Tips for smooth transportation in Istanbul
Mariam Aboulmagd Date : 22 May 24

When traveling to a new country like Türkiye, you might worry that it will be difficult to move around there easily as a foreigner on your own.

Dealing with Istanbul transportation can be really easy, even if you don’t live there, when you know just a few tips to help you out.

The transportation system in Istanbul has large integrated routes for public transportation. It allows you to move smoothly all over the European and Asian sides of the city. 

Even if you don’t know Turkish, there is no need to worry. Transportation in Istanbul rarely requires you to interact with other people in Turkish

What is the best transportation in Istanbul?

There is no single mode of transportation that is better than the rest. The transportation services in Istanbul complement each other. You might have preferences for some of them, depending on what you value most during your trips.

Let’s explore the transportation options in Istanbul so you can know all about the best methods for your daily commute.


Buses in Istanbul are a great means of transportation for you if you prefer going long distances while sitting in your chair without the need to transfer from one line to another. They are considered the cheapest transportation method in the city.

Some of the drawbacks that you might face when using buses are that they can get stuck in traffic, especially during rush hours. Sometimes they can get delayed or canceled.


The metro in Istanbul is a large network connecting the far Asian side with the far European side of Istanbul.

Metros are the easiest to navigate. The Metro Istanbul map allows you to see all the metros currently operating all over the city. With its precise timing, you can always rely on the metro in Istanbul.

Metros can become so crowded in the early mornings and afternoons when commuting workers go to and from work. But you can always wait a few minutes for the next metro to arrive, which can be less crowded.

What is the best transportation in Istanbul

Metro bus

Metro buses are a special means of transportation, which is a bus that moves in its assigned lanes. It is unaffected by the congestion of cars in the other lanes.

They are very frequent and can be your go-to transportation method if your accommodation is near the metro bus line.

The Metro bus can be more expensive than other modes of transportation as its line covers a wide part of Istanbul. But you are just paying for the number of stops you ride. When you are exiting the metro bus stop, you can find machines where you can get some of the ticket money back on your IstanbulKart.


It is like a metro, but on street level. It is more commonly available in the city center.

It is also very frequent, and it allows you to enjoy the beauty of the city during your daily commute.


The ferries connect the costs of the Bosphorus. There are many routes and stops along the Bosphorus on the European and Asian sides.

Its ticket is the same as other methods of transportation. Also,it is a beautiful way to start and end your day, witnessing the beauty of the city’s skyline.

It can be slower than other transportation routes, such as the metro. It can also be less frequent.

Uber & Taxi 

They can be considered very similar to each other. They are the most expensive way to move around the city. On the other hand, you are provided with more comfort.

In order to use Uber, you first need to download its app. You can track your trip, know your driver's information before starting the trip, and connect your card to the app so the trip fee can be charged directly through the app

Using a taxi in Istanbul may require speaking at least basic-level Turkish. That way, you can communicate effectively with your driver to reach your desired destination. You can pay in cash or by card.

Transportation in istanbul prices

Transportation in istanbul prices

In Türkiye, being a student comes with a lot of benefits. One of them is that the ticket for public transportation in Istanbul is cut down to almost half the price for students. 

  • The price of the ticket for a student is 8,63 TL 
  • The normal ticket originally cost 17,7 TL 

Some means are more expensive and can charge two tickets at a time.

You can also apply for a monthly subscription, which can be really beneficial for you. Especially if you go out almost every day and ride more than one method of transportation.

The monthly subscription allows you to have 200 tickets each month loaded into your Istanbul transportation card.

  • The student's monthly subscription costs: 250,16 TL.
  • The normal monthly subscription costs: 1.388,86 TL.

Transportation card in istanbul 

You can get your transportation card, which is called IstanbulKart from a machine named Biletmatik. You can find that machine (Biletmatik) in all metro stations, some bus stops, as well as kiosks.

The price for buying the Istabulkart itself is 70 TL. You only need to buy it once, and after that, you just need to recharge it with money in order to be able to use it.

You can top up the card using cash at Biletmatik. Some of these machines accept credit cards as well.

How to pay for public transportation in Istanbul?

In Istanbul, you cannot use cash to pay on public transportation. All public transportation requires payment by card only. The only exception is the minibus, which only uses cash. 

There are a variety of ways available for you to pay for your ticket through a card on public transportation in Istanbul, Turkey. 

  • You can use IstanbulKart, which is the public transportation card used by the majority. You bring the card close to the machine, and it deducts the ticket cost from your card wirelessly.
  • You can also use your credit card, but this is only available on some buses. If you have a bank account at one of the banks available in Turkey, you can directly pay the ticket price using it. You use it just like the IstanbulKart.
  • You can use your digital card from the Istanbulkart app and pay using the QR code. Either by using the app to scan the code shown on the paying machine's screen or by making the machine scan the code the app gives you on your phone.

Transportation card in istanbul

The best apps for transportation in istanbul

Google maps:

  • Allows you to see different routes based on the transportation method you want.
  • Estimates the time and price of your trip.
  • Allows you to explore the different facilities available near you and anywhere in the country.


  • Allows you to load money into your transportation card.
  • Gives you the option of applying for and renewing the monthly subscription.
  • Enables you to create a digital card and pay directly through the app.
  • Allows you to make money transfers between Istanbul cards or even IBANs.
  • Helps you track your past trips.

Otobusum Nerde

  • Allows you to see the time tables of all the busses all over Istanbul
  • Helps you track the bus you want along its route.
  • Notifies you about the announcements about any changes in the buses’ time tables or routes.

These apps make your navigation in the city so much easier as an international student living in Istanbul.

Many universities in Istanbul have campuses in the heart of the city. They make sure that their students have more than one method of transportation to easily reach their campus.

If you want to start your university education in Turkey, contact us directly, and we will be your guide throughout the registration process. 

StudyFans is an authorized agent for more than 45 Turkish universities and has more than 8 years of experience in the field.


If you wanted to know more or have any questions, we are here to help you and you can always contact us:

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