Istanbul is a historic and vibrant city located in the northwest of Turkey. With a population of over 16 million, it is one of the most populous cities in the world and the most populous in Europe. The majority of the population is Muslim, although there are minorities of Christians and Jews. It is known for its rich history and culture, and has been the capital of several empires throughout history, such as the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman empires.
The Old City of Istanbul reflects the influences of these empires, and features places of interest such as the Roman Hippodrome, Egyptian obelisks, and the Byzantine Basilica of Saint Sophia, among many other attractions. Although it is a city with a rich history and culture, it can be difficult for people with reduced mobility due to its cobblestone streets and lack of ramps and elevators in some historical buildings. However, there are some places and activities that are more accessible for people with disabilities. In general, Istanbul can be a challenging destination for people with reduced mobility, but there are some options and resources available to make the visit more comfortable.
Some important facts about Istanbul.
- The currency of Istanbul is the Turkish Lira.
- The phone code is (+90).
- The official language is Turkish, but Kurdish, Arabic and other languages are spoken as well.
- The time zone is GTM + 3.
- Some of the famous monuments are the Blue Mosque, Saint Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace among others.
- Typical dishes are Baklava (Sweet), Kebabs, Dolma, and Meze among others.
- Istanbul is known for being the only city in the world that is between two continents.
- Turks are welcoming and friendly.
As in most large European cities, Istanbul has a special card for tourists called the "Istanbul Tourist Pass". However, we recommend purchasing the "Istanbulkart," a rechargeable transport card that can be purchased at almost any kiosk, vending machines at public transport stations (except bus stations), and at the airport. The card is inexpensive and can be recharged with any desired amount. One Istanbulkart can be used by multiple people, and children under 5 years old can travel for free on all public transport in Istanbul.
Ataturk International Airport:
Istanbul has two airports, Sabiha Gökçen and Ataturk. The latter is the larger and more important airport, with the capacity to serve around 150 million passengers per year. The airport is located about 20 km from the city center and has two terminals (A and B) where major airlines such as Turkish Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia operate. The airport is accessible for people with mobility issues, with ramps and elevators inside the terminals, as well as accessible restrooms and mobility services, including electric strollers and wheelchairs. We recommend that passengers with disabilities notify their travel agency or airline 48 hours in advance to ensure availability of these services. Contact the airport directly at Telephone (+90) 2126632550 for more information.
Address and contact:
- Atatürk Uluslararasi Havalimani Bas Mudur Atatürk Dhmi Istanbul Yesilkoy 34830
- Turkey Phone: +90(0)212 663 6400
- E-mail: email@example.com
Transportation from the airport to the city center:
There are many options for getting to the center of Istanbul from Ataturk airport using public transport. Some of the most accessible options include:
The bus is the cheapest option for transportation from Istanbul Airport to the city center. The HAVAIST company operates a fleet of accessible buses and minibuses, with a total of 250 buses running daily between the airport and various destinations in Istanbul. The duration of the trip ranges from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the destination. To access the airport bus station, take the elevator to floor 2, where you can purchase tickets. Keep in mind that using the rechargeable Istanbulkart card will make your transfers cheaper. HAVAIST's most popular routes are to Taksim and Sultanahmet, and the company has a large fleet of accessible buses and minibuses. For those with mobility needs, we recommend reporting them to the HAVAIST counters located in the transportation plant at the airport. To arrange transportation from the city center to the airport, contact the company at least 6 hours in advance.
- Telephone: (+90) 08508883334.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The buses leave every 15 minutes and here we leave you the lines that leave the airport:
- HVİST-5 Esenler Otogar, 32 TL (with Istanbulkart)
- HVİST-6 Halkalı–Başakşehir, 30 TL
- HVİST-8 Beylikdüzü, 40 TL
- HVİST-9 Avcılar–Bahçeşehir, 32 TL
- HVİST-10 Bakırköy, 37 TL
- HVİST-12 Beyazıt Meydanı (Sultanahmet), 42 TL
- HVİST-13 Sabiha Gökçen Havalimanı, 52 TL
- HVİST-14 Kadıköy, 46 TL
- HVİST-15 Besiktas, 35 TL
- HVIST-16 Taksim, 42 TL
Another accessible option for people with mobility issues is taking a taxi. At Istanbul Airport, you will find black taxis, and you can register a request at the taxi counter located in the reception area on the arrivals floor. The airport also has hop-on/hop-off points for people with reduced mobility, indicated by signs located at entrance gates 1, 3, and 7 on the departure passenger floor, and tactile paving for those with visual impairments. In addition, we also provide contact information for a company that offers private vehicles adapted for people with reduced mobility.
- Telephone: (+90) 2125276859 or (90) 5442201022 (whatsapp)
- Email: email@example.com
- Web: https://eventsofistanbul.com/
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport:
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and is approximately 45 kilometers from the city center. This airport is primarily used by low-cost airlines and handles more than 29 million passengers annually. It was built to reduce congestion at Atatürk Airport and, like Atatürk Airport, it offers assistance services for people with reduced mobility or disabilities. These services include:
- Ramps and elevators to facilitate movement inside the terminals
- Restrooms and mobility service with electric strollers and wheelchairs available for passengers
- Special assistance for passengers with disabilities, including help with check-in and boarding
- Contact information for the personnel in charge of the airport for any queries about the services provided for people with reduced mobility or disabilities.
- Passengers with disabilities can contact the airlines via the help/assistance phone booth located next to the disabled entrance on the Departures level for wheelchair service by pressing 1 for Turkish Airlines or AnadoluJet, 2 for Pegasus Airlines and 3 for all other airlines.
- Wheelchair service in the international and domestic terminals (contact your airline prior to arrival) Service staff will assist you through check-in and boarding procedures, from security checks to your seat.
- Accessible public telephones in the International and National Terminals, accessible restrooms and dedicated accessible parking spaces in the parking lot are available. Vehicles of the Inter-Airport Service to the plane with access for the disabled.
- All information desks in the terminal provide tablets and braille pens for the visually impaired.
- It is recommended to arrive at the terminal early to allow time for procedures and complete all paperwork before check-in closes to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience.
We recommend that passengers with disabilities notify their travel agency or airline 48 hours in advance before arriving at the airport so that the service can be prepared. You can also get in direct contact with the personnel in charge of the airport at Telephone (+90) 2126632550.
Address and contact:
- Sabiha Gökçen Havalimani A.O. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport 34149 Pendik / Istanbul
- Telephone: (+90) (0)216 588 88 88
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the city center:
This airport does not have as many transportation options as Ataturk Airport, but here are the accessible options available:
Line M4 of the subway passes through the airport and is accessible to people with reduced mobility. The station has three entrances: Entrance #1 Domestic Terminal CIP Hall & Carpark, Entrance #2 Sabiha Gökçen Airport Hotel, and Entrance #3 Terminal. You can use the M4 Kadıköy-Sabiha Gökçen Airport metro line to access other transportation options such as T3 Kadikoy - Moda Tram, ferries and sea lines from Kadikoy station, Marmaray from Ayrılık Çeşmesi station, Metrobus from Ünalan station, and the Pendik High Speed Train Station via IETT buses from Pendik Station.
The Havaist company operates adapted buses with facilities for people in wheelchairs just outside the airport. The journey to the center takes approximately one and a half hours, depending on traffic.
Taxi or Rental Car:
This is the most comfortable option, but also the most expensive, as the airport is located about 45 km from the city center. A company that offers private vehicles adapted for people with reduced mobility is:
Transportation within the city:
Sirkeci Station is a central station in Istanbul, located in Sirkeci on the European side of the city. International, domestic and regional trains depart daily from this station and it also has a metro station. The station is accessible to people with reduced mobility, and it is close to many tourist spots in the city such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the cistern. It is a traditional station but has been recently modernized.
Hocapaşa Mahallesi Ankara Cadddesi, Halil Lütfü 4. İş Merkezi K: 1 No:113, Hoca Paşa, 34110 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
Buses are a popular means of transportation for city residents as the network is extensive and covers the entire city, but it is not commonly used by tourists as buses do not pass through Sultanahmet. Not all buses are accessible to people with mobility issues, but due to their high frequency of passage, you will always find one with access ramps.
It is a bus with a private lane, which saves traffic jams, it is 52 km long and has 44 stops, but we must say that it is not very useful for tourists since few lines run through tourist areas.
Except for Uzunçayır, Acıbadem, Altunizade, Burhaniye Mahallesi, Halıcıoğlu, Ayvansaray - Eyüpsultan, Bayrampaşa - Maltepe, Merter, Beşyol, Küçükçekmece stations, all stations are suitable for people with reduced mobility.
On the front signs of Metrobus vehicles, the last station the vehicle will go to, Beylikdüzü, Avcılar, Cevizlibağ, Zincirlikuyu and Söğütlüçeşme, is now written instead of the line number.
It has 6 lines M1, M2, M3, M4, M6 and M7
The M2 is the most used by tourists since it links Taksim with the most touristic part of the city and is adapted and accessible to people with mobility problems.
The Vezneciler stop is right in front of the grand bazaar and is also accessible
The M4 and M5 lines are on the Asian side, the M3 and M7 are in peripheral areas of the city and are not useful for tourists.
For tourists, we think that this is the best option to move around the city since it is fully accessible and has only one line, T1, which connects Kabatas and Bagcilar, passing through Sultanahmet and the entire most important tourist area of the city.
Its frequency is 5 minutes and it is open from 06:00 in the morning to 00:00 at night. It is a quick and punctual option.
Istanbul is one of the cities in the world with taxis per capita, but we must say that standard taxis are not usually adapted and also have a reputation for deceiving tourists, for this reason here we leave you the contact information of a company that has private vehicles and adapted for people with reduced mobility.
The Sehir Hatlari company operates boats that are adapted for people in wheelchairs and offers services between the European and Asian sides of the city. This means of transport is widely used by city residents as it saves a lot of time by avoiding traffic and offers good views of the city while crossing. Additionally, the ferry service is also a good way to explore the Bosphorus strait and its surroundings, which is known for its scenic beauty.
It is important to note that the Sehir Hatlari company runs regular services from different piers on both sides of the city and tickets can be purchased on the spot or online. Passengers with reduced mobility should inform the company in advance about their needs, and the staff will assist them with boarding and disembarking.
Address and Contact:
- ISTANBUL SEHIR HATLARI TURİZM SAN. and TİC. WHAT.
- Address: Bedrettin Mh. Evliya Çelebi Cad.No: 63 / A (Halic Shipyard) Kasımpaşa Beyoğlu / İSTANBUL. 34440
- Telephone: (+90) 02123138000
- Email: email@example.com
- Web: https://www.sehirhatlari.istanbul/en
Grace Rooftop Restaurant: https://gracerooftop.com/
This restaurant is located on the roof of a beautiful building, offering a 360-degree view of Istanbul's islands and the Blue Mosque. It is accessible for people with reduced mobility and offers an unforgettable dining experience. They serve traditional Ottoman and fusion cuisine, including dishes that were once served to the sultans and their guests. The menu features highlights such as stuffed melon and an extensive selection of seafood.
Address and contact:
- Binbirdirek Mahallesi Terzihane Sokak 15/6 Sultanahmed
- Telephone: (+90) 05428444473
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Healinfoods Restaurant: https://healinfoods.com/
We suggest an accessible restaurant that focuses on vegan and healthy options. This restaurant opened its doors in 2017 and serves fresh, seasonal, and 100% natural food. They provide a wide range of options, including delicious salads, fresh smoothies and juices, and surprising dishes from Southeast Asia. They are a great option for those looking for a healthy, accessible, and vegan-friendly dining experience.
Address and contact:
- Husrev Gerede Cad. No: 110 Teşvikiye-Istanbul
- Telephone: (+90) 212 260 08 08
- Email: email@example.com
Calipso Restaurant: https://www.calipsorestaurant.com/
This restaurant is accessible for people with reduced mobility and is located in a prime location in Istanbul. They specialize in fish and have won various gastronomic awards. The menu features a variety of dishes such as carefully prepared Aegean herbs, hot and cold appetizers, a selection of expertly chosen fish, fish specialties, seafood in sauce, and a variety of desserts and wines. It's a great choice for those who enjoy seafood and looking for an accessible and centrally located option.
Address and contact:
- Turgut Ozal Boulevard Republic Street No: 2 Küçükyalı
- Telephone: (+90) 0216 489 28 58
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org