Travelling in Istanbul will be a fascinating experience. Being one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, Istanbul is considered to be the city that bridges the continents of Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. With numerous sight-seeing options and plenty to explore across the city, it might be useful for travellers to keep in mind a few tips about travelling in Istanbul. Read on for more details.
The public transport system in Istanbul is well-organised, cheap and diverse. Travelling options range from buses to ferries to trams to trains to taxis , with just about every form of public transit available in the city.
It is best for travellers staying in Istanbul for more than four days to purchase an Istanbulkart – a contactless electronic card for travel fare payment which can be used for almost all modes of public transport in the city. The Istanbulkart will be available at most prominent ticket booths, newspaper stands and kiosts near transit stops such as Eminönü, Taksim and Sirkeci.
When purchasing a card, travellers will be asked for a cash deposit of around 10 Lira which will be refunded when you return your card later. Travellers may load as much credit as they wish onto the Istanbulkart for travelling at various self-served Istanbulkart refill points across the city. A single card can be used by more than one person.
Travellers who are in Istanbul for less than four days may simply opt for tokens or electronic tickets instead of an Istanbulkart. These tokens and tickets are available at vending machines labelled as Jetonmatik and Biletmatik, as well as several newspaper stands and stalls near stations and shops.
The most common modes of transport in Istanbul are public buses, trains and trams. Taxis, ferry boats, sea buses and dolomuses are also popular. Travellers in Sultanahmet and Taksim will probably have to travel by tram or the metro since bus lines no longer operate in the area.
The bus service in Istanbul is frequent and usually accepts both Istanbulkarts and electronic tickets (but not cash). Several tram lines are also available in Istanbul, with the most prominent one running through Kabataş to Karaköy, Eminönü, Sultanahmet and Beyazıt/the Grand Bazaar. Metro stations are marked with letter M and can be identified by its blue and red colors. The ferries in Istanbul are considered to be the most enjoyable way to travel around Istanbul and are highly recommended for tourists and travellers for a unique and memorable experience!