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February 28, 2024

Uber in Istanbul?

Istanbul, the captivating city straddling two continents, boasts a vibrant culture, rich history, and a vast array of transportation options to explore its many wonders. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, navigating the city efficiently and conveniently can be crucial to maximizing your experience. This blog post delves into a specific transportation option – Uber in Istanbul, exploring its availability, how it functions, and comparing it to alternatives like traditional taxis.

Is Uber available in Istanbul?

Yes, Uber is available in Istanbul as of February 2024. However, its journey in the Turkish market has been a complex one. Initially introduced in Turkey in 2014, Uber faced opposition from the local taxi industry, leading to a lawsuit and a ban in 2019. Fortunately, the Istanbul court overturned the ban in 2021, allowing Uber to resume operations in the city.

How does Uber work in Istanbul?

Unlike the standard Uber model in other countries, Uber in Istanbul operates by partnering with existing taxi companies. This means that when you request a ride through the Uber app, you’ll be connected with a licensed taxi driver instead of a private vehicle owner-driver. These taxis are typically the familiar yellow taxis you’ll see around the city, sometimes referred to as turquoise taxis due to their distinctive color scheme.

Benefits of using Uber in Turkey, Istanbul:

  • Convenience: The Uber app offers a user-friendly interface for requesting a ride, eliminating the need to hail a taxi on the street.
  • Transparency: The app provides an estimated fare upfront, allowing you to budget your transportation costs beforehand.
  • Payment Methods: You can pay for your Uber ride directly through the app using your linked credit card, eliminating the need to carry cash.
  • Safety: Uber offers features like trip tracking and driver information, enhancing your sense of security during the ride.

Things to consider when using Uber in Istanbul:

  • Availability: While Uber is available in major cities like Istanbul, its reach might be limited compared to traditional taxis in smaller towns and suburbs.
  • Fares: Uber fares might be slightly higher than those of regular taxis, especially during peak hours or high demand periods.
  • Language barrier: While the Uber app itself is available in English, communication with the taxi driver might require basic Turkish language skills or the use of translation tools.

Alternatives to Uber in Istanbul Airport:

  • Traditional Taxis: Istanbul boasts a well-established network of yellow taxis readily available throughout the city. You can hail them on the street or find taxi ranks at major landmarks.
  • Taxi Apps: Several local taxi apps like Bitaksi and iTaksi offer similar functionalities to Uber, allowing you to request and track a taxi ride through your smartphone. These apps often operate in Turkish, so knowing basic phrases can be helpful.

Public Transport:

Istanbul’s extensive public transportation system, including the metro, bus, tram, and ferry, offers a convenient and affordable way to get around the city. While navigating it might require some research and planning, it’s a budget-friendly option for exploring different neighborhoods and experiencing local life.


Whether you choose to use Uber, traditional taxis, or public transportation, Istanbul offers various options to suit your needs and budget. Understanding the specifics of each transportation mode, their advantages, and potential drawbacks will empower you to make informed decisions and navigate the vibrant city of Istanbul with ease.


  • While Uber offers convenience and transparency, traditional taxis and public transportation remain viable alternatives.
  • Consider factors like availability, cost, language barriers, and your personal preferences when choosing your transportation mode.
  • Exploring Istanbul’s diverse transportation options allows you to tailor your experience and discover the city’s hidden gems more efficiently.