The most popular vehicles for public transportation in Istanbul are metro, marmaray, tram and ferry. Thanks to these vehicles, it is possible to travel from one end of Istanbul to the other. However, as the public transport system in Istanbul is constantly expanding, the Istanbul Metro Map also needs to be constantly updated.
Istanbul public transport map is updated every year by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In this article, you can find the metro and tram maps prepared for the year 2021 with details. You can view these maps as printable PDF files and download them to your computer for free.
In this blog post, I will try to introduce public transportation in Istanbul to those who come to visit the city. I will also share insider tips about getting around in Istanbul. Based on the explanations I made in the article, you can predict how you will reach the places you will visit in Istanbul.
Istanbul Public Transport Map 2021
Istanbul public transportation map shows us that transportation vehicles such as metro, tram, marmaray and metrobus reach the outskirts of the city. Among these, the maps we will work on the most will be the metro and tram maps of Istanbul. Because it is possible to reach most of the tourist attractions in Istanbul by metro and tram.
There are hundreds of neighborhoods within the stops of the metro and tram. However, we will focus on the most important places such as Taksim and Sultanahmet and their surroundings. While giving tips on how to use public transportation in Istanbul, we will look at the city through the eyes of a tourist who wants to see historical places and shop.
1. Istanbul Metro Map 2021
Lines on the Istanbul metro map provide a very effective transportation opportunity for tourists visiting the city. The easiest way to reach historical places and shopping centers without worrying about traffic in Istanbul is of course using the metro.
When you check the Istanbul public transport map, you will see that the subway is spread over a limited area. However, when supported by Tram, Funicular and Marmaray, it provides easy access to touristic places such as Sultanahmet, Taksim, Sisli, Uskudar and Kadikoy.
Metro Map of Istanbul as PDF File
You can download the metro map of Istanbul as a printable PDF file from this link. This map has been prepared by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and is free to download. The following lines have detailed descriptions of all the lines you will see on this metro map.
It should be noted that the map above contains only Metro lines. You can download the public transportation map of Istanbul including all the rail systems as a printable PDF file here.
M1a Yenikapı – Atatürk Airport Line
M1a Yenikapı – Atatürk Airport line was a very important metro line for tourists in the past. It provided the connection between Ataturk Airport and Sultanahmet and Taksim. It was possible to reach Taksim Square by transferring from the airport by metro, tram and funicular.
Although the M1a metro line is not used as much as before, it is important in terms of providing access to the hotels in the old airport area.
There are still many 5-star hotels in districts such as Yesilkoy, Bakirkoy and Atakoy. The M1a line, which provides access to these hotels and the shopping centers around them, starts from Yenikapi, the rail transport center on the European Side.
M2 Yenikapı – Hacıosman Metro Line
M2 Yenikapı – Hacıosman metro line is the most used metro line in Istanbul. This metro line starting from Yenikapi, the transport hub of the European Side, provides access to the city’s most important business centers such as Taksim, Levent and Maslak.
M2 metro line is the most used metro line by local or foreign tourists visiting the city. Because the best shopping malls in Istanbul such as Cevahir, Kanyon and IstinyePark are located on this line. As can be seen on the Istanbul metro map, M2 draws a straight line from the south to the north.
M3 Kirazlı – Olimpiyat – Başakşehir Line
M3 Kirazlı – Olimpiyat – Başakşehir metro line provides transportation to Basaksehir, one of the important suburbs of Istanbul. Although this metro line is widely used by Istanbulites, it is not very important for tourists.
However, if you want to go to Mall of Istanbul, one of the biggest shopping centers in Istanbul, this metro line may be useful for you. If you take the metro from Bagcilar, which is the last stop of the T1 Tram Line, you can get off at Ikitelli Sanayi Stop and take the shuttles to the Mall of Istanbul.
This metro line also provides access to the Olympic Stadium, which is the biggest football stadium in Istanbul. You may need to use this subway line, as international football cup finals are sometimes played here. For example, the Champions League final between Liverpool and Milan was played here.
M4 Kadıköy – Tavşantepe Metro Line
M4 Kadıköy – Tavşantepe metro line is the most important transportation vehicle located on the Asian Side of Istanbul. M4, which provides transport from one end of the Asian Side to the other, ends at Tavsantepe, which is very close to Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
You can reach Kadikoy via Marmaray from Beyazit, Sultanahmet and Sirkeci, which are popular areas to stay in Istanbul. Those who stay around Beyazit and Laleli can get on Marmaray from Yenikapi. On the other hand, those who stay in places such as Sultanahmet, Sirkeci and Eminonu can also go to the Asian Side by Marmaray from Sirkeci Marmaray Station.
When you come to the Ayrilik Cesmesi station via Marmaray, you will have two options. First one is to go in the direction of Kadikoy and reach the center of Kadikoy. The second one is to continue in the direction of Tavsantepe and head towards the interior of the Asian Side.
If you want to visit the shopping malls of the Asian Side, the second option would be more useful. Because popular malls such as Akasya, Optimum, Palladium, Piazza and Neomarin are located on the M4 metro line.
M5 Üsküdar – Çekmeköy Metro Line
The M5 Üsküdar – Çekmeköy metro line, like the M3 we mentioned above, is a line mainly used by Istanbulites. There are no tourist spots on this line.
However, it is possible to reach Capitol, one of the oldest shopping malls in Istanbul, via this line. Located in Altunizade, Capitol offers options such as cinema, local food and shopping.
In addition, there are many business hotels in Umraniye, which can be reached by the M5 metro line. Some of the meetings of domestic and foreign companies take place at the hotels on this line.
M6 Levent – Boğaziçi Hisarüstü Metro Line
M6 Levent – Boğaziçi Hisarüstü metro line functions as an extension of M2, the most important metro line in Istanbul. Those who come to Levent via M2 can transfer to M6 and reach Etiler district or Bogazici University.
Bogazici University is one of the most established universities in Istanbul. The university, which has a campus overlooking the unique view of the Bosphorus, was established as Robert College in the last period of the Ottoman Empire.
Etiler, which you can reach via the M6 metro line, is one of the most luxurious districts of Istanbul. Akmerkez, one of the best shopping malls in Istanbul, is also located in Etiler. In addition, Nusr-et and Papermoon, which are among the best restaurants in Istanbul, are also located in this district.
If you are going to use this line, it would be good to check the transfer point on the Istanbul metro map. It can be confusing to those who visit Istanbul for the first time.
M7 Mecidiyeköy – Mahmutbey Metro Line
M7 Mecidiyeköy – Mahmutbey metro line starts from Mecidiyekoy, where the business centers of Istanbul are located. This metro line, which runs from Mecidiyekoy into the interior of the European Side, takes you to Mahmutbey, the city’s western exit.
There are no historical and touristic spots on this line. However, the districts with the largest suburbs of the city can be reached by this metro line. In addition, some of Istanbul’s big business hotels are also on this line.
2. Istanbul Tram Map 2021
There are three important lines on the Istanbul tram map. The T1 line stands out among the tram lines that connect Istanbul’s most important tourist attractions. Because, thanks to T1, it is possible to provide cheap transportation between Taksim and Sultanahmet, which are the most popular tourist spots in Istanbul.
Tram is the most effective means of transportation, although it takes little place on public transport map of Istanbul. There are dozens of stops on the Tram T1 line. However, we will only talk about stops that may attract the attention of tourists visiting the city. Please note that the stops I mentioned are not adjacent to each other.
Tram Map of Istanbul as PDF File
You can download the tram map of Istanbul as a printable PDF file from this link. This map has been prepared by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and is free to download. The following lines have detailed descriptions of all the lines you will see on this tram map.
T1 Kabataş – Bağcılar Tram Line
T1 Kabataş – Bağcılar tram line starts from Bagcilar, one of the most crowded suburbs of the city. However, the most important stops for tourists are seen as the tram approaches Kabatas direction. Let’s start talking about Istanbul T1 tram stations with Haseki Tram Stop.
Haseki Tram Station
There are centuries-old bazaars, streets and public markets for shopping in Istanbul Old City. In contrast, there are only a few modern shopping centers. Historia Shopping Mall stands out as the most important option for those looking for a shopping mall close to Sultanahmet. If you get off at the Haseki Tram Station, you can reach Historia with a short walk.
Aksaray Tram Station
If you get off at Aksaray Tram Station, you can reach Yenikapi, the most important metro connection point of the city. For example, you can go to the Asian Side from Yenikapi with Marmaray. Or, you can reach business and shopping centers such as Taksim, Sisli, Levent and Maslak by M2 Metro from Yenikapi.
Laleli and Beyazit Tram Stations
If you get off at the Beyazit tram station, you can go to the Grand Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s most important tourist destinations. In addition, there are hotels with the largest rooms in Istanbul Old City in Beyazit and the previous station, Laleli. Rooms suitable for family stay in Istanbul Old City can be found in these hotels.
Sultanahmet Tram Station
You can reach the most important historical monuments of Istanbul such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace by getting off at the Sultanahmet Tram Station. For this reason, Sultanahmet Station is the most important point on the Istanbul Tram Map.
Sirkeci and Eminonu Tram Stations
If you get off at Sirkeci, you can transfer to Marmaray. Marmaray is the easiest way to get to Istanbul’s Asian Side. But of course this is not the only option. If you get off at the next stop, Eminonu, you can reach Kadikoy, the most beautiful district on the Asian side, by ferry. Eminonu Tram Stop is also very close to the Spice Bazaar.
Karakoy Tram Station
Galata Bridge connects Eminonu in Old Town and Karakoy in Beyoglu. The tram crosses this bridge and leaves the Historic Peninsula and carries you to Modern Istanbul. Karakoy is one of the crossroads of Istanbul. In addition, Galataport, the Istanbul Cruise Port, is located in Karakoy.
Kabatas Tram Station
Kabatas is the last stop of the T1 Kabatas – Bagcilar tram line. You can get off at Kabatas Tram Station and use the F1 Funicular connection. F1 will take you to Taksim Square with a single stop. When you get off at Kabatas, Besiktas FC’s Vodafone Arena Stadium and Dolmabahce Palace are a 10-minute walk away.
As Kabatas is a public transportation hub, it offers many options. Among these, there is also a connection to M2 metro via F1 Funicular. I suggest you check the Istanbul Metro Map as it can be confusing for those who visit this city for the first time.
T2 Taksim – Tünel Tram Line
T2 Taksim – Tünel tram line connects Taksim Square and Tunnel Square. The 1.5-kilometer road between the two squares is known as Istiklal Street.
In fact, instead of using this tram, you need to explore Istanbul’s most important walking and shopping street. The passengers actually use the tram not to cover this distance, but to experience a nostalgia dating back to the 1800s.
T3 Kadıköy – Moda Tram Line
T3 Kadıköy – Moda tram line promises a nostalgic tram experience just like the previous T2. However, it can be beneficial for those who do not want to walk the sloping streets leading from Kadikoy to Moda. After visiting Kadikoy Fish Market and its surroundings, you can take this tram and have a nice coffee break in Moda district.
F1 Taksim – Kabatas Funicular Line
F1 Taksim – Kabatas funicular line is not actually in the tram category. However, there is an important reason for placing it under this title. The T1 Tram Line, departing from Sultanahmet and arriving at Kabatas, connects to Taksim Square through the F1 transfer.
The two most visited places for tourists visiting the city are Sultanahmet and Taksim Square. For this reason, we can say that the easiest way to go from Sultanahmet to Taksim is to reach Kabatas first with the T1 and then to Taksim Square with F1.
3. Istanbul Marmaray Map 2021
You can see Marmaray’s route from the yellow line on the Istanbul Marmaray Map. Starting from Gebze at the eastern end of Istanbul, the Marmaray line continues along the Marmara coast of the city and ends at Halkali, the western end.
Marmaray is a means of transportation blended with the old train lines of the city. For this reason, it has dozens of stops. Since we take the touristic centers as reference in the Istanbul public transport map article, we will only talk about the stations of Marmaray between the Ayrilik Cesmesi (Kadikoy) and Yenikapi.
In the past, ferry was the most guaranteed way to travel between the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. Because when you used the bus, you could never be sure how long it would take to cross the bridge.
With Metrobus and Marmaray added to public transportation in Istanbul, it became easier to travel between two sides. For example, with Marmaray, you can go from Sirkeci (Old City) to Uskudar in just 4 minutes or to Kadikoy in 8 minutes.
Tourists who visit the city mainly stay in Taksim and Sultanahmet. For someone staying around Sultanahmet, the closest Marmaray stop is in Sirkeci. Those coming from Taksim can come to Yenikapi by M2 Metro and connect to Marmaray and then cross to the Asian Side. You can see the details about this connection on the Istanbul Metro Map.
You can download the Marmaray map of Istanbul as a printable PDF file from this link.
4. Istanbul Metrobus Map 2021
You can see the route of Metrobus from the light brown line on the Istanbul Metrobus Map. The Metrobus line, starting from Sogutlucesme on the Asian Side, crosses the bridge and continues to Beylikduzu, one of the farthest points of the European Side.
There is no historical place in Beylikduzu that tourists visiting the city can see. However, as Istanbul’s biggest exhibition centers are there, Metrobus may be useful for some tourists. Beylikduzu sometimes hosts international tourism, food and book fairs.
In addition, the most important feature of Metrobus will be that it provides fast access to the Asian Side from places such as Mecidiyekoy and Zincirlikuyu.
There are many hotels in districts of Istanbul such as Mecidiyekoy, Sisli, Levent and Maslak. Those who stay there normally need to reach Besiktas or Taksim first to get to Asian Side. However, Metrobus bypasses this old route and quickly takes passengers to Kadikoy.
The biggest problem with metrobus is the crowd at rush hours. It is quite difficult to use Metrobus between 7 and 10 in the morning and between 5 and 8 in the evening. However, it can be very beneficial to use Metrobus outside of these busy hours.
You can download the metrobus map of Istanbul as a printable PDF file from here.
5. Istanbul Ferry Map 2021
Istanbul Ferry Map contains the most attractive historical and touristic spots in the city. The ferry, which provides transportation between districts such as Eminonu, Karakoy, Besiktas, Uskudar and Kadikoy, promises a nostalgic journey to its passengers.
As I mentioned above, the most used public transport between the two sides of Istanbul had been the ferry. Ferries run year-round and will not disappoint unless there is excessive fog.
You never knew how long it would take you to get to the Asian Side by bus over the bridge. However, you knew that by ferry, you would reach Kadikoy or Uskudar in 20-25 minutes at the latest.
Over time, the fast travel provided by Marmaray and Metrobus caused the ferry to be forgotten. Today, as Istanbulites, we use the ferry only for the Bosphorus cruise.
However, for tourists, ferry is still the best way to go from Europe to Asia by taking photos in Istanbul. This nostalgic journey, accompanied by seagulls over ferries, is among the top things to do in Istanbul.
Ferry Piers in Istanbul’s Historical Districts
Istanbul’s Ferry Piers are generally located in historical districts. Eminonu, Karakoy, Besiktas, Uskudar and Kadikoy districts are also places where you can find the best street food in Istanbul.
The ferry piers on the map are 1) Turyol Bosphorus Cruise, 2) Sehir Hatlari Bosphorus Cruise, 3) Eminonu-Kadikoy (and Uskudar), 4) Karakoy-Kadikoy, 5) Dentur Bosphorus Cruise, 6) Besiktas-Kadikoy (and Uskudar), 7) Uskudar-Eminonu, 8) Kadikoy-Eminonu.
It should also be noted that there are ferries departing from Eminonu and Besiktas piers to both Kadikoy and Uskudar (districts on the Asian Side). Since they are side by side, I did not see the need to number them separately.
You can download the ferry map of Istanbul as a printable PDF format from this link.
I hope this article, in which I present tram and metro maps of Istanbul, will be useful to you. However useful these maps are, they do not make a comparison between the districts of Istanbul. All neighborhoods, interesting or not, are marked as a small dot.
If you want to get a better understanding of the tourist attractions in the city, you can also review my article titled Istanbul Tourist Attraction Maps. The information there will allow you to make a plan about places to visit in Istanbul.
Istanbul Public Transport Map Explained by Serhat Engul