Istanbul - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

The metro is clean, safe, and affordable, but as the Consulate is further north, getting there via public transportation (metro) is pretty difficult. Taxis are fairly available and abundant, although at peak times can be tougher/impossible to find outside of metro stops. Taxi drivers will, about 30% of the time, refuse to take you somewhere or once you're in the taxi, refuse to take you to your final destination if traffic picks up or the driver loses interest. Uber is available but very unreliable, and the chances of your car actually showing up are a straight 50/50. Negotiating the price beforehand is a smart thing to do, but see previous comment about language barriers. I often relied on my phone to show the drivers a location, but even then at times it was difficult if I wasn't going to the Consulate or a major mall. All in all though, the metro is easy to use and taking a taxi somewhere is more or less a reliable (ish) option. - Aug 2021

Yes to all. Uber is also available here. The metro service is fairly new, but only comes within a mile of the consulate, so commuting by metro requires taking a taxi. A 10km/6mi cab ride runs about 6 dollars. Metro rides of any distance are $0.80. - Sep 2017

All are safe but the prices went up last year (everyone is in an economic pickle right about now. Baby's gotta eat!). - Oct 2010

Absolutely - you can travel from one end of Istanbul to the other for about five dollars by clean, frequently running public transportation. Taxis are more expensive and you need some Turkish and an idea of where you are going to use them eficiently but still far superior to most of what I've experienced in the rest of the world. - Jan 2010

Safe and reasonable, but public transport does NOT go everywhere - Jan 2010

Yes, taxis are fine for short trips, but it is expensive to go across town. But for $1 you can get on most buses and trains. Excellent "fare fob" devices can be pre-loaded with money to work on trains, buses, trams, ferries, and even a funicular! - Dec 2009

Trains, buses, and taxis are everywhere. Trains and buses are cheap, but taxis are expensive and the drivers have the reputation of scamming people, especially foreigners. - Dec 2009

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