There are two, ultra-modern, slick and air-conditioned tram lines that serve many of the main tourist areas: the T1 line from Kabataş to Sultanahmet and the T4 line between Topkapı and Mescid-i selam.
For tourists, the T1 line is probably the most convenient and easy-to-use resource. One of its best features is connecting some of the most historical parts of Istanbul to some of the most modern where many hotels are. The T1 line goes to such attractions as the Grand Bazaar (Beyazit in Turkish), Sultanahmet where you’ll find the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern, and Eminönü where you’ll see the Spice Bazaar and the famous Süleymaniye Mosque; more modern parts of the city it serves include Karaköy for the Galata Tower, and Kabataş where you’ll can visit the Dolmabahçe Palace.
Insider tip: not only are these trams cheap, they’re also fast, cool and comfortable.
Istanbul also has two utterly charming, so-called “nostalgia” tram lines. One of the city’s most famous tourist attractions is the single-carriage T2 line, running down a rather steep hill along Istiklal Street for five stops, from Taksim Square to Tünel.
On the Asian side of the city, the only slightly more modern T3 tram (also a single carriage) runs in a single-direction, circular route from near the pier in Kadik through the intriguing Moda district, arriving back in Kadiköy after about 20 minutes.
How to buy a tram ticket in Istanbul >