Istanbulkart for entering Public Transportation in Istanbul

How To Get Istanbul Kart?

How To Get Istanbul Kart?

Istanbul has developed and integrated public transportation facilities that provide convenience for visitors who are eager to discover the city. Like most of the European cities, Istanbul has its own card, called Istanbulkart, that you can use in any vehicle such as the metro, metrobus, tram, buses, or even in public ferries of Istanbul. It is saddening to let you know that there are no day or week passes unlike the major touristic towns, however, it is still utile to get one of them to benefit from the discounted rates for transportation. We will try to summarize how to get an Istanbul kart and use it in the most proper way.


Firstly, to have the advantage, every single person has to have a separate card. The reason is, you will have to get from one vehicle to another and if you have an Istanbul kart you can take the following vehicles much cheaper. When you have only one card, the first transfer is charged with a discount but not the rest of the passengers as they will be charged fully.


Therefore, we will get an Istanbul card from any point of sales such as a kiosk on which Istanbul kart is written, a guiche by the bus terminals, or automated machines where you can also top your Istanbul cardĀ up. These machines are everywhere in the city, especially located by the major bus stops, metro stations, or ferry piers. You will definitely need some local currency as the machines and the yellow kiosks would not take credit cards or foreign currencies.

Public Transportation in Istanbul A crowded bus

Istanbul Kart is available for public buses


How to top it up?

If you have no money left in your Istanbul kart, you have to top it up in some way. The easiest way is the machines that you could find all over. The only thing that you need to watch is to have smaller banknotes as these machines will not change any money back. The other way is to look for the kiosks by the bus terminals but be aware that they are not all over. There is another way to go online and register your card through the official website. Then you can top your card up with your credit card and your phone that has NFC compatibility.


Istanbulkart for entering Public Transportation in Istanbul


What if you have money left in your Istanbul kart

The vacation is getting to the end and you have some money left in your Istanbul kart. Sorry, but there is no way of getting cash by handing the card but there are some ways that you can spend your money on your card. Please do not forget that you can take the buses to head to the airport from any central location in Istanbul. You may get rid of the taxi fee and find a way to spend your money on the card this way. Or you can spend the money on the card in any major supermarkets as they have the option to pay with Istanbul kart.


Please do not forget that you also may use your Istanbulkarts during your excursions with Guided Istanbul Tours. We also arrange tours with public transportation which occasionally saves time and money. However, in terms of comfort for transportation, our team can provide a private van service with a licensed driver for your tour here in our city. Please feel free to drop us an email to ask for more detailed assistance to plan your Istanbul tour. We hope this travel article helps and we wish you a nice trip to Istanbul.


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  1. avatar
    Posted by Vita| 29/10/2022 |Reply

    How did you do to active the kart? I couldn’t. So far, the drivers let me in and the card can’t be active in the app since I don’t have a Turkish number, it doesn’t seem to work. The process seem incomplete šŸ¤”

    • avatar
      Posted by Guided Istanbul Tours| 31/10/2022 |Reply

      Hi Vita,

      What do you mean by activation, could you explain a little more? You need to buy a card and charge it. There is no activation proccess after Covid. If your phone doesn’t have NFC, you should use kiosks for charging. Please check your app again

      September 29 is a national vacation, on which transportation is free, just like on other national holidays in Turkey.

      Please feel free to contact our team to plan Guided trip in Istanbul.
      Best regards

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