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Istanbul - getting around

Discussion in 'Other Resorts of Turkey' started by Umit, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Umit

    Umit Veteran Staff Member

    Istanbul has a decent dirt-cheap public transport network, which you'll appreciate once you get the hang of pre-buying tickets (try an Akbil pass instead, if you're in town for a few weeks), jumping on half-moving vehicles and avoiding armpits in tram jams. And if it all gets too much, a mad taxi driver is never far away to race you to your destination - and you won't pay too much for the thrill, either. But all public transport slows to a crawl around peak hours; this is the time to take to your feet. Walking is the best way to see Istanbul - though the ferries rate a close second.

    The main bus station, the International Istanbul Bus Station, or more simply, the 'otogar', is 10km (6mi) west of Sultanahmet at Esenler. Both city and private buses run services in Istanbul. The suburban trains are a bit decrepit but reliable and inexpensive, runnning from Sirkeci station. Istanbul's metro is under construction, though some lines are already in service; it's inexpensive, with frequent services. There are several tramlines to choose from if you want a ride with a view. Istanbul has a large fleet of yellow taxis, but a cheaper way of getting around the streets is to hire a dolmus, a shared taxi or minibus. It's an easy matter to rent a car; it's navigating the thing through the insane traffic that might prove to be difficult. Save it for excursions out of town. Ferries and catamarans can take you along the Golden Horn or up the Bosphorus - an hour-long ferry ride will cost you around US$1.30.
  2. starman

    starman Explorer

    Just to let you know you dont need to buy tickets anymore and both blue and red buses now take cash but have to agree that getting an akbill does make it easier and your fare 10% cheaper.

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