Complete Guide to Public Transport in Istanbul

Our guide to public transportation, routes as well as tickets for locals and travelers in Istanbul.

How does public transportation work in Istanbul?

The electronic ticket for the public transport system in Istanbul is the Istanbulkart. 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.

It is available and rechargeable at Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), as well as at all major bus and boat terminals, at kiosks with the corresponding sign, and at the service stations and vending machines of the municipal transport companies.

There are fares for single tickets but no day tickets in Istanbul. You can also get the advantageous Istanbul Welcome Cards for travelers, specials deal transport cards that also provide tours and cruise on the Bosphorus. Check our different options:

Public transportation in Istanbul

  • Metro: The route network, the Marmaray and the nostalgic Tünel subway (second oldest subway in Europe)
  • Ferry: Bosphorus cruise, from continent to continent, Golden Horn, Princes’ Islands, car ferry, speedboat, catamaran
  • Tram: Operates on the European side of Istanbul
  • Nostalgic Tram: Runs on Istiklal Caddesi between Taksim and Tünel Square
  • Funicular: Connects Kabataş Station with Taksim Square
  • Bus: There are bus routes all over Istanbul
  • Shared taxi (Dolmuş): There are blue minibuses, in which you can also stand while driving, and yellow shared taxis that only have seats. Simply wave your hand or get on at the station. 
  • Cable car: Maçka-Taşkışla and Eyüp-Piyer Loti

Fare: A single ticket costs 6 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. In shared taxis (Dolmuş) only cash payments are accepted.

Children up to 6 years do not need a ticket.

What tickets are available?

Here is an overview of the most important tickets:

  1. 1
    Single ticket: One ride costs 6 TL per person. There are also 2-ride tickets for 10 TL, 3-ride tickets for 15 TL, 5-ride tickets for 23 TL and 10-ride tickets for 40 TL.
  2. 2
    Istanbulkart: Istanbulkart is valid for the entire public transport network in Istanbul except for shared taxis (Dolmuş). To buy a rechargeable card, you need to pay a non-refundable 13 TL fee. A credit of at least 20 TL is ideal for the Istanbulkart, as you pay 4.03 TL for a ride. Please pay attention to the fares of the respective transport companies, as these are variable due to the distances and whether muncipal or private transport services. The Istanbulkart pays off with an average of 50% savings compared to regular prices.
  3. 3
    Istanbul Welcome Cards: The Istanbul Welcome Cards include the Istanbulkart. In addition, there are more benefits that will make your stay in Istanbul cheaper and more fun. More details here.

Istanbul Public transport network details with Maps

Public transport network in Istanbul in Turkey

Find below all the Istanbul Public Transport network details.

Subway (Metro) daily from 6:00 to midnight

  • Line M1A Yenikapı-Atatürk Airport
  • Line M1B Yenikapı-Kirazlı
  • Line M2 Yenikapı-Hacıosman
  • Line M3 Kirazlı-Olimpiyatköy-Başakşehir
  • Line M4 Kadıköy-Tavşantepe  (Asian side)
  • Line M5 Üsküdar-Çekmeköy (Asian side)
  • Line M6 Levent-Boğaziçi University/Hisarüstü

Subway (Marmaray) daily from 6:00 to midnight

  • Ayrılık Çeşmesi (Asian side) - Kazlıçeşme (European side)
    The Marmaray train runs every 5 to 10 minutes.

Nostalgic Subway (Tünel)

  • Line F2 Karaköy-Tünel Mon-Sat 7:00 - 22.45, Sun 7:30 - 22:45

Tram (Tramvay)

  • Line T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş daily from 6:00 to midnight
  • Line T3 Kadıköy-Moda daily 7:00 - 21:00
  • Line T4 Topkapı-Mescid-i Selam daily 6:00 to midnight

Nostalgic Tram (Nostaljik Tramvay)

  • Line T2 Taksim-Tünel Mon-Sat 7:00 - 22:45, Sun 7:30 - 22:45

Bus (Otobüs)

  • Wide network, departure times here and at almost all bus stops

Metrobus (Metrobüs)

  • Line 34   Avcılar-Zincirlikuyu
  • Line 34A Söğütlüçeşme-Cevizlibağ
  • Line 34AS Avcılar-Söğütlüçeşme
  • Line 34BZ Beylikdüzü-Zincirlikuyu
  • Line  34C Beylikdüzü-Cevizlibağ
  • Line 34G Beylikdüzü-Söğütlüçeşme
  • Line 34U Uzunçayır-Zincirlikuyu
  • Line 34Z Zincirlikuyu-Söğütlüçeşme

The metro buses operate in 1 to 2 minute intervals. Depending on the line, they run between 1:00 and 5:30 every 30 to 60 minutes. For more information about the stops see here.

Funicular (Füniküler) daily from 6:15am to midnight

  • Line F1 Taksim-Kabataş
  • Line F3 Seyrantepe-Vadistanbul

Ship / Catamaran (Vapur, Deniz Otobüsleri, Hızlı Feribotlar) 

  • Ships operate between the European and Asian side of the city, between the area north and south of the Golden Horn, and between the mainland and the Princes' Islands. They also drive through the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea.
  • Departure times of the Istanbul shipyard Şehir Hatları here and Turyol here.
  • More attractive tours and offers of the IDO here.

Speedboats (Deniz Motor)

The speed boats of the Dentur Avrasya Grup operate daily and very often:

  • Mon-Fri: 
    Üsküdar-Beşiktaş 6:10 – 0:45
    Beşiktaş-Üsküdar 6:20 – 1:00
  • Sat, Sun & holidays: 
  • Üsküdar-Beşiktaş 6:20 – 0:45
    Beşiktaş-Üsküdar 6:30 – 1:00 
  • Mon-Fri:
    Üsküdar-Kabataş 7:15 – 20:00
    Kabataş-Üsküdar 7:25 – 20:10 
  • Sat, Sun & holidays:
    Üsküdar-Kabataş 8:00 – 20:00 
    Kabataş-Üsküdar 8:15 – 20:15 Uhr
  • Bebek-Arnavutköy-Ortaköy-Beşiktaş-Eminönü (only once a day, not on weekends)
    8:30 – 8:35 – 8:50 – 9:00 – 9:15 * temporarily suspended
  • Eminönü-Beşiktaş-Ortaköy-Arnavutköy-Bebek (only once a day, not on weekends)
    18:30 – 18:45 – 18:55 – 19.05 – 19:15 * temporarily suspended
  • Departures to the Princes' Islands as well as short and long Bosphorus tours here

Cable Car (Teleferik) daily from 8:00 - 22:00

  • Line TF1 Maçka-Taşkışla
  • Line TF2 Eyüp-Piyer Loti

Suburban train (Banliyö)

  • Line Halkalı-Gebze
  • Line Gebze-Halkalı
    The train runs in 8 to 15 minute intervals.

Shared taxis (Dolmuş) 

  • The minibuses, which operate as shared taxis, are a cheap alternative to the normal taxi. The minibuses do not drive until all seats are occupied. Hence the Turkish name Dolmuş, which means "is full". In addition to the main routes Taksim-Beşiktaş, Taksim-Kadıköy, there are many other fixed routes on which you can get on and off anywhere you want. The price depends on your destination and is paid directly to the driver in cash.

Airport Transfer Options in Istanbul

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Ferry connections in Istanbul

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Taxis and Uber in Istanbul

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Public Buses in Istanbul

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Transport company contact information

  • Association of Public Transport Istanbul: For the subway, tram, funicular, cable car. Call center: +90 850 252 88 00 / website: www.metro.istanbul
  • IETT: Bus, metro bus, nostalgic tünel subway, nostalgic tram. Call center: +90 153 / website: www.iett.istanbul
  • Istanbul Şehir Hatları (municipal provider): Ferry Call center: +90 212 313 80 00 / website: www.sehirhatlari.istanbul
  • Turyol (private providers): Ferry, speed boats +90 212 251 44 21 / website: www.turyol.com
  • Dentur (private providers)Ferry, speed boats +90 444 63 36 / website: www.denturavrasya.com
  • IDO (private providers): Catamaran +90 850 222 44 36 / website: www.denturavrasya.com

FAQ Istanbul Public Transport (Frequently Asked Questions)

HOW MANY Fare zones ARE THERE IN ISTANBUL?

There are no fare zones in Istanbul. Universal fares apply in the entire transportation system. However, there may be slight differences between municipal and private providers. The prices for a ride to the Princes’ Islands or a ride from continent to continent with the Marmaray subway are slightly higher.

Is there a day ticket in ISTANBUL?

No, there is no day ticket in Istanbul. You can use the Istanbulkart for public transportation.

Is there a special ticket for tourists in Istanbul?

Yes. The Istanbul Welcome Card is the ticket for public transportation in Istanbul and a discount card for entry to many top museums, sights and attractions in Istanbul.

How many rides do I need to take for the Istanbulkart to pay off?

The card pays off after two rides. The single ticket costs 7 TL. With Istanbulkart you pay 3.50 TL per trip.

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