Atatürk International Airport
(IST) at Yeşilyurt, 23
km (14 miles) west of Sultanahmet
is the busiest of Turkey's
It's the place most visitors land
first. After you arrive, you may have to buy a visa
before going through passport control. 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 (2013) I'm not so sure. But you still don't have to carry the goods all the way to Turkey if you buy them here.
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 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.
on transport to/from the airport.
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
exchange offices; shops,
restaurants and cafés with surprisingly high prices; Emanet (Baggage
Check, Left Luggage) and an Airport
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.
Yes, there is a Left Luggage/baggage Check Room at Atatürk Airport. It's expensive for long deposits, but handy. More...
Lost & Found
information on Atatürk Airport Lost
and Found, if you've lost
or forgotten something in the airport or on an airplane.
You can walk between the International
Terminal (Dış Hatlar Terminalı) and
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...
Both the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal have comfortable airline lounges/clubs you can use. More...
There are several
ways to travel between
Atatürk Airport and the city center.
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...
Istanbul's other airport is Sabiha
Airport (SAW) on the
Asian side of the Bosphorus,
about 55 km (34 miles) east of
International Airport (IST). Here's how
to travel from Atatürk Airport
to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
If you have a long layover in Istanbul you can deposit your luggage in the Left Luggage/Baggage Check room, go 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.
Istanbul's Third Airport
The contract has been signed (May 2013) for construction of a huge new six-runway airport with a capacity of 90 to 150 million passengers per year to be 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 will be cleared for the project. Completion is planned for 2017.
Atatürk International Airport
ISTANBUL TERMINAL OPERATIONS Co.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport, International Terminal
34149 Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Customer Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +90 (212) 463 3000
Fax: +90 (212) 465 5050
—by Tom Brosnahan