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Istanbul Travel Guide

Getting Around Istanbul

By car
Driving in Istanbul could be stressful and do not recommended, the continuous increase in the population and number of motor vehicles make the city traffic in Istanbul a nightmare. The city currently holds more than 1,500,000 automobiles.

The best option to getting around is definitely the public transport, and avoid hours of frustration. But if you are convinced to drive your car or rent a car be aware that parking in Istanbul is another problem, with very little on-street parking and with signs written in Turkish.

By taxi
Taxis are an inexpensive and easy way of transportation in Istanbul, they are easily recognisable for its yellow colour. They are equipped with taximeters which have two rates-day and night. From 6 am until midnight is the daily rate, and from midnight to 6 am is the night rate. As expected, the night rate is more expensive.

Dolmus is a shared taxi, travelling on a fixed route and cheaper than a taxi. They can carry up to 8 passengers. Easily to recognize, yellow colored and a Dolmus sign on its top.

By bus
Undoubtedly buses are the best way getting around the city. They are inexpensive and easily taken from everywhere in Istanbul. Bus stops are easily recognizable and are located at intervals throughout the city. There are two types of buses, Istanbul Municipality Buses and Private Orange Buses. They both operate at the same price and accept the same tickets.

One ticket costs approximately €0.80, and can be purchased from the kiosks by main bus stops or on the bus. If you stay longer, you may wish to buy an Akbil, which will save time and money on public transport.

Akbil is short for "akilli bilet". It is an electronic transit pass, very convenient and allows saving money. The pass is a small stainless steel "button" on a plastic holder that slots into machines on public transport. Akbil can be bought at certain I.E.T.T booths around the city. Akbil is accepted on Istanbul's buses (both municipal and private), trams, Tünel, Metro, Füniküler, suburban trains, fast catamaran ferries, and traditional ferries.

By boat
There are commuter ferries and seabuses shuttle passengers across the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia, as well as to the nearby Princes' Islands.

By metro
Metro is another inexpensive public transportation owned by Istanbul Municipality. Istanbul's metro consists of two lines, the northern line is currently just a short stub connecting Taksim to Levent. The southern line is most useful for visitors, connecting Aksaray (with its connections to the tram line) to Ataturk Airport, via the Otogar.

Payment is made by tickets.

By tram
Currently trams are perhaps the best option and most convenient for travellers. All Major touristy attractions are located in the Old Istanbul peninsula and the tram is passing near to all of these places. Recently all trams in the Eminonu-Zeytinburnu line has changed. They are now more modern and efficient.

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