marm1In 2013 the long awaited tunnel beneath the Bosphorus known as the Marmaray finally opened and immediately transformed the İstanbul transport scenario.

Now, while it may stil be fun to use the ferries to cross from the European to the Asian side of the city, you can, if time is important, opt to use the Metro that runs through the tunnel from Sirkeci to Üsküdar instead.

For the time being the Marmaray consists of the following stations: Ayrılık Çeşmesi, Üsküdar, Sirkeci, Yenikpaı and Kazlıçeşme.

If you stay on the Metro from Üsküdar to Ayrılık Çeşmesı you will be able to transfer to the Kadıköy-Kartal Metro.

From Sirkeci you will be able to continue to Yenikapı, the port for fast ferries across the Sea of Marmara to Bursa and Yalova.ykap1Magnificent new station at Yenikapı

This is the first step in the completion of the Marmaray project which will eventually enable passengers to travel seamlessly from Halkali on the European side of the city to Gebze in the Asian outskirts where a major new transport hub is now being developed.

You can pay to use the Marmaray in the same way as you do for any other transport in İstanbul. The easiest way if you're staying for a few days is to buy an İstanbulkart although you can also buy single-journey jeton tickets. They cost proportionately more though. 

Marmaray3Smart new Marmaray trains have replaced the battered old suburban-line ones

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