The western suburbs of Istanbul are mostly residential areas and range from multi-million villas in Florya on the coast of Marmara Sea to slums of Bağcılar in the north. In general, the districts on the Marmara coast are upscale, while the districts located farther north inland are full of buildings with no respect to building codes, and minimal aesthetic expectations (slum, in short).
These suburbs are actually main ports of entry into the city, as both the major airport and the main bus station (otogar) of the city is located in this district.
Istanbul’s primary airport, Atatürk International (IST), is located near Yeşilköy, within this district. For more detailed information about how to get to the city center from the airport, see the respective section of main Istanbul article. Please note, while the nearest neighborhood to the airport is Yeşilköy, it is not possible to walk or otherwise easily get to the airport from Yeşilköy, so it is important not to catch a bus or a train with a stop in ‘Yeşilköy’ while in need of getting to the airport. Always look for the dedicated ‘Airport’ (Havaalanı/Havalimanı) stop/station. The instructions on the main Istanbul article are correct, though.
A suburban train (banliyö treni) line connects the coastal part of this district (including Bakırköy and Yeşilköy) with Sirkeci and with numerous other stations located in old city.
Trains from destinations in Europe or European Turkey don’t call at any of the stations located within this district. If you are arriving by a long-distance train, best way to get to these suburbs is to get off the (long-distance) train at Sirkeci station (last station) and then, to catch a suburban train there to your final destination.
After starting in Aksaray and running underground through the old city, southern metro line (M1) leaves the old city in Ulubatlı-Topkapı station and enters the Western Suburbs. It runs towards northwest until the main bus station (otogar) in Esenler, where the line curves towards south to meet the tram line which leaves old city in underground Topkapı station by the city walls. After the tram/metro intersection in Zeytinburnu, the metro line starts running towards west and after passing through a couple of brief underground sections and the stations of Bakırköy (which actually is located 3 km north of downtown Bakırköy), Ataköy, and Yenibosna among others, it eventually reaches its terminus at Atatürk International Airport (station: Havalimanı).
Dolmuşes operate on the following lines, almost 24 hours a day:
As anywhere else in Istanbul, there is a vast number of bus lines connecting this district with the rest of the city. The numbers of most useful lines are as follows:
Also very long, hybrid buses called Metrobüs which have their right-of-way ply through a route in the middle of the major highway heading west, in the north of Bakırköy. They depart from Mecidiyeköy and cut travel time dramatically.