Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul‘s  Atatürk International Airport (IST) at Yeşilyurt, 23 km (14 miles) west of Sultanahmet Square (map), is the busiest of Turkey’s major airports.

It is scheduled to be replaced by the new Istanbul Airport(ISL) by the end of 2018More…


If you are required to have a visa to enter Turkey, you should already have bought it online through the excellent e-visa website. If you arrive without a visa, you may be able to buy one at a machine in the Arrivals area—but why take the chance? Without a visa, you may be refused entry. More…

Duty Free Shopping Upon Arrival

If you arrive from another country, you can buy duty-free goods at shops in the baggage claim area, then take them right into Turkey. The prices here used to be better than at European or North American airports, but now I’m not so sure. But even if the prices are the same or higher, you save yourself the trouble of having to carry the goods all the way to Turkey.

Currency Exchange

Currency exchange offices (döviz bürosu) are available after passport control in the baggage claim area, and in the Departures area, of the International terminal. Exchange rates here are very poor: you’ll pay a lot for your Turkish money. You may want to exchange for Turkish liras only enough of your money to provide for your transport and tipping needs until you can find an exchange office with better rates. More…

Lots of automated teller machines (ATMs, Cashpoints, etc.) are located outside the secure Customs area, after baggage claim.


As at all Turkish airports, you will have to pass through a complete security check just to enter the terminal(International or Domestic), then a second full security check in the gate area.

Here’s info on transport to/from the airport.

International Terminal

The modern International Terminal Dış Hatlar Terminalı) is spacious and efficient, with all the expected services including ATMs (cash machines) from which you can obtain Turkish Lirascurrency exchange offices; shops, restaurants and cafés with surprisingly high prices; Emanet (Baggage Check, Left Luggage) and an Airport Hotel.

High Food & Drink Prices

Note that prices for food and drink at Turkish airports tend to be very high. My quick informal survey showed them to be 40% higher than at expensive Frankfurt Airport, and twice as high as at pricey Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Left Luggage/Baggage Check Room

Yes, there is a Left Luggage/baggage Check Room at Atatürk Airport. It’s expensive for long deposits, but handy. More…

Lost & Found

Here’s information on Atatürk Airport Lost and Found, if you’ve lost or forgotten something in the airport or on an airplane.

Domestic Terminal

You can walk between the International Terminal (Dış Hatlar Terminalı) and the Domestic Terminal (İç Hatlar Terminalı) via a walkway on the International Arrivals level without having to go through a security check when you get to the Domestic Terminal. If you descend to the subterranean (Metro station) level to walk to the Domestic Terminal, you will have to pass through a security check to enter the Domestic Terminal.More…

Atatürk Airport Lounges/Airline Clubs

Both the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal have comfortable airline lounges/clubs you can use. More…

Airport Transport into Istanbul

There are several ways to travel between Atatürk Airport and the city centerHere they are.

Airport Hotels

A half-dozen hotels are within a few km of the airport, and one expensive hotel is right within the International terminal itself, but it’s almost as convenient to stay in the city center. More…

Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Istanbul’s other airport is Sabiha Gökçen International 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.

Seeing the Sights Between Flights

If you have a long layover in Istanbul you can deposit your luggage in the Left Luggage/Baggage Check roomgo into the city center and have some fun. But what do you do if you’re transferring between airports and you have most of a day in Istanbul? Here’s the answer.

The New Istanbul Airport

The huge new six-runway airport with a capacity of 90 to 150 million passengers per year is being built 50 km (31 miles) northwest of Old Istanbul near the Black Sea coast towns of Yeniköy and Akpınar. Approximately 6,172 hectares (24 square miles) of forest have been cleared for the project. Istanbul Airport (ISL), as it has been named, opened on October 29, 2018 (Republic Day), with limited flight service. All flights to and from Atatürk Airport will reportedly be transferred to the new airport by the end of 2018. More…

Atatürk International Airport
Istanbul Atatürk Airport, International Terminal
34149 Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Information: [email protected]
Customer Relations: [email protected]
Tel: +90 (212) 463 3000
Fax: +90 (212) 465 5050

—by Tom Brosnahan

New Istanbul Grand Airport (Oct 2018)

Airport-City Ground Transport

Left Luggage/Baggage Check

Airport Lost and Found

Airport Hotels

Havataş Airport Buses

Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW)

Transport to S Gökçen Airport

Istanbul Transport

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Istanbul Love Bus...the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

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