Practical Life in Istanbul

Transport in Istanbul

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The metro system offers a quick and convenient way to commute around Istanbul. Two lines of Istanbul's Metro system are in operation. These connect commuters to all the most important transit points i.e. bus station and airport.


You'll find Istanbul's two tram lines useful even though they're very different from each other. Although the nostalgic 19th-century tram is more fun, the newer one is more useful, and can help you travel between the heart of the tourist district and the bus terminal and/or Ataturk Airport


City bus routes are a convenient way to get to some places you'll want to visit. Tickets are cheap (less than US$1). You can buy them before boarding at kiosks (often white fiberglass cubes) labeled "I.E.T.T" and/or "Bilet" (ticket), or use the Akbil prepaid system. To find out more, check the section on discount cards. 


Istanbul is also served by two underground funicular railways. The older line is known as the Tunel and is the oldest underground metro line in Continental Europe. A second line was added in 2006 and connects Kabatas and Taksim.


Ferryboats sail on 15 lines serving 27 seaports on the shores of Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara.


Sleek, modern catamarans provide fast sea transport to daily commuters and tourists alike. Today there are 29 terminals with a fleet of 28 catamarans, including six fast car ferries.


You’ll spot a number of these bright yellow taxis weaving through Istanbul's traffic. They are easy to hail down and relatively reasonable – a quick option if there's no traffic jam.


Istanbul has two airports,the main one being Ataturk International Airport which is about 23 km (14 miles) west of the city center, reachable by Metro; and Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the east side of the Bosphorus.

For more detailed information on the various modes of transport in Istanbul, click here:

Update 29/06/2008


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