Nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi Tram

In 19th-century Pera (Beyoğlu), a traditional tram trundled along the Grande Rue de Pera (İstiklal Caddesi) for 1.64 km (1 mile) connecting Taksim Square with Galatasaray and Tünel Square (map).

The tram was taken out of service in 1961, replaced by buses.

After İstiklal Caddesi became a pedestrian zone, the tram was restored and revived in 1990.

Although it’s as much a curiosity as a means of transport, you’ll find it useful if your feet are tired while walking Beyoğlu‘s main shopping and dining avenue. You can use your Istanbulkart to ride (here’s more on fares).

Interior of Nostalgic Istiklal Caddesi Tram, Istanbul, Turkey
Interior of a restored car.

Click here for a map ofIstanbul’s Metro-Train-Tram System.

The termini are Taksim Square and Tünel Square. At Galatasaray Square, half-way along İstiklal Caddesi, the trams from opposite directions meet and cross paths, also stopping to take on or set down passengers. There are only two other stops along the route.

The historic tram carsare small and cannot hold many passengers, and are often full. The ride is relatively slow (for one thing, the conductor must constantly ring his bell to clear the way of pedestrians), but pleasant—a good quick tour of İstiklal Caddesi.

Despite their antiquity, the trams carry an average of 6000 passengers daily!

You can take the tram in one direction, then walk back along İstiklal Caddesi for a closer look, or a stop at its boutiques, restaurants, bars or cafes.

At Tünel Square you can board the Tünel underground train to get to Karaköy/Galata and the Galata Bridge (map).

At Taksim Square you can board the Metro, or the Kabataş-Taksim Füniküler. Taksim is also a major city bus terminus.


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