Do I need to Rent a Car in İstanbul to Discover the City?

Istanbul, which is shown as one of the most famous metropolises in the world due to that it has landed both on Asian and European continents, has a deep historical background. Millions of tourists who visit the city every year experience its historical texture, natural beauties, and touristic activities with great pleasure.

You do not need to rent a car in İstanbul to discover the city unless you do not plan to travel outside of the city. Moreover, it is not recommended to rent a car in İstanbul just for getting around because of traffic congestion of the city. It is usually hard to find parking lots around top attractions. Public transportation is quite good to discover the city. The routes are mostly organized according to the top-visited places.

Istanbul is one of the deep-rooted cities among the famous world cities. This fact alone makes Istanbul a charming city to travel for tourists. But the answers to the question of why Istanbul is one of the world’s cities that should be visited are not so short. Both its unique natural beauty and its multicultural civilization history make Istanbul one of the most visited cities in the world. Approximately 13 million tourists come to Istanbul every year. İstanbul ranks 8th in the world in this regard, according to the news published in Mastercard’s annual Global Cities Index.

Disadvantages of Having a Car in İstanbul

It is a problem to have a car in Istanbul. The official population of Istanbul exceeds 15 million today. It has very congested traffic because it is such a crowded city. Traffic mobility, which is almost always heavy in central places, but may decrease at certain hours in relatively outside places. It takes quite a long time to travel from one place to another, especially during rush hour. 

Adherence to traffic rules is also not very strong. Inadequate compliance with traffic rules in such a mess can make the already congested situation even more difficult. Traffic accidents due to such situations may disrupt the traffic. That is why getting from one place to another by car can sometimes be much more difficult than usual. 

Istanbul has an excessive population according to its surface area. Istanbul is actually the 15th most populous city in the world. Although its area is not very large, its population has more population than world cities such as Paris, London, and Moscow. But despite this, it has a very narrow area. In addition, the central places are also close to each other and located in narrow areas. This has caused to become quite congested and complex of İstanbul, especially in terms of traffic jam. 

In almost every public transportation voice announcements and signboards are also made in English. Although there are informative expressions in English in public transportation, it may not be easy for foreign tourists to find their way in this confusion. In addition, the places that attract tourists the most are closed to vehicle traffic in Istanbul.

Tips Getting Around in İstanbul

It is good for you to get an İstanbulkart as soon as you arrive in the city and load some money to it. You can get and load to Istanbulkart from almost any transportation point or local shops. Istanbul has a very extensive public transport system, but you usually must use a combination of buses, subways, trams, and ferries to get from one place to another. Places to see in the Historical Peninsula, called the Sultanahmet area, are generally close to each other and can be reached on foot. If you want to watch beautiful landscapes to cross to the other side for these, you can take a ferry trip. In addition to the ferry, you can also choose a faster travel option by using the Marmaray, a rail system that goes under the Bosphorus. However, since walking in the city is an enjoyable activity, we recommend that you walk a lot. This is the best way to enjoy Istanbul.

Still Would like to Rent a Car in İstanbul?

If you still want to rent a car, you can easily rent a car in Istanbul though. There are many offices at the airports and central points of the city where you can rent a car.

You can choose the most appropriate one from Garenta, Enterprise, Avis, and many more car rental companies. You can find many options according to your budget and comfort in these companies. It is also possible to rent a car online through sites such as Yolcu360 and the websites of the companies above.

What Do I Need to Rent a Car in İstanbul?

There are some rules you need to know and some procedures to do to rent a car. Almost every company requests similar documents from their customers. Tourists entering from the airport can easily rent a car if they have an entry stamp on their passport while at the airport. There are many car rental companies in both airports of İstanbul, which are İstanbul Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side. Some points that people who will rent a car should know can be listed as follows:

  1. Driving licenses taken from foreign countries are valid for six months from the entry date to Turkey. You can drive for six months with this license.
  2. The entry stamp mentioned above on the passport must include the certain time of arrival in Turkey.
  3. The person who will rent the car has to exceed 21 years old.
  4. It is required to have a driving license of at least 1 year, if A, B, F group vehicles are wanted to be rented.
  5. Firms also allow additional drivers if they are added to the contract. The requirements are the same as those required for a driving license, such as the age limit and time of the license.
  6. We recommend that you have at least one valid credit card with you for payment transactions in Turkey.
  7. The contract should be in English. Most of the companies can already provide contracts in common international languages.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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