Airport Transport in Istanbul

Last Updated on June 24, 2024

Istanbul now has two airports: Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, for many domestic, shorter-haul international, and lower-fare flights, and Istanbul Airport (IGA), the new mega-airport that receives most international flights, is located on the European side. It is now the largest airport in the world and flies to 262 destinations.

We all know that airport transfers can be overwhelming, but with proper planning, it doesn't have to be a daunting task. In short, the easiest method is to secure an Istanbul Airport Transfer, which you can book with one of our reliable partners. A private transfer is a safe and convenient way to reach your final destination. However, there are still other methods for airport transfers. Let's look at each airport and transportation method together.

The Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA)

Istanbul Airport, Turkey

Istanbul's new mega-airport, named Istanbul Grand Airport (Airport code IST. Airport), became the new airport for all of Istanbul in 2018, replacing Istanbul Ataturk Airport. It is now the world's largest airport, and its native airline, Turkish Airlines, flies to most countries in the world. You can check out our new Istanbul Airport page for more detailed transport information. There are many ways to arrange Istanbul Airport transfers. Let's take a look at the wide range of transportation methods, from private transfers to metro lines.

Transportation Options from Istanbul Airport (IGA)

Airport transfer in Turkey

By Private Transfer Service

After a long flight and a hectic business trip, figuring out the public transportation system can be a daunting task. However, opting for an airport transfer service can prove to be highly beneficial. It not only saves time but also reduces stress. The drivers greet the passengers at either the arrivals area or the arrivals gate and guide them to the designated location with ease. Additionally, these services are even more advantageous for families and large groups traveling with children, as most taxis do not provide child seats for young passengers or won't have much luggage space.

The airport private transfer service operated by Efendi Travel is of exceptional value—not much more than a taxi, but it provides far more comfort, convenience, a professional driver, and security. Experienced drivers at Efendi Travel also save time by avoiding each traffic jam with care and providing excellent service. It's good for any traveler, but if you're traveling with three or more people and/or have lots of luggage, this is the way you should go, for sure.

Istanbul Airport - m11 metro line

By Metro and Tram to the City Center

Istanbul has a very well-developed public transportation system, and the Istanbul Airport metro line is no exception. You can board a metro line M11 (Kargo Terminali - Kağıthane line) right beneath the airport at the metro station and ride to Kağıthane. From there, have a transfer to the M7 Mahmutbey-Yıldız line and get off at the Mecidiyeköy stop. Afterward, make another transfer M2 Hacıosman-Yenikapı line and get off in Vezneciler, where you can transfer to the T1 Kabataş tram for the ride to Sultanahmet Square, Sirkeci Station, the Eminönü ferry docks (map), the Galata Bridge, Karaköy and its ferry docks, and the Kabataş ferry docks and Füniküler to. It's inexpensive but slower, and it's not so easy if you have lots of luggage.

İstanbul public transport busses

By Metro to the Otogar (Bus Terminal)

Board the M11 metro train line at the Istanbul Havalimanı (Airport) terminus and ride it to Kağıthane. From there, make a transfer to the first M7 Mahmutbey-Yıldız line and get off at the Mecidiyeköy stop. Then, take the M2 Hacısoman-Yenikapı line and get off in Yenikapı. From there, take either M1A or M1B lines to the Otogar station. You'll be right at the center of Istanbul's huge Büyük Otogar (international intercity bus terminal). However, if you need to go straight to the Bus Terminal from the Airport, keep in mind that you also need to make a lot of transfers.

Istanbul Taxi

By Taxi

taxi from the airport to Sultanahmet will not be expensive, and the same goes for Taksim Square. The trip takes between 35 and 75 minutes, depending on traffic. But first, read about Istanbul taxis. 

By Taxi & Marmaray

Marmaray cross-Bosphorus trains currently terminate on the European side at Kazlıçeşme (map), 7.4 km west of Sultanahmet. A taxi ride between the airport and Kazlıçeşme Marmaray station costs less than a taxi ride between the airport and the city center. It also saves time if traffic in the city center is heavy; the Marmaray goes faster than stalled traffic.

By Havaist

Havaist is the name of the airport bus that takes you to the city center directly. There are different routes and schedules, so make sure you make your plan according to your accommodation or first destination.

By Shared Shuttle Van

Airport shuttle vans can take you to and from the airport, but you must be cautious.

Tourist in Hotel in Turkey

Accommodation Near Istanbul Airport (IGA)

A half-dozen hotels are within a few kilometers of the airport, and one is right within the international terminal itself, but they may not offer advantages over city-center hotels.

Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW)

Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey, Istanbul

TurYol organizes ferry services from Bakırköy, Eminönü, Kadıköy, and Karaköy to Büyükada (Big Island), Kınalıada, and Heybeliada. Here, you can access the departure times (ferry timetables) by entering your starting point and the island you want to arrive at.

TurYol boats depart the TurYol Karaköy ferry docks at the northern end of Galata Bridge, on the west side by the fish market, in the warm months, especially on weekends. Schedules meet demand. 

You need to buy a ticket when boarding Turyol ferries. You can see ticket prices after entering your boarding and arrival points and your personal information.

Transportation Options from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)

Sabiha Gökcen Metro, Istanbul, Turkey.

By Metro

The metro line you need to use to go to Sabiha Gökçen Airport is the M4 line (Kadıköy – Tavşantepe – Sabiha Gökçen). There are 23 stops on this line, and the journey takes an average of 47 minutes. First of all, taking the metro is an excellent option as it provides transportation to the airport without getting stuck in Istanbul traffic. However, the metro can be crowded and you may have to stand. In this case, you can choose your means of transportation according to the condition of your luggage. Secondly, by choosing the metro, you will not experience the stress of catching your flight because your risk of encountering unexpected situations is low, as on the roads. Still, do not forget to go to the airport 2-3 hours early.

A Havabüs airport bus awaits passengers near Taksim Square.

By Havabüs

Havabüs is the name of the buses going to Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The buses going to Istanbul Airport are called Havaist. Havabüs has different routes available when returning from and going to the airport. Depending on the location of your accommodation, you need to find out which bus to use, where to take the bus, and what time the bus will depart. You can visit this page to access all information and fees.

Sabiha Gökcen Airport, Taxi, Istanbul, Turkey.

By Taxi

You can also reach Sabiha Gökçen Airport by taxi. In this case, when you get off the plane, you can talk to the taxi drivers and find out how much it will cost on average to the location you want to go to, but you should request to go with the taximeter (taksimetre) on so that you do not get deceived.

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