Accessible Travel in Istanbul

  Overview of Accessible Transportation in IstanbulMany parts of Istanbul have cobblestones with 4 star smoothness like these.

Wheelchair accessible travel in Istanbul is best done using a combination of taxis and the accessible trams. Few busses are wheelchair accessible in Istanbul, and I have been unable to find any map showing what the accessible bus routes are. Some of the metro stations are accessible, but the Metro lines are not located near the tourist attractions. Istanbul is fairly hilly with numerous 3 star flatness and 4 star flatness slopes. Your best bet for wheelchair accessible travel in Istanbul hills is to take taxis to get up the hills.

Disabled Access on Istanbul tramsNearly all the tram stations are accessible, but the trams can be quite crowded as shown in this picture.

The trams are the most accessible and most useful public transportation option in Istanbul. The trams are very crowded especially during rush hour. The T1 tram route runs through the Old City and is useful to get you from the main tourist attractions like Hagia Sophia and the Blue mosque to the Taksim Area. The trams don’t actually take you up the hill to the Taksim area so you will need a taxi to get up there. Inside the tram, a sign on the ceiling will display the name of the upcoming station.

All of the tram stations have ramps to get up to the platform and flat access to get onto the tram except for the Karaköy, Eminönü, Yusufpasa, Findikzade, Çapa –Sehremini, and Topkapi stations.

You will need to buy a token at the tram station before boarding.This diagram inside the tram shows the accessible stops along the T1 tram line.

Wheelchair Accessible Busses in Istanbul

When I traveled to Istanbul in May 2010, I saw some wheelchair accessible busses but not many. Most of the busses that I saw had 3 steps to get into them. I searched online and at the bus stops and wasn’t able to find a map that showed which bus routes are wheelchair accessible. I would not rely on the busses for wheelchair accessible travel in Istanbul.The T1 tram connects to the T2 tram.

Subway (a.k.a. Metro) Accessibility

Some of the Metro stations in Istanbul are accessible, but the Metro does not go through the tourist part of town..

Funicular Accessibility

The funicular is used to get up the large hill to the top of the Taksim area. There is a flight of stairs to get down to the funicular tracks.Most busses in Istanbul have 3 steps to get into them.

Additional Istanbul Public Transportation Resources

The Istanbul public transportation website doesn’t have much information on accessibility but is useful for other information:

Click here to download a map (.pdf) of Istanbul public transportation.

I am unaware of any accessible taxis in Istanbul. Most taxis look like this one. Some busses have extendable ramps but I didn't see very many.

Istanbul has many hills. A couple of them actually have steps on the sidewalk.

Read more:

Istanbul Accessible Travel – main page 
   Pros and Cons of Istanbul Disabled Access 
   9 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Istanbul Turkey 
   8 Keys to Success for Istanbul Disabled Travel 
   Istanbul Cruise Port Disabled Access Review 
   Hagia Sophia Disabled Access Review 
   Blue Mosque Wheelchair Accessibility 
   Disabled Access at Istanbul Topkapi Palace 
   Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers 
   Istanbul Accessible Travel Packages 
Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in Istanbul 
   Sultanahmet Istanbul Accessible Private Tour 
   Panoramic Istanbul Wheelchair Accessible Tour 
   Half-day Highlights of Istanbul Handicap Accessible Tour 
   Half-day Turkish Istanbul Accessible Guided Tour 
   Old City Istanbul Accessible Group Tour 
   Blue Mosque Istanbul Accessible Cruise Excursion by Tram 
   Highlights of Istanbul Accessible Shore Excursion by Tram 
   Turkish Istanbul Accessible Walking Tour by Tram 
Accessible Hotels in Istanbul 
   Istanbul Accessible Hotel Rooms 
   Istanbul Handicapped Accessible Hotel 
   Wheelchair Accessible Hotel in Istanbul 
   Disabled Hotel Rooms in Istanbul Turkey 
   Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Rooms in Istanbul 
   Handicapped Accessible Hotel in Istanbul 
Istanbul Accessibility Guide by John Sage 
Istanbul Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease! 
Accessible Cruising with Sage Traveling – Receive our Istanbul Accessibility Guide & Istanbul accessible hotel recommendations for free!


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