Airports & Airport Transport - Istanbul has two airports, the major Atatürk International Airport (IST) near Yeşilyurt 23 km (14 miles) west of the city center, reachable by Metro (map); and SabihaGökçen Airport (SAW in Pendik/Kurtköy) 30 km (19 miles) east of the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.The two airports are 55 km (34 miles) distant, or about 70 km (44 miles) by highway.
Cable Car - Cable cars (teleferik) lift passengers from Eyüp on the Golden Horn to the hill from which French novelist Pierre Loti used to survey Istanbul. Another cable car can take you across the valley between Elmadağ and Teşvikiye in Beyoğlu.
Ferryboats - Traditional white ŞehirHatları ferryboats, and smaller ferries by TurYol, DenturAvrasya and other companies, serve shorter water routes, and are the most enjoyable way to get around Istanbul. Daily touristic Bosphorus ferries run frequently from the Eminönü ferry docks, from Kabataş docks, and from Kadıköy and Üsküdar up the Bosphorus.
Istanbul has three intercity bus terminals:
—The major Istanbul International Bus Terminal (BüyükOtogar) at Esenler on the western side of the Bosphorus, serving the entire country as well as Greece, Bulgaria, the Balkans, Europe and some Middle East destinations.
—The EmniyetGarajı near Aksaray Square and the YenikapıMarmaray and Metro stations, serves the Balkans.
—The Harem Otogar on the eastern shore of the Bosphorus between Üsküdar and Kadıköy, serves Anatolian Turkey and the Middle East.
Metro - Three lines of Istanbul's Metro system are in operation:
—M1, Airport—Aksaray: The most useful for foreign visitors is the light-rail line connecting Atatürk Airport and Aksaray Square via Istanbul's mammoth BüyükOtogar(main intercity bus terminal), at which you can board a bus to any part of Turkey or to virtually any country within 1000 miles (1600 km) of Istanbul. Change from the Metro to the tram at Zeytinburnu to reach Old Istanbul and Sultanahmet Square.
—M2, Yenikapı—Hacıosman: A standard-gauge Metro line goes north from Yenikapı near the fast ferry terminal, past Aksaray, over the Golden Horn to Şişhane (Tünel Square) and Taksim Square, then to the northern commercial and financial districts and nearly to Tarabya on the Bosphorus.
—M4, Kadıköy—Kartal: Speed from the ferry docks in Kadıköy, on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, to Kartal, 25 km (16 miles) to the southeast along the Sea of Marmara shore, then take a bus to SabihaGökçen Airport or the Pendik YHT high-speed train station.
Sea Bus Catamaran Ferries - Passenger catamarans zoom around the city at rush hour, and out to the Princes Islands several times daily. There are even Sea of Marmara routes to Yalova and Bandırma on the sea's southern shore
Taxi - Thousands of yellow taxis powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas, parade in Istanbul's streets. You'll find them useful and not overly expensive, though the incidence of unpleasantness can be high.