Getting around the incredible city of Istanbul is relatively easy, and there is no need to worry about being able to cope.
Since we travel often, we always attempt to save money where we can. So taking the subway from the airport instead of a taxi is an easy decision. And the metro can take you directly from the airport to the city center.
The easiest way to get around this huge city is with an Istanbul Card. You can buy an Istanbul Card for 6 Turkish Lira at any Istanbul Card machine. One card can be used by more than one traveler. There are a few machines located once you exit the airport and follow the subway signs. You can also buy a card in a shop, but when you do that you will pay the tourist surcharge (7-10 lira).
Once you have the card, you can load any desired amount directly to the machine.
Please be aware that any amount that is not used will not be refunded! So it is best if you estimate how many trips you might need and recharge it along the way if it isn‘t enough.
The metro rides are cheaper this way. A subway ride and tram ride cost only 2,60 lira instead of the normal price of 5 Lira. That’s 44 € cents / 50 US cents (as of December 2018).
Ferries cost a little more, but you can also use them with the Istanbul card.