Travel from Europe to Asia for 2.15TL? Yes you can—with an Istanbulkart aboard a Bosporus ferry.
If you’re planning to use public transportation in Istanbul, then it pays to buy an Istanbulkart. The swipe card provides discounted fares for Istanbul’s Metro (train), Marmaray, trams, funiculars, ferries and buses. Instead of paying 4TL (US$2.00) per person per trip for a jeton (token/ticket), pay only 2.15TL—sometimes less—with an Istanbulkart. That’s a significant saving if you’re staying for a few days, and it's the cheapest ticket for travel from Europe to Asia!
To buy the card, look for magazine and confectionary kiosks near tram and Metro stations displaying the words 'Istanbulkart' or 'Akbil Dolum Noktası' (Refill Point). Ask the shopkeeper for an Istanbulkart, pay 10TL for the card, and add credit for your journeys. One card can be used for up to five people.
To board a tram, Metro, Marmaray, funicular or ferry simply swipe the card for each person at a turnstile near the platform/port. A screen on the turnstile will display your ticket price and the credit remaining. Buses do not accept cash fares, so swipe the card at the machine at the front of the bus as you enter.
When credit wanes, top-up at selected ticket machines near tram and train platforms or at the kiosks.
Note: The price above is for an adult fare (people aged over 7 years) for most journeys. Special journeys, such as those to the Princes' Islands, will charge more. Children under 7 are free.