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Istanbul Card - how to use? Public transport in Istanbul, the system of payment for travel. Istanbul Subway Station

The city of Istanbul is listed on the list of the most important transport hubs in Europe, given its exceptional geographical location. It is worth noting that the city occupies an incredibly huge area. It is not surprising that tourists who have visited Istanbul for the first time consider its transport system to be rather confusing and incomprehensible. However, this is not quite true. In fact, communication is well established in the city, and there are so many different vehicles that any metropolis can envy.

Types of transport

Public transport in Istanbul is so diverse and multifaceted that it is not difficult for the local population to get from one part of the city to another. But the guests have to comprehend the wisdom of local rules on the go. Tourists simply need to understand what Istanbul Card is, how to use it and for which transport it suits.

It should be noted that the city's transport network is dolmushi (analogues of our fixed-route taxis), buses, several types of trams, metro buses, ferries through the Bosporus, suburban electric trains. An uninformed tourist immediately finds it difficult to understand the working methods of the transport of a large city in Turkey, so it will not hurt to get acquainted with the transport map of Istanbul and choose the most profitable way of paying for the trip.

It all depends on what you are going to do in the city. If you plan to actively visit the sights and move around the metropolis, then you should choose an economical payment option, otherwise a trip to Istanbul will cost you a pretty big sum. It is for this reason that many experienced tourists recommend taking advantage of all the advantages of Istanbul Card. How to use it, we will discuss later in this article.

How to pay for transportation?

Istanbul transport is quite modern and developed, so it is not possible to pay it in cash, as we are accustomed to. There are several options for calculating: tokens, Istanbul Card and travel tickets. Each of the ways has its pros and cons. However, the most economical and profitable is the calculation option, like the Istanbul Card. Use such a card is simple and convenient.


Currently, tokens are still as relevant as they were before. It is worth noting that they are very popular among tourists. This is due to the fact that they can be purchased at any major station in Istanbul. In addition, not all guests of the metropolis know that you can buy a ticket here.

Tokens are sold in vending machines, which are available at all Istanbul metro stations, metro buses, trams and ferries. They can pay for the fare on any type of transport, do not take them only in dolmushah and buses. The cost of one such counter is four lire. When using it, no discounts apply. Tokens are purchased in vending machines that accept only cash. What denominations accept such terminals is indicated on their surface.

Travel tickets

To pay for travel, in addition to the usual single-use tokens, there are travel tickets that are purchased for a certain number of movements. The largest value is ten trips. In addition, there is a so-called blue card, which can be used 180 times.

What is Istanbul Card?

The most convenient way of calculating now is the Istanbul Card. The traveled electronic card (Istanbulkart) is nothing more than a universal ticket, which makes it possible to use all types of municipal transport.

Where do they sell the Istanbul Card?

"Istambul Maps" can be purchased at special points of sale. Its cost is six lire. Money can be returned to you when you issue a card in case you leave the country. However, it is possible to carry out such an operation only at certain points, which are difficult to locate, according to tourists.

In addition, the card is sold at the airport (at the central entrance), in the slot machines Istanbul Card. The electronic transport map became popular with local residents relatively recently, in 2011. For a short time it gained incredible popularity, because its use makes it possible to enjoy significant discounts, which significantly saves financial costs.

How and where is the Istanbul Card replenished?

Istanbul Card is a universal fare payment system that allows you to move around the vast city. You can refill the card in special machines, which are quite a lot at all stations and stops. They accept notes of five and ten lire. But twenty lire system does not miss.

In addition, Istanbul Card can be replenished in tobacco and newspaper kiosks, shops, etc. In any place where you see the inscription "Istanbul Card" or "Akbil", you can safely deposit cash into the account.

Automatic replenishment work quite simply and quickly. In a special window we enter the card and immediately see the current balance. Next, choose the menu in English and paste in the opening of the bill. Then select the item "top up" in the menu. After a few seconds, the machine displays your money on the card. The whole process takes no more than a minute.

How to use Istanbul Card?

The map is very easy to use. Suppose you need a tram to get to a stop, you need to attach the Istanbul Card to the turnstile window. Automatically carried out the payment of travel, on the display you will immediately see the cost of the service and a new cash balance. Funiculars and metro work on exactly the same system. But at the entrance to the bus the card is attached to the device, which removes the payment.

Experienced travelers recommend replenishing Istanbul Card in advance, because at the peak hours near the terminals queues are collected.

Discount system

The main advantage of the card is that it allows passengers to save money significantly. As we already mentioned, the cost of a one-time token is four lire. And the Istanbul Card allows free transfer to different modes of transport within two hours after the first trip. So, for example, having passed by a tram, within two hours you can use the metro or other means of transport.

In addition, the card can be paid for a group of people. There is such a service as follows. The owner of the Istanbul Card applies it to the sensor and lets the friends pass, and passes the last one himself. In this case, 2.15 lira is withdrawn for each person (the discount is not applied). That each passenger can take advantage of discounts, it is necessary for everyone to purchase such cards.

Tariffs of Istanbul Card

Istanbul Card is currently the most modern and convenient way of calculating the use of public transport. Having bought one card, you can pay it in Istanbul's metro, on a cable car, funicular, tram, two-story express, metro bus and even a ferry. The first trip to Istanbul Card is 2.15 lira. If you make one transfer within two hours, then it will cost you 1.95 lire, the second - 1.25 lira, the third - one lira, and all the subsequent - 0.75 lira.

"Transit Card"

In Istanbul, there is another type of card called "Transit Card", which makes it possible to settle in any public transport. The fundamental difference of such a card is that it is disposable, it can not be replenished. You purchase a Transit Card for a certain number of trips (no more than five). The card costs 15 lira, which means that each landing for transport will cost you 3 lira. It has an electronic chip that works when the turnstile passes.


Metrobus is a new type of transport in Istanbul, which appeared in 2007. Its transport system includes seven routes, along which modern buses belonging to the municipal company run. The metro bus has its own payment system. At the entrance to your card is withdrawn 3.75 lira - this is the maximum cost of the trip (forty stops).

If you pass a smaller number of stops, then, attaching the map to the electronic counter at the exit, you will receive the change back. So, for example, for the trip of three stops it is necessary to pay 2.40 lire.


They can rightfully be called analogues of our minibuses. They are minibuses for up to eight people. This type of transport is much more comfortable than the usual city buses. However, dolmushes are not affected by any payment system. Buses are sent along the route as they fill. As a rule, they overcome small distances. The fare in them may vary, so the price should be specified from the drivers.


Istanbul's metro can be divided into two parts - it's a light metro and simple. Of course, both lines may seem very small compared to Moscow, but it should be noted that this type of transport appeared in the city only twenty years ago. By and large the transport network of Istanbul is so well developed that there is no need for expanding the branches of the underground.

Legkoe metro appeared in 1989. Most of it is located on the surface of the earth, and only the first two stops are hidden underground. For many years the lines have expanded, and now their length is almost twenty kilometers. The fare in the metro is 1.95 lira when using an electronic card.

The usual metro in Istanbul began to be built in 1992. For the first time it earned in 2000. Now the length of this branch of the subway is 8.4 kilometers (only 6 stops).


Minibuses are a more capacious option than dolmushi. The bus accommodates 14-15 passengers. Minibuses go on different routes, which are indicated on the plates on the windshield. In each district of Istanbul there is a central station, from which there is transport in different directions. If you doubt the correctness of the chosen bus, it is better to specify its route from the driver. Calculate for travel in minibuses is necessary only in cash, travel cards and cards do not work in them. Buses run around the city from 6.00 hours to 23.00.


Istanbul tram lines are an unrelated network. Four lines are located in the European part of the megalopolis, and two in the Asian. It is worth noting that in the city you can see two types of trams: new modern wagons and old retro formations (nostalgia-tram).

The first tram appeared in the city in 1871, a little later, in 1913-1914, there was an electrification of the lines. Retrovariant was discovered in 1990. Its lines were laid in the center of the European district along the boulevard Istiklal. The pedestrian promenade is a place for walking many tourists. You can see the boulevard by taking a trip on the retro tram. The cost of one trip is 1.95 lira. The length of the line is 1.6 kilometers.

In the Asian part of Istanbul, there is another retro tram line. It was opened in 2003 and has a long extension (2.6 kilometers).

As for the modern tram, its lines are extended every year, and the number of stops increases. This type of transport is very in demand in Istanbul, every day it is used by 155 thousand passengers. Tokens for travel can be purchased at any stop, they allow a one-time travel.


Not every city in the world has such a variety of transport, as in Istanbul. In addition, in the metropolis there are two branches of the city funicular. Both are located in the European part, but are very different, because one of them appeared at the end of the nineteenth century, and the second - at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

It is worth noting that the funicular Tunnel is the oldest in Europe. It was opened in 1875. The line of the funicular is rather short and is only 573 meters. Two cars raise people to a height of 60 meters. Every day 15 thousand passengers use the services of the funicular "Tunnel". The cars run at intervals of 4 minutes. The fare is 4 lira.

The modern line of the funicular was opened in 2006. Thanks to it, passengers have the opportunity to climb or descend to 75 meters.


Speaking of Istanbul transport, it is impossible not to remember the ferries. Sea transport is the most popular and convenient mode of transportation. Boats, sea buses and ferries can be reached in any district of the city and even in remote regions and islands. Even a small trip for an ordinary tourist is a source of vivid emotions and impressions. A compulsory program for any traveler should be a boat trip along the Bosphorus.

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