Istanbul Metro, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Istanbul‘s Metro system of underground and surface rapid-transit trains, trams and funiculars is growing quickly and will be useful to you during your visit.

Hours of Operation

The Istanbul Metro and tram system runs from about 06:00 (6 am) to a little past 24:00 (12 midnight) or 01:00 (1 am), depending on the line and the direction of travel.

Istanbul Metro Map

Here’s my annotated map of the center of the system, the part you’re most likely to use. It’s easier to understand than the maps of the complete system published by Istanbul Metro.

How to Pay the Fare

There are multiple ways you can pay your fareHere they are.

Metro Lines

The most useful lines for foreign visitors are shown in italics.

M1A Yenikapı – Aksaray – Havalimanı

You’re most likely to use the M1 Metro line that runs from Yenikapı and Aksaray Square in Old Istanbul via Istanbul’s main Otogar (bus terminal) to Atatürk Airport.

(The last Metro train from Atatürk Airport via the Otogar toYenikapı departs the airport at 01:00 am. More…)

Arriving in Istanbul by intercity bus, you can take Metro Line 1 right from the Otogar to Zeytinburnu and board the T1 Kabataş tram for Sultanahmet Square and Eminönü. (Here’s how to transfer.)

The Yenikapı Metro station, also a stop on the Marmaraysuburban train line, is near the terminal for “seabus” catamaran ferryboats and fast car ferriesMore…

M1B: Esenler Otogar – Kirazlı

This line connects Istanbul’s main intercity bus terminal to the suburb of Kirazlı, meeting the M3 Metro line there.

M2: Yenikapı – Hacıosman

The M2 line connects Yenikapı (and its Fast Ferry Terminaland Marmaray suburban train station) with Şişhane (near Tünel Square) in BeyoğluTaksim Square, then north via Şişli through the modern business and residential sections of the Levents as far as Hacıosman, only 5 km (3 miles) southwest of Sarıyer on the European shore of the northern Bosphorus. This is the fastest way to reach northern Bosphorus destinations such as EmirganSarıyer and the Black Sea beaches at KilyosMore…

M3: Kirazlı – Başakşehir – Metrokent

Northwestern continuation of Metro Line M1B.

M4: Kadıköy – Tavşantepe

Going from Kadıköy on the Asian shore of the Bosphorussoutheast via Kozyatağı and Bostancı to Kartal, Pendik and Kaynarca, this line is convenient for getting to Sabiha Gökçen Airport (via İETT city bus) and to the fast ferry docks at Pendik for Yalova and Bursa. By 2019 or 2020 the M4 line should be extended all the way to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

M5: Üsküdar – Çekmeköy

This line is under construction from the Asian-shore Bosphorusferry docks in Üsküdar eastward to the suburb of Çekmeköy. It will eventually extend to Sabiha Gökçen Airport (2020?)

Marmaray

Not technically a part of the Istanbul Metro system, the suburban trans-Bosphorus Marmaray underground train line is fully integrated with the Istanbul Metro system. More…

Trams

İstanbul Ulaşım also operates several surface tram lines, the most useful of which are the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram and the T2 Taksim-Tünel Nostalgic Tram.

Funiculars

İstanbul Ulaşım operates the F1 Füniküler line linking Kabataşwith Taksim Square, and the historic F2 Tünel underground line between Karaköy and Tünel Square.

Official Information

The Metro Istanbul website now has an English-language section and is improving in usability. The Journey Planner is still problematic, but the Network Maps remain the most useful aspect. Here’s their info on fares.

New Metro in an Old City

Imagine the difficulty of constructing a Metro in Istanbul, a city that is nothing but layers of history.

Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul—every excavation discovers some new archeological site that must be studied, catalogued, preserved.

—by Tom Brosnahan


Istanbul Metro Map

How to Pay the Fare

Marmaray Cross-Bosphorus Trains

Istanbul Trams

Maps of Istanbul

Istanbul Transport

Transport in Turkey

Istanbul Sights

Best Istanbul Hotels: Short List

Istanbul Restaurants

About Istanbul

Istanbul Love Bus...the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

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