ulaşım public transportain ulasim

Istanbul is the city that connects the Asian and European sides. The pearl of the Bosphorus. The apple of Europe’s eye, the heart of the Middle East. Istanbul is the land of fairy tales. Touring this city has been an incredible experience for everyone. With its age-defying history and endless past, each corner tells a different story.
This article, in which we talk about a few public transportation tips that will be useful to you while visiting this city, the public transportation network that extends to cultural places, and the negative situations you may encounter while doing these, will be a guide for you, our guests. Come and tour the city with all the city people.

galata köprü bridge horn

Istanbul and Eid al-Adha: The Pearl of Europe and Asia

Easy and Economical Travel with Istanbul’s Public Transportation System

Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in the world with its historical texture, cultural riches and unique views. Considering the size and density of the city, the public transportation system stands out as the most efficient travel option in terms of both time and cost. In this article, you will find information about using public transportation in Istanbul, taxi usage and important tips for tourists.

Istanbul Card: The Key to Using Public Transportation in Istanbul

akbil ulaşım card id travel

What is Istanbul Card?

Istanbul Card is a payment system used in public transportation in Istanbul. It is valid on various means of transportation such as metro, tram, bus, ferry and even some private public buses. The card allows you to travel easily and quickly without having to carry cash.

Where to Buy a Card?

Istanbul Card can be obtained from Istanbul Card filling centers, vending machines, some kiosks and dealers throughout the city. These centers and vending machines are especially available at main public transportation points such as large bus terminals, metro stations and ferry piers.

How to Top Up Money to the Card?

There are several options for filling out the card:

Istanbul Card Filling Points: Filling centers and kiosks at various points in Istanbul.
Vending Machines: Vending machines located at public transportation points such as metro stations, bus stops and tram stops.
Mobile Application: You can add balance to your card using a credit card via Istanbul Card’s official mobile application. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and allows you to top up easily, keeping your card information safe.

akpil dolum kiosk

How to use

To travel with your card, simply swipe your card when getting on public transportation or entering the station. Each swipe transaction automatically deducts a fee from your card at the determined rate. With Istanbul Card, you can benefit from transfer times and discounted tariffs on connecting trips, which can further reduce your costs.

Tips for Tourists

For tourists visiting Istanbul, short-term tourist cards are available. These cards offer unlimited travel for a limited time and are especially ideal for short-term visits.

Istanbul Card is the easiest way to travel efficiently and economically in Istanbul. Once you obtain and fill out the card, you are ready to explore the rich cultural and historical attractions of Istanbul.

Easily Accessible Cultural Spots and Touristic Places

Istanbul’s public transportation network provides access to many of the city’s major tourist and cultural landmarks. For example, you can use the tram line to go to Sultanahmet and visit iconic buildings such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Metro and bus lines are ideal for those who want to reach Taksim. You can also have a pleasant journey with ferry services to the attractions of the Anatolian Side, such as Kadıköy and Üsküdar.

taksim cami tramway metro

Transfer Status: Perfect Opportunity to Explore the City

Istanbul public transportation system is enriched with various transfer options. For example, you can easily make a quick transfer between the European and Anatolian sides of the city by transferring between Marmaray and metro lines. You can continue your trip without paying any additional fee when making transfers, which is another advantage of Istanbul Card.

Why Use Public Transportation?

There are many advantages of using public transportation in Istanbul. First of all, you can use your time more efficiently by avoiding traffic jams. Not to mention that it is economical and an environmentally friendly option. Additionally, in a city full of history and culture like Istanbul, it offers the opportunity to interact with local people and truly experience the city.

Istanbul’s New Cafes and Restaurants

Using a Taxi in Istanbul: Tips for Tourists

Taxi in Istanbul is a frequently used option, especially to go to places where the public transportation network cannot reach. Taxis are easy to find and are usually yellow. However, taximeter opening fee and per kilometer fee are charged; So make sure the taximeter is on before you start your journey. Additionally, prices may vary depending on traffic density, so it may be more economical to choose public transportation during peak hours or for long distances. App-based moving services are also an alternative option and are more transparent about prices.

taksi istanbul taxi yellow

What Tourists Should Know About Istanbul Taxis:

Taxi Shortages and Selection by Drivers: In recent years, Istanbul has faced a shortage of taxis, leading to difficulties in hailing cabs, especially during rush hours and in popular areas like Kadıköy. Drivers may prefer longer trips or choose tourists over locals because they can charge higher fares.

Rising Costs and Economic Pressures: Taxi drivers in Istanbul are under significant financial pressure due to high daily expenses which include rental fees for license plates and operational costs like fuel and insurance. This economic strain can sometimes lead to less enthusiasm for short, less profitable trips.

Common Scams and How to Avoid Them: Tourists should be vigilant of common scams including drivers taking longer routes, tampering with the meter, insisting on a fixed price rather than using the meter, and issues with giving the correct change. To avoid these, use a GPS to track your route, insist on using the meter, and carry small change to avoid overpayment.

Technology and Apps: To mitigate some of these challenges, it’s advisable to use taxi apps like iTaksi, Bitaksi, and Uber. These apps provide a platform for tracking your ride, ensuring the use of meters, and handling payments electronically, which can help avoid some common scams.

Bridge and Highway Tolls: Be aware that when crossing from one side of Istanbul to the other, such as from the European side to the Asian side, passengers are responsible for additional tolls. This includes tolls for major bridges like the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge or the 15 July Martyrs’ Bridge. These should be factored into the cost of your journey.


Using Taxi Apps: Apps not only provide a secure way to book taxis but also help in tracking the route and handling payments, which can protect against common scams.
Awareness of Fares and Tolls: Knowing the approximate fare for your destination and any applicable tolls can help you avoid being overcharged.
Vigilance Against Scams: Stay alert to typical taxi scams and be prepared to address any discrepancies with the driver.

Cruises and Bosphorus Tours from Asia to Europe

Since Istanbul has a unique location between two continents, exploring the city by sea offers a particularly popular and enjoyable experience. Sea cruises and Bosphorus tours from Asia to Europe are one of the best ways to benefit from this unique geographical feature of Istanbul.

vapur istanbul boğaz

Ferry Cruises

There are various ferry services in Istanbul, especially for your travels from the Anatolian Side to the European Side or vice versa. There are regular ferry services from major Anatolian Side centers such as Kadıköy, Üsküdar, Bostancı to important piers on the European Side such as Eminönü, Karaköy, Beşiktaş and Kabataş. Ferry services are easily available with the Istanbul Card and offer the opportunity to watch the magnificent views of the Bosphorus while traveling.

Bosphorus Tours

Bosphorus tours are trips along the Bosphorus that connects the two sides of the city. These tours usually last a few hours and provide the opportunity to observe Istanbul’s historical mansions, palaces, towers and bridges. Several options are available for tourists:

Short Bosphorus Tours: Usually lasting 2-3 hours, these tours are perfect for seeing some of Istanbul’s most iconic structures.
Full-Day Bosphorus Tours: These tours, which are longer and more comprehensive, usually include going to Anadolu Kavağı and having a lunch break there.
Private Boat Rental: For a more special experience, personalized tours can be organized by renting private boats. These tours are generally preferred for groups, families or romantic outings.

Night Tours

vapur gece bosphorus

Night tours on the Bosphorus are ideal to discover the fascinating view of the city under night lights. These tours usually offer a romantic atmosphere with food and live music.

A cruise in Istanbul is a unique opportunity to experience the city’s rich history and natural beauties from a different perspective. These journeys by sea when passing from Anatolia to Europe are among the popular options for both locals and tourists.

Last Word…

Public transportation and taxi in Istanbul are both economical and comfortable ways to explore the city. In this adventure that starts with the Istanbul Card, you can be sure that you will accumulate unforgettable memories while exploring the historical and modern face of the city. Make the most of your time in this large metropolis, where every corner is beautiful, by using public transportation and sometimes taxis.

Enjoying Food in Historical Places of Istanbul