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Istanbul is accessible by air, sea, rail, and road. Air transport is perhaps the most significant, but other modes of transportation may be more convenient for visitors from neighboring countries.

All participants are required to show a valid passport on entrance to Turkey. Citizens of some countries are required to obtain a visa before arrival and some may obtain it at the airport upon arrival. The most updated visa information can be received from the website of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( For further information please contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate to check the visa regulations.

By Plane

Istanbul is easily accessible from all parts of the world by more than 50 airlines. There are 2 International airports in Istanbul; Istanbul Ataturk Airport at the European side of the city and the Sabiha Gokcen Airport at the Asian side of the city.

Most major European airports are 2-6 hours away from Istanbul by plane. Istanbul can be reached from the east coast of North America in approx. 10 hours with more than 3 flights daily.

By Train

Historically international trains from across Europe used to arrive at Sirkeci station.

International trains to Sirkeci:

Daily overnight train Balkan Express from Belgrade (Serbia) via Sofia (Bulgaria).

Daily overnight Bosphorus Express from Bucharest (Romania).

By Bus

Most buses and coaches terminate at the colossal Esenler Otogar Coach Station, about 10 km west of the city center, located on the European side. Buses depart/arrive for all regions of Turkey as well as for international destinations including cities in Bulgaria, Greece, Republic of Macedonia and Romania. The terminal is huge and each company has a separate office. With 168 ticket offices and gates, shops, restaurants, hotel, police station, clinic and mosque, the Esenler Otogar Coach Station is a town in itself.

By Cruise

International ferries, carrying tourist groups are stopping at the Karakoy Port. The port is ideally located close to Sultanahmet and Taksim.

Cruise ships often dock close to downtown. Passengers not on tours will find taxis readily available at the port entrance, and modern streetcars a short walk away.

Public Transport

The public transport system in Istanbul is very variable. You can use public buses, ferries, metro buses, metros, trams and mini buses depending to the direction you want to go. There is an electronic card named Istanbul Card which you can use in all kinds of public transport except the mini buses which are only accepting cash. You can buy regular tickets and recharge your Istanbul Card at various ticket kiosks & machines at railway and metro stations and some main bus stations. Ticket fares across buses, trams and metros are at a flat rate (i.e. not dependent on how far you go). Only cash in Turkish lira is accepted at ticket kiosks of public transport, no credit cards or foreign currency. Also be aware that the Istanbul subway system does not offer transfer tickets and as such each new line requires a new fare, unless you use an Istanbul card.

Please click the link for the metro and tram network map

For more information about Istanbul Card

LookUs & Online Makale