The city has a traffic problem, period. No surprise, when a population of 15 million people commutes between different continents. To make things worse, it is separated by an inlet, the Golden Horn, spanned only by four bridges.
The word traffic jams takes on a completely different meaning once you end up on one of the roads leading to the two bridges connecting Asia and Europe. Not only does the highway narrow down, but all cars need to pass a toll station. Even tough the fee is deducted automatically, traffic slows down to a stand still. This nightmarish scenario is intercepted by constant loud shrills caused by cars that avoid paying the toll.
Well, we only chose this way to go from Atashehir to the historic centre once. It took us more than 2.5 hours to cover the 35km. So we immediately switched to the most efficient & pleasant way to travel to and around Istanbul: the ferry boat. This is a fast and scenic way to discover the whole city.
Soon, we established a simple routine: before departing, we bought a delicious sesame brezel. Once on the boat, we got a chai (Turkish tea) from a waiter balancing a tray around the boat. We simply loved those ferry rides.
Apart from that, there are cheap taxis and a tram connecting all the major tourist attractions. So the weary tourist never runs out of options.