The very first tramway in Istanbul was born in 1871 in TOPHANE (on the European shore), produced by a French man, Eugène Henri Gavant who was engineer by trade.
He came to ISTANBUL in 1867 for touristic purposes at the beginning. He will quickly realize the existing potential for the tramway and metro projects in Istanbul. He is also the creator of the first tunnel in ISTANBUL (between Karaköy and Galata) which is still in operation today. It is one of the oldest underground trams in the world after LONDON.
In 1874, the company of railway created and directed by Eugène Henri Gavant will be taken over by the English.
How to get around Istanbul by tramway:
Nowadays you will find 2 nostalgic tramway in Istanbul:
1 – The nostalgic tramway in Istanbul – Istiklal Taksim Street, crossing the whole street of Istiklal (European side) from TAKSIM square to TUNEL (the Galata district).
In service in 1883, then closed in 1961, it will be put back on track in 1989 (1.87 km. It starts the day at 7:00 a.m. until 10:45 p.m.
With ISTANBULKART, the journey cost a token of 5 TL, distributors are at your disposal not far from the place of departure, you cannot pay on the tram in cash.
2 – Tramway in Istanbul – Kadikoy (on the Asian side – nostalgic Moda Kadikoy tram)
The very first was in operation in the year 1934 then stopped in 1966 (after 37 of inactivity), it will be running again in 2003 and baptized the “Moda Nostalgique Tramway Kadikoy”.
It travels 2.6 km, leaving from ISKELE to MODA in 20 minutes: it starts the day at 7:00 am and walks until 9:00 pm, runs every 10 minutes, carrying an average of 1,800 travelers per day. The wagons have been bought on occasion in GERMANY in BERLIN.
You can go up there with ISTANBULKART, it will cost 2.60 TL or with a token of 5 TL to buy at the TEKEL (small grocer) or in the distributors not far from the boat docks. You cannot pay directly on the tram to the driver.
3 – Modern tramway in Istanbul, on the European shore from KABATAŞ to BAGCILAR
It started in 1992 over 18.5 km and passing through 31 stations. Starts at 6 a.m. until midnight, carries an average of 320,000 passengers a day, passing every two minutes.
More functional, this transport is very useful for Istanbul residents but also very practical for tourists, access costs 2.6 TL with ISTANBULKART or 5 TL with a token that you can buy at the distributors just at the entrance to the stations tram.