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Istanbul | Tips for public transport | Download the metro map


into Istanbul Turkey can you definitely metropolis to call. The city has more than 15 million inhabitants and is more than 5000 square kilometers in size. Despite this, public transport has left a lot to be desired in recent years. Fortunately, the administrators of Istanbul realized this and a lot of work has been done in recent years, both literally and figuratively. Nowadays you can travel in many different ways in Istanbul. The transport in Istanbul consists not only of buses and metros but also funiculars, trams and even dolmuş buses.

Tip: there are also quite a lot of sights within walking distance during your vacation in Istanbul.

Buy an Istanbul kart

You can buy separate tickets for public transport in Istanbul almost everywhere. For example, do you stay during a city ​​trip in Istanbul more than one day in the city? Then it is much smarter to choose a Istanbul Kart† You can directly purchase this travel card for tourists at the airport.

Buy an Istanbulkart (public transport card)

You are the first to buy the card and that costs 10 Turkish Lira. Incidentally, you will get that money back when you return the pass when you leave. You can top up the pass whenever you want and with an amount of your choice. With an Istanbulkart you get a discount on every trip, usually it is about 50% cheaper than when you buy a separate ticket. The Istanbulkart is also available at the various kiosks in the city and at the larger stations and stops. The card can be topped up at all stops and in the city.

Tunel Cable Car

You can travel through Istanbul in different ways, but one of the best means of transport is the Tünel funicular. It is in fact the oldest cable car in the world and was already used in the time of the Ottoman Empire. And you can now also take a seat on the Tünel cable car. You can board at the Kabates and Taksim Square, so the cable car can take you there and back.

Tip: The first tour starts at 06:15 in the morning and the last ride starts at 0:50 in the night. The Tünel cable car will be available a little longer on weekends.

Traveling by Metro in Istanbul

There are also several metro lines available in Istanbul for the travelers. You can travel by metro between 06:00 and 00:30. It is also an extremely convenient connection for holidaymakers who need to travel from the airport to the city center. You can easily see on the map which route you need. I have added the map a little further down ok, so you can just map out a route on your smartphone. The metros usually run every five minutes and slightly less on weekends.

Subway in Istanbul
Subway in Istanbul

Metro map Istanbul 2021 | Schematic

This is a schematic representation of all trams and metros in Istanbul, as you usually see them on the various stations and metros themselves. I've also added a topographical metro map a little further below because many people find it difficult to orientate on a schematic map.

Metro map Istanbul 2021
Maximilian Dorrbecker (Chumwa), CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Want the high-resolution image on your phone so you can always access it offline? Then you can download it to your phone via the button below.

Metro map Istanbul 2021 | Topographic

Do you find it difficult to navigate through Istanbul with a schematic metro map? Then this topographic map might be for you. You can view the image here, or download it to your phone via the button below.

By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2254297

Also read: The five most beautiful cycling routes in Turkey

Traveling by tram in Istanbul

In addition to the metro, you can still take rides with the trams in Istanbul, you can also use the above Metro and Tram maps of Istanbul. There are several tram lines available, but you will most likely be using tram line 1. This is because the tram line is actually ideal for tourists and passes all the famous places in the city. The trams run every five minutes and in busy periods even every two minutes, so you never have to wait long for a stop. The first trams start running at 06:00 and stop around 23:30.

Buses in Istanbul

You can also travel with one of the many bus lines in the Turkish city. In terms of buses, Istanbul is very well organized and there is therefore plenty of choice. The buses are easy to recognize and very colorful. This is because each color represents a specific service. The yellow buses also offer travelers in wheelchairs the opportunity to ride, while with a green color you travel very environmentally conscious. The regular buses are purple.

Taxis in Istanbul

There are also a lot of taxis driving through Istanbul. You can hail a taxi or find a taxi rank on almost every street corner. However, a taxi is quite pricey in the city. This is because the busy traffic takes a lot of time and a driver can make fewer trips in a day. The taxis are easy to recognize by their traditional yellow colour. Please note, always check whether the taxi has a meter. In all other cases, there is a good chance that you will have to pay way too much. Taxis are available for up to four people.

Taxi (taksi) in Istanbul
Taxi (taksi) in Istanbul

Traveling with a traditional dolmuş

You have probably heard of it, but in Turkey you can also travel with the so-called dolmuş. This is a minivan for up to eight people and a great means of public transport in Istanbul. The buses run on fixed routes and will only leave when no one else can reach them. Fortunately, a dolmuş normally fills up very quickly. It is a kind of taxi, only much cheaper. You can board at one of the pitches, so that you are sure of a spot. It is also possible to hold a dolmuş, but then there is a chance that the minibus is already full. Please note, you will have to pay in cash.

Taxi from the airport to the center

Once you have arrived at Istanbul airport, you want to get to the hotel as quickly as possible. You can travel by metro, but that may not be ideal. A faster and more comfortable way to travel is by taxi. There are dozens of taxis waiting for tourists at the airport, so you can get in and drive away. A normal taxi ride costs 30 euros and takes a maximum of one hour. However, there are also other taxis, such as VIP taxis and comfort taxis. Obviously, those taxis are a lot more expensive. This is because it often concerns more expensive and luxurious cars, but in fact that is just a waste of money. You better save the money for fun activities in Istanbul. It is possible to book a taxi online in advance.

Rent a car at Istanbul Airport

Instead of using public transport in Istanbul, you can also take a renting a car† The rental cars are available from more than ten different car rental companies. You should think of companies such as Europcar, Avis, Budget, Sixt and Green Motion. By the way, you can also choose a local company such as Cizgi Rent a Car and Ulger Rent a Car. Nevertheless, we always recommend booking with a Dutch party, because they have it well organized in terms of rules and insurance. It is often slightly cheaper locally, but you are not properly insured. Sunnycars.nl is a good provider with an all-in price, including all costs + all-in insurance.

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