Essential advice for the world’s most interesting city

How to use Istanbul’s funicular railways

Istanbul’s two funicular railways offer short-and-steep public transit options for those among us who are not fans of walking up crowded city hills … or who have quite simply and naturally developed sore feet.

They’re worth taking as much for the stunning views they provide at the top as the unique means of transport.

As you can probably tell just by looking at the trains, the Karaköy-Tünel funicular (F2) is the third oldest passenger underground railway system in the world, whisking you in 90 seconds 573 meters uphill to Tünel. From there you can easily reach the Galata district by walking downhill, or have a stroll to Taksim Saquare or the famous street of Istiklal Caddesi.

Much more modern is the air-conditioned Taksim-Kabataş Funicular (F1) which runs between the Kabataş tram stop and Taksim metro station, offering an uphill trip of under three minutes.

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