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Public Transportation in Istanbul

Public Transportation in Istanbul

The public transportation in Istanbul is quite convenient. It is made up of a metro, buses, and ferries which are run by the Metropolitan Municipality.

The metro in Istanbul features six lines that cover most of the city. The bus system consists of over 200 stations and hundreds of routes with many buses running to various destinations throughout the day on a regular schedule. The ferry system offers you an inexpensive way to get across the Bosporus or Golden Horn while enjoying beautiful views of Istanbul’s historical sites like Topkapı Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace Küçüksu Kasrı, Ortaköy Mosque and Bosphorus Bridge. The best way to get around Istanbul are the buses and trams, which conveniently cover the touristy and sightseeing areas in Istanbul.

Bus and Metrobüs Transportation in Istanbul

These are more than 390 bus lines in Istanbul and some of them run until midnight and after midnight everyday. These buses that run on reserved lanes to avoid congestion. Most of the areas served are on the outskirts of the city. Therefore, its use is of great interest if you are visiting the city. The public transportation in Istanbul is actually very purposive.

The Metrobüs is one of the most popular means of transportation for Istanbulites. They operate on one major routes including Söğütlüçeşme to Beylikdüzü to Tüyap Fair & Congress Center.

Besides, Metrobüs 34 line runs Avcılar Istanbul Universitesi Merkez Kampüs to Zincirlikuyu. There are 27 stops on this route. Everyday from 05:00 am till 02:00 am.

Metrobüs 34A line runs from Cevizlibağ to Söğütlüçeşme (Kadıköy). There are about 20 stops on that route. Everyday from 05:00 am till 10:00 am. 16:00 o’clock till 21:00 o’clock.

Metrobüs 34AS line runs from Avcılar (Istanbul Universitesi) to Söğütlüçeşme (Kadıköy). There are about 34 stops on that route. Everyday from 05:00 am till 02:00 am.

Metrobüs 34G line runs from Beylikdüzü (Tüyap) to Söğütlüçeşme (Kadıköy). There are about 45 stops on that route. Everyday from 01:00 am till 05:00 am. Night time metrobüs runs every 30 minutes.

The metrobus is a high capacity bus which runs on a dedicated lane and stops at every stop for 24 hours a day in Istanbul.

Tram and Metro

The metro and tram transportation covers most areas of Istanbul. Tram lines, ‘Tramvay’ in Turkish, include the T1 which runs between Kabataş and Bağcılar on European side. T2 runs between Taksim and Tünel (heritage tram).

T3 (nostalgic tram) makes ring from Kadıköy to Moda on Asian side. T4 runs from Topkapı to Mescid-i Selam tram line on the European side.

T5 tram line just opened in 2021. This tram line runs from Cibali to Alibeyköy Cep Otogarı.

Istanbul has 8 major Metro Lines numbered M1a,M1b,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6, M7 and M9. Each line is different with their own attractions and routs. The M1 Line is the oldest line of Istanbul Metro.

M1A: Yenikapı to Atatürk Havalimanı metro line.

M1B: Yenikapı to Kirazlı metro line.

M2: Yenikapı – Seyrantepe-Hacıosman metro line.

M3: Kirazlı – Başakşehir/Metrokent metro line.

M4: Kadıköy – Tavşantepe metro line.

M5: Üsküdar –  Çekmeköy metro line.

M6: Levent – Boğaziçi Üniversitesi – Hisarüstü metro line.

M7: Mecidiyeköy – Mahmutbey metro line.

M9: Bahariye – Olimpiyat metro line.

Yellow Shared Taxi (Dolmuş)

‘Dolmuş’ is the Turkish word for filled, stuffed or full, and refers to the yellow shared taxis or minibuses that operate in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey. A dolmuş is actually a shared taxi that seats maximum 8 – 9 passengers. They drive day and night on pre-determined routes, but without set stops.  Some of the important routes include:

  • Kadıköy – Bostancı
  • Taksim – Bakırköy
  • Beşiktaş – Nişantaşı
  • Eminönü – Nişantaşı
  • Taksim – Şirinevler
  • Taksim – Bostancı

Taxi in Istanbul

The common yellow Istanbul taxis are yellow and have a “Taksi” sign on top. However, there are also turquoise and black taxis accessible, both of which are more luxury and come at a higher fee. All the taxis have meters which has to be opened legally everytime you take a taxi and all taxis have the letter T in their license plates. The fare shown on the meter reads according to distance traveled. The rates for day and night are same. Bitaksi and Uber are quite handy applications and better than hailing a taxi on the street. If you get a taxi on the street, make sure you check for a taxi booth and get one from the taxi station.

Istanbul taxi services operate on two types of fees; an initial fee, a per kilometer fee, and a time fee. The initial flat rate is posted inside the front and rear windows of the vehicle. They charge different rates depending on the distance travelled. Although hiring a taxi in Istanbul is relatively reasonable, it is very important to know whether you are on a shared or non-shared taxi before getting in. Non-shared taxis are usually more expensive than shared ones. If you opt for non-shared taxis, make sure that the driver agrees to use the meter without any excuses.

Is Public Transportation in Istanbul Expensive?

Public transportation in Istanbul has been an integral part of daily life for locals and tourist alike. A single ticket costs 8 TL per person. There are no day ticket and no fare zones in Istanbul. In some means of transport, such as the bus, only the Istanbulkart is valid. Istanbulkart costs about 25 TL.  The card pays off after three single rides and is usable during your whole stay in Istanbul. It applies to the entire transport system of Istanbul. In shared taxis (Dolmuş) only cash payments are accepted.

Hire Istanbul Tour Guide for better understanding

When it comes to finding a guide for any of the attractions in Istanbul, you have so many options available. Is there anything that you want to know more about this city? Need to understand different sightseeing tips? Then it is nice to hire an Istanbul tour guide. With a tour guide as your partner, you can explore different historical structures like Hagia Sophia and Chora Church which are very interesting but not everyone can do it by themselves.

With a tour guide you will be able to master and comprehend the historical sights of this magnificent city with ease. There are so many areas and monuments in Istanbul that you would love to explore but without a proper guide, it would be difficult for everyone.

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