Landing late afternoon in mid-July at IST from Seattle. Appreciate hearing ideas on transfer to hotel in the Sultenahmet. Anyone taken the new M11 train? Thanks!
I think that the M11 to Taksim doesn't open until late April -- the intermediate stops are open now. They keep pushing the date back. However, it ought to be open by July. (Please double check the opening date. When I was making reservations several months ago for a one night stay in Istanbul in late April, I was not confident that the M11 would be open all the way.)
Once the M11 is open all the way, though, it will almost certainly be the best way to get into the city center. It's a long drive from IST to the city. Taxis and private transfers are expensive, and the traffic in the city makes the trip agonizingly slow. In the past I have always booked private transfers through the hotel, but I am definitely switching to the metro when it becomes available.
This is great news. I’ll be making that transfer - IST to Sultanahmet - in October. The hotel offers transportation for $60. Research suggests the same as stated above regarding traffic congestion. I’m excited about the possibility of rail service. Thanks for the heads up. Back in 2009 it was a congestion free and scenic ride from Ataturk international airport..
Gayreteppe is the station to watch for on the M11. You will still have to transfer to the M2 line to get to Taksim or Vezneciler, and you will have to transfer again to get to the T1 tram. Still, it's going to be really nice to have a convenient transit option.
The M11 metro line running from IST Airport to central Istanbul has been open since January 22.
The M11 Metro line ends at the Gayrettepe Metro Station where you can transfer to the M2 line and be at Taksim Square after just 3 stations.
Everything I am reading -- Istanbul Airport site, Wikipedia, Istanbul transit site -- says that the M11 is only open to Kâğıthane now and the final stop at Gayrettepe is scheduled to open at the end of April. Maybe I am wrong. One way or another, I would double check before making plans.
Hi Marie, Thank you for pointing that out because you are absolutely correct. Wow! I have a bit of editing to do.
For the remaining weeks then, at Kagithane riders can transfer to the M7 Metro line which goes to the KABATAS transit stop. At KABATAS you can transfer to the Funicular F1 for TAKSIM SQUARE or take TRAM 1 (T1) and cross over the spectacular Galata Bridge to SULTANAHMET and other stops where most of Istanbul’s Top 10 attractions are located.
The amazing thing about the M11 line is that it looks like the ride all the way from IST airport into central Istanbul will cost all of $1.50 in Turkish Lira.
That’s even less than the Havaist Airport buses.
HavaIST bus is very convenient, in case you want to consider.
From airport HavaIST bus will take you to Aksaray (I paid 87 Liras ~ $5 on March 1) and from there you take T1 tram to Sultanahmet station or Cemberlitas.
Elsewhere on this site (Greece forum) we found a lot of recommendations for Welcome Pickups. We used them for airport transfers to/from Sultanahmet / IST and it worked great. https://www.welcomepickups.com/istanbul/.