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Getting Around Istanbul, Turkey!

created by MyIstanbul on 2012-09-18

Getting Around Istanbul, Turkey!

Istanbul is truly a world city, a city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with a unique identity. Its rich past coexists alongside its youthful exuberance. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul still remains the country's cultural and business centre.

It is a city of contrasts, bustling with the cacophony of 21st century life, and is yet achingly beautiful. It is set in a stunning location, surrounded by water, which is the narrow strait of the Bosphorus and the serene sea of Marmara separating Europe from Asia. Istanbul has a foot in each, celebrating the best of both heritages.

Turkey has so much to offer her visitors; breathtaking natural beauties, unique historical and archaeological sites, steadily improving hotel and touristic infrastructure and a tradition of hospitality and competitive prices. Therefore, it is not surprising that this country has recently become one of the world's most popular tourism destinations. Due to Turkey's diverse geography, one can experience four different climates in any one day.

Getting Around Istanbul

Istanbul's public transport system is particularly confusing, consisting of a metro, two tram lines, two train lines, two types of buses and innumerable private mini-buses, not to mention several types of ferries connecting the city's two shores.

Trains

Istanbul has two urban train lines with services every 20 minutes or so running through the suburbs on the European and Asian shores respectively.

The European line, which commences at Eminönü, is particularly pleasant, running under the ramparts of Topkapi Palace and along the Byzantine Sea walls to Yedikule.

Buses

The bus system is comprehensive but, for the outsider, nigh on impossible to fathom on short acquaintance. Main hubs for buses are adjacent to the ferry terminal at Eminönü, and at Beyoglu's Taksim Sq.

For visitors the most useful service is the number 14 which runs a circular route connecting Sultanahmet Sq with the fish restaurant district of Kumkapi and Taksim Sq in Beyoglu.

For public buses you must purchase tickets in advance from a ticket booth or newspaper kiosk. On privately operated buses you buy the ticket on board.

Metro

Istanbul currently has two metro lines with more under construction.

One line runs from Aksaray via the main inter-city bus station at Esenler to the western suburbs and the airport. A separate line runs between Beyoglu's Taksim Sq and the northern suburbs, and is in the process of being extended. Tickets can be purchased at the stations.

Driving

The whole of Turkey has a particularly high traffic accident rate so take care when travelling by road. A grossly overcrowded road system, and appalling road manners make driving in Istanbul little short of a nightmare. Outside the city on the major motorways things are easier, but many main highways between cities are still only two-lane and traffic can become frighteningly heavy, and fast.

For more information: Istanbul City Breaks Packages
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