Akbil or Istanbulkart?

Sep 20th, 2009, 02:36 PM
  #1  
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Akbil or Istanbulkart?

We plan to make use of the metro, tram and ferry when we're in Istanbul. We planned to buy an Istanbulkart at the airport upon arrival, but I've read conflicting reports about it and am now having second thoughts. Some recent articles I've read advise the older (but tried and true) akbil instead. Do any of you Fodorites have a recommendation? Thanks.

Ellen
ellencmog is offline  
Sep 21st, 2009, 01:43 PM
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I don't know about the Istanbulkart, but the akbil worked great.
yorkshire is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 02:54 AM
  #3  
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The Istanbulkart is new this year. One site I'm using says to buy it; another says it doesn't work and stick to the akbil. Since we plan to use public transportation in Istanbul, possibly even to and from the airport, I want to get whatever will be easiest - and works! Where did you buy the akbil, yorkshire?
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 08:04 AM
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I got it as a kiosk in Istanbul near the train station, and I needed to know my Turkish numbers to place the order (luckily that was the one thing I had learned well!).
I did not use public transport from airport, so you should confirm that you can get akbil at the airport. It is a neat little device--made hopping on and off the tram/metro a snap.
yorkshire is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:21 PM
  #5  
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I don't think you can get akbil at the airport. We'd either have to pay with cash (is that even possible?) or take a taxi to our hotel in Sultanahmet. I'll work on my Turkish numbers
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Sounds like the Istanbulkart is similar to a London Oyster in that it is a stored fare card from which an amount is automatically debited at the point of use. Nice idea, but from the bit of research I have done (probably same places you have looked, ellencmog) it appears that implementation is being phased in. I'd hate to get to a place and find out my fare card didn't work there, so I'd stick with akbil for now.
I did fine with an akbil. If you are taking the metro and tram option from the airport, you will need to buy tokens (jetons) at the airport and when you get to the point where you transfer Zeytinburnu you can purchase your akbil there.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2009, 03:04 AM
  #7  
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Seamus,

Thanks for the reply. We definitely don't want to buy it and have it not work. Yes, our plan is to take the metro/tram option from the airport to Sultanahmet and we'll buy the akbil as we transfer.

Ellen
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