Istanbul Card: Step-by-step Guide, price 2024


Istanbulkart (Istanbul Card) is city transport pass card and also a card which you can use to pay for many needs. For example, you can use Istanbulkart to pay in product shops an supermarkets, museum shops and some cafes, public WC’s.

Istanbulcard is Istanbul Transportation Card.

It’s absolutely worth to get an Istanbulkart while you travel in Istanbul: it will save your time, money and will make your movements around the city more comfortable. Also, it’s very easy to purchase and reload Istanbulkart, so you don’t have to waste much time for this.

So let’s find out — where to buy Istanbulkart and how to use it, what advantages it has and what are the public transport fares with Istanbulkart payment.

Istanbul City Card: the card made fore tourists

Istanbul City Card for tourists

Istanbul City Card for tourists

Here is a new card which was made especially for tourists. It’s new card that don’t need any registration and has different terms of use and limits.

There are city cards for 1-3-5-7-15 days.

During this time, the card provides unlimited access to public transport — metro, trams, metrobuses and ferries.

According to the official information, you can buy a card through the same ticket counter where the usual Istanbul Card is sold (these are places of public transport stops, piers etc.).

It also provides an opportunity to visit several museums and join a Bosphorus Tour. Among the museums that are accessible: the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan sarnıcı), Theodosius Cistern (Şerefiye sarnıcı), Miniatürk museum, Panorama 1453 museum.

The cost of the Istanbul City Card:
  • Unlimited travel for 1 day — 345 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 1 day, Museums and Bosphorus Tour — 1910 lira
  • Unlimited travel for 3 days — 680 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 3 days, Museums and Bosphorus Tour— 2245 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 5 days — 1350 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 5 days, Museums and Bosphorus Tour — 2915 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 7 days — 1,735 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 7 days, Museums and Bosphorus Tour — 3300 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 15 days — 2610 liras
  • Unlimited travel for 15 days, Museums and Bosphorus Tour — 4175 liras
  • Museums and Bosphorus Tour — 1,635 liras

What is the Istanbul Card?



If you want to speed across Istanbul using the city’s excellent public transport, then you will want to consider buying an Istanbulkart. The Istanbulkart is the most efficient way to move around the great city. It is also the cheapest way to use public transport in Istanbul.

The card is known as a budget-friendly, time-saving piece of plastic to carry in your pocket. Istanbulkart is a contactless card that allows you to swipe in and out of all public transportation methods. Whether you want to travel by bus or metro, the Istanbulkart makes it possible.

The great thing about the Istanbulkart is that it allows you to use the city’s entire public transport system. All you need is one transport card to access the various forms of Istanbul’s public transportation, making it easy to get from one destination to the next.

Where to buy an Istanbulkart?

Where to buy Istanbulkart

You can buy Istanbulkart in yellow vending machine — biletmatik

The Istanbul Card can be found at a number of places around the city of Istanbul. In fact, there are more than 2,000 places in which you can purchase the contactless card.

Istanbulkart is available to purchase from blue and yellow vending machines located inside tram, ferry, metro, funicular, and metrobus stations. You can also find Istanbulkart at kiosks situated near many of the public bus stops around Istanbul.

Travelers will also find the handy cards at vending machines located inside Istanbul Airport. The machines selling Istanbulkart are situated on the –2 floor, which is known as the public transportation arrival floor.

An Istanbulkart costs 70 TRY. Keep in mind this price may change. The card comes with no credit on it, so you will need to load it.

Travelers to Istanbul should purchase the Anonymous Istanbulkart. There are a variety of Istanbulkarts available to purchase, but only the Anonymous Istabulkart is for tourists. There are four Istanbulkart cards in total. One card is for students at local universities, another is for locals over 65-years old, and the fourth is for Turkish residents.

The price of one ride on Istanbul public transportation is 15 liras. After buying your Istanbulkart, you will need to load it with funds. This is simple and can be done using the same vending machine (Biletmatik) you purchased it from.


Is Istanbulkart available for mobile?

The great thing about the Istanbulkart is that you can use the official app rather than the old-fashioned physical card. The app makes the Istanbulkart even easier to use. You don’t have to load your card with cash money. Instead, you can simply load it with your credit card. The app makes it possible to travel more efficiently around Istanbul on all forms of public transport.

Unfortunately, it may be simpler to use the old-fashioned card version to travel around Istanbul. Why? The reviews on the Apple App Store and Google Play for the Istanbulkart app are not positive. The functionality of the app doesn’t seem to work well for some of the travelers who used it. Despite others not liking the app, you may find it to work perfectly for your trip.

How to load an Istanbulkart

You need to remember that the Istanbulkart does not come preloaded with credit. The 70 TRY to buy the card simply gives you the physical card and the ability to use it. Once you purchase the card from the vending machine, you will need to load it with cash money.

Just like buying the Istanbulkart, loading it is simple. You will need to place your card in the blue and yellow vending machine. The machine will scan the card. Once the scan is finished, deposit your cash into the machine to put credit onto the physical card.
When you need to reload your card, look for shops with the phrase ‘Akbil Dolum Noktası’. These shops offer reloading service. Also, you can use the vending machines at public transportation stations. The machines accept 5, 10, 20, and 50 TRY notes. The machines also offer multiple language functions.

Istanbul Card Public Transport Fares

    • Full-fare — 17,7 TRY
    • 1st Transfer — 12,67 TRY
    • 2d Transfer — 9,62 TRY
    • Marmaray Full-fare ticket — 39,18 TRY
    • Metrobus — up to 22,25 TRY (depends on amount of stops)

Nowadays only owners of registered Istanbulkards have an opportunity to use refund machines or pay less for transfer instead of full-fare. To register your Istanbulkart use official website —

What are the advantages to the IstanbulCard?



There are several advantages to using the Istanbulkart. These include:

      • Multi-use. The card allows you to pay for a variety of public transport forms.
      • Simplicity. Most types of transport around Istanbul do not accept cash payments. Therefore, you will need to use the Instabulkart to access all types of transport.
      • Pre-paid. By using a pre-paid card, you can simply go through the turnstiles to get to the metro or jump onto the bus without waiting in queues to by a physical ticket.
      • No contact. In a post-COVID-19 world, you can use the contactless card to travel around the metropolis of Istanbul.
      • Group travel. One Istanbulkart works for up to five passengers.

The Istanbulkart makes traveling around the city of Istanbul simple and efficient. It is a great way to travel and will save you money. You cannot beat its budget-friendly, easy-to-use nature.

How much does Istanbul Card cost?

Istanbulkart costs 70 Turkish Lira

You can load your Istanbulkart up to 2750 TL

Where I can use Istanbulkart?

You can use Istanbulkart in public transport: tram, metro, bus, ferry, metrobus, funicular and etc. Pay in some shops (for ex. Migros), pay in cafes or for public WC.

How do I check my Istanbulkart balance?

You can check the balance of your card in Biletmatik machine — place the card on the plastic inset on the right sight of machine and wait for a while. After a few seconds Biletmatik will show on the screen the balance of your card.

35 комментариев

  • A Traveller

    I purchased an Istanbul card in June 2019. I intended to visit again in December 2019.
    Because of Covid regulations, I did not visit Turkiye. Now since Covid regulations are no longer in place I will visit in September 2022.
    I believe that the card is cancelled if not used for 3 years. Is there a grace period to extend the 3 year non use period because of Covid restrictions.?

    • Ekaterina

      Actually there is no exact period for Istanbulkart. You can check your card when you get here — just place it in an automat screen, if it works and you can top up your balance it means that it works.
      There is no card cancellation (I still use my card which I purchased 5 years ago).

  • Dilek Ismail

    do you mean you can use it this year and next year when you revisit Istanbul you can use it again?

  • Hussain

    Hi, what about price of blue instanmbul city card price for one day? In some videos it is 210 lira while on websites it is shown as 21 euros.

    • Ekaterina

      You can’t buy Blue Istanbulcard if you are not a student or teacher or municipal worker.
      As a tourist you can buy just red Istanbulcard.
      Today a price for Istanbulcard is 70 Liras.

  • Yuming

    Can I use a credit/debit card to load the card? Or, it has to be cash? or dollars? Can I use the card to buy coffee, grocery, lunch?

    • Ekaterina

      Yes there machines where you can use the creditcard to load Istanbulcard.
      In some places, as municipality cafes, you can pay for your drinks and food with Istanbulcard.

  • Zora

    I bought my card and it always don’t accept money after one month I need to buy another card

  • Michelle

    We purchased our card 30/11/23 from a kiosk outside the airport. We were charged 800TL. We were told we had x5 journeys each on the card. We feel we have been ripped off

    • Ekaterina

      I think there was some mistake because the cost of one Istanbulkart is 70 TL. You should go to the Service Point in Kadıköy (Kadıköy Başvuru Merkezi) or in Karaköy, and ask them about this mistake. But you should have your bill or pay slip with you to prove this situation.

    • Ekaterina

      Or may be you mistakenly bought not Istanbulkart but Istanbul City Pass which is available for 1-3-5-7-15 days and the prices for this type of cards are higher, because they provide you unlimited access to all kind of transport and some entrances to museums

  • Dusan

    Hello! I have few questions.

    If we use 1 Istanbulkart for 5 people — then is no transfer price (just full fare) for all?

    If we go from one metro line to other on same metro station — is this transfer or just one ride?

    And how on Metrobus — fix max price 22,25 TRY for all if 1 Istanbulkart use 5 people (not depend on amount of stops)?

    • Ekaterina

      First of all, you can’t use one card for 5 person — it’s impossible. Max for 2-3.
      Second — the limit for unpersonal Istanbulkart is 500 TL so it will finish very soon if you will use it for 3 person.
      Third — as a tourist (not a citizen) you will pay full price for every transport use (no matter how much stops).

  • Dusan

    Thank you for answer.

    And how does 10 Passes Card Electronic Ticket works?
    Can one 10 Pass ticket be used on metro, tram, bus, ferry and Marmaray?
    And can one 10 Pass ticket be used for more people?

  • Nathalie Ghorayeb

    Our stay is for 4 days and we are 5 tourists i read that we can buy one anonymous Istanbulcart, and use it for 4 days each day we have 2 ways go and return for 5 pers how much do i have to pay??

  • Anne

    Hello, is there a limit to how much money you can load onto the Istanbulkart? Do you have to scan the card twice when paying for two people? Thank you.

  • Jani

    Hi, Just to be sure, if we are 3 person, we need only 1 istanbulkart, is that right ? And we can travel whit no problems, Just scan 3 times every time we enter a metro line ? Do we get 3 ticket on machine or how does it work ? what would be the benefit if we buy 3 karts.

    • Ekaterina

      Hi there!
      Sometimes (I dont know the exact reason) but Istanbulkart can be used consistently just for two person. Also, there is a limit for Istanbulkart (most of tourists use card with no binding to telefon number) so max sum which you can load it’s just 500TL. So it means that this sum will end very soon and you will have to buy a new one.
      You attach the card to the reader on the turnstile and it will open.

  • Dusan

    We were in Istanbul from 25.2. to 3.3.2024. Now is monthly limit 2.750 Turkish lira per card. This limit is reset on first day of month. So you can use one card. We were five and we use only one card without problems.

  • Bhupinder

    Can I use Istanbulkart from Istanbul International Airport to my hotel Hilton Istanbul Maslak using M11 and M2 and on my departure the reverse route from Hilton Istanbul on M2 and M11 to Istanbul International Airport.
    What will my cost be for each route ie airport to hotel?
    What is the cost of an Istanbulkart — 50 or 70 Turkish Lira?

  • Mary

    Say that only registered Istanbulkard owners have the option to use cashback machines or pay less for the transfer instead of the full fare.
    but also that it is a card designed for tourists, simpler to use and more efficient.
    If it’s a tourist card, why does it have to be registered on that link, because I don’t understand the point?
    In other European cities there are special cards for tourists, with an unlimited number of trips and for several areas of those cities, for certain periods of time (Milan, Barcelona, for example).
    You buy it by paying the amount for the chosen period, and you don’t have to wait to see what balance you have left, to top it up, etc.
    This gives efficiency and convenience!
    Is there such a card in Istanbul?
    I intend to go to Istanbul and I am trying to plan my trip, and the information found on various pages is inconclusive.
    Please answer these questions if you have recent information.
    Thank you!

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