Tramway T1 line
The public transportation you will use most, during your stay in the city. The tramway, covers the most touristic areas starting from Kabatas (Dolmabahce Palace, ferry docks), Tophane (Istanbul Modern museum), Karakoy (Galata bridge, Istanbul Tunel, ferry docks), Eminonu (Spice Bazaar, Rustem Pasha Mosque, New MOsque, ferry docks), Sirkeci (railway station), Gulhane (Gulhane Park, Basilica Cistern), Sultanahmet (Hagia Sophia,Blue Mosque,Topkapi Palace), Cemberlitas, Beyazit (Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye mosque)
First route starts at 06:00 in the morning and stops at 00:00 at night. Frequency: every 5 minutes.
The metro lines extends every year more and more to many parts of the city, both in the European and Asian side. It does not cover the old part of the city (Sultanahmet) and most parts of the Asian side, although works for extension have already begun. The most useful line for the visitors, is the M1 and M2 lines, which cover main parts of Istanbul, such as Taksim, Sisli, Levent, Sishane, Golden Horn, Yenikapi, Airport and Otogar (main bus station).
First route starts at 06:00 in the morning and stops at 00:00 at night. Frequency: every 4 minutes during rush hours. There is also the Marmaray line, an underwater metro which connects the European to the Asian side of the city.
Funiculars are small underground inclined lifts. In Istanbul there are two! The most famous one is located at Karakoy, being the second oldest one in the world. Covers the area between Karakoy and Istiklal street. The duration is one minute and there are no stops. The other funicular is located at the Taksim square, at the metro station. This is a modern funicular, covering the distance between the square and Kabatas. The duration is 2 minutes and there are no stops.
There are two aerial tramways in Istanbul. One of them is located in the Macka Park at the Besiktas area and the other one on the Pierre Loti hill at the Golden Horn.
In Istanbul there are hundred of buses serving the residents and the visitors of the city, covering all the parts of the European and the Asian side. Some of the main bus stations are near Grand Bazaar, at Eminonu, Taksim, Besiktas. Buses come with different colors, depending their use. For example: green buses means they are environment friendly, yellow means they serve disabled people with special equipment, turquoise means they run by private companies.
For detailed information: http://www.iett.gov.tr/en/
The best way for you not to be stuck in the traffic and enjoy at the same time the views of the city is to use ferries going from one part of the city to the other (European to Asian side). At the European side, you can take the ferries from Eminonu, Karakoy and Kabatas. At the Asian side, from the Kadikoy and Uskudar docks
For detailed information: http://en.sehirhatlari.com.tr/en
How to Pay for Public Transportation?
There are basically two ways to pay for the fare:
–with a token, called Jeton, which you can buy from machines close to tram or metro stations. Each Jeton is equivalent to a one way ride and it costs 4 liras
–with an Istanbul Card, that you can charge with the amount you want to use, both in self service machines or in Kiosks/Newsposts all over the city. The initial value of the card is 7 liras and each route costs 2,30TL. İf you use the card twice or more within the same hour the price will be reduced.