Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet

Last Updated on April 4, 2024

Istanbul Airport is located outside the city, but transportation facilities by public transportation are improving day by day. Since Atatürk Airport is closed, the only airport on the European side is Istanbul Airport. Sabiha Gökçen Airport is on the Anatolian side.

If you want to go directly to Sultanahmet when you land at Istanbul Airport, you can follow the steps below.

Private Transportation


When you leave Istanbul Airport after completing your customs procedures and collecting your luggage, you will see the area reserved for taxis. From here, if there is a queue, you can get in the queue and share the destination you want to go with the taxi driver and get a price. As a matter of fact, there are also tables showing average prices by location. However, it may be better to demand to pay the price written on the taximeter (taksimetre) to prevent taxi drivers from giving you a higher price because you are a tourist. This way you pay the real amount. However, it is worth noting that taxi prices in Istanbul are a bit expensive due to the high gasoline prices.

Rent a Car

When you leave the baggage claim area, you will be greeted by many car rental agencies. If you are going to stay in Turkey for a long time and visit other cities, renting a car may be a good option if you have a lot of belongings or children. But remember, parking can be an issue in Istanbul

You can find information about all car rental companies at Istanbul airport and review their websites here. After renting your car, you can go to Sultanahmet by car. This distance is approximately 50 km.

Private Transfer

The advantage of a private transfer is that you agree on a fixed fee and have a more comfortable trip. But it is likely to be a higher fare than a taxi.

Airport transfer in Turkey

Public Transport

Metro & Tram

If you want to travel by metro, you should follow the following directions step by step: first, after leaving the airport, follow the metro signs to reach the M11 Cargo Terminal-Kağıthane metro. You must pay with your Istanbul card or contactless debit or credit card and take the metro to Kağıthane. If you want to go directly to Sultanahmet, you should get off at Kâğıthane stop and transfer to the metro going to M7 Mahmutbey-Yıldız direction. To do this, after leaving Kağıthane M11 metro station, you must cross the street and go to the M7 Kağıthane stop. Signs will help you. You should take the M7 line towards Yıldız and get off at the Mecidiyeköy stop. From here, you will transfer to the M2 line from the underpass. You will take the M2 Hacıosman-Yenikapı metro towards Yenikapı and get off at the Istanbul University stop. After getting off, you can take the T1 Kabataş-Bağcılar tram towards Kabataş or Eminönü and get off at the Sultanahmet stop. 

If you're bound for Sirkeci hotels, the Golden Horn, the Marmaray suburban train line, or the Eminönü ferry docks, stay on the tram to the Gülhane, Sirkeci or Eminönü stop, as appropriate. (Connection with the Marmaray is at Sirkeci.)

If the particular tram you're on is marked Kabataş, it will continue beyond Eminönü, cross the Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn to Karaköy (Galata), and go as far as Kabataş, where there is another ferry dock and a funicular to Taksim Square.

In short, you need to use the M11, M7, M2, T1 metros. Although it has many connections, it is the most affordable and traffic-free option. If your suitcase is not heavy, you have a low budget, you have a short time in Istanbul and you want to visit the historical areas directly, you can reach Sultanahmet by metro transfers by following these steps carefully.


In order to use public transportation vehicles, you need to obtain an Istanbulkart. This card can be very handy and necessary for your Istanbul trip. If you would like to, you can also download the Istanbulkart application to your mobile phone and make the payments with the QR code after you upload money to your virtual Istanbulkart. Another option is to make the payments with your contactless credit card, but you should know that the fares are a little more expensive this way. For further information, you can check this page


For Havaist bus stops, when you leave the airport, you need to walk a little, following the signs. -After going down to 2 floors, you can pay for your ticket with your credit card at the ticket office or in Turkish lira in cash when you get on the bus.

You can check this website for current schedules, stations, and fares, it is possible to buy the ticket online as well. 

You can take the Aksaray bus to go to Eminönü and Sultanahmet. When you get off at the last stop, you should walk for 5 minutes and transfer to the T1 Kabataş-Bağcılar tram line from Aksaray station and get on in the direction of Kabataş. From here, you can start your tour by getting off in Sultanahmet or Eminönü. Or, if you wish, you can start your trip from Taksim by taking Taksim buses. To get to Sultanahmet from here, you must use the Taksim-Kabatal funiculars to go down to Kabatas, from there transfer to the T1 Kabatas-Bağcılar tram and get off again at Sultanahmet.

-by Melike Kocaer

Visit our Facebook group:

Get a Quote

You’re forwarded to tekce.com


You will be redirected
in 3 seconds...

Please wait to continue or Cancel

Skip to toolbar