Istanbul is located at a point that connects Asia and Europe. This means that Istanbul has many places that you can explore on two different continents. The touristic center of Istanbul is usually the European side where Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square and Sultanahmet Mosque are located.

However to see the real Istanbul, you have to explore the Asian side! First you need to know how to get to the Asian side of Istanbul. For those who are unfamiliar with the city, getting to the Asian side can be a bit confusing.

I have been living in Istanbul for years. I will tell you how to get to the Anatolian side of Istanbul with the best, fastest and cheapest ways. I also answer questions such as how to get to Kadikoy, Uskudar… let’s start!

Getting to Istanbul’s Asian Side

Istanbul is a city with a good transportation system. It is quite easy to go from the European side to the Asian (Anatolian) side. There are two main ways to go to the Asian side; take the ferry and use the metro (Marmaray Suburban).

Does Istanbul connect Europe and Asia?

Of course yes! There are 3 bridges, 1 underground vehicle tunnel and 1 submarine metro line connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. There are also many ferry services over the Bosphorus.

Two Sides of Istanbul in one Picture / from Uskudar @Tolga Ahmetler
This is one of what you can found in Asian side of Istanbul / Kuzguncuk @Tolga Ahmetler

What are the two sides of Istanbul?

Basically The Asian and Europoean Side. However, we call the Asian side the Anatolian side. Tourist attractions and workplaces are usually in the European side. Anatolian side is mostly a local area that you see the real Turkish Life.

Should i go to the Asian Side of Istanbul?

You should definitely go. If you only go to the European side, you have not seen Istanbul 🙂

Fery From European to Asian Side

The best way for tourists to get from the European side to the Asian side is to take the ferries. We call these ferries “vapur” in Turkish. It has a different meaning than an ordinary ferry.

These are the historical and nostalgic ferries of Istanbul. Crossing the Bosphorus with these ferries is a real delight. Locals feed the birds by throwing “simit” (simit is our local bakery product) from these ferries

Where does the ferry depart from to go to the Anatolian side?

Ferries to the Asian side depart from Eminonu, Besiktas and Karakoy. From these three points, you can go to Kadikoy or Uskudar, which is located on the Asian side.

You can reach Eminonu ferry terminal by taking the tram from Sultanahmet.

Historic Ferries of Istanbul @Meric Dagli
Istanbul is famous for its stray cats / One fell asleep in the istanbul metro @Batu Gezer

When & how often does the ferry depart to the Anatolian Side?

It is possible to find a ferry in every 15-20 minutes during day hours. You don’t need to look at timetable for these ferries. They are operated quite frequently.

You can check the timetables of ferries here (official site)

How much is the ferry ticket in Istanbul?

You can get on the ferries with an ordinary city transportation ticket. Usually the ticket price is around 4-6 Turkish Liras ( about 0.70 euro). You can board with an Istanbul card.

How long does it take to get to the Asian Side by Ferry?

It takes 20 minutes from Eminonu to Kadikoy, 15 minutes from Eminonu to Uskudar, 30 minutes from Besiktas to Kadikoy, and 10 minutes from Besiktas to Uskudar.

Sitting on the side of the ferry is a locals ritual

Getting to Asian Side by Metro (Marmaray)

If you are in a hurry, if you want to go to the Anatolian side as fast as possible, you can go to the Asian Side by Marmaray metro and suburban in just 5 minutes.

This is the fastest way to get to the Asian Side of Istanbul. Marmaray is an important subway that goes under the sea. I think traveling between two continents under the sea should be experienced.

Marmaray departs every 10 minutes. You don’t need to look at the schedule. You need Istanbulkart ( city transportation card) when getting Marmaray. Prices are similar to standard city fares.

You can walk to the Sirkeci Marmaray Station from Eminonu or Sultanahmet. If you are coming from Taksim, you must first take the M2 metro to Yenikapi and transfer to Marmaray from there. Uskudar, the first stop after the Sirkeci is on the Asian Side.

Marmaray Suburban System / You can cross the Bosphorus by Marmaray Metro
İstanbul Metro Map / Click for Enlarge!

Going to the Asian Side by Crossing the Bosphorus Bridge

Istanbul has bridges connecting two continents. To cross the Bosphorus bridges, you can use the tram bus-like transportation vehicle called Metrobus.

The metrobus crosses the Bosphorus Bridge and offers a wonderful view. You can take the metrobus from Mecidiyekoy, it goes directly to Kadikoy. You can go to Mecidiyekoy with the M2 metro from Taksim or Fatih.

What is the Best Way to cross to the Anatolian side?

If you are a tourist and want to enjoy Istanbul, the best way is to use the local ferries. If you leave from Istanbul without doing this, you have missed a lot…

The fastest way to go to the Asian side from European is to use the Marmaray metro & suburban system.

The Bosphorus Bridge @Mert Kahveci

FAQs About Getting to Anatolian Side of Istanbul

Can i walk from Europe to Asia in Istanbul?

I wish we could walk on foot like on the Golden Gate Bridge 🙂 but you can’t walk on the Bosphorus Bridges in Istanbul.

How do you get to Kadikoy from Sultanahmet?

To go from Sultanahmet to Kadikoy, first take the T1 tram to Eminonu and then take the Eminonu – Kadikoy ferries, that is all!

How to get to Kadikoy from Taksim?

To go from Taksim to Kadikoy, first take the M2 metro to Yenikapi, then take the Marmaray and get off at Sogutlucesme station. You can reach Kadikoy by walking in 5 minutes.

Shopping in Istanbul’s Asian Side: Malls & Bazaars Find Out More!

Kadikoy Ferry Terminal @Tolga Ahmetler
I sometimes sail across the Bosphorus by sailing, I’m kidding 🙂

How to get to Kadikoy or Uskudar from Besiktas?

There are ferry services from Besiktas to both Kadikoy and Uskudar. Take the ferry directly!

How can I get to the Maiden’s Tower from the European side?

You can see the Maiden’s Tower best from the Salacak coast in Uskudar. You can reach Uskudar by the Marmaray metro from Eminonu or by ferry from Besiktas.

I told you the best and fastest ways to getting Asian Side of Istanbul. Istanbul is my city. If you have any questions, ask in the comment section below and I will give you directions from every point to the Anatolian side or Kadikoy, Uskudar. I wish you all a pleasant day! You should not leave without reading about the best things to do in Istanbul’s Asian Side!

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