Istanbul Public Transportation Card

Acquire knowledge about IstanbulKart and Istanbul’s public transportation system.

What is An Istanbul Card? Istanbul Public Transport Card

Public transportation ranks first among the cheapest ways to visit Istanbul. An IstanbulCard is required to use public transport at all times. You can access all public transportation lines and types of vehicles in Istanbul with an IstanbulCard as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is in charge of the operation of all public transportation in the city.

IstanbulCard offers several advantages, some of which can be listed as saving time and being a budget friendly option for urban transportation. That's why the locals of Istanbul always carry an IstanbulCard. The card is versatile and useful as it is valid for all types of public transportation in Istanbul.

What Are the Advantages Of the Istanbul Public Transport Card?

IstanbulCard is preferred by the people who want to go from one spot to another via public transportation in the city. As Istanbul is a metropolitan that stretches over two continents, transportation can get quite costly. IstanbulCard offers a few advantages to prevent that. First of all, there is no need for different cards, tickets, or tokens to carry around. One card allows you to access all sorts of public transport modes easily, quickly, and on an affordable price. Since it is a prepaid card, you can load as much as you want and pay as you go. In the meantime, there are no problems such as cash or waiting in line to top up. There are booths all over the city, inside metro stations, as well as corner shops and kiosks that help you top up your IstanbulCard under 30 seconds. It is truly fast and time efficient!

Budget-Friendly Travel in Istanbul

IstanbulCard provides a budget-friendly travel in Istanbul. IstanbulCard prints 4.03 Turkish Liras for the first use each time you take a public transport of any kind, and discounted transfer fees apply from the second use onwards. However, keep in mind that the time between the first use in public transportation and the transfer should not exceed two hours. Up to five transfers are discounted after using your card. However, the price does not change in the fourth and fifth transfer and remains the same as the 1.38 TL fee in the third transfer. In other words, IstanbulCard offers you 3 discounts gradually after you get on a vehicle for the first time every two hours. In a very big city like Istanbul, the price difference provided by the transfer is too important to ignore. A few bucks here and there can make or break your budget.

Easy to Use

Using the IstanbulCard is extremely simple. You do not have to touch or contact the card reader, either. When using the card, holding it to the card reader from a distance of 5-10 centimeters is enough for the machine to detect it. If the payment has been accepted, you will hear a specific sound notifying you to proceed and you will also be able to see the remaining amount of money on the screen of the card reader. If there is not enough money in the card, the text "Yetersiz Bakiye" will appear on the screen. You will also hear a different sound alerting you to top up. You will be able to quickly and easily recharge your IstanbulCard from the nearest top up point.

Pre - Paid

IstanbulCard is a pre-paid, rechargeable card. This means that you can have two options to choose from. Upon purchasing your IstanbulCard, you can either top up with an estimate sum that you deem enough for the whole duration of your trip. Or, you can pay as you go, which means you can top up your card with small amounts of money as you spend. If you are staying over 3-4 days, it is a better idea to top up the card from the get go, so you don’t have to worry about running out of money and missing the bus/metro/ferry. No matter which option you choose, you are always able to recharge your card anytime you desire.

If you are a traveler coming from another city or country, you can use Istanbul Tourist Pass® to visit the best places in Istanbul and participate in cultural activities, just like the locals who prefer IstanbulCard for transportation to every point of Istanbul. The working principle of IstanbulTouristPass® is similar in that it is pre-paid and affordable: You choose from 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10-Day-Pass options and once you pay, you can participate in as many tourist attractions as you want within the allocated time period. While the IstanbulCard is a physical card that allows you entry to all public transport in Istanbul, Istanbul Tourist Pass® is an all digital pass that you can use to access 60+ top attractions in the city for a pleasant journey!

How to Get An Istanbul Card?

You can purchase your IstanbulCard from Biletmatik on the bus/service floor of Istanbul Airport. In Sabiha Gökçen Airport, you can buy an IstanbulCard from the kiosk on the Street level.

In the city, you can get the Istanbul public transportation card at every metro, tram, Metrobus, and ferry station. You can also buy your IstanbulCard, from kiosks and stores near the stations and start enjoying your trip in Istanbul instantly.

How Much Is an Istanbul Card?

The card itself costs only 10 Turkish Liras. You can buy it from the yellow machines located in all public transport stations except for bus stations. The price of travel in Istanbul is shown below based on modes of transportation

● IstanbulCard Full Fare (one way) 7.67 TL
● Blue Card (monthly subscription/for residents only) : 602 TL

Transfer Fares
● 1st transfer : 5,49 TL
● 2nd transfer : 4,17 TL
● 3rd transfer : 2,63 TL
● 4th transfer : 2,63 TL
● 5th transfer : 2,63 TL

Alternative to IstanbulCard: Tickets

If you find the investment into an IstanbulCard redundant as you will only need to use the public transportation a few times, you may want to check its best alternative: tickets.

Sold at the yellow machine booths by the metro entrances, where you top up your IstanbulCard, you can find tickets that allow you access to public transportation in seconds.

The advantage of this option is that you do not have to worry about HES code matching or whether you have enough credits in your IstanbulCard. The downside of this option is that, on the other hand, its cost. There are up to ten pass tickets that allow you to use ten seperate times. If you will be using several transfers however, keep in mind that the IstanbulCard is a more budget friendly option.

Name Fares Cost per ride
Single Ticket : 1 15.00 TL
Two-pass Ticket : 2 25.00 TL
Three-pass Ticket : 3 32.00 TL
Five-pass Ticket : 5 49.00 TL
Ten-pass Ticket : 10 88.00 TL

IstanbulCard for Children

Children under the age of 6 do not need to hold an IstanbulCard. This is only applicable when they are accompanied by their parents while using public transportation in Istanbul.

FAQ

Where You Can Use The Istanbul Card?

You can use Biletmatiks located on the floor of -2 at Istanbul Airport, which is also called the public transport arrival floor.

You can also buy it from Havaist Airport Shuttle Bus Station tolls located on the same floor.

Where to Buy an IstanbulCard at Sabiha Gökçen Airport?

You can get an Istanbul public transport card from the kiosk on the street level opposite the exit of the arrivals terminal.

You can also buy it from IETT's (Istanbul electric tramway and tunnel establishment) supervision booth at the public bus station after you go out of the terminal if you will choose the public bus option to reach your destination.

Where to Buy an IstanbulCard in the City?

You can easily get the Istanbul public transportation card at every metro, tram, Metrobus, and ferry station. You can also buy IstanbulCard, from kiosks and stores near the stations to start traveling within Istanbul./p>

How to Check Your IstanbulCard Balance?

You can use kiosk machines to check your remaining balance during your Istanbul trip. If you want to check your balance online, you can do that instantly by downloading and using the IstanbulCard mobile application.

Can You Top Up the IstanbulCard Online?

IstanbulCard offers the opportunity to top up online as well as at top up points. You can quickly do the recharging process online via this website and right after topping up your card you can start using your pass to travel freely in Istanbul.

Where Can You Use the IstanbulCard?

The card is valid for all public transport options in Istanbul. These include nostalgic trams in Taksim and Kadıköy, buses, Metrobus, tunnels, funicular ride at Kabataş, cable car, IDO ferries or city lines, Turyol (Bosphorus cruise), Dentur (Bosphorus cruise), TCDD railways, and HAVABUS at Sabiha Gökçen airport and HAVAIST at Istanbul Airport.

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Istanbul Tourist Pass® has an average rating of 4.8 /5 from 475 reviews

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