İSTANBUL FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER
Despite its complicated prospect, it is possible to travel in Istanbul day and night by bus, tramway, train, ferry, sea-bus, and motorboat. This city is also the starting point of all kinds for train, ship, bus, and plane travel.
İstanbul is spread out on a wide area constituting European shore, Anatolian shore, the Golden Horn, Bosporus and the Islands. It is necessary to use these transport vehicles properly to wander around this city more easily. The Historical Peninsula, especially Eminönü district, can be wandered around on foot best.
• Day and night, you can go wherever you want in Istanbul, yet it should not be forgotten that you are in a metropolitan city with a population of 15 million.
• Istanbul and the Historical Peninsula can be explored by public transport vehicles. It is possible to arrive wherever you want in Istanbul by subway and suburban trains, by ferry, sea-bus, and private ferries, by public bus and shared taxi. All these vehicles, despite minor seasonal changes, run from 6 am in the morning to 11 or 12 pm at night. Except for some routes, the ticket fee is almost the same for all routes. You can buy tickets or tokens from the ticket offices at some stops and the docks. However, the best way is to get an Akbil, a kind of travel pass for public transport, by paying a reasonable deposit. With this system, you can upload all the ticket credits you will use; at the same time, the ticket price is reduced.. Thus, there is no need to buy a token or ticket each time you want to use a public vehicle. It is also possible to return the Akbil and get your deposit back when leaving Istanbul.
There is a discount for students with the International Youth Travel Federation card. For the handicapped, special buses, ramps, and special telephone booths at central stops are available.
Transport by Sea
• The Eminönü district in Istanbul, the only city in the world separated by sea, is one of the passenger transport centers by sea transport vehicles. There is scheduled service by ferries from the docks on the right of the Galata Bridge to Kadıköy, Üsküdar and Bosporus; and from the docks on the left to the Golden Horn, Üsküdar and Kadıköy. The names of the destinations are written in big font above the dock buildings.
• The ferries with scheduled service and private motorboats depart from here for Bosporus tours.
oIn the same district, it is possible to arrive at the Harem Coach Station by scheduled ferryboat service.
•Passenger ships and ferryboats depart from Sarayburnu Dock which is a bit further from this dock.
• Excursions are available from Kabataş Dock to the Princes’ Islands.
Also, sea-bus transportation is available to Bostancı, Bakırköy and Avcılar districts.
• Regular sea-bus transportation to Bostancı, Bakırköy and ferryboat transportation to Bursa, Yalova, Mudanya and Bandırma from Yenikapı Dock are available. In addition, fast ferryboat service with Yalova connection is available from Pendik and Kartal districts.
o Bosporus tours by private boats departing from Kabataş Dock, usually through reservations from big hotels, can be arranged as well.
(TRAMWAY-METRO-METROBUS -TRAIN ROUTES)
• Istanbul’s railway network consists of the subway, tramway and funicular. A traveller can move by subway and tram from Atatürk Airport to Taksim and on to 4. Levent. From Atatürk Airport, it is necessary to change to from the subway to the tramway at Zeytinburnu or Yusufpaşa. From Taksim the. 6 km funicular takes one to the tramway at Kabataş. The tramway route goes through Eminönü and the Galata Bridge, Sultanahmet and further on to Zeytinburnu, passing through the middle of the Historical Peninsula.
The tramway runs every five minutes. In the tramway wagons the next stop is indicated by light legend and voice. By getting off the tramway at Pazartekke stop, which is the nearest stop to the city walls before leaving the historical peninsula, it is possible to go to the Kariye Museum in Edirnekapı by an hour’s walk. This the point reached by the longest walk. You can walk another half
an hour when you want to go to Balat on foot.
• If you do not want to use this route, the taxi fee from Sultanahmet to Kariye Museum is no more than 15 TL.
• Marmaray, is a tube tunnel under the Bosporus combining the European and Asian sides of Istanbul with 76 km long railway. The line is planed to run between Halkalı and Gebze. For now, only 5 stations are opened between Ayrılıkçeşme and Kazlıçeşme.
Connecting the Anatolian and European sides of Istanbul, the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges are open 24 hours a day. Different fees are paid for access by bus, minibus, motorcycle, lorry, truck, or personal vehicle. Also, it is possible to pass through the toll booths by the OGS (Automatic Access System) and KGS (Card Access System). The Bosporus Bridge connects Beylerbeyi and Ortaköy, while the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge extends between Kavacık and Hisarüstü.
TRANSPORT TO OTHER CITIES
• It is possible to go by bus wherever you want in Turkey from Istanbul. Esenler Coach Station on the European side and the Harem Coach Station on the Anatolian side include bus companies providing intercity transport. In the same way, it is possible to travel to many destinations In Turkey and outside Turkey using the railway departing from Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa Stations.
• Intercity passenger ships and ferries depart from Sarayburnu Dock.
SHARED TAXI (Dolmuş)
These shared taxis depart from the most crowded parts of the city and go to far areas. The fee is based on the distance. In busy places such as Taksim, shared taxi service is available until late hours. Besides yellow ones, old minibuses operate in some districts as well. Some personal cars are also used as shared taxis. It is possible to benefit from shared taxis on these routes: Beşiktaş-Harbiye-Taksim, Nişantaşı-Eminönü-Yeşilköy, Kadıköy-Pendik.
You can rent a car from the branches of rental car offices which are at the airports, bus terminals or in town. International driving licenses are good for hiring cars in Turkey.
The rental car campanies present services on an international scale and often also offer chauffeur service
DAILY PANORAMIC TOUR OF ISTANBUL
Open-top double-decker landed-rode the trip in Istanbul by bus, explore at your own pace. Flexible 24 hours or 48 hours tickets to choose from
Scheduled buses from both routes at Frequent intervals switches. English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish description available in 8 different languages including informative recording. Free Earphone is provided.
City Tour (Red) Route:
• Sultanahmet Square
• Bridge Galat
• Beylerbeyi Palace
• Akaretler / W Hotel
• Taksim Square
• Hard Rock Cafe
• Spice Bazaar
Golden Horn/Blue Route:
• Blue Challenge”
• Bridge Galat
• Cable car
• Transportation Museum / Rahmi KOC Museum
• Spice Bazaar
As the most populous city of Turkey, Istanbul has a cosmopolitan aspect. In addition to the migration from Anatolia, there are many foreigners who are residents of Istanbul. Therefore, life in Istanbul is different from and faster than any other province of Turkey.
The many privately owned hospitals as well as the state owned hospitals provide health care 24 hours a day. All health institutions own or offer ambulance services. In order to use ambulance service all around the country, a single phone number applies: 112. The pharmacies are open during working hours on weekdays, and some pharmacies are open during the nights and at the weekends.
155 Police Help line is at everyone’s disposal. It is the shortest way of accessing the police. Through the “City Information and Security System”, known as M.O.B.E.S.E., introduced by the Istanbul Police Department, live footage is received from several critical points of the city around the clock. Thus, the intervention required in any case of security is provided as soon as possible.
The red direction signs around the city make it easy to go to historical sites.
Individuals or groups can visit the state and privately owned museums, the palaces, and the historical sites through individual or group tours accompanied by licensed guides with fees determined by the Ministry of Tourism.
All currencies are accepted.
Banks have ATM machines to draw cash and foreign money exchange offices are available in most areas. Certain banks cash traveller’s cheques, in TL only and with a commission.