Istanbul's Tunel is one of the charms of Istanbul according to me. What makes this tunel special is that it is the second-oldest subway line in the world, after the London Underground. It is more a nostalgic flashback to the past than a common way of transportation.
The southern end of Istiklal Caddesi at Tunel Meydani (Tunnel Square) is one of the two stops of the underground train. This is what you see on the picture.
The other stop is Galata (Karakoy). This stop doesnt look as attractive as the Tunnel Square stop.
It is a very short ride. I think not more than 5 min.
As far as I remember the price is modest, only YTL 1 which is less than USD 1.
Some facts and history:
The Tunel has just one train of two steel cars with pneumatic tires, and its cruising speed is roughly 25 km/h. It is an underground funicular with only two stations, and a uphill track of approximately 573 meters. The denivalation of the two stops is about 60 meters.
The Tunel was originally conceived by the French engineer Henri Gavand in 1867. Two years later, on 6 November 1869, he received permission from the Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz to start the project.
After finding foreign funding, construction began on 30 July 1871 and ended in December 1874.
The Tunel was opened on 17 January 1875 to provide an easy ride between the two neighborhoods of Pera and Galata, both in the new district of Istanbul on the hill north of the Golden Horn. Galata and Pera are now called Karakoy, and Beyoglu, respectively.
When it opened, the Tunel was powered by horses. The line began being powered by electricity in 1910. The Tunel was nationalized in 1939 to became part of the new IETT (Ýstanbul Elektrik Tramvay ve Tunel) transportation organization.
In 1971, it was renovated and modernized, and the original wooden cars were replaced by metal ones.
- Historical Travel
The daily train from Burcharest in Romania to Istanbul is quite an experience. First, you have to dodge all the shady people in the Bucharest train station. Then you pass through Romanian border patrol, cross the Danube River and wait as the Bulgarian border patrol tries to figure out if you are a smuggler. As you wait for the train to start moving, children beg alongside men in adidas track suits who will ask if you want to change money. The rest of your day will be awfully boring as the Bulgarian landscape is not that interesting. I have passed through it six times, so I know what I'm talking about. In the middle of the night, you will be awoken by whistles as you arrive at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey. Everyone has to get out of the train on the Turkish side and buy a visa (unless you are from a select few countries which don't need one). The train will be stopped for at least an hour, maybe longer.
As you travel through western Turkey, the train will rattle back and forth. It is actually a scary experience as it seems as though the train will fall off the tracks. As nerve wrecking as this may be, try to enjoy the sunrise and the beautiful landscape. In a couple of hours, you will be at Sirkeci station for your Istanbul adventure.
- Budget Travel
Transportation in Istanbul
Istanbul is a very large city.Larger than New York,larger than Rome,Paris and London
So its very difficult for foreigners to understand the system of transportation
I just want to give you some hints to make your life easier during your stay
We have :
Funicular ( we call it tunel)
the new Funicular (Kabatas-Taksim)
systems within city transportation
and we have city boats for city transportation too
this services are organized by the municipality
Beside this transport facilities we have private :
taxis (yellow cab)
dolmus (still yellow but they help to the people which want to go to same direction and you share the cost of the transport)
I am giving you the official websites ,the second is for the boats
good luck and enjoy your stay .I hope that it was helpful )))
Explore Istanbul by local ferry
One of the nicest and cheapest ways to explore Istanbul is by local ferry. Although the variety of ships and companies might look a bit confusing, it is still a very simple way to see the city.
The most frequented ferry terminals on the European side of Istanbul are near Eminönü and Karaköy on both sides of the Galata Bridge. From here the ferries set sail for the Asian side of the city, where Üsküdar and Kadiköy are the main stops.
My recommendation for an interesting ferry stop is Haydarpasa on the Asian side. Here a massive early 20th century train station can be found.
Most boats on the inner city lines seem to be traditional passenger ferries, which are operated by the Sehir Hatlari company. On the route from Kadiköy to Kabatas I once was lucky enough to find myself on a modern seabus of the IDO (Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri) company.
In December 2012 the cash fare for Istanbul’s inner city ferry routes was 3 TYR. For this money a token (Jeton) had to be bought from the automatic machines to open the turnstiles to the ferry piers.
Operating times of the ferries seem to start in the early morning hours and end at 23:00 h at the latest.
- Budget Travel
Explore Istanbul by tram or bus
I must admit that I found the ticketing system of Istanbul’s trams and buses quite confusing, although public transportation was generally easy to use.
For me it looked like that there are different companies operating the buses, trams and metro. Also, what I would call a tram network sometimes seems to be referred to as metro or light rail.
Most of the trams can be used with a jeton (token), which gives you access to the tram platform via a turnstile. The token can be bought from automatic machines for 3 TYR (December 2012) at the tram stops.
For the local buses I used an electonic ticket with a fixed number of journeys, e.g. one journey for 4 TYR, 2 journeys for 7 TYR and 3 journeys for 10 TYR. Sometimes this ticket could even be used for the trams.
Tickets can’t be bought from the driver. So if you plan to use public transportation extensively, it probably makes sense to buy a few journeys as electronic ticket from a kiosk. Also some small change might be helpful to spontaneously buy tokens (jetons) from automatic machines.
- Budget Travel
To Istanbul Atatürk airport by Light Rail M1
Istanbul's Atatürk airport can conveniently be reached by the Light Rail line M1 (Hafif Metro). The line exists since September 1989 and nowadays connects the airport (Havalimani) with Aksaray in Istanbul's Fatih district on the European side of the city.
The Light Rail M1 has two interchange stations with the tramway line T1, which serves a route to the touristic districts on both sides of the Golden Horn (e.g. Sultanahmet and Sirkeci).
To get access to the Light Rail M1 a token (Jeton) has to be bought. In December 2012 it cost 3 TYR at automatic machines at the stations.
- Budget Travel
Public transport of Istanbul city
Istanbul has 2 big part.One is the Asian side and the other is european side.We live on two continents.I travel every day from asian side to european side.my home in Asian side my work in European side.
So about 15milion people are living in Istanbul that means lots of traffic and wasting lots of time.
I suggest you to use sea and trains and metro-ligth metro or tram.Keep away from the Bus and Taxis.Taxi is cheaper than the other big cities of the world but to much time you will loose in the traffic.In the old city (sultanahmet area)use your feet.
Best thing is walk.For to reach other parts of the istanbul use the other transportation vehicles.
I give you all transport links of the istanbul.
Sea lines(Fast ferry and public boats) www.ido.com.tr
Train (Suburbian trains) www.tcdd.gov.tr
Public bus www.iett.gov.tr
All those weblinks have english pages.
On this page at the contact line you can see the istanbul metropolitan municipality web page.
also you can get more transport info from that page.
Akbil is the way to go
I've found the transport system in Istanbul efficient and reliable. The whole system - the metro/LRT, tram, train, buses, ferries and even the cable car at Eyup - are all integrated into single, seamless network that is so friendly to use even for first timers. To access all these, all you need is an Akbil, some sort of an electronic chip (akin to batteries; pictured here).
Except for the language problem that I encountered when I bought my first (and only) Akbil at the Zeytinburnu metro station, everything else went fine. Got a YTL 20 load plus another reload of YTL 20 and it was more than enough to take me around the city for a week going to Eyup, Prince's Islands, Taksim, etc.
Akbils can be easily purchased and reloaded from tram and metro stations.
- Budget Travel
Explore Istanbul by Tünel
The Tünel (Tunnel) is a sort of underground funicular, which links the northern end of the Galata Bridge (Karaköy) with the southern end of the busy Istiklal Caddesi shopping street in Beyoglu.
The almost 600 m long route was inaugurated in 1875. It is said to be the second-oldest underground railway system (after London Underground).
Probably unlike most others, I used the Tünel downwards, although the more helpful direction is updwards.
If I got it right, then both tokens (jetons) and electronic tickets can be used for the Tünel. For more info about these tickets please read my “Explore Istanbul by tram or bus” tip.
- Budget Travel
Crossing over from Europe to Asia is fast and simple. Head over to the Eminonu ferry terminals. Each building has the name of the destination on it. Buy a token from the sales desk and then put the token in the appropriate slot before going through the turnstile. If there is not a boat already there, you will be waiting for about five to 10 minutes. While on the boat, you can purchase drinks or candy from the onboard snack shop. There are also men in sailor costumes who walk around selling tea. Prices are reasonable.
Buses in Istanbul
A busride in Istanbul costs 1 000 000 TL. You buy the ticket from a ticket-booth just next to the buses or you can pay on the bus.
Bus T4 is going between Sultanahmet and Taksim. From Taksim and Eminönü buses are going to places all over Istanbul. If you don't know the busnumber you can always ask in the ticket-booth. If you don't speek Turkish it can be good with a paper and pen so you can have the numbers written down for you.
To Istanbul Atatürk Airport by plane
Istanbul has two international airports: Atatürk Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökcen Airport on the Asian side of the city.
I arrived and departed from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport with flights from/to Duesseldorf (Germany) operated by Turkish Airlines.
Istanbul's Atatürk airport is located about 24 km west of the city centre. On arrival I was collected by a shuttle of the hotel. On return I took the M1 Light Rail Service to get to the airport. Please read my "To Istanbul's Atatürk Airport by Metro M1" tip for more information.
Atatürk Airport is one of Europe's busiests airports, so I was quite surprised about the inefficient way passengers were handled.
There were very long queues at the entrance of the terminal building where an additional safety control had to be passed, as well as at the check-in and especially at the passport and safety control to the gates. So I can only recommend to plan plenty of time when departing from the airport.
- Budget Travel
About Public Transport and AKBIL
I have checked IETT english page ,They just translated it from Turkish to English.So when you read it, you thought you can buy seasonal or weekly or monthly akbil.In practice it s not possible cause IETT do not give monthly or weekly or seasonal akbil if you do not have a poloroid size photo and some documents but I do not know exactly.Weekly or seasonal or mothnly akbil just for blue akbil .Blue akbil is for the Istanbullers and look like an ID card and there is big battery (akbil)stikec on it.This is not for tourists.
You buy straigth akbil like me I do not use extra discounted public transport card.When you leave the Istanbul go back that any AKBIL SATIS GISESI and give it back and get your money back.in those office they do not speak english
say (AKBIL TOMOUMOU GHEREE VHERMACK ESTEHYOORUUM)
give the akbil tom back and get your five bucks back.
Find a Public Bus Terminal or Fast Ferry Terminal or Public Boat Terminal or Subway Terminal or Ligth Rail Terminal or Tramway Terminal shortly any puclib transport vehicle station you can find an office write on "AKBIL SATIS GISESI"
you can ask for "akbil tom" (that plastic thing a battery sticked top of the lead)I do not how much does it cost now but I guess it s cost about 7,00YTL (5,00US$) this is for akbil tom and you need to fill it and pay 10,00YTL (8,00US$) for to travel by puplic transport.
When you get on a public bus use your akbil it cost you 1,25 ytl and if you get off and get on another bus in 1 hour you pay 0,60 ytl for second journey third journey 0,60 fourth 0,60
fifth 0,60 ytl in 1 hour.
But if you travel between 2 continent for example from an europen side town Taksim to Asian side town Bostanci you pay 1,60US$ cause you cross the bridge and it s charge passing fee from the every vehicle who pass from the bridge.
Do not forget Fast Ferry take lots of money from your akbil than the other public transportation vehicles.
From Ataturk to Your Hotel
To get from Ataturk Airport to your hotel by public transportation, try this: Leave the airport and go directly across the street to the parking garage (“otopark”). Look for the elevator with the sign "Hafif Metro" (light rail). It will take you down to the train station. Buy a token (jeton) at the booth (1.2 YTL, if I remember correctly). Go through the turnstile and board the metro for Aksaray - but get out at Zeytinburnu, the 6th stop. From there take a taxi to your hotel (the meter starts at 1.3 YTL).
At this point, we actually transferred to the "tramway" (pronounced “tram-vi” with a long “I” sound), after going down a flight of steps and buying another jeton, but finding our hotel at night on a little side street turned out to be too confusing. We wandered around for quite a while until we found it, and by that time we were exhausted. So a taxi is your best bet, at least until you figure out where your hotel is in relation to things. Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter. From Zeytinburnu, the ride is much less expensive than from the airport.
- Historical Travel
Akbil is short for "akilli bilet" or 'clever ticket'. It is a small plastic thing with a metal round bit that slots into machines on public transport, acting a bit like a swipe card. the plastic bit conveniently attaches to a keyring, so you can keep it handy.
Akbil can be bought at certain I.E.T.T booths around the city (where you can but bus tickets too). There are different types of Akbil...one which you buy and top up when necessary; one which gives you free travel for a week; one which gives unlimited travel for one day, two days, etc... If you plan on staying a while in istanbul, it makes sense to buy a standard Akbil, as it gives you discounts on all public transport. For example, a ticket on my bus cost me 1.4 YTL, but using Akbil only 1YTL. Once you have used up all the money on your Akbil, you can top it up at any I.E.T.T office with an amount of your choice.
You can use Akbil on buses, trams, the metro and on ferries. As well as saving you money, it saves you time too....you don't have to queue for tickets, just click your Akbil in the machine and away you go!
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