After a 13-hour flight, instead of taking a taxi to our Airbnb, we of course opted to prolong the misery by taking the Havaist-14 bus to Taksim square and then the Metro for one stop. A cab costs 25-30€, whereas the bus only costs 50 liras ($7) for both of us. It was a no brainer. I wonder at what point in our lives will we finally cry uncle and pay up for some luxury. Maybe when we’re too frail to lug our 16-lb packs on our backs.
Proceed to the lower level after baggage claim (don’t forget to get your SIM card and some Liras from the ATM outside baggage claim) to the Havaist bus terminal.
Get your ticket from a ticket booth (liras only). They no longer take IstanbulKart, so don’t waste your time looking for an IstanbulKart vending machine like we did.
The bus ride took about an hour, and we were greeted by more taxi drivers wanting to bring us to our final destination. But no, we had to find our way to a metro station nearby.
After about half an hour, we finally made it (with the help of Google maps) all hot and sweaty. Our host was a little concerned since it was past our ETA, and kindly offered to carry my pack up 3 flights of stairs. I, however, reassured him that I was strong and could manage. Because if I wasn’t, I would have arrived earlier in a cab.