How to get an Istanbul Kart? and is it worth it?

Istanbul Kart (Istanbul Card) is a boarding permit that can be used on all public transportation in Istanbul. To directly answer the question posed in the title, if you expect to take public transit several times during your stay in Istanbul, yes, it is worthwhile to purchase one. So, unless you prefer to do everything on foot or take a taxi, please keep reading to learn where to purchase it, how to use it, and the benefits it offers.


In 2009, the card was introduced. It's a contactless or RFID (Radio-frequency identification) card that can be used to pay for public transit. It's the same size as a typical credit card, so it'll fit in your wallet flawlessly. The card is pre-paid and rechargable.




Getting an Istanbul Kart instead of buying a token or a ticket every time you want to use public transit has a number of advantages.

1-Multipurpose Use — This card can be used to pay for a variety of modes of transportation, including buses, metros, ferries, funiculars, and tramways (yes, even the nostalgic one running on Istiklal Caddesi).

2-Prepaid – Istanbul Kart is a reloadable and prepaid card. This means you won't have to wait in line (and possibly miss the bus or tram) for a valid boarding card every time you utilise public transit. And you may add extra credits to your account at specified machines, usually without having to wait in line.

3-Ease of Use – The Istanbul Kart does not need to be in contact with the reader. You can pay for your fare by ‘waving' your smart card in front of the reader for 8 cm (3.1 in). You don't even have to take it out of your wallet, pocketbook, or small handbag in most circumstances. The scanner will make a sound and the screen will light up to show the amount left on the card after a successful payment. In the event that funds are insufficient, the screen will display Kontör Yetersiz.

4-Multiple Travelers – In the past, one Istanbul Kart could accommodate up to five travellers. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible with the launch of Covid-19 and the obligatory link to your personal HES code. Each traveller now requires his or her own Istanbul Kart.

5-Discounts – Using the card entitles you to a 40 percent reduction off the regular fare. You pay 3 TL per ride instead of 5 TL per ride. There's even more. You can make up to five transfers/connections in a two-hour period and pay less for each one, with the first transfer costing only 1.9 TL.


The Istanbul Kart is most easily obtained at major travel hubs such as the airport, Sultanahmet, and Eminönü. To purchase an Istanbul Kart, you must pay a non-refundable cost of 10 TL (for the card and service), as well as a sum to load onto the card. There are several sorts of Istanbul cards, but the anonymous (anonim) card, which lacks a photograph, is the most ideal for travellers.




You must immediately activate your Istanbul Card as part of the Covid-19 measures. You must link your HES code to your card in order to do so. To do so, go to the Istanbul Kart website and fill out the form to attach your card (in Turkish or English). If everything is done correctly, your card will be activated and ready to use right away.


You can recharge the card in newsstands and small stores that offer the service (look for the words Akbil Dolum Noktas) or at self-service special purpose machines at major transit stops. The machines accept notes of 5, 10, and 20 TL and have multilingual instructions.

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