How to avoid traffic in Istanbul

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Istanbul, Turkey

How to avoid traffic in Istanbul Reviews

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3 reviews
Avoid Traffic May 11, 2011
Istanbul is one of the most crowded cities in the world, and not the most organised. Thus traffic is always a huge problem. There are a lot of cabs and even though they are the main element in clogging the cities veins they are also very cheap compared to other cities. Newcomers tend to prefer taking a cab but in Istanbul traffic, it can also be a huge mistake.

There is an incredible public transportation system in Istanbul. Its cheap, you always have quite a few options and you can go from anywhere to everywhere, not just to a central point and then to you destination. So it can seem a bit intimidating at first, tram, metrobus, bus, dolmus, metro, boats... Which to take?

First, i would advise against taking a cab to the city center from the airport, as there is this awesome thing called Havaş. Just walk out of the airport gate and ask where the Havaş buses are. Last time i used they costed about 10 bucks. No need to pay 70 for a cab driver that hunts for tourists. Then a good idea would be to get an akbil. Which is a small button that you can load money into, there are akbil boots on many central places, like enterences of metrobus stations or boat docks. This will cut down on your public transportation costs considerably. Another thing is to ask for directions, and ask at least 2 people for the direction, person who gives directions sometimes gets confused.

Avoid cabs at all costs, from 8am to 11am and from 5pm to 10pm. Central areas like Beşiktaş, Şişli, Levent, Kadıköy, Bostancı are clogged and it will take twice the time to reach your destination anyway, taking a cab at these hours at these areas wont be eaiser, faster or cheaper. You should also avoid busses or dolmuses at these hours if possible. If you cant find a metro or metrobus or tram at where you are, then at least consider not paying 30 bucks for to a cab for a trip you made in 1 hour anyway, in a cab or a bus.. Check the internet for boat and bus schedules, you can get little books with schedules on them from akbil boots, or you can always ask people "which bus goes to x place" You will probably need to get on more than one transportation to reach your destination anyway, Istanbul is not a small city.

And lastly, use the boats, avoid using the bridge at all costs. Not on a bus, not on a cab, not in a friends car.. Believe me, even if you have to wait for half an hour for the boats, you ll still get there faster on a boat.

Use metrobus, metro, tram and the boats, only take a cab in the middle of the night, or in the middle of the day. Public transportation looks intimidating in Istanbul but its worth the hassle.
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geoffbones says:
Good tips, thank you.
Posted on: Jan 06, 2013
suleeong16 says:
thanks!
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012
sabahmh says:
Good detailed review ,it is helpful..
Posted on: May 22, 2011
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