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Bus, Metro, Tram & Ferry Fares

Last Updated on May 14, 2024

Navigating through the vibrant cityscape of Istanbul demands an understanding of its diverse and intricate public transportation system. This article serves as your comprehensive guide to the fares across Istanbul's city buses, metros, trams, funiculars, and ferries, featuring detailed fare structures, discounts, special journey charges, and transfer costs. You'll also uncover valuable insights about the Istanbulkart, the crucial travel card that empowers your journey across this culturally rich metropolis.

Whether you're planning for a short ride or contemplating longer journeys like the Metrobus or Marmaray, this guide has got you covered. Delve into the realm of electronic ticketing, grasp the nuances of refund and transfer policies, and discover where to purchase tickets or top up your Istanbulkart. Embark on your Istanbul exploration with this knowledge, making your transit experience as seamless as possible.

Public Transport in Istanbul

Istanbul offers a comprehensive and efficient transportation network, comprising various modes of travel. The city boasts a well-connected system of metros, trams, buses, ferries, seabus services, taxis, and more. Understanding the different options available will help you choose the most suitable mode of transport for your needs when you visit Istanbul.

Transport Fares Istanbul: A Comprehensive Guide

This comprehensive guide on Istanbul's public transportation fares provides insights into the cost structures across various transit modes, including city buses, metros, trams, funiculars, and ferries.

Basic Istanbul public transit fares are as follows.

Please note: due to the fluctuating currency situation, we have chosen to list the costs in USD.  However, all payments would be made in Turkish lira.

City bus, Metro, tram, funicular, ferry: full-fare costs 0.50 cents; the first transfer to another vehicle: 0.35 cents. Children 6 years and older must pay a fare; those younger than six years who do not occupy a seat may travel without a ticket. 

For discounted student fares, you must have a Student Istanbulkart, and the first ride costs US$0.25. In order to get a student card, students need to have a residency permit in Turkey.

These are the fares for most short rides on most means of transport (Metro, bus, tram, funicular, ferryboat). Longer or special journeys may require higher fares, especially Metrobus and Marmaray.

Also, you'll pay twice the full fare when you're crossing to Asia from Europe or the other way around by using the bridges.

Metrobus Fares 

Number of stops traveled Full-fare
1 .37
2 .45
3 .52
4-9 .60
10-15 .65
16-21 .69
22-27 .71
28-33 .72
34-43 .77

There are some important points of information you should know about Metro buses. You can get a refund after you use the refund machine. In order to receive that, you should at least go to one more station. The refund time is 2 hours for Metrobus. This means within two hours, you can get your money back accordingly to the number of stops you traveled.

The transfer time is 2 hours if your card allows you to transfer. However, there’s no discount for transfers from other public transport vehicles to Metrobus but there is a discount for transfers from Metrobus to other public transport vehicles.

Transfer Fares 

Number of Transfers Full-fare
1st transfer .37
2nd transfer .28
3rd transfer .18
4th transfer .18
5th transfer .18

Istanbulkart

A plastic RFID chip card that you purchase, load money onto it, then use it to pay transit fares, the Istanbulkart is the only way to travel on public transit in Istanbul.

Currently on some buses, you can use a Visa credit card as well. However, you’ll probably also use the Metro or Metrobus, so it is better to get an Istanbulkart. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use transportation as easily. It is not possible to use tokens, cash payments, or credit card. When using public transportation in Istanbul, you can save money and time by using this rechargeable card.

Electronic Ticket

Disposable paper electronic fare cards for a pre-determined number of trips:

Fare Pricing Information

Name Price
Single ticket (Tek geçişlik bilet) .69
Two-pass ticket (İki geçişlik bilet) $1.32
Three-pass ticket (Üç geçişlik bilet) $2.08
Five-pass ticket (Beş geçişlik bilet) $3.13
Ten-pass ticket (On geçişlik bilet) $5.91

You can buy disposable fare cards from Biletmatik machines. You can buy your card from these machines or you can top up your card. It is also possible to buy cards from some kiosks and markets. However, you can probably get the most suitable card from places called Istanbul Municipality Solution Center, which are located in central places such as Beşiktaş and Şişli.

You can use these tickets in every vehicle except the ferries going to Princess Islands. You need to use your Istanbulkart to visit the islands.

Where to Buy Tickets

Fare machines are located at major bus stops, Metro stations, tram stations, ferry docks, etc. allowing you to buy fare cards, and reload credit onto your Istanbulkart with coins, Turkish lira notes, or cards. However, it is essential to note that the vending machines mostly only accept cash and don’t give you a refund, so in this case cash is the preferred payment method to add credit.

Instructions are in TurkishEnglish, and German.

Remember, if the machine bears a sign saying Arızalıdır or Hizmet dışı, it's out of order.

Istanbulkart Application

You are recommended to download the Istanbulkart application to your phone. In this application, you can get a QR code that you can use in every transportation vehicle in Istanbul. You need to either scan the code or read your code to the card reader machine when you get into a vehicle. You can use it on buses, ferries, metros, etc. You can upload money online from your credit card. You’ll need an internet connection to use the application. There are many other discounts in different stores as you can see in the application if you download it.

You can also use your Istanbul kart and the Istanbulkart application when going to the Airports (Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Istanbul Airport) by using the metro line. However, if you’re using the buses called “Havaist or Havaş”, the driver might tell you to pay cash, so remember to get some cash with you. Also, in the minibusses called “dolmuş,” you can only pay in cash. There are some other buses called “sarı dolmuş”, which looks like a big taxi, and you can only pay in cash as well. Besides that, dolmuş and Havaist, you can only use transportation with Istanbulkart.

Public Transportation Fare Updates

The price information given above has been arranged in accordance with the public transport fare tariff valid since January 2nd, 2023. Note that it is no longer necessary to have a HES code to use public transportation, as was required during Covid restrictions.

Do not forget to check the current public transport fares from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality which are available on IETT’s official site.

Conclusion

Understanding the transport fares in Istanbul is essential for a seamless and convenient journey through the city. This comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights into the fares of buses, metros, trams, funiculars, and ferries, along with information about the Istanbulkart and other ticketing options.

By familiarizing yourself with the fare structures, discounts, and transfer costs, you can navigate Istanbul's transportation system with ease. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, this knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and explore the vibrant streets of Istanbul with confidence. So, get ready to embark on your Istanbul adventure, armed with the understanding of transport fares to make your travel experience enjoyable and hassle-free.

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