We flew into Istanbul's new airport. We arrived close to midnight, so we stayed at hotel actually in the hotel without ever leaving the building. It was a bit expensive but the convenience was great.
The next morning we took the H13 bus ($3.60 each) to a place near-ish the grand bizarre, then a tram to our destination. Immediately confronted by aggressive taxi drivers on foot wanting $25 to drive 2 miles. (Tram ride is 40 cents I think)
The tram was the most frustrating tram I have ever used. You buy a ticket from a machine like you would in London or Milan. It has a button for languages, but you quickly learn the buttons often don't work. Then even in English you are confronted with some confusing options. Other people are using red cards (like London Oyster cards) and topping them off but they do not seem to sell those cards from the machine. So you end up buying a card board card with 10 trips on it.
Meanwhile various Turks are trying to "help" you. They stand next to you speaking in Turkish with an occasional word of English. Then they want money. One guy I would not pay seemed to be getting a little hostile. Then a nice lady was helpful and said several times "no money" as if she did not want to be paid and was being helpful. Then at the end she did want money in the form of my buying her tram credit. She first pointed to 5 (which is about 20 cents) so I said ok, and put my credit card, then she pointed to 100 (about $5.50) and I hit the cancel button and thanked her and split.
Then we get on the tram, with luggage, and its Tokyo at 8 am. The door started closing on a few of us, and holding the tram up so it was like first and goal with the quarterback sneak just pushing your way on - then being on a hot sweating tram pressed against strangers holding your phone and security bag.