How to Use Metro in Istanbul? The Most Detailed Explanation for Foreigners

istanbul metro guide

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & Metro, Marmaray, Tramway, and Ferry are the primary public transportation vehicles in Istanbul, allowing people to travel across the city. The public transportation map of Istanbul is available on the official İBB website, which is prepared by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and free to use. In this Istanbul metro guide, we have taken the information provided by IBB as the basis. 

With the detailed information it provides, the Istanbul Metro lines map eases traveling around the city for tourists and new residents. Using the metro is for sure the easiest way to visit historic places and shopping malls without worrying about the traffic. 

However, the Metro lines we have covered in this Istanbul metro guide alone are not sufficient for traveling. Other railway systems such as Tramway, Funicular, and Marmaray are great alternatives to conveniently navigate between touristic places such as Sultanahmet, Taksim, Şişli, Üsküdar, and Kadıköy.

In fact, if you are looking for a house to live in Istanbul, choosing a house close to transportation means will show how well you have made the right decision in the future. For property for sale in Istanbul that you look for in line with significant needs you can contact to Realista team.

M1A Yenikapı – Atatürk Airport Metro Line

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & M1A Yenikapı – Atatürk Airport Metro Line had great importance for tourists in the past. Even though it is not used as often as it used to, it still allows access to hotels around the old airport. There are still many 5-star hotels in Yeşilköy, Bakırköy, and Ataköy. Transporting people to these hotels and the shopping malls around, the M1A line starts in Yenikapı, the junction point for many lines on the European side. 

M2 Yenikapı – Hacıosman Metro Line

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & In the Istanbul metro guide, information on the M2 line is perhaps the most useful one for tourists.  It is the most commonly used metro line in Istanbul. Starting in Yenikapı that is the transportation hub of the European side, this metro line allows access to the most prominent business centers in the city, such as Taksim, Levent, and Maslak. National and foreign tourists that are visiting the city take the M2 Yenikapı – Hacıosman Metro Line more often than other lines because the best shopping malls such as Cevahir, Kanyon, and İstinyePark are located along this line. 

M3 Kirazlı – Olimpiyat – Başakşehir Metro Line

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & Visitors may not find the M3 line we have covered in our Istanbul metro guide very handy, because Istanbullers use this metro line most often, while tourists don’t. This metro line transports people to Başakşehir, one of the prime residential areas in Istanbul. However, if you want to visit the Mall of Istanbul, one of the biggest shopping malls in the city, you can opt for this metro line. If you get on the metro in Bağcılar that is the last station of T1 Tram Line, you can get off at İkitelli Sanayi Station and take the shuttle for Mall of Istanbul.

This metro line also allows access to the biggest football stadium in Istanbul, Olimpiyat Stadium. You may use this metro line to see the international football competition finals. For instance, in the past, the final match of the Champions League between Liverpool and Milan took place in this stadium. 

M4 Kadıköy – Tavşantepe Metro Line

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & Tourists who are visiting the Anatolian side are most likely to use the M4 line, the fourth item in our Istanbul metro guide. It is the most important public transportation line in Istanbul’s Anatolian side. Providing access across the Anatolian side, M4 Metro Line ends in Tavşantepe that is quite close to the Sabiha Gökçen Airport. 

From the popular districts such as Beyazıt, Sultanahmet, and Sirkeci, you can arrive at Kadıköy using Marmaray. Those who stay around Beyazıt and Laleli can take Marmaray in Yenikapı Station, and transfer to Ayrılık Çeşmesi to arrive at the M4 Metro Line. 

When you get to Ayrılık Çeşmesi Station through Marmaray, there are two options for you: going to Kadıköy direction or proceed towards Tavşantepe and arrive at the inner areas of the Anatolian side. 

If you want to visit the famous shopping malls on the Anatolian side, it would be better to travel towards Tavşantepe direction, since shopping malls such as Akasya, Optimum, Palladium, Piazza, and Neomarin are located along the M4 Metro Line. 

M5 Üsküdar – Çekmeköy Metro Line

You can visit one of the oldest shopping malls in Istanbul, Capitol, using this metro line. Additionally, there are many congress hotels in Ümraniye where you can access by using the M5 Metro Line. Some of the meetings held by national and international companies take place in the hotels located along this metro line. 

M6 Levent – Boğaziçi Hisarüstü Metro Line

M6 Levent – Boğaziçi Hisarüstü Metro Line is an extension of the M2 Metro Line. Those who get off the metro at Levent via the M2 Metro Line transfer to the M6 Line and arrive at Etiler or Boğaziçi University.

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & Boğaziçi University is among the long-established educational institutions in Istanbul. Having a campus that oversees the unique view of the Bosphorus, this university was founded under the name of Robert Collage during the late Ottoman era. 

On the other hand, Etiler is one of the most luxurious neighborhoods in Istanbul. Akmerkez, one of the oldest shopping malls in Istanbul, is located here at Etiler. Additionally, the famous Nusr-et and Papermoon restaurants are situated within the borders of Etiler. 

M7 Mecidiyeköy – Mahmutbey Metro Line 

M7 Mecidiyeköy – Mahmutbey Metro Line is the last article on the Istanbul metro guide, starting in Mecidiyeköy, where the business centers are located. From Mecidiyeköy, one of the most crowded locations in the city, this metro line proceeds towards the inner areas of the European side and ends in Mahmutbey that is the exit point of Istanbul on the west. 

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & There isn’t any historical or tourist places along this metro line. However, you can access the neighborhoods where the biggest suburbs are using M7 Metro Line. Additionally, important congress hotels are located near M7, too. 

In this Istanbul metro guide, we have focused on the metro lines in the city. As for the tram line, you can find the map for it on the İBB website for free. There are many stations on T1 Tram Line. However, we will be focusing on touristic locations that attract the attention of the visitors. Aksaray, Laleli, Beyazıt, Sultanahmet, Sirkeci,Eminönü, Karaköy, and Kabataş stations are the most commonly used stations on T1 Tram Line. 

Information on Istanbulkart

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & We need to mention Istanbulkart in our Istanbul metro guide as it is the card used for transportation in the city, whether through tramway, metro, Marmaray, ferry, or funicular. To purchase an Istanbulkart, you can visit the tramway stations or the official ticket offices and newsstands around the ferry stations.

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & There is no doubt you will come across a ticket office that sells Istanbulkard near transportation hubs such as Beşiktaş, Eminönü, Kabataş, and Kadıköy. In tourist areas such as Sultanahmet, you can buy an Istanbulkart at the newsstands close to the station. There are also top-up machines in stations for your convenience. 

How Much Does an Istanbulkart Cost?

You can buy an Istanbulkart for 7 Turkish Liras. However, this is only the deposit price, and you need to top up the card to actually use it. It is up to you for how much you top up Istanbulkart -however, at least 20-30 Turkish Liras will be required to spend 2 days traveling the city. 

The price for the first journey in transportation vehicles is 3.5 Turkish Liras. If you use Istanbulkart more than once in a certain period, the price you pay will be cheaper. This price cut is one of the biggest advantages of using Istanbulkart. You can use the card to pay for other people’s journey, too. 

Transport in Istanbul for tourists & There is a refund in certain lines -for instance, when you take Marmaray, you pay the full price as if you would go to the last station. However, if you get off before the last station, the price will be refunded to you in accordance with how many stations you have passed. 

We hope you find this Istanbul metro guide useful when you explore the city by public transportation, a convenient and fast way to travel across Istanbul. Have fun moving between destinations and make sure you enjoy every inch of the city!

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