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.
The most useful lines for foreign visitors are shown in italics.
Easy to Use!
Once you educate yourself a little the Metro is super easy to use and makes a lot more sense than renting a car. Traffic and navigating Istanbul by car is a little insane so I was thrilled with the ease of the Metro. Be prepared for crowds and to sometimes be a little packed in.
M1A Yenikapı - Aksaray - Havalimanı
M1B: Esenler Otogar - Kirazlı
This line connects Istanbul's main intercity bus terminal to the suburb of Kirazlı, meeting the M3 Metro line there.
Istanbul Metro Reviews
M2: Yenikapı - Hacıosman
The M2 line connects Yenikapı (and its Fast Ferry Terminaland Marmaray suburban train station) with Şişhane (near Tünel Square) in Beyoğlu, Taksim 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 Emirgan, Sarıyer and the Black Sea beaches at Kilyos. More...
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
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|