Istanbul now has three airports:
—Atatürk International Airport (IST), its first and still main airport, particularly for long-haul (intercontinental) flights
—Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, for many domestic, shorter-haul international, and lower-fare flights
—Istanbul Airport (ISL), the new mega-airport inaugurated on 29 October 2018, currently with limited flight service.
You can travel between Istanbul's Atatürk
Airport and the city center
(22 km/14 miles) by economical private
and tram, airport
private transfer service operated
Travel is an exceptional value:
not much more than a taxi, but
providing far more comfort, convenience and
security. 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. More...
You can board a Metro train right
beneath the airport and ride to Zeytinburnu, where
you can transfer to
tram for the ride to Sultanahmet
the Eminönü ferry docks
Bridge, Karaköy and
its ferry docks, and the Kabataş
ferry docks and Füniküler to Taksim
Square. It's inexpensive, but
slower, and not so easy if you
have lots of luggage. More...
Board a Metro train right
in the airport at the Havalimanı (Airport)
terminus and ride it to the Otogar station.
You'll be right at the center of Istanbul's
huge Büyük Otogar (international
intercity bus terminal). More...
airport buses shuttle
Feribot Terminalı (for
ferries across the Sea
of Marmara to Yalova, Bursa and Bandırma).
There are other ways to travel this
route as well. More...
HavaBüs operates airport
connect Atatürk Airport with Taksim
Square, but you can also
go by private
tram and funicular;
Marmaray cross-Bosphorus trains currently terminate on the European side at Kazlıçeşme (map), 7.4 km west of Sultanahmet, 13 km east of Atatürk Airport. 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 can save time if traffic in the city center is heavy: the Marmaray goes faster than stalled traffic.
A taxi from
the airport to Sultanahmet costs
Square, about TL60
The trip takes between 35 and 75 minutes,
depending on traffic. But first, read
about Istanbul taxis. More...
shuttle vans can
take you to and from the airport,
but you must be cautious. More...
half-dozen hotels are
within a few km of the airport, and
one is right within the International
terminal itself, but they may not offer
advantages over city-center hotels. More...
other airport is Sabiha
Airport (SAW) on the
Asian side of the Bosphorus,
about 55 km (34 miles) east of
Atatürk International Airport
(IST). Here's how
to travel from Atatürk Airport
to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
Istanbul's new mega-airport, named simply Istanbul Airport, won't be in full service until the end of 2018 (and construction won't be completed for several years thereafter), but since its inauguration on 29 October 2018, it is in use for a limited number of flights. See the airport's own page for transport information.
—by Tom Brosnahan
private transfer minivan: much
more comfortable than a taxi,
not much more expensive.
Airport sign for the Metro/tram route.