Accessible Travel in Istanbul
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 trams
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
Additional Istanbul Public Transportation Resources
The Istanbul public transportation website doesn’t have much information on accessibility but is useful for other information:http://www.iett.gov.tr/en/index.php.
Click here to download a map (.pdf) of Istanbul public transportation.
Istanbul Accessible Travel – main page
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9 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Istanbul Turkey
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Disabled Access at Istanbul Topkapi Palace
Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers
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