Istanbul, Turkey, is a bustling city with many different options for transportation. Whether you are arriving at the airport or just need to get from one end of the town to the other, there are many ways to get around. In this guide, we’ll explore some of Istanbul’s most common and convenient transportation methods.
Getting from the Airport to the City
If you are arriving at the airport and need to get to the city, several options are available. The most common methods are taxis and tour drivers.
When you exit the airport, you will see two taxi lines outside: black and yellow/light blue. The black taxis are more luxurious and typically cost more. In contrast, yellow and light blue taxis are the standard option. When you get in a taxi, make sure the driver uses the meter, and it should cost around 200-400 TRY, depending on where you are going and the traffic. This is the best option if you have a lot of luggage.
When booking a tour, you could negotiate a hotel pick-up; if you were to pre-arrange it before your visit. The tours will also offer a 5% or 10% discount if you pay for the tour in cash. Typically for pre-booked tours, you must place a deposit online, then go to their office in person after you arrive to pay the rest.
If you prefer taking a taxi, there are two options: taxi stands and BiTaksi. Taxis typically only accept cash, but you can ask if they take cards.
Taxi Stands: Make sure the driver uses the meter.
BiTaksi: This option requires a Turkish phone number and is only available in Turkish but is easy to navigate and use. It shows a flat rate from your current location to your destination, and payment is in cash.
The metro is an affordable and convenient option for getting around Istanbul. When you purchase a metro pass, there is a machine typically right in front of the gates to enter. Once you have your ticket, you touch it to the gate machine, and it will allow you to walk through. You will need small bills if you buy a single-use or multi-use ticket from the ticket machine. The ticket machines have a maximum money denomination limit that they accept.
You should go to a local convenience store and ask for an Istanbul card, which is typically only 60 TRY. You can load additional money onto it. Once you have the card, the metro ride is only 7 TRY, and you can top it up at the ticket kiosks.
There are several options for metro tickets, including single-use tickets, 5 Lira (Max 20), 3-use tickets (30 Lira, Max 40), and 10-use tickets (90 Lira, Max 100).