Dentur Avrasya Private ferry company
Dolmuş Shared minibus
İskele Ferry dock
İstanbul Şehir Hatları The city's main ferry service; government-run
İstanbulkart Rechargeable travel card
Jeton Transport token
Mavi Marmara Private ferry line to/from the Princes' Islands, operated by Dentur Avraysa
Otogar Bus station
Teleferic Cable car
Tünel Literally, 'tunnel'; name for funicular between Karaköy and Tünel Meydanı (Tünel Sq)
Turyol Private ferry company
F1 Funicular between Kabataş and Taksim Sq.
M1 Metro line between Atatürk International Airport and Yenikapı.
M2 Metro line linking Yenikapı with Hacıosman. Stops at Vezneciler (near the Grand Bazaar), on the Golden Horn (Haliç) bridge and at Şişhane and Taksim Sq in Beyoğlu.
Marmaray Metro line linking Kazlıçeşme on the European shore with Ayrılık Çeşme on the Asian shore via Yenikapı, Sirkeci and Üsküdar.
T1 Tram line between Bağcılar/Cevizlibağ and Kabataş via Zeytinburnu (for airport and otogar metro connections), Sultanahmet and Karaköy.
Tünel Funicular between Karaköy and Tünel Meydanı.
A dolmuş is a shared minibus. It waits at a specified departure point until it has a full complement of passengers (in Turkish, dolmuş means full) then follows a fixed route to its destination. Destinations are displayed in the window of the dolmuş. Passengers flag down the driver to get on and indicate to the driver when they want to get off, usually by saying 'inecek var!' (someone wants to get out!). Fares vary (pay on board) but are usually the same as municipal buses. Dolmuşes are almost as comfortable as taxis, run later into the night in many instances, and often ply routes that buses and other forms of transport don't service. Most travellers are unlikely to take a dolmuş during their visit to the city. The only routes they are likely to find useful are Kadıköy–Taksim, Kadıköy–Üsküdar, Beşiktaş–Harbiye and along the Bosphorus shores.
Jetons (ticket tokens) can be purchased from ticket machines or offices at tram stops, iskelesi and funicular and metro stations, but it's much cheaper and easier to use an İstanbulkart.
İstanbul's public-transport system is excellent, and one of its major strengths is the İstanbulkart, a rechargeable travel card similar to London's Oyster Card, Hong Kong's Octopus Card and Paris' Navigo.
İstanbulkarts are simple to operate. As you enter a bus or pass through the turnstile at a ferry dock or metro station, swipe your card for entry and the fare will automatically be deducted from your balance. The cards offer a considerable discount on fares (₺2.60, as opposed to the usual ₺5, with additional transfers within a two-hour journey window: ₺1.85 for the first transfer, ₺1.40 for the second and ₺0.90 for all subsequent transfers). They can also be used to pay for fares for more than one traveller (one swipe per person per ride).
The cards can be purchased from machines at metro and funicular stations for a nonrefundable charge of ₺10, which includes ₺4 in credit. If you buy yours from a street kiosk near a tram or bus stop (look for an 'Akbil', 'Dolum Noktası' or 'İstanbulkart' sign), you will pay ₺8 for one with a plastic cover, or ₺7 without. These won't include any credit.
Cards can be recharged with amounts between ₺5 and ₺150 at kiosks or at machines at ferry docks, metro and bus stations.
There are two funiculars (funıküleri) and two cable cars (teleferic) in the city. All are short trips and İstanbulkarts can be used.
A funicular called the Tünel carries passengers between Karaköy, at the base of the Galata Bridge (Galata Köprüsü), to Tünel Meydanı, at one end of İstiklal Caddesi. The service operates every five minutes between 7am and 10.45pm and a jeton costs ₺4.
The second funicular carries passengers from Kabataş, at the end of the tramline, to Taksim Meydanı, where it connects to the metro. The service operates every five minutes from 6am to midnight and a jeton costs ₺5.
A cable car runs between the waterside at Eyüp and the Pierre Loti Café (8am to 10pm). Another travels between Maçka (near Taksim) and the İstanbul Technical University in Taşkışla (8am to 7pm). Jetons for each cost ₺5.
İstanbul Elektrik Tramvay ve Tünel (İETT, İstanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management; www.iett.gov.tr) is responsible for running public buses, funiculars and historic trams in the city. Its website has useful timetable and route information in Turkish and English. Metro and tram services are run by İstanbul Ulaşım (www.istanbul-ulasim.com.tr), ferry services are run by İstanbul Şehir Hatları, Dentur Avrasya and Turyol, and seabus and fast-ferry services are operated by İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri.