T1 tramway line to Eminönü, Sultanahmet, Grand Bazaar, etc.

First train: 06:15
Last train: 00:00
Frequency: every three minutes during rush hour

M2 – Şişhane-Hacıosman Metro Line

M2 - Şişhane-Hacıosman Metro Line in Istanbul, Turkey.

M2 – Şişhane-Hacıosman.

This line, the first real metro Istanbul had, consists of 12 stops over a 17 kilometer stretch. The metro, daily taken by about 250.000 people, is very safe and clean. The most important stops for tourists are:

  • Taksim — the place itself, Cihangir, Galata, Witt Istanbul Hotel (walk down the hill), connection to Kabataş via funicular (F1) and Eminönü/Sultanahmet via tramway (T1)
  • Osmanbey — a small walk to Nişantaşı, a fashionable shopping area with lots of nice cafés and restaurants
  • Leventshopping centers such as Metrocity, Kanyon, and Akmerkez (additional walk or short taxi ride required)
  • İTÜ Ayazağa — İstinye Park shopping center (additional walk or short taxi ride required)

First train: 06:15
Last train: 00:00
Frequency: every four minutes during rush hour

Public Transportation Map for Tourists

Public transportation map for tourists in Istanbul, Turkey.

Public transportation map for tourists in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photo Sources [1] [2]

What's Next

{ 164 comments… read them below or add one }

Immigration Solicitors in Canterbury March 27, 2013 at 4:35 am

Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

Reply

Nanaa March 31, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hi there! This is such an amazing website! It clears so many of my doubt!. Looking forward for my honeymoon in Mid Dec this year! :)

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

Hi Nanaa,

Glad to hear this. Thanks for sharing.

Erlend

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Georgia Kourabis May 23, 2013 at 12:56 am

Hi!
Thank you for your website.Answered most of my questions.
My husband and I will be arriving in Istanbul on 12/8 and want to know how to get to
Gokceada on 13/8/13 from Taksim.We know Truva bus goes directly but could not get any further information from ringing them direct or from their website.
Are you able to help?
Thanks
Georgia

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hi Georgia,

I’m not familiar with trips to Gökçeada, but a quick look on their site learned me they indeed have daily trips from Istanbul. However, the pick-up point Otogar, not Taksim.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Jason June 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

You are a godsend Erlend, and i’m not even religious.

Reply

website June 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been surfing around online more than nine hrs right now, and after seeing your site. I definitely haven’t encountered any interesting posts such as yours. Honestly, I think that if more bloggers and siteowners generated content like your website, the web would be even more beneficial than it already is.

Reply

Luisa August 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Thanks for your tips! They helped me a lot!

Reply

Ushmita August 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

Hi Erlend.

Thank you for the very informative website. Most of my questions and concerns were answered here. I am needing a bit of advice. I am due to attend an event at the Istanbul Convention Centre for a period of 4 days. I would like to know: What is the best mode of transportation if we are to travel from Taksim to Harbiye. I would like to buy the Istanbulkart from the airport, and so would need to know if it can be used for any mode of transport ti the ICC. Please advise.

Thanks in advance.

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hi Ushmita,

Sure, you can use the Istanbul Kart for that. The convention center is 100 meter from the Harbiye bus stop on the Taksim–Şişli line, and 500 meter from the Osmanbey metro station of the M2 Şişhane Hacıosman line. Actually, Osmanbey is the first stop if you take the metro in Taksim.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ushmita August 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hi again Erlend,

I cannot thank you enough for confirming this. We are 2 single ladies traveling for the first time to Istanbul, and we were worried about how to get around effectively. But your website has really been informative, and gives the new traveler all the relevant information. Have a great weekend.

Reply

Freya August 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Hello Erlend,

Your website is very helpful, thanks for taking the time to making it so clear and informative.

I organize study trips for university students in Paris and I have a trip to Istanbul in October for a group of about 12 students and their 2 professors. I have already organized a trip to Istanbul last year (and went on the trip–amazing city!) during which we had hired private mini-buses and used the metro system only once (and it was indeed quicker). This time around, I would like the group to use public transportation when possible to avoid traffic delays and because it is cheaper than private bus hire–however, the token system is not great for a university-sponsored trip as there is no paper receipt for the transaction and it is frankly inconvenient to have to buy tokens for 15 people. So I would like to arrange for the professors to have the Istanbul Cards. Do you know where exactly in the airport one can purchase the Istanbulkart? Is there anyway to buy it from travel agencies abroad?

Thanks very much in advance for your assistance!

Freya

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

Hi Freya,

I think you made a wise choice.

You can buy these cards at the airport at the metro floor, which is located under the airport arrival terminal. There are moving staircases to get there.

I don’t know of any agency selling the Istanbul Cards abroad.

Have a nice trip,
Erlend

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Freya September 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Thank you, Erlend! I will tell the professors to get the Istanbul Cards at the airport.

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Lara August 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Dear Erlend,
I wish I had discovered your website earlier and I would have saved my family and I some trouble and disappointment. We booked a self catering apartment in Soyak olympiakent because of the facilities for our 10day stay in Istanbul. The last four days were for a conference at the Istanbul convention Center. We found out we were in the middle of nowhere and have paid heavily each time we went to city Center. Please how can we get get to the Istanbul Convention Center easily and less expensive. I am trying to make best of a bad situation now because we have not been enjoying our stay.
Thank you for your prompt response.

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Hi Lara,

Your flat is indeed located a bit far from the city center. Try to ask locals how to get by (mini) bus to the closest T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram stop. From there take it all the way to Kabataş. From there you can take a short taxi ride to the convention center, or take the funicular to Taksim square. From there on you can walk, or take the metro for one stop, and walk from there.

Good luck,
Erlend

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Lara September 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Thanks a lot.

Reply

Dr Memon September 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Really amazing site,very informative money and time saving,i really appreciate th people who did this incredible job.THANKYOU& SUPERB.

Reply

J.Herremans September 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

I arrive in Istanbul on a cruise and spend only 5 hours there. I travel on a Belgian passport,do I need a visa and if so can I get it there ?

Thank you

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hi,

Yes, you’ll need a tourist visa, which you can obtain at the port customs for a small fee.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Tim October 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Hi Erlend,
Thank you very much for the very informative and interesting wed site. My wife and I are traveling to Istanbul in November, and your column has given me a lot of very useful tips and help.
But, I do have a question. Where can I get a Istanbul Kart for taking the public transport? And how much is it? How does it work?
Looking forward to hearing your advise.
Tim

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hi Tim,

Here is all there is to know about the Istanbul Kart: http://www.wittistanbul.com/magazine/how-to-get-an-istanbul-kart-and-is-it-worth-it/

I hope this helps,
Erlend

Reply

Ifor November 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hi,

Great site. Lots if very useful info on Istanbul. My family and I will be visiting Istanbul this X’mas/New Year week and I want to know how to ride the bus/train/tram from this apartment in Avcilar. Its on Gumuspala Mah. Kasap Ahmet Sok #19 Avcilar Istanbul, 34310. ( 9.5 km from ataturk airport.) Is this a safe place to stay at? If you know the area at all? I know its atleast 30 km away and they have a bus stop close to the hotel. Trying to see if its worth the savings to travel 1 hour to the tourist spots. Since we are only there to see the sites and eat the food and maybe a show, we are not really in too much of a hurry that is why we are considering this far apartment /hotel. Thanks in advance for your response.

Ifor

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Hi Ifor,

If you’re here for tourist/sightseeing purposes, I would strongly recommend to find accommodation much closer to the city center. The commute will make you forget the nice experience you had during the day.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ime-Abasi January 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Hi Erlend,
I really appreciate your write-up on most things in Turkey, i currently was granted visa to visit the UK, which i hope to do in March this year and since i’ll be using the Turkish national flyer (turkish airlines) i’m thinking of dropping by for 3 days in Istanbul and do some shopping, since my country Nigeria is one of the countries listed for the Turkish e-visa category (having a valid UK visa). I’ve been sceptical about this trip for a while now and just happened to come accross your site which has aided me gather so much information that will make my stay less hectic. I have even printed so many of your articles in preparation for this adventure. I would love it if you could advice me on where one could go shopping for quality clothing materials (suits, shirts, jeans) and footwears at the most rock bottom prices, Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind Regards
Ime

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hi Ime,

Glad to hear that our site made you feel more at ease about your upcoming trip.

As you may have learned from the comments, we unfortunately don’t give info about sales, discounts or shop (or restaurants and bars) price listings.

Have a nice stay,
Erlend

Reply

Juan February 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Just one word: CONGRAULATIONS!
By far the website for tourists going to Istanbul!

Sorry, two words: THANKS! :-)

Juan

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Hi Juan,

Thanks a lot for sharing, this means a lot to us.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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chris February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hi..I am going to visit Istanbul next month and i would like to know how to get in Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center by metro from Taksim Square..Thank you very mutch and your site is amazing and very helpfull..!!! CONGRAULATIONS..!!!

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hi Chris,

Use the M2 line and get off at the Mecidiyeköy/Şişli stop. Follow direction inside the metro station.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Gezim February 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Hi Erlend. Sorry, I’m gonna bug you one more time my man. I know, it might sound selfish, but the only stupid question is the one not asked, right? . We have a layover of about 20 hours. Decided to stay close to Ataturk (7:30 a.m. departure). Being the kind of person that don’t take it too kindly getting ripped off and being taken for a ride around a foreign city, me and my 16 year old would like to use public transportation from our hotel to Sultanahmet ( Grand Baazar, Blue Mosque area). It would be greatly appreciated if you can find a couple of minutes to tell us how to get there via public transp. ( metro and/ or tram ). The hotel address is : Han Hostel Airport North(descent reviews for a one night stay)
Degirmenbahce Caddesi, Turgut Reis Sokak, No:3, Yenibosna, Bahcelievler, 34197 Istanbul. Thank you so much in advance. Peace.

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Hi Gezim,

I would take the hotel shuttle or a taxi to the airport. There take the metro in the direction of Zeytinburnu, where you will get off and hop on the tramway in the direction of Eminönü or Kabataş. Get off at the Sultanahmet stop.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Happy Ong February 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

My dad and I will be visiting Istanbul 3rd quarter of this year. Your page is very helpful. As I am the one responsible for the itinerary, this blog gives me insight on how to explore the place efficiently. Thank you!

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing this.

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Kathryn February 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Hi Erlend,

I am travelling to Istanbul this weekend with my husband. We are thinking of arranging a car and driver to pick us up from the airport. Can you recommend any good companies please?

Also, we’d like to do a walking tour – possibly a foodie walking tour or something other than normal tourist sites. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Kathryn

p.s. I know it’s been said many times before but your website is great.

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

Hi Kathryn,

Have you seen this article on a Turkish food course I once took? She also organisms food tours. Just follow the link to her website in the article.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ahmer March 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Hi Erlend,
I am staying in a hotel in Fatih area and I’ll be travelling to Airport to catch my flight at 7 PM on Monday Mar 17. What time you recommend keeping the commute and other traffic around this time for me to leave for airport (Attaturk Intl)?

Due to luggage I cannot avoid Taxi option.

Thanks,
Ahmer

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Hi Ahmer,

You need to be there minimum two hours before your flight. Leave a 16:00 and you should be fine.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Margaret April 7, 2014 at 6:49 am

Hello from down under. I will going to Turkey with my sister next month and was worried about getting around with her as she has very bad lungs from a life time of smoking. You site has put my mind at ease and will will be using the train not expensive taxis. Thank you.

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Maja April 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

Dear Erlend,
This site is really great, offering soooo much information, so thank you in advance for giving answer to some of my questions :)
My name is Maja, I’m from B&H (Bosnia) and company I work for is going to send me together with my co-worker to Istanbul, to visit TOSH EXPO fair. The fair will be hold in Halic Congress Center (5th May-7th May). So my question would be: which is the easiest way of transport to the Congress center? Since, both of us, are first time visiting the Istanbul and Turkey! Unfortunately, we haven’t booked hotel yet, so I just need general information and alternative solutions :) just to avoid being clueless in unknown city!
Thank you and
best regards,
Maja.

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Hi Maja,

The Haliç Congress Center is located at the Golden Horn, close to the E5 highway bridge. This is not the city center, but equally far away from Taksim as Sultanahmet.

There are many transportation alternatives, including buses, ferries and of course taxis.

There is lodgement close to the center, in which case you will need transportation in the evening to Taksim let’s say for dinner and nightlife. The problem is that public transportation slows down after 10 pm.

Or you can go the other way around, stay in Beyoglu and use public transportation to reach the congress center, and are closer to the hotel in the evenings.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Corinne Hasdai June 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Is it possible to get from Taksim to Etiler by Metro?

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Erlend Geerts June 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

Hi Corinne,

There is not metro to Etiler, but you can get close by taking the metro to Levent and either walk or take a taxi from there.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Susan July 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Hi Erlend,

Very informative. I have one question though would you suggest taking the hop off/hop on bus or better to take trams, ferries or public buses?

Also, how to got from And Hotel to Topkapi :)

Thank you so much.

Regards,
Susan

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Erlend Geerts July 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Hi Susan,

Just use public transportation. Trams, metros, and ferries don’t get stuck in traffic.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Susan July 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

Thank you Erlend.

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ILDS July 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Dear,
My first time visiting Istanbul and travelling alone since my friend travelled earlier than me. Can you please help me the cheapest way by public transport / train of going to Taksim from Atuturk Airport. I will be arriving at 10:30 morning then leaving again at 9:00 pm going to Athens.

Appreciate your cooperation. Thank you so much…

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 15, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Hi,

I would take the Havataş Shuttle, easy, cheap, and comfortable

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Marva July 18, 2014 at 3:39 am

Oh my. This is a great resource for me. There will 4 of us traveling together in September. We will be on a cruise. Our ship docks at the Yolcu Salonu (“Passenger Terminal”) in Karakoy. We want to visit the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, the Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. I am really torn on whether to take a taxi or the tram. We will not be there long so want to make sure we make the best use of our time. I did read that if there are any mobility problems at all the taxi is probably the best way. One of our travelers has no trouble walking but needs frequent breaks. What would be your best advice? Thanks so much.

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Hi Marva,

Without any doubt, the tramway. Cheap, no traffic, air conditioned.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Leo Lapointe April 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

I have the same question concerning going by tram to see the Topkapi Palace. What tram stop is closent to cruise terminal, what tram line did you take, and any recommendations for us since I assume you have already had the experience. Please provide comments or send me an email. Thank you. Also, did you have long waiting lines to get into the various sights you wanted to see.

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 16, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Hi Leo,

The T1 tramline is what you’ll take from the Tophane or Fındıklı stop.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Salma July 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Hi Erlend,

I can’t thank you enough for all the info you’ve provided here! I’m visiting Istanbul with my mom next week and your website has been more than perfectly helpful with planning of the trip :)

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Hi Salma,

I’m glad I could help. Thanks a lot for the compliments.

Have a nice holiday,
Erlend

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Helen July 31, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Thankyou so much for all this incredibly useful information. It has certainly made my trip here in Istanbul so much easier in terms of using public transport plus the info on the Princes Islands. For your info I am here for a month, a 62 year old australian female.

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uma sundar August 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Dear Erlend,
Thank you for all the useful information. Please tell me the best mode of public transportation to get from Taksim square to Halic congress centre.
Thank you,
Uma

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 16, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Hi Uma,

Please this previous comment on how to reach the Haliç congress center.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Wasan August 20, 2014 at 6:10 am

Hi, I am travelling with my family to Istanbul next week for 7 nights – we will be staying at the Golden Way Hotel in Esenler. We will be spending most of our time in city center – there will be 5 of us travelling and want to limit using the taxi as much as we can – are there good and easy public transport links from our hotel to the center.
I would be very grateful if you can advise me as this is our first visit and I am a bit anxious.

Many thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 23, 2014 at 1:27 am

Hi Wasan,

You should ask your hotel, since there is a new metro line under construction or already in use from that area. I haven’t been able to check it out myself yet. Do keep in mind though that you’re not close to the city center. Avoid taxis, except for getting to the closest public transportation stop.

Have a nice stay,
Erlend

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Wasan August 24, 2014 at 12:11 am

Hi Erlend

Thanks for your reply, the Metro line near the hotel is working and it’s about a 5 minutes drive away.

Regards
Wasan

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Louis August 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

Hi Erlend

I am going to exchange in Sabanci University from September, and I’ve found a nice apartment near the Tuzla Station (Postal Code 34940), but I don’t know if there is any public transportation between the apartment and Sabanci. Can you help me?

Thanks a lot.

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 27, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hi Louis,

You better ask the university. It’s not uncommon that they have there own shuttles to certain drop off points. If not, they surely can give you more details about current public transportation in the area.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Chetak August 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Hi,
Thanks for the information here. Can you please give some information about the ferries? I am traveling next week. I am living in Uskudar near the Bosphorus. What would be the best way to get into the city? Are there any metros that run across the sea?

Many thanks.

Regards,
Chetak

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 29, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Hi Chetak,

You could use the Marmara railway, a train/metro under the Bosphorus. You can catch it in Üsküdar and the next stop is Sirkeci/Eminönü. There you can hop on the tramway to Sultanahmet or Kabataş / Beyoglu.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Tasniem September 5, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Hi Erlend,

Thank you for a very informative webpage. I am currently in Istanbul doing a one year intership at an architecture office. I was wondering if you have any idea about collective work transport systems. I tried commuting via Metrobus, metro and local bus but traffic is very high during work hours. Any idea of any alternatives?

Many Thanks,
Regards
Tasniem

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Hi Tasniem,

I understand your problem completely. Unfortunately, the concept of car pooling is almost non-existent in Istanbul. Most people are on their own to commute to work, although private schools and major companies organize shuttles for their workers. You should ask the company for which you do your internship.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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João September 19, 2014 at 6:08 am

Hello,

I was thinking of spending the New Year’s Eve at Istanbul, but I could not find out wether the metro will be working between december 31 and january 1st or not.
Will it run on its regular timetable?

Thanks in advance!

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Hi Joao,

Hard to predict at this time, but from previous years I know it runs at the normal schedule.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Gary September 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hi Erlend
I need assistance with transport from the Ataturk airport to the Sude Konak Hotel on the European side not far from the Galata bridge. what is the best way to travel – do trams or metro do this route?

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

Hi Gary,

The T1 tramway passes very close to the hotel.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Richard September 30, 2014 at 12:40 am

Hello Erlend,
I very much appreciate your work on your website, you actually give proper, useful information, something the official “Tourist” sites, lack. Can you advise me please if you can purchase the “Istanbul Kart” outside of Istanbul, I will be going to Canakkale on 10th Oct then Sinop & Trabzon, arriving Instanbul on 21st October, but do not know where ship is docking, I then hope to use your information to go into the city by Metro.

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Hi Richard,

As the name implies, I guess the card can only be bought in Istanbul. But, when you arrive in Istanbul you’re bound to be close to the seller points mentioned in the article. Worst case scenario, you need to buy a token once before you can get your hands on one.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Richard September 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Merhaba Erlend,

Thank you for your prompt reply, I will sort the card out on the 21st Oct,

Best Regards, Richard

Reply

Marius October 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Hi

I`m staying for 4 weeks. Is there a 30 day ticket for public transportation?

Best regards

Marius

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 11, 2014 at 12:15 am

Hi Marius,

I’m afraid there is no such thing. But do consider using the Istanbul Kart.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Merin October 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Hi,

Your blog posts are so useful and are genuine. I have literally planned my itenary based on your blogs! Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
Merin

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Hi Merin,

Thanks for the compliments.

Glad I could help,
Erlend

Reply

Hasan November 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Hi Erlend,

This must be your passion, and great treasure of info on Istanbul, i must say. Fabulous work.

I am travelling with 2 kids aged 5 & 7 end of this month & have only one afternoon, then one Full day before I fly to Antalya.

What is the best & fastest way to experience Princes Island & Bosphorus cruise, does the cruise allow hop-off to Princes island for a short walk & hop-on later with the cruise?

Many thanks.

Hasan

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Hi Hasan,

I think you’re a bit confused. The Princes’ Islands and the Bosphorus tour are two separate tours/ferries. Please follow the links above for details.

Personally, if the weather is not very fine and you only have 1,5 days, skip the islands. There are other things to keep your kids entertained.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Iva November 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Hi,
What kind of transport i must take and use from this address:
Kasap Osman Sk No:13, Küçük Ayasofya Mh., Fatih, Turkey

to Gümüş Sk, Harbiye Mh., Şişli, Turkey.

Thank you in advance for answer,
Iva

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 14, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Hi Iva,

A taxi I would recommend if outside rush hour. If not, public transportation.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Micah November 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Hi

Thank you for this very helpful post!
I just want to ask one question though. I will be in Istanbul next month and I will be staying in Gulhane Park Hotel.
Is it near to the city or any sites / metro station?

Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Hi Micah,

Yes, it’s very close to the T1 tramway.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ayesha November 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm

This is a fantastic site. Lays out all the information very clearly and in a organized way. Thanks a lot!

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Hi Ayesha,

Thanks for the compliments. Glad you enjoy the efforts.

Have fun,
Erlend

Reply

Manal Salem November 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm

How can I reach cevahir mall from titanic hotel in bakiroky using public transportation?

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hi Manal,

Take the metrobus to Mecediyeköy, and hop on the metro there for one stop until Şişli.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Cavan November 26, 2014 at 1:31 am

Hi Erland,

Great site, thank you.

I arrive in IST this weekend (11/30) with a family of 4 (kids aged 7 and 3). I am staying in the Etiler area. What do you suggest is the best way to get from this area to the old town? I am considering walking to the Levent metro or walking to the Bebek ferry and taking a boat. This is our first trip to Istanbul. Are these realistic options or is a taxi required? Also, do you have any opinion on the “Big Bus Tour?”

Best,

Cavan

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Hi Cavan,

Walking to the Levent metro is a good idea to reach Taksim (Beyoğlu). If you want to go to Sultanahmet, get off in Taksim, take the funicular to Kabataş, and hop on the tramway there to Sultanahmet.

Have a nice time,
Erlend

Reply

Leila November 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Hi, Erlend!

I was searching for some info about Istanbul and found this website. Thank you for your sharing of information. It’s very useful especially for the people like who will go to Istanbul for the first time and live there.I will study in Istanbul and my campus is Beykoz. I have a question to your concerning the different parts/sections of Istanbul. Could you write a post about different sections of Istanbul and distances between them, maybe some parts are safer than others to live. Or maybe you can link if you have already done it.

Thanks in advance.

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 28, 2014 at 7:21 am

Hi Leyla,

You should ask your university for information about lodging, good locations, etc. They even may have good lodging facilities for you (to rent). This blog is focussed on short stay visitors/tourist in Istanbul.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Mladen December 1, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Hi guys,

We planing to be for the New Year’s eve in Istanbul by our car. Any ideas how much will be taxi’s multiplier for this night ? Phone number of some serious taxi company ?

BR

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Hi Mladen,

There is no additional fee. If you want to be sure, have a hotel call you a taxi.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Mladen December 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Thanks, Erlend

as we’ll be on a ship for the NY party which is back on Karakoy pier at about 2.30 midnight, will it be a problem to find a taxi there for normal rate? If you have an idea about that? As on the way from hotel will be easier, we understand, to call a taxi company.
thanks again for your help!
Mladen

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hi Mladen,

You can ask for your hotel to make a reservation if you’re sure you will be at the dock at that exact time. However, if you’re late, the taxi will be charging a waiting fee.

Alternatively, you can ask your hotel for a telephone number of a taxi stand close by, and call after getting of the boat. Or just take a taxi that passes by.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Mladen December 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Thank you for your kind reply.

best regards,
Mladen

Eli Seh December 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Hello there!

Was reading your page few days back for an unplanned trip to Istanbul for my birthday – Dec 14. I just came back, and I would like to thank you. What I found here was all very heplful – I navigated the place with confidence!!! Thank you indeed! And please note, it was my first time to travel ALONE!!!

Again, thank you. God Bless you :)

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hi Eli,

Thanks a lot for sharing this. It means a lot to me.

I’m glad to here your first trip to Istanbul went fine, and that I was able to help.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ross December 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Hi There,

What a great website! Thank you for sharing the info with us.

I would be grateful if you could advise on these:

We’ll be in Istanbul staying in Sultanahmet area for 3 whole days (5 days including travel) days from middle of January.

1) Day 1: I would like to go to see the following in Sultanahmet area: Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet Cami & Hippodrome and Monuments, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern.

Day 2: Grand Bazaar/ Kapali Carsi, Spice Bazaar and then go over the Galata Bridge to Galata Tower and take M2 to Taksim Square

Day 3: Bosphorus Cruise.

Now the question, do you think this is a good plan according to the area and the time we will be in Turkey?

Also, going from Sultanahmet area to Grand Bazaar and then to Spice Bazaar, over the Galata bridge and to the tower by foot is it ok?

Finally, you mentioned about just taking Ferries for the Bosphorus Tour. Can you advise from where we should take it? Is it a round trip so that it will come back to the original starting point? WE are lodging in Sultanahmet so we would ideally would want to go and start there.

If you have any advise on small street food restaurants that you can recommend that would be amazing.

Thank you :)))

Ross

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Hi Ross,

I would take a bit of load off days 1 & 2 and put one or two things in day 3. The Bosphorus tour only takes about 2 hours, so you definitely can arrange for a full morning of sightseeing, and maybe visit the Spice Bazaar upon your return. Both the docks and the Spice Bazaar are located in Eminönü anyway. You can walk to Eminönü from Sultanahmet, or take the tramway for three stops.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Panos December 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hi erlend. I Need your helpful infos. We are leaving from Istanbul in 31of dec, and our flight leaves at 11:40 from attaturk airport Do u know what is the latest metro and tram to get me there on time? And how long it is gona take to get there..? Thank u for your precious time happy anniversary.

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Hi Panos,

Given the fact that you need to be at the airport two hours ahead of your flight time and the expect rush hour, I would leave no later than 19:00.

Have a nice flight,
Erlend

Reply

mohamad January 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Hi There,
What a great website! Thank you for sharing the info with us.
I would be grateful if you could advise on these:
We’ll be in Istanbul staying in taksim (feronya hotel)for 5 days arriving at 8:30 am on 29/1 and leaving at 8:30 pm on 2\2
iam planing to go directly from the airport to the istanbul aquaruim and then check in in the hotel can u make a scheduale for me if i want to see the most sightseeing in the sultan ahmet and another things(assk kahve , suada club, olivium mall , cevahir mall, kadikoy market, bosphourus cruise, princess island …) in 5 days plz and another question if i want to go from airport to taksim by the metro can u tell me exactly which metro lines i must take and i’ll be gratefull for u

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Hi Mohamad,

I’m afraid I’m not a travel agency. I don’t make custom itineraries. But you can make your own and I’ll be happy to have a look at it.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

nanna January 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

hi mr erland ,
just i wonder how beautifull and amazing website just a question if i want to go from taksim to suada club (the island) how can i reach it …
kind regards,
nanna

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Hi Nanna,

Please have a look in the comments and replies here or at the Istanbul nightclubs post.

Kind regards,
Erlend.

Reply

Miguel January 19, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Hi Erlend, first I want to congratulate you about your great service to we, the tourists to make easier our understanding about to how to get around Istanbul, great job.
Question its any ferry boat (water ferry) that connect the Atartuk airport to the Karakoy ferry / Cadessi point? Thanks so much!
Miguel

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Hi Miguel,

In short: no. There is no port close to the airport.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Louis Tan January 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm

HI, ERLEND GEERTS
My wife and I plan to visit Istanbul this year and the information and advice you have given us on your website is most helpful. Thank you very much.

Regards and Best Wishes.

Louis Tan/Singapore

Reply

nomivan January 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Hi guys nice work i,m going to Italy with Turkish airlines and i have 15 hours transit at ata turk airport Istanbul i was thinking how to spend my 15 hours in Istanbul so i did some research and found Turkish airline offers free hotel and free Istanbul city tour if your transit is more then 6 hours and less then 24 hours here is link i hope you guys ll enjoy this cheers.
any suggestions that what should i do in Istanbul i have 10 hours for city tour.
for free hotel and city tour click this link.
http://www.istanbulinhours.com/how-to-apply
if doesn’t work just copy and paste or Google gd luck

Reply

fara February 8, 2015 at 9:52 am

Hi Erlend
Thanks for your useful & informative website
We are 3 adults who travel to Istanbul for the first time ,tomorrow
We was wonderimg about transportation from the Ataturk airport to Harbiye residence that found your such interesting site
If your suggestion is metro which metro line should be take & where should we get off?
How much TL is your suggestion for initial Istanbul kart charge?
We will be glad if you would please help us as soon as possible
Best regards

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Hi Fara,

I would take the Havataş shuttle to Taksim. Tell them you have to be in Harbiye, they may drop you off there instead of the end point only a bit further.

Maybe put 20 TL on the card to start with? It’s hard to say since I don’t know how long you will stay. You can refill a various locations/stations, no need to worry.

Have a nice time,
Erlend

Reply

Atif February 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Hi Erlend!

Great website you have there! Me and my wife will be in istanbul for 5 days next week.

My friend told me about this pass i can use for the metro’s and that i just need one card for both of us. Also regarding the museum passes.. Does it still cost the same and include the same places of visit.

Also can u suggest a good hammam and where i can watxh the whirling dervishes how much does theit cost approx.

Thank you.

Atif

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Hi Atif,

I suggest the Ayasofia Hürrem Sultan hamam these days. You can read up about the museum pass and the whirling dervishes here.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Faye February 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Hi Erlend

You site is amazing and I can see you are very passionate about Turkey and its people. This makes me even more eager to visit. I really didn’t want to bother you with this question, but I’ve searched high and low for information on how to get from Sisli to Tuzla on the Asian side. My daughter and I will be staying in Sisli for 6 days and then overnighting in Tuzla before taking an early flight to Denizli. Do you know if there’s any public transport between the two suburbs?
Your feedback will be appreciated.

Best regards
Faye

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 25, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Hi Faye,

The 500M bus take syou from Mecediyeköy, Şişli to Tuzla. While this is the cheapest way, it will take about two hours though.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

konstantinos February 25, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Hi,
I am travelling to istanbul with my 7 year old daughter.Does she has to pay ticket for the public transport?I will issue istanbul card.As for the museums and attractions,is there any reductions?
Thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 25, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Hi Konstantinos,

Your seven-year-old will have to pay for transportation, but will get free admission to the museums.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Kate March 4, 2015 at 3:09 am

Hello, thank you so much for your website, its very helpful. I would really appreciate your help, I’m coming to Istanbul by myself for a concert. The concert will take place at Zorlu Center, it starts at 21.00 so probably will finish around 11 pm. The hotel I’m staying at is Nexthouse Pera hotel, Istiklal Cad. Asmalımescid Mah. Kallavi Sok. No:4 Beyoglu. So how can I get there safely at this time? I’m a bit worried, is it safe for a girl to take taxi/public transport at night?
Thank you in advance

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Hi Kate,

You have two options. If the concert ends in time, meaning before public transportation comes to a standstill, then I suggest to follow the crowd and take the metro to Taksim. If the concert ends beyond public transportation time, by all means take a taxi. If you want extra security, make a nearby hotel call a cab for you.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Shoaib March 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Hi – We will be Istanbul in April 2015 and wanted to know what was the best way on Public transport to get to Osmanbey from Ataturk airport – thanks
Shoaib

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Hi,

Common options from the Atatürk Airport to Taksim are discussed here. From Taksim to Osmanbey you can either walk or take the metro for one stop.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Marta Venturini March 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm

hi Erlend! Congratulations on your site! I am visiting Istambul in May. Could you tell me how I can get to Zorlu mall from Sultanahmet on a Sunday afternoon? THANKS!!!!

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 8, 2015 at 11:23 am

Hi Marta,

Taxi, or tramway to Kabataş, furnicular to Taksim, followed by metro to Gayrettepe. From there it’s a 400 meter walk.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

ben sandberg March 10, 2015 at 7:21 am

Hi,

I am staying in Sultanahmet and want to get to the Bosophorous bridge so i can cross into Asia. I just want to cross over and come back. What is the quickest and cheapest way to do that because I know it is a bit of a journey?

Thanks,
Ben

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 10, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Hi Ben,

You do know you’re not allowed to cross the bridge on foot. So, any transportation that crosses the bridge will do fine.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Mike March 30, 2015 at 8:28 am

Hi Erlend,
Your website is fantastic.
We are arriving by cruise ship and have usually taken the T1 tram from Findikli stop to the sights. Is there a shop close to Findikli to buy the “kart” for public transportation?

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 30, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Hi Mike,

you should be able to buy the card at the Kabataş tramway station and the ferry dock from vending machines.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

ANEESA March 30, 2015 at 11:05 am

Hello

I have 2 questions.
Whats the easiest and cheapest way of getting from
– Ataturk to Sisili area (around 3pm ) ?
– Sisli to the main bus station in Istanbul , where I can get the bus to Cappadocia ?

Many thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Hi Aneesa,

At the airport take the M1A metro to Yenikapi where you’ll transfer to the M2 metro to Şişli. For the return, you take the M2 to Yenikapi, and take the M1A or M1B to Otogar.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Zoltan April 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

Hi,

Please help how can I get by public transport from Sabiha Gokcen to Radisson Sisli.
Istanbul public transport card can be purchased from the airport? We are 3 persons, is it possible to use one single card for all. Should we put euro or only TL on the card?

Thank you,

Zoltan

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Hi Zoltan,

I would take the Havataş shuttle to Taksim, and from there take the metro to Şişli/Mecediyeköy or have a short taxi ride to the hotel. Here you can find more info about the Istanbul Card.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Zoltan April 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Thanks again for your kind reply , I missed the first one :)
How much should cost the taxi Taksim-Sisli?

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

8-10 TL

Reply

Paula April 2, 2015 at 11:35 am

Dear Erlend,

First of all, thank you so much for the wonderful website! It was very helpful indeed during our trip to Istanbul a week ago.

A comment on your Public Transportation Map for Tourists: I got a bit confused. Isn’t T1 a normal tram, not an underground train?

And what about the Metro? It’s not in your map. We took the metro from Taxim to the Vezneciler/University in Sultanahmet, but does it run as far as Kadoköy on the Asian side, too? We saw a metro station there but were not sure if it was in use already. Directions at least at Taxim station were not quite up-to-date, so we needed to ask where to go to take the metro to Vezneciler. Also, the public transportation map we got at Taxim Tourist Information was not up-to-date, which got us a bit confused.

We bought the Istanbulkart – extremely practical and cheap to travel. A piece of advice: make sure to buy it at the airport, immediately upon your arrival to Istanbul. It’s a bit cumbersome to find a place to buy the card in the city even though topping it up is very easy.

Hope to come to Istanbul soon again…

Paula

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Hi Paula,

Thanks for your feedback.

The T1 is indeed a tramline, as it says in the post: “T1 – Kabataş-Bağcılar Tramway Line”

You are right though about the metro extension to Yenikapı. I will add this to the map. There is indeed a metro line the Asian side now, with a stop in Kadıköy. But since it’s of very little use to tourists and not to pollute the map with lines 99% of the people won’t use, I didn’t include it.

I’m glad the site provided valuable information and that you had a nice stay.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

nada April 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

Hi,
Please need to ask a question its gonna be my first visit to turkey so i have some questions and waiting for ur prompt reply..
1. How to reach sultan ahmet area from ataturk airport
2. Is istanbul card can be used in antalya or bursa ?
3. Can u suggest places to visit in antalya or bursa
4.how to reach antalya from istanbul but without air flights.
5 how to reach bursa from istanbul easiest way

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 3, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Hi Nada,

This site is about Istanbul exclusively. You should contact a travel agency with your questions.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

nada April 4, 2015 at 7:21 am

Oka thank u so much but..regarding the first question how to reach sultanahmet area from ataturk airport?

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 5, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Hi Nada,

Have you had a look at this article yet?

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Junaid April 4, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Hi.
Firstly, your doing a great job Erlend :)

A quick question. If we take the tram from Beyazit, and go all the way to Metro City through F1 and M2 as well. What would be the cost of one way travel?

Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Hi Junaid,

Assuming you use the Istanbul Kart, then one way would be 4,3 TL per person. Without the card it’s 8 TL.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Clive April 5, 2015 at 1:46 am

Hi Erlend
May I say that I am very impressed with this website and your knowledge of public transport in Istanbul.
There are 2 of us travelling with luggage on Wednesday 22nd April at about 1730 from Ataturk Airport to the Amira hotel which is about 10 minutes South of the SultanAhmet tram stop on the T1 line. Can you advise whether the Metro M1 and the T1 tram are likely to be too crowded to use at that time ? If so which alternative transport would you recommend. The hotel wants 35 Euros to pick us up from the airport.
Secondly we are travelling from the hotel to Sabiha Gokcen airport (SAW) to catch an early evening flight on Saturday 25th.
Do you think the following public transport would work OK?
1. T1 Tram from SultanAhmet to Sirkeci
2. Mararay from Sirkeci to Ayrılıkçeşme
3. M4 Metro from Ayrılıkçeşme to Soğanlık
4. E-10 Bus from Soğanlık Metro to Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
In particular I would need to know if the change from the Soğanlık Metro station to the bus stop for the E-10 is straight forward.
Some websites suggest going for the full length of the M4 metro to Kartal then catching the KM22 bus (which appears to be a nightmare scenario especially as the KM22 is not very frequent !)
The drop off price from the Amira hotel to SAW is 74 Euros which is more than we would want to pay especially as the InstanbulKart is so reasonably priced.
Your advice and help would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
Clive

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 5, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Hi Clive,

You will hit rush hour during your arrival. Having said that, you will probably have a seat since you take the M1 from the starting point. Since you have a seat, take it all the way to Aksaray, and transfer there to the T1. From then it’s only 4 extra stops to Sultanahmet.
How about this to reach SAW. Take the T1 to Eminönü, take the ferry to Kadıköy, and then take the Havataş shuttle from Kadıköy to SAW?

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

khalida osman April 5, 2015 at 5:00 am

Dear erlend
I will be going to istanbul in May 2015 staying at osmanbey. What is the fastest means of transport to go to sultanahmet. Is osmanbey very far away from sultanahmet?

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Hi,

You want to get to Taksim first (see post on airport to hotel), not Sultanahmet. Osmanbey is within walking distance from Taksim.

Erlend

Reply

Arl April 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Hey, can anybody here tell me how to get to Koza Arena in Esenyurt (or just to Esenyurt) from Sultanahmet or Taksim? Can’t seem to find that kind of information anywhere online. Is there a bus? a tram? train…? metro?? Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 13, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Hi Arl,

From Taksim take bus 76D or 76E. Be prepared to be on the bus for more than an hour.

Erlend

Reply

Yasir April 12, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Hello Erlend may you tell me pls how to go Bosporus from aksaray!! Which publice transport I can use..

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 13, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Hi Yasir,

Just take the T1 tramway to Eminönü for a Bosphorus tour or to Kabataş to stand next to the Bosphorus.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

safa April 18, 2015 at 9:01 am

hi erlend,

you have a great site with great traffic. i mean with post went all the way back in 2012 and you still respond with great clarity.

i havent yet encounter a question about renting a scooter to scoot around the places.

im planning to visit istanbul 2nd week of may 2015 for photography trip with my family. since im used to riding a scooter where i live, im very much thinking of renting one.

my questions are, whats the rule on street parking? can you just stop and park at any sidewalk or is there a specific bike parking space? do you have a recommended rental shop?

please share if you have any tips that i need to know with regarda to scootering in istanbul.

thanks a bunch and keep up the great work.

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 18, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Hi Safa,

Unless you have a death wish, stay clear from driving a scooter in Istanbul traffic. You’ll see plenty of them used by delivery guys, but it’s not safe at all. However, if you don’t take my advice and find a scooter rental shop (I don’t know any), just park it on the pavement, no problems.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Manish April 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Tremendously useful website! Thanks!
I wonder if you can help me with these questions:
1. I am staying at a hotel near the Ataturk airport. My wife is arriving separately and will have time on her hands from 2pm in the afternoon till I arrive late at night. Is it safe for her to move around on her own?
2. What are some of the things she could do / see / explore in Istanbul on the first eve?
3. What is the best way to travel from the hotel (close to Ataturk airport) to Sultanahmet area?

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Hi Manish,

The area around the airport isn’t exactly a tourist area. So, if I were here I would ask the hotel to call a cab and visit nearby places such as shopping malls or the Aquarium. I wouldn’t recommend walking in an unknown area late at night as a single woman. It’s probably not a good idea where you live either.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Alex April 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Hi Erlend,

Very useful your site. Thank you for all details you have posted.

Could you please advise which is the best way to reach Sisli-Mecidiyekoy – metro station from Ataturk Airport? I have checked several Istanbul public transport maps, but not very sure how updated they are.
From my point of view there are 2 options:
1. to go via M1 from Havalimani to Zeytinburnu, then T1 tramway to Kabatas, and from Kabatas to take a taxi till Sisli
2. to go via M1 from Havalimani to Zeytinburnu and then a metrobus direclty to Sisly-Mecidiyekoy.

Thank you,
Kind regards,
Alex

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Hi Alex,

The best way is to take the M1A from the airport to Yenikapı, and transfer there to the M2 metro and get off in Mecidiyeköy.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Frederik April 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Hi,

great site!
One question: Going to study Business Administration at Istanbul University from September on for one semester. To my surprise the campus is located in Avcilar (I thought it’s going to be in Fatih like the main campus).
I really wanted to live somewhere central to have the best experience in Istanbul but now it seems impossible!
What would you advise me to do? Move somewhere central and take public transport or rather live somewhere nice in between the centre and Avcilar?

Thanks in advance!
Best regards,
Frederik

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Hi Frederik,

In this case I would rent something in the city center, but close to public transportation lines T1 or M2 which can connect you with the metrobüs line. The latter you will take to reach Avcılar.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Serge Ignatyev April 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Can I use Istanbul kart on thr ferry fom Kadikoy to Eminonu?
Thank you

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Hi Serge, yes you can.

Erlend

Reply

Elitsa Shabova April 23, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Hello Erlend,
Im traveling from Bulgaria to Esenler train station and arrive early Monday morning. I need to get to the cruise terminal. What would be the best transportation for me as I don’t intend to take a taxi.
Thank you

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Hi Elitsa,

Take the M1 (a or b) to Aksaray, and there transfer to the T1 in the direction of Kabataş. Get off at the Tophane stop.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Sarah April 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Hi, how can i go from Bebek to Cevahir mall by metro? and if not possible, how can i go? thank you

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Hi Sarah,

That’s not an easy one. I would have a taxi drop me off at the Haciosman M2 metro stop, and then get off at Şişli stop.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

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