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How to Use Istanbul Card?

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Coming to Istanbul, the first question to ask is how to use public transport.

In Istanbul, it is much more profitable to buy not one-time trips, but to spend money on a card, and it is more profitable to travel. Also, a small life hack – you can use the card to buy groceries, and in some cafes you can also pay with it.

From January 2021, a HES code must be linked to the Istanbul cards. Since the HES code is personal for each person, it is now impossible to use one card for the whole family! Each passenger needs their own hotel card.

Update 02.03.2022

As a result of the meeting of the Scientific Committee of Turkey and the statements of the Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, the HES code application was abolished. No institution or organization will request a HES code.

For more information about March 2 Regulations, you can read this article: 2 March 2022 Coronavirus Turkey Scientific Committee Statements

You can link the HES code to the Istanbul maps on the website: kisisellestirme.istanbulkart.istanbul.

Is it possible to use one card together?

Now, during the coronavirus pandemic and the mandatory HES code in Turkey, it is impossible to use one card.

In normal times, when these codes are canceled: several people can use one card. But discounts on travel during the transfer will only apply to the first person, and the second, third, etc. person will pass at the full cost of the Istanbul cards.

Price in 2022

Prices have risen in 2022, now the cost of Istanbul cards will be 13 liras. One trip on the map is 5.5 lire.

Types of Istanbul card

The first type of Istanbul maps for residents of Turkey. The card is personalized, it must indicate your ID number in Turkey.

The second type is tourist, it requires only a HES-code.

Where to buy Istanbul cards?

  1. At the new Istanbul Airport or at the Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
  2. You can buy an Istanbul of cards in special kiosks that are located near major transport interchanges.
  3. In vending machines for the sale of Istanbul cards (Biletmatik).

Attention!!The machine accepts cash only.

Where to top up the Istanbul cards (Istanbul Card)

You can top up the Istanbul of cards in:

  • In newspaper and tobacco kiosks, and from 2021 in Migros and Carrefour stores
  • In the Bayazid and Sultanahmet area – replenished at each kiosk with deniers
  • In stores and anywhere where you will see the inscription “Istanbul Card”.

It is profitable and convenient to use Istanbul cards. It is advisable to immediately put a certain amount on it, so as not to run around looking for machines where you can put money on the card.

You can read this article in Russian language: Как пользоваться Истамбул карт?

Maria Rybakova

Hello, I'm Maria, I live in Istanbul. I love traveling and discovering new places. I share my trips on Expat Guide Turkey.

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