Public Transport Guide Istanbul: bus, metrobus, tram, metro, train system

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Istanbul has a vast public transportation network that includes buses, Metrobuses and trains such as the metro, tram systems, Gebze-Halkali train and the Marmaray. You could choose from a range of excellent choices for getting about the city.

Getting around Istanbul tips

– Because the Bosphorus separates the city, ferries and sea buses have become a realistic mode of daily transit in Istanbul. Ferries are the most satisfactory mode of transportation for traveling from the European side to the Asian side.

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

– Sultanahmet, Galata, and Taksim, the three busiest tourist destinations, are simple to navigate on foot.

– The metro line that goes from Taksim Square is the preferred method to get to the retail and commercial areas of Nisantasi, Etilier, and Levent. And the whole public transit system is easily accessible with Istanbulkart, a single transportation card.

– It should be noted that traffic in Istanbul is a big issue that frequently causes a standstill, particularly on bridges. Also, with the exception of trams and tour buses, Sultanahmet Square and most of the adjoining roads are blocked by car traffic.

– It is not advisable to travel to Sultanahmet by personal vehicle. You will need to park your vehicle somewhere far away.

Istanbul’s top Public Transport Options

Metrobuses and Buses

Public buses are unquestionably the most cost-effective mode of transportation, albeit they are sometimes packed, making it difficult to determine which one to take.

Metrobus, a private lined fast public bus service, is also available. It serves hundreds of thousands of residents every day and provides speedy transit between the two ends of the Asian and European sides.

Metrobus line in Istanbul in the middle of the highway. Two modern buses nearby.

Metro and Tram

Metro and tram systems of Istanbul have an extensive network and give easy access to many significant places on both the European and Asian sides.

On the European side, the Istanbul metro system runs from Aksaray – Atatürk Airport to Kirazli (M1 line), Haciosman to Yenikapi (M2 line), and Kirazli to Olimpiyat, Basaksehir (M3 line). On the Asian side, it runs from Kadikoy to Tavsantepe (M4) and Uskudar to Yamanevler (M5).

Trams are also a quick and convenient method to go about Istanbul’s most popular areas. The trams travel from Bagcilar to Kabatas (T1 line) (along Eminonu and Sultanahmet), Topkapi to Mescid-i Selam (T4 line), and two vintage trams run between Taksim and Tunel (T2 line) via Istiklal Street on the European side and Kadikoy to Moda (T3 line) via Bahariye Street on the Asian side.

nostalgic tram, istanbul Taksim

There are also two funicular lines that connect Kabatas to Taksim (F1 line) and Karakoy to Tunel (F2 line) (end of the Istiklal Street). The Karakoy-Tunel railway system is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the nineteenth century.

You can consult the Istanbul Railway Network Map for a complete list of all lines.

Train System of Marmaray and Gebze-Halkali

Marmaray is an undersea railroad system that connects the European and Asian sides. The Marmaray is a 76-kilometer-long tube tunnel that allows passengers to travel by rail beneath the Marmara inner sea in only a few minutes. The quickest route between Kazlicesme and Ayrilik Cesmesi is via Sirkeci and Yenikapi on the European side and Uskudar on the Asian side.

Tour Booking Advice

The Gebze-Halkali Suburban Train System likewise uses the Marmaray network, which is a quick means to travel from the Asian to the European sides and from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) to the Istanbul city center.

Ferries and Sea Buses

Ferries (Sehir Hatlari) and Sea-Bus are also the most convenient, cost-effective, and enjoyable methods to travel across, along, and around the Bosphorus.

Ferries allow you to travel from Europe to Asia and back. There are eleven important ferry docks on the European side, including Karakoy, Kabatas, Besiktas, and five in Eminonu; on the Asian side, there are Uskudar and Kadikoy. Ferries run every 15-20 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

There are additional sea-bus lines that go from Istanbul to the city’s main districts and the cities around the Marmara Sea.

Bostanci-Besiktas and Bostanci-Kadikoy-Yenikapi-Bakirkoy are the two inner-city sea-bus lines. Kadikoy-Yenikapi-Armutlu-Bursa, Bostanci-Yenikapi-Cinarcik-Esenkoy, Bostanci-Yenikapi-Marmara Avsa Island, and Kadikoy-Yenikapi-Bursa are the four intercity sea-bus routes.

Yellow Shared Taxi (Dolmus)

The Dolmus (yellow shared taxi) is a communal taxi that travels on a defined, short, continuous route. It is a simple and convenient mode of transportation in the city. Dolmus is popular among locals, and the fare is constant; payment is made in cash at the time of boarding (a little more than the bus).

Taxis in Istanbul are yellow and feature taxi signs on the roof. A yellow cab may be seen practically anywhere on the street. Taxis are inexpensive when compared to European standards. There is no difference between day and night. Using this formula, you can estimate the cost of a taxi ride for your trip.

Istanbulkart – Public transport Card of Istanbul

With an IstanbulKart, you’ll have everything you need to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

Enjoy every minute of your stay—the vibrant culture, delicious food, and stunning sights are sure to leave an impression that will last long after you return home. Make sure to take advantage of all that Istanbul has to offer; with a little bit of planning and the help of your IstanbulKart, there’s no limit to what you can see and do! Happy Exploring!

Find out more on Istanbulkart

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