Istanbul metro stops – art underground

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Have you been to my local Istanbul metro stop?

The Istanbul Metro system in Turkey only dates back to 1989 but Istanbul’s had a state of the art transport system since 1875, when Tünel, the second ever subway in the world, opened. On a normal day a total of 1,600,000 people a day use the Istanbul metro and rail systems (this includes the Metrobus and the Marmaray). That’s a lot of people. Currently there are six metro lines in use, with more under construction. The facilities and mechanics are extremely functional, but that doesn’t mean drab and boring. On the contrary, many of the Istanbul metro stops house surprisingly beautiful decorations and works of art, deep underground. Here are photos of some of my favourites.

I’m curious to know if you’re familiar with any of the Istanbul metro stops already. Can you tell me the names of the metro stations where you’ll find them? Let me know in the comments section below.

Go on your own public transport adventure with my city guide Istanbul 50 Unsung Places and discover the city I’m lucky enough to call home.

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  1. Thank you very much for the info Lisa. I/we think that the black roundel is more likely to be Sirkeci as that is the station we use for the Marmaray line. Certainly likely to look into the wonderful artwork when we next visit.

    1. My pleasure. I love to share discoveries like this as it shows there is so much more to Istanbul than Sultanahmet and Istiklal Caddesi.

  2. Hi Lisa
    We recognise 2 of the images; the big black roundel we think is Yenikapi and possibly the last image as well. Would love to know where the others are as it could present a new project for our next visit.

    1. The three photos with orange, yellow and green tiles (including the chandelier) are from the Ümraniye metro stop. A highlight of a rather stressful trip to get the gas connected at home (including lugging back a very heavy metal meter from the gas company office). The birds on a tree and panel with a wild yellow tulip are from the Bağlarbaşı metro station, just next to Marmara University Ilhiyat Mosque. I don’t think the black circle is from Yenikapı, it’s either from Sirkeci or Şişhane (I’m going to the latter on Tuesday so I’ll correct this afterwards). The red, white and blue tulips are from Kabataş and the one showing people sitting and standing on a platform with greenısh panels on the wall is from Yenikapı.

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