Istanbul Tram Questions

This question regards the tram on the Golden Horn. Some streets seem closed to car traffic? True? Is the tram noisy? Would there a noise issue staying in hotels that are near the tram. Secondly, it hasn't been clearly stated but can you only get on the tram at Stations? And can you get off between stations? Thanks.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

The tram is not noisy. Yes, the tram is kind of like a subway above ground. It only stops for passengers at stations; you can't get off between them, as the doors don't open.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Hi DH,
The tram stops are so close together in the old city, you wouldn't even need to get off mid-stop (even if you could). The tram does make some noise (nothing out of the ordinary - sounds like what a tram normally sounds like) and it runs until about midnight, so if you're sensitive, ask for a room not facing the street (the downside is you may have an unenvious view). With respect to your other post, I think Sirkeci may appear overlooked just because there are so many options that are literally within 5 min of Topkapi and Blue Mosque, many on sidestreets away from the main street where the tram runs. I stayed for 2 weeks in a suite/apartment type arrangement (with little kitchen, etc) in a neighborhood called Kardiga which had a very local feel (except for the encroachment of tourist hotels into a primarily residential neighborhood).

Posted by David
Lunenburg County, Nva Scotia, Canada
5 posts

Hi SA! If the question is supposed to mean, should you avoid tram streets in seeking a hotel, the answer is no. On the contrary, the tram will greatly help your getting around. In the old city, known as the Sultan Ahmed quarter, most hotels (but not all) are located on side streets to begin with. Most first time visitors would want to stay in Sultan Ahmed or one of the other neighborhoods within walking distance of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Unless you're coming to Istanbul on business, you probably would not want to end up in the modern Taksim Square area, which has most of the big international hotels but little of the charm and the antiquity that you're coming to see. In Sultan Ahmed, most hotels are more or less peaceful at night, or at least as quiet as you can get for a huge city. Heavy auto traffic is routed away form the old city, to Taksim Square and the freeways to Asia. The tram will help you get to the Dolmabahce Palace from the Sultan Ahmed hotels, for instance. Or from the Blue Mosque to the Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn. And they're modern and very quiet as far as trams go. David

Posted by DH
San Antonio, TX, USA
67 posts

Thanks for the insight into Instanbul's Old City trams. DH

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2608 posts

I stayed right by the tram stop at the Old City Viva Hotel and I never noticed the noise from it. However you will be hearing the 'call to prayer' if you leave your windows open. For me, it was actually quite soothing. As far as the tram I did it once and if you are the least bit claustrophobic or like your personal space it might not be enjoyable. I could not wait to for the doors to open and learned to love the long walks to get from place to place :) Istanbul is beautiful and I loved it.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
186 posts

Ha, ha, ha. You all are too clever. The tram is great for a longer distance. Say from Aya Sofia to somewhere across the Golden Horn (HaliƧ). As for personal space. My wife and I rode the Friday night rush hour trip from the Spice Market toward Taksim. It took three attempts, three trains, before we were swept into a carriage. My wife had never been to a rock concert, where the crush picks you up, so it was just one more new experience for her. a no need to think about having your pocket picked. no ones arm could move. But the Trams are, modern, and quiet, efficient and heavily used. If you are thinking of riding quite a bit make sure to buy an InstanbulKart. The card is a few Lira and then you can charge them up. It saves a lot of hassle over buying individual tickets and you get a hefty discount compared to individual tickets. The InstanbulKart is good for most, if not all regular transport ferries, the metros, buses, and both funicular. All at discount with card use. We are inIstanbul right now and used our card today for the ferry, buses, and the antique trolley in Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city. Wayne iNWI