You plan trips to popular cities around the world and you never follow the plan! This is also true for Istanbul. Istanbul is a fast-paced, dynamic city and sometimes it seems to make no sense to plan a trip here. And when trying to make ad hoc decisions about where to go and what to do, you’ll want to have reliable apps to guide you. So, we’ve put together a list of the apps that will help you the most while you’re visiting Istanbul.
To truly see any city, it’s important to use its public transport. The pleasure of travelling by bus, subway or tram is unique in Istanbul. And Moovit is designed to help you know which one to use for any particular journey. Moovit gives you step-by-step directions from where you are to where you want to go.
It will tell you the time of arrival for your bus, tram or metro at the station, and notify you before you arrive at your stop. The Moovit public transport index is used to help public transport customers in over 150 cities. Moovit will be your best digital assistant in Istanbul for metro, funicular, train, bus, tram and ferry. The Moovit link for iOS and Android is here.
You can travel from one point to another with Trafi, another public transportation application. After entering the information about the place you want to go, just select the route you want to take. Trafi will also offer you the most suitable alternatives. With the offline app you can easily find your way even when you are not connected to the internet. With the “favourites” feature you can save the routes you use regularly. With instant traffic information you can avoid traffic congestion and find a suitable public transport alternative. Currently, the application works in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa, with plans for it to be used in other cities in time. Trafi is available on IOS and Android.
Welcome to Turkey’s oldest and largest online restaurant. With this application, you can order the desired food from any restaurant. You can see all the details of your order, pay and then just wait for your meal to arrive. The application also indicates when the food will arrive. In Yemeksepeti you can get information about the nearest restaurants, popular dishes, and how long it will take for your order to arrive. If you wish, you can also send the food you ordered to another place. You can even set the delivery time. The apps’ AI is constantly updated and will advise you on subsequent orders as it gets to know which foods you like. Don’t forget to download IOS and Android apps and sign up to get this service. Membership is free. Bon appétit!
4. Sesli Sözlük
Speaking Turkish is enjoyable. However, pronunciation may be a problem so it’s advisable to download a dictionary app to your phone. Sesli Sözlük (Talking Dictionary) is one of the best. You can use the app to ask for an address, place an order or just say “good morning” in Turkish. You’ll find it especially useful when bartering. Sesli Sözlük, translates 20 million words in 17 different languages with accents. The languages available are: English, Turkish, German, Persian, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Greek. IOS and Android links are here.
iTaksi application is the official taxi app of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. With this application you can easily find taxis. After installing the application, you can see the taxis closest to where you are and be connected with one. You can see details such as when the taxi will arrive and from which direction. You can also see detailed information about the driver and call them if necessary, and they can call you to confirm your pick up location so you might prefer to buy a prepaid phone line to make things easier. The app will also show you the route the taxi will take. Although these types of applications are open to payment by credit card, we recommend paying in cash. You can download iTaksi with iOS and Android.
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Another programme you can use to find a taxi. Once the app is installed, you can see where you want to go, the distance it is from your current location and the amount you’re likely to pay. As well as yellow taxis, turquoise taxis are included in the bitaksi application. Turquoise taxis are more comfortable and convenient, and a little more expensive than yellow cabs. With the app you can see how much you will pay for a turquoise taxi. IOS and Android links are here.
It’s a good idea to upload money to your Istanbulkart which is the payment method for Istanbul’s public transport system. With the Istanbulkart app you can easily check the balance on your account and top it up when necessary. You can also see the details of your previous payments. If your phone has NFC feature, you can see your balance by bringing Istanbulkart closer to your phone. You can see all the details in the table about the bank accounts and credit cards accepted. (Banka Adı: Name of Bank, Banka/ Hesap Kartı: Bank/Account Card, Kredi Kartı: Credit Card) Android and IOS links are here.
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8. Grand Bazaar
There are 61 streets and 4000 shops in the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul. For this reason, the Grand Bazaar tour and shopping experience is very enjoyable. However, if you’re worried about taking things home after shopping here, don’t be. Download the Grand Bazaar application to order online and have goods delivered to your home. You can search for products within the application, see where to buy them and then buy online and send it to your home address. IOS and Android links are here.
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How about cycling in Istanbul? Isbike, a service of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, allows you to rent bicycles with your Istanbulkart. With the isbike application, you can easily see the number of empty bikes in the station and how far the station is from where you are. You can rent a bike or check your balance through the app. You can also use the app to see the nearest isbike stop to your destination and get directions to your selected station and to see the places you’ve been to and the payments you’ve made. Isbike IOS and isbike Android links are here.
10. Martı (seagull)
Seagull app provides electric scooters. After downloading and registering the application you can see the nearest scooter station on the map that appears on a new page. When you find the scooter at the station, you should scan the square code on the scooter through the application on your smartphone. This will unlock the scooter. You can ride to your destination and park the vehicle. It’s important that you park the scooter according to the rules at your destination station as failure to do so will result in a fine. Martı app links for IOS and Android are here.