When you are visiting any city in the world as a tourist, learning about transportation is important. Moreover if you are planning to live in Istanbul as an expat, you should know how to get around in the city. Istanbul is notorious for its bad traffic and it is better to opt for public transport here. Unless you want to get stuck in the traffic for hours you should learn about Istanbul transportation methods. Here on this post you will find out how to get around in Istanbul as easily as possible. Therefore you will be able to visit incredible sights of this great city without any delay. So without further ado, let’s dive in and learn more about getting around in Istanbul.

General Outlook Of Istanbul Transportation

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Before we get to the specifics, let’s take a general look at getting around in Istanbul. As you already know Istanbul is a huge city with millions of people living in it. Although this makes the city vibrant and lively, it also makes it a bit harder to move from one place to another. Therefore it can be quite difficult to see the places you want to see while visiting this city. So, transportation in Istanbul can negatively impact your visit to this incredible city. However, just like anything, there is a method to the madness and ways to make things easier.

Despite its traffic, there are ways to get around in Istanbul without too much hassle. Since traffic mostly affects those who own a car, you can still tour the city using public transport. Therefore Istanbul’s notorious traffic doesn’t have to impact your visit if you know what you’re doing. Just make sure to stick to public transport and you should be fine. But if you want to move here and own a car, that’s a different story. In summary, Istanbul’s traffic can be awful at times, but public transport provides a great alternative.

Istanbul Transportation From Airports

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Since we are talking about transportation in this city, let’s first talk about your first arrival. Right now Istanbul has two international airports which are open for commercial flights. Therefore if you are planning to visit Istanbul, you will be landing on either one of these. One of these airports is on the European side, Istanbul Airport (IST), which is also the larger one. The other one which is smaller compared to the other is Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). Sabiha Gökçen Airport is in the Pendik district and Istanbul Airport is in Arnavutköy.

For getting to the city center from Istanbul Airport, you can use buses, taxis as well as shuttles. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use the metro for this. To use the buses, you will need Istanbul Kart and it will cost 2 full tickets. Shuttles, however, don’t require Istanbul Kart and their prices range from 25 to 45 TL. Lastly, taxis are the most expensive option for this purpose. When you are going to a central location from this airport, you should expect it to cost around 150-200 TL.

As for Sabiha Gökçen Airport, you can use the same methods. Again, taxis are the most expensive option. Because taxi fares from this airport to somewhere central will cost around 120-150 TL. Then, there is the option to use shuttles which will cost around 18 to 24 TL. Lastly, you can use public buses, which will require you to have an Istanbul Kart.

How To Get Around In Istanbul: Public Transport Methods

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After you get to the city center from the airport, the transportation options increase. There are many ways to get around Istanbul by using public transport. So here are some of these methods that you can use to do this:

  • Bus: A very efficient public transport option in Istanbul. However, you will have to keep your eyes open since they don’t announce the stops.
  • Metro: This one is a really quick public transport which serves on many different locations.
  • Tram: You can use this option to get around in touristy areas.
  • Taxi: Although it can be expensive, you can use taxis to get around in Istanbul.
  • Ferry: Along with providing an enjoyable ride, ferries are a great transportation method in Istanbul.

Can I Use Uber In Istanbul?

Unfortunately no, you can’t use Uber in Istanbul. Because Uber is banned all around Turkey due to pressures from the Taxi lobby. So, you will have to stick with the public transport options that we listed when you visit Istanbul.