As all of us who live here in Istanbul know that the best way to avoid traffic and get to your destination quickly is to use our city’s excellent public transportation system. For the visitor who wants to avoid possible taxi scams, learning transit routes is easy and allows you access to almost all districts on both the European and Asian sides.
Traveling Like a Native
Traveling like a native means becoming familiar with Metro, which includes our buses, metro, trams, funiculars, and ferries. When you stay at Hotel Büyük Keban, you are near to many stations, which makes it easy to come and go without having to walk for miles.
Ferries, Trams, Trains, and the Funicular
The ferry is Istanbul’s oldest mode of transport, beginning in 1853 with people traveling between each side of the Bosphorus people in order to get around the Golden Horn. Horse driven trams appeared in 1871 during the Ottoman Empire and then, one year later, a commuter railway line made its presence known on the European side, expanding through time to cover more areas. 1872 also saw the construction of a funicular between Pera and Galata, which opened for public use in 1874.
When all the horses in the city were sent to the Balkan War in 1914, it became essential to implement an electrified tram, which was up and running by 1928 on the Anatolian side of town until 1966. The tramline was subsequently implemented on the European side, running during the 1950s until 1961. In 1926, Istanbul began bus service, which became the mainstay of commuters, as it still is today.
In 1992, the city began construction of the underground rail system, with the first lines opening in 2000. Called the LRT, or light rail transit system, you can now get to and fro almost anywhere in the city, with 162 stations connecting the districts on both the European and Asian side. Recently two new lines were created at Yenikapi station, with the Marmaray line now connecting to the M2, allowing you to travel from Sishane near Tünel Square all the way to Beyoglu across Golden Horn. Cable cars called teleferik also take you to Beyoglu.
The underground metro runs from around 6 am to past midnight, depending on the line. You can get your tokens at the Jentonmatik machines or at kiosks, bus stops, ferry docking areas, or purchase an Istanbulkart pass, which you can fill up as you need to in order to cover all types of transit fares. Additionally, you can purchase an electronic fare card where you buy a set number of trips from Biletmatik machines around town. Children under seven ride for free.
To and From the Airport
Istanbul’s public transportation system makes it easy to come into the city from Atatürk International Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on the Asian side. Simply enquire at the airport information desk when you arrive, or let us know in advance and we will direct you accordingly so that you can arrive here hassle-free.
Hotel Büyük Keban is centrally-located and quite close to the Sehzade, Laleli, Sehzadebasi, and Aksaray tram stations. Let our excellent concierge service help you understand our transit system and map out your daily plan so that you can make the most out of your visit to Istanbul. To learn more or to book a room, please contact us today!