How to use public transportation in Istanbul ?

How to Use Public Transport in Istanbul

Istanbul is a very large city filled with amazing historical sights which make it a breath-taking site for tourism. Despite stretching over 5,000 km2, the city is still faced with serious traffic congestions (in fact it is one of the most congested cities in the world) due to the enormous number of tourists it draws on a daily basis and as a result of that, getting around Istanbul as a tourist may become quite an issue of concern. However, there has been a major project to take public transport in Istanbul to the next level and this has provided a good number of ways with which one can easily access every beautiful part of the city.

When you go on Istanbul tours, you’ll get to see a great deal of public transport systems including trams, tunnels, buses, railways and so many others, and it is good you know how to use these public transports so that you know which one to take that will get you to a particular destination. In addition to this, it is advised you use public transport — most especially the tram — when seeing the Old City. This is because it gets you around the city with ease and offers you cost savings since you’d have so many places to visit.

As you may very well know, Turkey has a European as well as an Asian side, connected by the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul. Both parts are now easily accessed with the use of public transport in the form of ferries and sea-buses. Ferries are the best means for plying the Bosphorus. When it comes to visiting the busier districts and shopping centres of Nisantasi, Etilier and Levent, your best option is the metro line running from Taksim square. Traffic jams are very frequent especially on the bridges. Some of the connecting roads, like the Sultanahmet Square, are often closed for vehicles, and only tour buses and trams are allowed free access. So do not bother hiring a private car when you come on an Istanbul tour.

So are you visiting Istanbul for the first time? Are you planning on having a tour to the old city of Istanbul? Then, there are so many sights that await you and places to explore, so follow this guide on how to use public transport in Istanbul.


For you to be able to use any kind of public transport in Istanbul, you must first obtain a magnetic card known as IstanbulKart (Instanbul Card). You can always get this in any of the kiosks close to the metro stations, bus, tram and train stations. It cost only 7TL. Getting a map of the city is also worth considering as it gives you an idea of every possible route to your destination. This you can get from the Istanbul Municipality Information Office at Eminonu.

Pubilc Transport Options in Istanbul

Bus and Metrobus

Everywhere you go, buses remain one of the cheapest and most popular means of transport but the downside is they usually get pretty congested and you’d have so many of them you don’t even know which you should jump into. However, apart from Sultanahmet, buses ply every part of the city and you’d see their major stops and destinations written in yellow on the body of the bus.

In Istanbul, there is an express bus called the metrobus which passes through dedicated paths, and this line serves a plethora of Istanbul residents as well as tourists on a daily basis. It is so much faster than your typical bus and offers quick mobility within the Asian and European sides of Istanbul since it does not pass through the congested roads. Nevertheless, most tourists do not like it since it travels along the outskirts of the city, and so do not provide good views.

Metro and Tram

The advantage of the metro and tram system is they offer great accessibility to almost all the most prominent spots in Istanbul, both on the European and the Asian side.

The metro opens from 6:15am to 12 midnight, and plies Aksaray – Atatürk Airport to Kirazli (M1 line), Haciosman to Yenikapi (M2 line) and Kirazli to Olimpiyat, Basaksehir (M3 line) on the European side. It also moves from Kadikoy to Tavsantepe (M4 line) and Uskudar to Yamanevler (M5 line) on the Asian Side.

On the other hand, trams also offer you a very fast and easy way to access the most attractive parts of Istanbul. There are two lines servicing Istanbul, one on the Asian side and the other on the European side. The T1 line travels between Bagcilar and Kabatas, (through Eminonu and Sultanahmet), while the T4 goes from Topkapi to Mescid-i Selam. T2 goes through Istiklal Street to ply Taksim and Tunel, and the T3 line services Kadikoy and Moda by passing through Bahariye Street on the Asian side of Istanbul.

The Funical Lines

The funical has two lines, the Karaköy-Tünel (T) and the Taksim-Kabataş (F1)

  • Karaköy-Tünel (T)

This line works from 7am to 9pm. It gives you easy and quick access to Istiklal Street without having to climb the terrible slopes to arrive at Galata. From there you can get to Tünel from which you can then take a tram to Taksim Square.

  • Taksim-Kabataş (F1)

This gives you access from Taksim Square to Kabatas from which you can take a tram to the old town, or take a boat to the Princes Island. This is very important if you’re going for an Istanbul Old City walking tour. You can also get to Old Town by taking the M2 metro directly to the Golden Horn.


Under the Bosphorus, there is a 76 kilometer tunnel that connects the European and Asian sides of Istanbul and enables you to go straight to Asia from Yenikapi or Sirkeci. The train passes quickly through this underground tunnel in only a matter of minutes. It makes two stops at Usküdar and Ayrilik Cesmesi. If this doesn’t work for you, you can simply take the M4 straight to Kadikoy.

Boats and Ferries

Since the Istanbul bridges over the Bosphorus often get pretty congested, boats and ferries have been introduced to give an easy passage from the European side to the Asian side across the Bosphorus. There are 10 jetties around the Bosphorus but the main ones on the European side are in Besiktas, Kabatas and Eminonu, while on the Asian side you have Kadikoy and Uskudar jetties.

Ferries are the cheapest and best way to move from Asia and Europe and back again, and you would certainly enjoy a good Bosphorus cruise using the ferries


Taxis are very common in Istanbul and you’ll find them in almost every street. They are painted yellow and have taxi signs on top. Istanbul’s taxis are quite cheap although using this public transport in Istanbul will also face traffic problems. Taxi fares in Istanbul as at 2019 was 5TL as an opening fee and 3.1TL per kilometer.

Istanbul Old City Walking Tour

Is your purpose for coming to Istanbul to see the beautiful Old City? Then why not make a schedule with us for an Istanbul Old City walking tour. We are one of the best tour-guides in Istanbul, offering you free walking tours to the grandest tourist attractions in the Old City; the Sultanahmet, where Turkey’s Ottoman and Byzantine empires were once sited; the UNESCO-Listed Hagia Sophia, the magnificent Blue Mosque and the well-known Hippodrome. Contact us today for your Istanbul tours.

How is nightlife in Istanbul ?

So are you planning a trip to the beautiful city of Istanbul? Even if you’re not, then you really do have to if you’re a lover of the grand and delectable. With its richness in history, cultural heritage and romantic glamour, Istanbul is graced with so many amazing sights to see all through the day and when night comes, trust me, you don’t want it to ever end.

What to Expect in Istanbul Nightlife

The never-sleeping city of Istanbul boasts of a bustling nightlife full of grandeur that brings out the night bird in you, filling your mind and soul with pleasing emotions. With the loud music and neon lights that lasts all night long, this city welcomes you and lights up your spirit with warmth. Istanbul nightlife is well-loaded with countless amazing restaurants and bars that serve luscious delicacies that creates in you an appetite you never knew you had, gay bars and nightclubs with all-night partying; imagine sipping beer at a rooftop bar at night while looking down at the glamour of the city below with all the lightings and cheer. From the rooftop bars to the basement jazz cafés, to the ardent rock bars, traditional Turkish kebabs and dance clubs, truly, there is something for everyone in Istanbul nightlife.

Istanbul day tours are one of the best touring experience you could ever dream of, but really you do not want to miss its nightlife experience too. It’s simply out of this world; It is crazy! So why not come take a free walking tour Istanbul? When you book an Istanbul tour with us, be sure to have the best experience of Istanbul nightlife and not just that, expect to be taken on one of the best touring experience of your life yet.

Top Spots to Enjoy Nightlife on our Free Walking Tour Istanbul

If you’re interested in enjoying nightlife in Istanbul, then here is a list of places we can take you to when you join us on our Istanbul tours.

  1. Sortie Club

If you’re a fan of eating good food with quality entertainment and good music playing in the background, then Sortie Club is the best place for you to be. After taking an Istanbul day tour, most tourists normally like to settle for some good food and wine, and this is what Sortie Club offers you. There are 7 restaurants for you to make your pick, and then settle down for a unique experience with sumptuous international cuisine and quality wine, served in a well-ventilated and decorated room overlooking the water (great view, right?), with good music and entertainment for the best nightlife experience. Sortie Club is located at Beşiktaş, Istanbul, and opens from 6pm to 4am.

  1. Sauda Club

Love doing some crazy partying at night? Do you want to do something as unbelievable as swimming across two continents? Then you don’t want to miss Istanbul nightlife at Sauda Club. The pool here is located right where Europe meets Asia and when you swim in it, you’re literally swimming across two continents. Fun, right? Plus the crazy partying that goes on at night at the club; this a unique nightlife experience you don’t want to miss. Why not contact us for an Istanbul tour now let’s take you there?

  1. Meze by Lemon Tree

More than just a restaurant, Meze by Lemon is the right place for you to savor the best traditional food of the locals. Have a chance to enjoy a wide variety of delicious Turkish cuisine when you go with us on an Istanbul food tour to this amazing restaurant. Meze is a traditional favorite of the people of Istanbul, and has several varieties which can be served hot or cold. Turkish people love to eat good food having the perfect combination of ingredients and flair, so expect to have a taste of something which you’d want to repeat every day after visiting this amazing place.

  1. Galata Bridge

Come let us take you on a free walking tour Istanbul to this truly epic sight. Having a night-walk with your lover through the Galata Bridge which spans the Golden horn waters with the beautiful night sky above is truly romantic and epic. This bridge gets really lively and boisterous at night, and there is a wide variety of Turkish cuisines and snacks sold along this bridge, so get your heart filled as well as your stomach with something sweet while you walk.

  1. Bosphorus Bridge

Grab dinner in Europe, then take a walk to have dessert in Asia. Unbelievable, right? The Bosphorus Bridge straddles Europe and Asia, so grab your lover’s arm and come take a free walking Istanbul tour with us and enjoy a romantic walk between both continents on the Bosphorus Bridge. With memorable and truly alluring views of waterside villas, historical places and Ottoman palaces on both sides of the bridge, you surely would have a lot of photos to fill your camera with for memory’s sake.

  1. Meyhane

If you’re a seafood or vegetable lover, then you really do have to visit the streets of Meyhane at night. The several eateries you’ll find here are known for their local delicacies of seafood and vegetables, and this ambient Turkish town gets lit up magically at night with beautiful folk music, friends dining, wining and chatting lightly,

  1. Istanbul Bars

Enjoying nightlife is incomplete without enjoying a drink in one of the numerous exotic bars which Istanbul boasts of. In fact, the clubbing in these bars. From the European part of Turkey down to the Asian part, there are a plethora of bars to choose from, and feel relaxed to take a tour with us to any of these Istanbul bars:

  1. Litera—This bar turns into a buzzing club as darkness hits. Located at Beyoglu and built round with glass walls, Litera gives you a stunning scenery all-round. So, Sip a beer while swaying to the DJ’s rhythm, and viewing the gleaming waterway of the Bosphorus Strait.
  1. Babylon—Located at Bomonti, this old brewery is often blessed by elite musicians especially on weekends. There is a lot of electronic music, jazz and reggae to rock to, so put on your dancing shoes and head out for one of your most exciting nightlife experience yet.

There is a host of other exotic bars our Istanbul tour guide can take you to such as Alexandria, Urban, Arkaoda, Karga, amongst others.

Contact us

All these are a lifetime experience no one should miss out on, so why not book with us today for a free walking tour Istanbul? Our tour guides are readily available to take you through an Istanbul food tour to the best food joints this ambient city has to offer, rooftop bars to enjoy Istanbul nightlife and beautiful scenery while sipping a cocktail, and the best night clubs to bring out the dancer in you. Hurry now and contact us today.