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Paying for Tram in Istanbul

Staying near the Blue Mosque. Do I need to buy a card for the tram or can I pay as I go? Planning on mostly walking. I want to head down to the spice market and the streets look confusing - How is the signage?

Posted by
739 posts

I would get an IstanbulKart for the tram, even if you plan to do a lot of walking. You cannot pay as you go. You tap a a card to enter the stations. I think (maybe?) you can get single use cards at the kiosks, but the IstanbulKart is easier. The streetcars in Istanbul are really nice.

You can walk to the Spice Market from Sultanahmet. The signage is so-so, but you will get there eventually. The problem is getting back to your hotel. It will be uphill all the way.

Posted by
2017 posts

We used Rick Steves guide to the Spice Market. We did get lost but you find it eventually.

Buy the card, it saves you a lot of headache if you want to use public transport. Istanbul reminded me of SF as there are some significant hills that you may not want to walk up.

Posted by
83 posts

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I was also thinking San Fran when thinking hills therefore the question about paying for the tram.

I will buy the card thank you.

Posted by
185 posts

Definitely get the IstanbulKart. You can use it to pay for the ferry across the Bosphorus, which I highly recommend. Of course, to use it you need to load money on it. This can be done at machine kiosks pretty easily.