Istanbul Public Transport
Istanbul has a very excellent transportation system which makes it utilizing every part of the city. Within the city limits you can ride a bus, a metrobus, subway train, tram, ferry, and many other things. There are several types of public transportation in Istanbul. The best part is that most of them are connected to one another. And you can use them all by using a single transportation card (IstanbulKart) which makes it an efficient system. You may buy the card from major hubs like Taskim and Besiktas. It is available for everyone.
Before we go further in the topic, we will explain more about the card so you have full information on what to do.
You pay a deposit of 10 Turkish Lira for the card and the money is returned to you upon returning the card if you want to. You can load credits in the card as much as you want and you may use it for more than one person. You can fund the card from the self-service kiosks named IstanbulKart Dolum Noktasi which means Istanbulkart refill point. The card also provides discounts for each independent ride and every connecting rides within two hours span.
The metro is divided into several main lines. First is the Yenikapi-Ataturk Havalimani line (M1A) which takes you through Aksaray, Fatih, and Forum Istanbul Mall. On the other hand you have the Haciosman-Yenikapi Metro line (M2) which takes you to Besiktas from Zincirlikuyu.
They are basically metro trains that go only one stop connecting one sea-level point to a higher point on a hill. There are two funiculars in Istanbul. One is called Tünel (F-2) which is one of the oldest subways of the world dated back to the Ottoman Empire. Tunel climbs the hill from Karakoy to Beyoglu. There is also a connection possible with the nostalgic tram (T-5) that goes all the way till the Taksim Square. The other funicular (F-1) is a modern one and climbs the hill from Kabatas to Taksim.
Buses and Mini Buses
The buses in Istanbul are in different colors. Don’t worry about it or get confused. They can be green which means they are environment friendly, purple, yellow which means they are furnished specially for the disabled people, turquoise meaning they are being run by private companies. The busses are really efficient to use in Istanbul since they are cheaper and can go through any area. But be careful when you use the bus during the rush hours of Istanbul.
The minibuses on the other hand are vans operated as shared taxis. They have routes as well and stops for sure. However it is very common that you can hail one of them as you do for a taxi. They will not accept any payment other than cash. And if you want to descend from the minibus you may say (Kaptan müsait bir yerde) and the minibus will stop.
Ferries and Sea Taxis
Istanbul is a city which has two seas so having ferries for transportation purposes is very common. The ferries are inseparable part of the urban life, they are clean, comfortable, and inexpensive way of crossing to the other side of the city. The Sea Taxis are a very convenient way to go one shore to the other just using these motorboats which provide a fast, customized and private journey around the clock.
The tram in Istanbul is as important as the metro lines because they can go through the old city of Istanbul. So if you want to go to Sultanahmet or Hagia Sophia district you can stop at Sultanahmet station. It is used the same way as the metro using the metro card you have. And also there is another line of tram which takes you to Venezia Outlet which is considered one of the best outlets in Istanbul.
The transportation system in Istanbul is very well connected to one another and you will not feel lost because everything is well connected and organized with English signs for foreigners. You can use most of the transportation using the Istanbul card as well. So don’t feel worried to use the public transportation in Istanbul.