Istanbulkart, also known as Istanbul travel pass, is a contactless electronic card that is used in public transportation in Istanbul. It is well worth it, if you want to travel within Istanbul a lot. Istanbul travel card, Istanbulkart, will reduce your transportation costs immensely.
As of 2017, Istanbulkart is 6 TL. You can buy it at both of the airports. In Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST), you can get the card at the metro station (just follow metro signs in the airport). In Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), you can buy your metro card from the kiosk across the street from the domestic flights exit of the terminal. If you want to have an extensive information about Istanbul airport transfer, you can read our article about the transfers from/to Istanbul airports here.
As a side note, you might see "Akbil" signs on the stores. Akbil is the older version of Istanbulkart, and it is not sold anymore. What the vendors really mean is Istanbulkart. Some people just use the term “akbil” instead of Istanbulkart due to old habits.
After buying your card, you need to load credit into it. HAVABUS (HAVAS/HAVATAS formerly) airport shuttles also accept Istanbulkart besides cash but you cannot pay cash in public transportation. You need to either have Istanbulkart or electronic tickets, but Istanbulkart brings more value for your money than electronic tickets. With Istanbulkart, you can transfer to other public transportation vehicles at discounted rates. In order to benefit the reduced transfer fares, you should switch the transport vehicle within 2 hours.
Istanbulkart and electronic tickets are also sold at automatic vending machines, ticketmatics, IETT counters, kiosks/private vendors throughout the city at several locations (approximately 2100). Just watch Istanbulkart sign, then you can buy and refill your card easily from those point of sales.
Ticket price for the first trip is 2.30 TL as of 2017 for metro/tram, funicular and Marmaray. But other vehicles like Metrobus, ferry lines might have a different rate than 2.30 TL. Ticket prices for them will be given below:
IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel) is the establishment that coordinates public transportation in Istanbul and is under the supervision of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
IETT Public Transportation Fare 2017
|Initial ride||2.30 TL|
|1st Transfer||1.65 TL|
|2nd Transfer||1.25 TL|
|3rd Transfer||0.85 TL|
|4th Transfer||0.85 TL|
|5th Transfer||0.85 TL|
IETT Electronic Ticket Fare 2017
|Single Ticket||4.00 TL|
|Two-pass Ticket||7.00 TL|
|Three-pass Ticket||10.00 TL|
|Five-pass Ticket||15.00 TL|
|Ten-pass Ticket||30.00 TL|
IETT Metrobus Fare 2017
|1-3 stops||1.80 TL|
|4-9 stops||2.80 TL|
|10-15 stops||3.00 TL|
|16-21 stops||3.15 TL|
|22-27 stops||3.25 TL|
|28-33 stops||3.40 TL|
|34-39 stops||3.55 TL|
|40+ stops||3.55 TL|
TCDD Marmaray Fare 2017
|Initial ride||2.30 TL|
|1st transfer||1.75 TL|
|2nd transfer||1.60 TL|
|3th-5th transfer||1.40 TL|
Some Notes About Metrobus
There is no discount for transfers from other public transportation vehicles to Metrobus. However, you will get discount if you transfer from Metrobus to other public transport vehicles.
Do not forget to validate your Istanbulkart on refund machines at the exit, if you are traveling with Metrobus. If you do not revalidate your card at the exit, you cannot get distance surcharge back.
Distance based fare for Metrobus is not valid between midnight and 6 am. 40+ stops ticket price is valid during that time.
Public Transportation Working hours
Metro working hours is from 6:00 to 00:00. Metrobus works 24/7. Marmaray's working hours is 06:00-00:00. Ferry lines's working hours are listed below:
Ferry lines are managed by a private company Şehir Hatları. Ticket prices might be different than IETT'S and ticket fares change depending on the route.
|Haliç Line||2.30 TL||Haliç Line|
|Bosphorus Line||2.30 TL||Bosphorus Line|
If you want to budget-travel Istanbul, Istanbulkart (Istanbul Travel Card) is a must-get card.