Real estate in Istanbul: how to choose a location

16 million people live in Istanbul, the city includes 39 districts. How to choose a property among thousands of options?

There is no universal list of the best and worst districts. There are purchase goals for which you can find current offers and locations in order to compare in detail and make an informed choice. And one of the key factors in the checklist is the convenience of moving around the city:

  • Transport interchange, proximity to key roads and highways.

  • Proximity to public transport within walking distance, choice of routes.

Istanbul has a unique location in Europe and Asia at once, on the two banks of the Bosphorus Strait, between the Marmara and Black Seas. The European part is also divided by the Golden Horn Bay. Geographic features make Istanbul the largest transport hub in the world. The city has developed both land and sea transport. Railroads through Istanbul link Europe with Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Given the density of the population and the development of the city, constant traffic jams are the norm. In such conditions, it is more profitable to drive 20 minutes on a dedicated line by public transport than 2 hours in your own car through traffic jams.

Some grandiose premium residential development projects include a separate tunnel to the metro station, and this is considered a significant advantage for buying real estate.

The roads and interchanges of Istanbul are just as important when buying an apartment as public transport, especially for families with teenagers who need to somehow get around the metropolis before obtaining a driver's license. It is not necessary to separate public transport from the basic advantages when choosing a property, even when looking for luxury complexes with prices for apartments in Istanbul from € 250.000 for 1+1.

So, what the public transport system in Istanbul consists of and what important types of it should be looked for in close proximity to a residential or commercial property for purchase, we will consider furthe.

Public transport in Istanbul


Istanbul has land, sea and air transport.


On the land


  Marmaray is an electric train that connects the European and Asian parts of Istanbul, runs along the coast of the Sea of Marmara, through an underwater tunnel under the Bosphorus.

The metro covers the whole of Istanbul, there are 7 lines, new branches and stations are constantly opening.

There are 2 lines of suburban trains European and Asian.

Metrobus is a bus that runs along its own line on the highway, without traffic jams, you can quickly get to your destination.

City buses in Istanbul (İETT) run on more than 500 routes

The bus station (Otogar) in the European part is called Esenler (Bayrampasha), in the Asian part Harem.

The so-called modern tram (Modern Tram) runs on 3 routes. The old Nostalgic Tram runs on 2 routes. The historic red tram T2 Tünel-Taksim runs along the central Istiklal Street.

There are 3 funicular lines in Istanbul.


On the water


  Sea transport runs along the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the northeastern part of the Sea of Marmara.

The ferry (Vapur) serves both to transport passengers by water and to move cars.

IDO are high-speed missiles, Sehir Hatlari are passenger ships.

Sea transport is the fastest way to get from the Asian part to the European one.

Sea buses (deniz otobüsleri) run between the districts of Istanbul, the suburbs and the Princes' Islands.

Major ports of Istanbul: Haydarpasa, Yenikapı, Karakoy.


 In the air


  The TF1 Maçka - Taşkışla cable car passes over Democracy Park. The TF2 Eyüp - Piyer Loti line runs between the historic Eyup area and Pierre Loti Hill.

Istanbul has two airports: the new Istanbul International Airport (IST) on the European side of the city (opened instead of Atatürk Airport), and the Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) on the Asian side of the city. There is also an international bus station Buyuk Istanbul Otogari.

Roads of Istanbul


There are more than 50 roads of various importance in the city. Main routes:

International route E-5 between all roads in Istanbul. Passes through several districts such as Tuyap, Buyukcekmece, Beylikduzu and Fatih, to the Asian part of Istanbul through the Bosphorus, Metrobus. Leads to the new airport, passes through the old airport, which now functions as a park. The highway links the old and new parts of Istanbul. E-5 leads to major malls such as Omur Plaza, Torium, Pelican, Marmara Park, Pelican and Metroport.

The main road E-80 crosses Europe, passes through 10 countries, intersects with the Asian Highway EH1, which leads all the way to Japan. TEM The E80 Trans-European Highway links Europe and Asia and connects to the Bosphorus Bridge and Europe.

The Basin Ekspres road passes through the Basin Express area, intersects with the E-5 and TEM routes, and leads to the new airport.

How to choose and buy real estate in Istanbul profitably and correctly


In addition to transport accessibility, the investment potential of the project is affected by:

  • Proximity to park areas, places for picnics and walks, to the forest.
  • The ability to quickly get to the beach areas, and not just to the sea. Far from all along the coast of Istanbul there is an entry into the sea, open beaches.
  • The location is close to marinas, yacht clubs, which is more relevant for the premium segment, villas on the coast of the Marmara Sea.
  • The presence of kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges, albeit not within walking distance, but at least 5-10 minutes away.
  • Chain supermarkets, markets, other trade infrastructure.
  • Species characteristics of the area around the complex, views from the windows.
  • Business activity, the status of the region, its features. Somewhere real estate is well rented for business trips, and somewhere - for tourism and recreation. And there are purely sleeping areas, focused on long-term residence.

The specialists of the Istanbul office of the Stay Property company will save your time studying the vast real estate market of the metropolis. Together with us you will be able to find your optimal object, in accordance with the purpose of the purchase. Please contact us for advice, we will be happy to help you.

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