Istanbul’s metro lines have been expanding rapidly in recent years. For this reason, Istanbul Metro Map has to be updated constantly. In this article, you can find Metro Maps valid for 2020. There are links to full resolution maps in the article, as well as downloadable PDF files in the bottom lines.
For those who visit Istanbul, it is essential to visit Sultanahmet (Old City), Beyoglu (Taksim), Besiktas (Bosphorus) and Kadikoy (Asian Side). In this article, you can find all the information you need to travel between these four tourist spots without the need for a taxi.
Public Transportation in Istanbul
First of all, I want to introduce you to the most used public transportation vehicles in Istanbul. In the following lines, I will explain how you can use vehicles such as Metro, Tram, Marmaray, Funicular and Ferry efficiently. You can also find images and maps related to these public transportation services in Istanbul.
I uploaded the maps in low resolution so they wouldn’t slow down the page opening speed. However, you can immediately access the high resolution versions from the links under the maps. I also prepared printable PDF files for convenience. I hope it will be useful to you.
Avoiding Traffic in Istanbul
It’s strongly recommended to use public transport all the time if possible, as Istanbul’s traffic is one of the worst in the world during the rush hours. The busiest hours in Istanbul are between 7 and 10 in the morning and between 6 and 9 in the evening.
Tram is the light metro that goes on the ground. It’s extremely efficient and handy to commute between the Istanbul Old City (Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, Eminonu) and Beyoglu (Karakoy, Galata, Taksim Square).
Major Tram Stops In Istanbul Old City
Beyazit (Grand Bazaar), Cemberlitas (Forum of Constantine), Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia), Gulhane (Archaeological Museum), Sirkeci (Marmaray Train Station), Eminonu (Spice Bazaar)
Major Tram Stops At Modern Istanbul
Karakoy (Galata Tower), Tophane (Modern Art Museum), Findikli (Istanbul Cruise Port), Kabatas (Funicular Connection for Taksim Square)
Tram is enough for someone who will stay in Istanbul for a day or two. You can visit the most important sights by using the Tram T1 line. You can also walk to Dolmabahce Palace from Kabatas, the last stop of the tram.
Metro is the most beautiful means of transportation in Istanbul, famous for its bad traffic. The most used metro lines in Istanbul are Metro M1, Metro M2 and Metro M4 on the Asian Side. The most useful stops for tourists visiting Istanbul are located on these metro lines.
Metro M1 was mostly used when coming from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to city center. Ataturk Airport has recently closed and moved to Istanbul Airport. However, there are still large touristic hotels in districts such as Bakirkoy, Yesilkoy and Atakoy, where the old airport is located. Also convention centers and fairs are there. That’s why M1 is still a useful metro line.
Metro M2 is useful for going up to Taksim (Social center of Istanbul), Sisli and Levent (Shopping Malls), Nisantasi (Fashion Boutiques), Maslak (Business District).
The most popular and large shopping malls of the Istanbul also lined up along the M2 metro line. For instance: Metrocity (in Levent), Cevahir (in Sisli), Kanyon (in Sisli) , Istinye Park (in Sariyer).
Metro M4 is useful to get around in the Asian Side. It provides access to most popular shopping malls or neighborhoods on the Asian Side of Istanbul.
Marmaray has been operating for the last few years. It’s an excellent vehicle to cross the Bosphorus. You may travel from European Side to Asian Side or vise versa.
In order to cross the Bosphorus (in the direction of Kadikoy or Uskudar on the Asian Side) Ferry is considered as the best vehicle for tourists. Because it provides a great view of the Bosphorus. Duration of ferry journey is 20 minutes. However if you want to go faster, Marmaray would be really helpful. Because it takes only 8 minutes.
Marmaray line has been recently extended. It now crosses the Istanbul from one side to another. It starts from GEBZE which is literally out of Istanbul on the Eastern side and goes as far as to HALKALI, the far end of European side.
Funicular provides a short cut from terminal tram station (Kabatas) to Taksim Square. Kabatas tram stop is located at the sea-level. Thus funicular helps you reach to Taksim Square and Istiklal Street easily.
While coming from Sultanahmet by tram, you need to change the vehicle at Kabatas, to use the funicular up to Taksim Squre.
Ferry allows to travel between the historical districts of Istanbul. Tourists visiting the city will mostly travel around Eminonu, Karakoy, Besiktas and Kadikoy. Nostalgic ferries serve in these districts.
Nostalgic ferries commute between Eminonu and Kadikoy OR Karakoy and Kadikoy. Eminonu (Old City) is near to Spice Bazaar and Sultanahmet whereas Karakoy (New City) is near to Taksim Square, Galata Tower, Istiklal Street. It’s possible to go to Kadikoy (Asian Side) by ferry from both sides.
I strongly recommend you to visit the Kadikoy Fish Market (on the Asian Side of Istanbul) to experience the local life and shopping. Here is Kadikoy Things To Do article for more information.
These nostalgic ferries are also used for Bosphorus Cruise Tours. “Sehir Hatlari” is the official company that does the long or short rides up to Bosphorus.
What Is Istanbulkart?
Istanbulkart is a travel card valid for all public transportation vehicles listed in this article. It helps you save a great deal of money and time. It provides you some discount if it’s used multiple times within 2 hours.
The Istanbul Card charges 3,50 TL for the 1st ride. Whereas the regular tokens costs 7 TL. Istanbulkart also allows you to travel at a discount when you change vehicles on the same line. It charges on the 2nd time: 2,50 TL, 3rd time: 1.90 TL, 4th time: 1,20 TL
Istanbul Tram Map 2020
Tram is the best friend of tourists visiting Istanbul. Because it provides transportation between the two most visited touristic spots, Sultanahmet and Taksim (with the funicular connection).
You can easily reach between Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace thanks to the tram. Normally these two palaces are far from each other. Above you can find the Istanbul Tram Map covering the Tram T1 line.
Istanbul Metro Map PDF 2020
First of all, I would like to introduce you with the updated Istanbul Metro Map with latest extensions. Above metro map is still valid for 2020.
You can also find the Istanbul Metro Map as free downloadable PDF file at the link below. As Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality publishes new public transportation maps, I update the links.
The Istanbul Metro Map, which you can access from the link below, has English descriptions and can be downloaded and printed free of charge.
The metro network covers most of the tourist attractions in Istanbul. Metro lines to the New Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport are currently under construction. When finished, it will be possible to reach Istanbul’s airports both from Sultanahmet and Taksim by metro.
Istanbul Marmaray Map 2020
Marmaray allows you to travel quickly from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side. You can cross the Bosphorus in 20-25 minutes by ferry, but in just a few minutes with Marmaray.
In this way, you can reach Uskudar in 4 minutes and Kadikoy in 8 minutes, which are the most popular spots on the Asian Side of Istanbul. I give these times according to Sirkeci Station in Istanbul Old City.
The Istanbul Marmaray Map that I shared above contains a yellow line. You can see that you can travel from one end of the city to the other with Marmaray by following this yellow line.
Istanbul Metrobus Map 2020
Roads that lead to Bosphorus Bridge (1st bridge) is always busy. The folk travelling from Asian Side to European Side had hard times passing through the bridge with regular bus. Therefore Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality built some special lanes for the Metrobus and put comfortable busses into operation.
Metrobus travel all around Istanbul’s fringes. It provides fast journey that saves you from traffic jams in Istanbul. However, Metrobus is packed with people during rush hours!
You can find the Istanbul Metrobus Map above. Although it may seem a bit confusing at first glance, Metrobus is often a necessary means of transportation. It is very difficult to reach some congress centers and fairs of Istanbul without a metrobus.
Written by Serhat Engul