Istanbul stretches over 5000km² , moving is not always easy because on the one hand it is one of the most congested cities in the world and on the other hand its topography makes the development of public transport complicated (Istanbul as Rome is built on 7 hills). There is currently a large construction site in the city to develop public transport in Istanbul. This project consists mainly of the development of the metro in Istanbul and the connection of the two banks. The first stage of this project was inaugurated on October 29, 2013, and allowed the connection between the Asian and European bank via a railway tunnel passing under the Bosphorus. In order to know more you can also visit website to get more information.

Map of public transportation

During your stay we advise you to use public transport and especially the tram especially to go to the old town. This will allow you to move quickly and cheaply because Istanbul is really bottled up. At peak hours (between 8 and 9:30 and between 17h and 20h) it is really difficult to move. To use all public transport in Istanbul (boats, subways, buses, trams, funiculars) you will need a magnetic card (Istanbul Kart) . You will find it in small kiosks near all metro stations, piers, and also bus stations. It costs 6TL; you will need to charge it (2.15TL per trip). For more information you can consult the website of the municipality: http://www.istanbul-ulasim.com.tr/en . If you buy directly a chip to the machines in front of the turnstiles the price will be 4TL.

The modern tramway:

In Europe two lines are in service, the T1 line from Kabataş makes it easy to get to Sultanahmet , and the T4 line goes up to the north-west of the city. It runs from 6am to 11pm. The tram in Istanbul is very clean and air conditioned. The T1 line will allow you to reach the main tourist sites of the city. We recommend you use it; it’s really the easiest way, economical and fast way to get to the old town. The main stops of T1 are:

Istanbul Tramway Map

The funicular: It will allow you to quickly go down the street of Istiklal and you will thus avoid going up the slopes to go to districts like Galata. Once in Tünel you can use the historic tram (NT) to get to Taksim Square. It runs from 7h to 21h. It will allow you to go from Taksim Square to Kabatas. From here you can take the tram (T1) to get to the old town (another option is to take the Taksim M2 metro directly to Haliçstop ) , you will be in front of the spice market and the Eminonu tram stop.

The historic tramway:

This streetcar looks like the tram of the old movies, two lines are in service, the first on the European side ( NT) it goes down Istiklal street from Taksim square to Tunnel (it is currently under renovation and no longer works at this time ).). The second (T3) Asian side from the Kadikoy pier goes to the district of Moda.

Written by
Melissa Friedman