Are you planning to visit Istanbul in 2023 and looking for an exciting way to explore the city? Why not rent a bike and hit the road? Cycling in Istanbul is not only a great way to experience the city’s rich history and stunning views, but also a fun and healthy way to get around. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about cycling in Istanbul, including the best routes, bike rental options, safety tips, and more.
How to Rent a Bike in Istanbul (2023)
If you’re looking to rent a bike in Istanbul, you’ll be pleased to know that the city has many bike rental options available. The most convenient way to rent a bike is through the bike-sharing program run by the government. The stations are located in various tourist areas around the city, making it easy to rent and return bikes at your convenience. You can rent a bike using your Istanbulkart, a transportation card that can be used for public transport and other services throughout the city.
Another option is to rent a bike from private bike rental shops. These shops can be found in popular tourist areas and usually offer a wider range of bike options. The cost of renting a bike varies depending on the type of bike and the rental duration. You can expect to pay around 15-25 TL per hour, or 50-70 TL for a full day rental.
ISBIKE – Bike Sharing System and Easy Istanbul Bike Rental
ISBIKE is Istanbul’s public bike-sharing system, providing locals and visitors with an easy and affordable way to explore the city on two wheels. With over 1,500 bikes available at more than 150 stations across Istanbul, ISBIKE offers flexible pricing plans that cater to all needs, including hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rates. The system is easy to use and can be accessed through the ISBIKE app, available on both iOS and Android devices.
Explore Istanbul on Bike
Cycling in Istanbul can be an amazing way to explore the city, especially if you know where to go. Here are some of the best cycling routes to take in Istanbul.
Bike and Segway Tours for Electro-Transport Enthusiasts in Istanbul
There is a great alternative for those, who don’t feel like searching for bike rental in Istanbul, but still want to cycle or ride electric transport. Istanbul offers a range of exciting guided tours to help you explore the city in a unique and environmentally-friendly way. Consider the following options for an unforgettable adventure:
Popular Cycling Routes for Bike Rentals in Istanbul
While cycling routes in Turkey may not be as developed as those in European countries, there are still some great routes to explore in Istanbul. Some of the most popular cycling routes in Istanbul include:
Cycling along the Bosphorus coast between Karakoy and Sarıyer is easy and enjoyable. With walking and cycling trails running alongside most of the beaches, you can take your time and soak in the stunning scenery.
Kadikoy to Bostanci
This route is arguably the most beautiful cycling route in the Asian part of Istanbul. With many tourist attractions along the way, including historic landmarks and local neighborhoods, it’s a great way to explore the city.
City Walls of Constantinople
Rent a bike from the Sultanahmet bike station and follow the tram line to Sirkeci tram station. Once there, turn right onto Kennedy Street and continue along the coastal way until you reach the end of the city walls. Along the way, you’ll pass by the Yedikule Dungeons, Chora Museum, Fener, and Balat. After reaching the Golden Horn, turn right to return to Sirkeci tram station or continue on to Eminonu bike station.
On the Shores of Bosphorus
Rent a bike from Eminonu bike station and follow Necatibey Street, which runs alongside the Bosphorus. Along the way, you can stop to admire the Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress, and Sakip Sabanci Museum.
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Cycling in the Princes’ Islands (Bike Rentals Routes)
If you’re looking for a peaceful and car-free biking experience, the Princes’ Islands are a great destination. The islands have many bike rental options and no vehicles are allowed on the streets, except for police and emergency cars. Some of the best cycling routes on the islands include:
This is one of the best places for cycling in Turkey, with a coastal road that’s perfect for leisurely rides. If you don’t have a personal bike, you can easily rent one and enjoy your time on the island.
The bike path on this island starts from the house of Turkish author Husayn Rahmi Gurbinar and goes to the Monastery of Saint Spyridon and Cam Harbor Bay. The next destination is Aya Triada School for Religious Studies, located in the northern part of the hill. From there, you can return with your bike directly.
Cycling on the Island of Burgazada Ada
You will reach the monastery of Aya Yorgi Gribi via the coastal road. The Greek Orthodox Church was built on the island in the 17th century, and it is home to the Russians who fled the country after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. After that, you will arrive at Kalpazankaya, which is a place for a short vacation or a meal. You can sit on the restaurant chairs and enjoy a delicious meal while you are passing by.
I hope these popular cycling routes in Istanbul and the Princes’ Islands give you some great options to explore on your bike. Remember to stay safe while riding and enjoy the beautiful scenery Turkey has to offer.
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Bike on Public Transport in Istanbul
If you don’t live near a bike lane or you want to explore further areas of Istanbul, you can combine cycling with other forms of transport. Even with a rental bike, sometimes you need to hop on a bus in Istanbul to get wherever you want. The good news is that Istanbul’s public transport system is quite bike-friendly.
For example, you can take your bike on the Şehir Hatları and IDO boats, which is a great way to explore the city’s coastlines while enjoying a cycling adventure. Some buses also have bike racks at the front, allowing you to easily take your bike with you on your journey.
Additionally, you can take your bike on the Metro, but there are some restrictions. During commuting hours, from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm, bikes are not allowed on the Metro due to the high number of passengers. However, outside of these hours, you can take your bike on the Metro, making it a convenient way to travel to more distant parts of the city with your bike.
Moreover, there are plenty of bike parking areas all over Istanbul, so you don’t have to worry about finding a safe and secure spot to park your bike while you explore the city’s landmarks and attractions. Whether you choose to cycle on your own or combine it with public transport, Istanbul offers plenty of opportunities for a memorable and enjoyable biking experience.
Must-Have Applications for Biking in Turkey
If you’re planning to bike in Turkey, these two applications are a must-have:
Bisiklet Ulaşım Platformu (BUP)
BUP, also known as Bisikletli Ulaşım Haritası, is an online map that shows Turkey’s bike repair shops, bike parking units, biking routes, rental shops and bike share system stations, dangerous drain inlets, bike-friendly enterprises/restaurants, some main public transport stations and rules, time, limit, & cost for bikes in metro, metrobüs, trams, boats, etc. It is available on Android and currently being updated for Apple Store.
Cycling Maps for Istanbul
Cycling maps can be very helpful when exploring Istanbul on a bike. Here are some useful maps:
Bike Citizens Map
The Bike Citizens map is a helpful tool for finding cycling routes in Istanbul. It offers detailed information about bike lanes, bike repair shops, and other useful points of interest for cyclists. The map is available online.
Istanbul Municipality Bike Map
The Istanbul Municipality offers a comprehensive bike map that shows cycling routes and infrastructure in the city. This map can be accessed online.
Bikemap is an online platform that offers cycling maps for cities around the world, including Istanbul. The platform offers a variety of routes with different difficulty levels, and users can also create and share their own routes. The Istanbul cycling map on Bikemap can be found here.
Safety Tips for Biking in Istanbul
When biking in Istanbul, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some tips to keep you safe on the road:
Wear Protective Gear
Always wear a helmet and gloves when cycling to protect yourself from head injuries and scrapes if you fall. It is also recommended to wear bright or reflective clothing to increase your visibility, especially when cycling at night.
Use LED Lights
If you are cycling at night or in low-light conditions, use good quality LED lights on your bike to increase your visibility to other road users.
Be Aware of Traffic
Istanbul is notorious for its busy and often chaotic traffic. Always be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the actions of other road users. Be especially cautious around buses and trucks, which have blind spots and may not see you.
Use Bike Lanes
While on-road bike lanes may be ignored by cars and parked vehicles, there is an attempt to create more separated bike lanes in Istanbul, either off-road or separated by bollards. Stick to designated bike lanes whenever possible, and avoid cycling on main roads.
Join a Mass Bike Ride
Mass bike rides are a great way to cycle the city with a large group, making it difficult for cars to ignore you. Some rides are marshaled by experienced city cyclists, making them safe and enjoyable events.
Check the Maps
Before setting off, be sure to check the cycling maps available online, such as those on Bisikletli Ulaşım Haritası and Bikemap. This will help you plan your route and identify the safest cycling paths in the city.
Istanbul may not be the easiest city for cycling, but with a little preparation, you can make your biking experience enjoyable and safe. Whether you prefer scenic routes or cycling through the city, Istanbul offers a range of options for cyclists. From popular routes along the Bosphorus beach, to the city walls of Constantinople, to the shores of the Golden Horn, there is no shortage of places to explore. And if you don’t live near a bike lane, don’t worry – Istanbul’s public transportation system is bike-friendly, with bike racks on some buses and boats.
Q: Can I rent a bike in Istanbul: is there a good rentals?
A: Yes, there are many bike rental shops throughout Istanbul. Some of the most popular bike rental companies include City Bike Istanbul, Bisim, and Smart Bike.
Q: Are there bike lanes in Istanbul?
A: Yes, Istanbul has been gradually increasing the number of bike lanes in the city, both on-road and off-road. Find more in the Bikemap app.
Q: Is Istanbul safe for cycling?
A: Istanbul can be a challenging city for cycling due to the heavy traffic and lack of bike lanes in some areas. However, by following safety tips like wearing a helmet and using LED lights at night, cyclists can make their biking experience safer and more enjoyable.
Q: Can I take my bike on public transportation in Istanbul?
A: Yes, Istanbul’s public transportation system is bike-friendly. Some buses and boats have bike racks, and bikes are allowed on the metro outside of commuting hours (7:30-9:30 and 16:00-20:30).
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