The Best Way To Travel In Istanbul


The Best Way To Travel In Istanbul

Every day, more than 5 million people in Istanbul use public transportation. This is more than the population of any European capital outside London.

Therefore, you can imagine how difficult it is to force these five million people (travellers and residents) to adopt different modes of transportation every day!

There are many different modes of transportation in Istanbul, which can be very confusing for people who have visited the city in the future.

Therefore, let us understand the cheapest and most convenient means of transportation in Istanbul.

All you need in an Istanbul Tour

If you plan to stay in Istanbul for more than two days, it is more convenient to buy Istanbulkart so that you can pay for almost all public transportation in the city.

Istanbulkart costs only 6 Turkish Lira (1.8€/$2.0) and is sold at IETT counters, airports and even newsstands and newsstands.

To upload money to Istanbulkart, you can use the service at the IETT counter or at a private service provider. Look for the tagline “Istanbulkart (or Akbil) Dolum Noktas”.

With the help of participants, you can upload funds by providing them with your card and money. Or use an automated vending machine (OSM) to do it yourself.

Istanbul Metro

Istanbul’s metro system includes three lines:

M1 Airport-Yenikapa (red) is the most valuable route for travellers as it spans many of the most attractive areas on the European side of Istanbul, including the main business centre. You can also take a tram from this subway line.

  • Yenikapı-M2-Hacıosman (green) is a subway line that takes you to Taksim Square and the northern business and financial district. From this line, you can hop on the ferry and Marmaray (get off from Yenikapi).
  • M4, Kadıköy-Kartal (pink) is a subway line that connects the interior of the Asian side and the Anatolian side. You can easily return to the European side by subway (at Uzunçayır station).

Istanbul Metro

Service hours: daily 06:00-00:00

Service time: 3 minutes during peak hours and 6-9 minutes during peak hours.

Cost: If you pay in cash, the price is set at 4 Turkish Lira (US$1.3), if you pay through Istanbulkart, it is set at 2.3 TL (US$0.77)

Istanbul Tram

In Istanbul, there are three tram lines. Between them, T1 and T4 are completely opposite.

  • The Kabataş-Bağcılar T1 tram line runs through the new city and can take you through the nearby stations in the area to Ataturk Airport, Sultanahmet Square and even Taksim Square.
  • The T4 Mescid-iSelam-Topkapı tram line passes through the main tourist attractions of the old town, giving you the opportunity to visit the famous Chora Museum (directly at Edirnekapi station).
  • You can also be nostalgic or remember the past of taking a nostalgic tram in Istanbul, which includes the T2 line (on the European side) and T3 line (on the Asian side).

Istanbul Tram

The frequency of nostalgic trams is every 15 to 20 minutes.

The Istanbul Tram is a great way to visit the city’s main attractions without having to worry about metering issues.

Service hours: daily 06:00-00:00

Service time: T1 line peak time interval 2-3 minutes; T4 line peak time 5 minutes; two lines during peak hours 7-15 minutes.

Istanbul Taxis

Taxis are often referred to as the most troublesome means of transportation in Istanbul. The price is relatively cheap, but travel in the city is not efficient.

This is because the traffic in Istanbul is always very busy, especially during peak hours. Many Istanbul taxi drivers want to deceive them with their money.

However, there are a few ways to help protect your pocket:

  1. Ask the taxi driver how much money he can make for a kilometre.
  2. Make sure the taxi driver has turned on the meter.
  3. When you arrive at your destination, please check the amount on the counter before handing over the money to the taxi driver.

In Istanbul, taxis are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To call a taxi, all you have to do is make a globally recognized gesture and then wave your hand!


Service time 24 hours

Cost: Opening fee: TRY 3.45 (US$1.14) per kilometre, then TRY 2.1 (US$0.7).

Note: You can park your taxi anytime, anywhere, but every minute of waiting (starting from the third minute after the car is parked) will be charged 0.3TL ($0.1) per minute.

Istanbul Metrobus

There are 8 subway lines opened in Istanbul to reduce subway and tram congestion during peak hours. However, entering the subway during peak hours, the tram or subway is still a challenge.

The subway contains two key lines:

  • Line 34Z (Zincirlikuyu-Söğütlüçeşme) can take you from the European side of the city to the Asian side, and vice versa;
  • Line 34 (Avcılar-Zincirlikuyu) will be connected to the subway line (M1) and the main tram lines T1 and T4.

Istanbul Metrobus

Service time 24 hours

Service hours: from 06:00 to 01:00 every 30 to 60 seconds, from 01:00 to 06:00 every 2 to 8 minutes

Rate: If you pay in cash, the rate is fixed at 4 TL ($1.33); if you pay through Istanbulkart, the price ranges from 1.6 Turkish Lira ($0.53) to 2.95 Turkish Lira ($0.98).

Related Post:  Turkey Visa Requirements For Pakistani


Although not as common as taxis and public buses, Dolmus (shared taxi) is still a low-cost means of transportation that can be moved around in Istanbul.

Dolmus taxis have scheduled routes, but there are no specific stops, so you can go out anytime, anywhere. If you are travelling with luggage, this model is not suitable.

In Istanbul, taxis can only be shared when eight passengers are on board. But this is the best part of Dolmus, because each passenger only has to pay one-eighth of the fare that ordinary Istanbul taxis spend on the same road.


There are ways to and from Taksim in almost all major areas of Istanbul, including Besiktas, Bakirkoy, Yeşilköy, Kadikoy and Uskudar. There are also ways to link the European and Asian aspects of Taksim.

Service time 24 hours

Service time: every 10 to 15 minutes

Price: TL 3 to 5 (USD 1 to 1.7)

Istanbul’s Ferry Boats

If you want to move from the European side of the city to the Asian side and vice versa, Istanbul ferries can avoid traffic jams.

To change continents, search for the following five routes: Beşiktaş-Kadıköy, Beşiktaş-Üsküdar, Eminönü-Kadıköy, Karaköy-Kadıköy and Eminönü-Üsküdar.

On weekends, the ferry is very full in the afternoon, so it is recommended to take a boat tour before noon.

Istanbul Ferry Boats

Service time 06:30-23:00 (varies by road)

Service time: Every 15 to 30 minutes

Cost: If you pay in cash, the price is set at 4 Turkish lira (1.3 USD), and if paid through Istanbul Carter, it is set at 1.40 Turkish lira (0.5 USD).

Three Bosphorus tours are provided: a full Bosphorus cruise (20TL = $6.63), a short trip (10TL = $3.33) and a moonlight tour (summer only, 15TL = $5)

-You can find large and small phrases of Şehir Hatları from companies such as TurYol and Dentur Avrasya.

Istanbul Marmaray

Marmaray, which opened only three years ago, is Istanbul’s railway transportation, connecting the European and Asian parts of the city through a railway tunnel under the Bosphorus.

Istanbul Marmaray

Service hours: daily 06:00-00:00

Service time: the time period is 4 minutes in peak hours (08:00-09:30 in the morning, 17:00-20:00 in the afternoon), and 8-10 minutes in peak hours.

Cost: If you pay in cash, the price is set at 4 Turkish Lira (US$1.3), and if paid through Istanbulkart, it is set at 2.3 TL (US$0.77).


Although füniküler seems to be a useless mode of transportation due to its short distance, it actually has two very important routes.

  • The Taksim Path (F1) partition allows you to easily access Taksim from the tram without having to climb the tracks. You can also take a tram from there to the old town.
  • Karaköy-Tünel (T) allows you to see the historic Tünel station and take you to the Galata Bridge and other blocks. In Tünel, you can take the Nostaljik tram to Taksim Square.


Service hours: daily 06:15-00:00

Service time: every 3 minutes

Cost: If you pay in cash, the price is set at 4 Turkish Lira (US$1.3), and if paid through Istanbulkart, it is set at 2.3 TL (US$0.77).

Also read: 10 Best Places To Visit in Turkey 

Automotive cable car in Istanbul

Istanbul Cable Car is a two-station cable car that allows you to enjoy a beautiful view while having a cup of coffee… or take a photo for your Instagram account.

There are two such cable cars in Istanbul, but the Eyüp-Pierre Loti highway is the most famous because it allows you to enjoy the wonderful view of the Golden Horn.

Automotive cable car in Istanbul

Service hours: 08:00-23:00 in summer and 08:00-22:00 in winter

Service hours: every 5 minutes during peak hours

Price: If you pay in cash, the price is set to 4 Turkish Lira (1.3 USD), if you pay through Istanbulkart, it is set to 2.3 Turkish Lira (0.77 USD)

Saba Ghani
Saba Ghani

Since 2017, Saba Ghani has been serving as the talented and dedicated chief content writer for Pakistan Tour and Travel & EMHI Solutions. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of the travel industry, she has been instrumental in crafting engaging and informative content that captivates the audience. You can catch her at [email protected] or Twitter

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