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Sabiha Gökçen Airport Transport

Last Updated on April 29, 2024

Transport between Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the center of Istanbul (map) is by private transfer van, city bus, and Metro, Havabus Airport Bus, taxi, shuttle van, and car rental.

The journey by road between Old Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen Airport can take as little as 40 minutes under the best conditions (06:00 am on a weekend morning, for example), but at other times you must allow 60 to 90 minutes, and perhaps two hours or more.

The Istanbul Metro M4 line is running all the way from Kadıköy, on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

By the way, there’s a good hotel right next to the airport terminal at Sabiha Gökçen. 

Private Transfer Service

The airport private transfer service operated by Efendi Travel is an exceptional value: not much more than a taxi, but far more comfort, convenience, and security—and no hassles over the fare.

Havabüs Airport Bus

To Kadıköy

Havabüs airport Bus shuttles between Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the Kadıköy ferry dock every 30 minutes on the hour and a half hour (for example, at 04:00, 04:30, 05:00 am, etc.) The first bus departs at 06:30 am, and the last bus at 00:30 am. (Thus, no buses between 00:30 and 06:30 am).

Kadıköy is close to Söğütlüçeşme metrobus station. You can the Metrobus to go to the European side.

In Kadıköy, there is M4 metro line (Kadıköy – Tavşantepe – Sabiha Gökçen) Metro station. Which you can take to/from the airport directly as well. Still, if you choose Havabüs from the Airport to come to Kadıköy, you can take the metro later for your next destinations. 

Kadıköy ferry docks are served by TurYol, Şehir Hatları, and Dentur Avrasya ferry companies. You can take whichever you want to reach your next destination, either in the Asian or European side.

Kadıköy also has a major city bus station for buses along the Asian Bosphorus shore to the Harem Otogar (intercity bus station), and Üsküdar.

To Taksim Square

HavaBüs goes to Taksim Square in Beyoğlu on the European shore every 30 minutes on the hour and a half hour from 06:30 am until 00:30 am. The journey can take as little as 90 minutes, or much longer, depending on traffic.

From Taksim Square, you can take the Metro (M2 Hacıosman-Yenikapı line) to the Yenikapı fast ferry terminal.

City Bus, Ferryboat, Metro & Marmaray

You can also prefer different types of public transportation vehicles, which are cheaper and sometimes faster. 

Bus & Metro

The E-10 and E-11 city buses will take you from the airport to the ferry docks in Kadıköy in about an hour. Note that these buses are often uncomfortably crowded with passengers, their luggage, and locals. You need to use your Istanbulkart or contactless debit or credit card.

An alternative is to take the E-10 bus to the Kartal station on the M4 Metro line, then the Metro either to the Kadıköy ferry dock (terminal station) for the ferryboat to Eminönü, or to the Ayrılık Çeşmesi station to transfer to the Marmaray. Take the Marmaray to the Sirkeci station on the European shore of the Bosphorus, then the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram to the stop nearest to your hotel. Here are maps of the system.

If you are on the European side, you can take 122H from 4. Levent to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Here you can find more options, as well as timetables and routes.

Now, there is a direct metro line from Kadıköy to Sabiha Gökçen Airport. You can use the M4 metro line to reach the city center without any traffic. From Kadıköy, you can take the ferries to go to the European side of Istanbul.

Kadıköy Ferryboats

In Kadıköy, there are several ferry docks served by TurYol, Şehir Hatları, and Dentur Avrasya ferry companies that go to Beşiktaş, Eminönü, and Karaköy (for Sirkeci and the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram). You need to use your Istanbulkart at the fare booth, or you can use your contactless debit or credit card but the fare will be higher.

If you’re arriving for the first time in Istanbul, it is highly recommended the ferry voyage: it’s the perfect first glimpse and introduction to the city (map).

Taxi

You can prefer a taxi especially if you have kids or a lot of baggage and prioritize your comfort and reaching your accommodation faster. However, taxis can be pretty expensive in Istanbul. Be careful with taxi drivers and insist on the use of taksimetre (taximeter).

Shuttle Van

Several travel agencies have organized to provide minibus transport from Sultanahmet to Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Contact your Sultanahmet hotel for information. The vans depart several times daily and are far cheaper than a taxi. (Shuttle vans are not convenient for going from the airport.)

Rent a Car

You can rent a car after you leave the baggage claim section. Several companies are providing different types of services. You can decide after you compare the prices, which you can do online from their websites, too. Renting a car is a good idea if you plan to visit other cities in Turkey. Don’t forget that there is a traffic and parking problem in Istanbul. It might be a good idea to check if your accommodation has a parking lot, too.

Pendik High-Speed Train Station

High-speed trains zoom between Istanbul, Eskişehir, Ankara and Konya. The Istanbul terminus is near the seashore in Pendik, a few kilometers south of Sabiha Gökçen Airport. You can go there by city bus.  From there, you can take the train to visit another city.

From Old Istanbul to Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Going from Old Istanbul (Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, etc.) to Sabiha Gökçen Airport to catch a flight, you should prefer either the airport private transfer service (because they know how to predict the traffic flow and time required for the trip) or the Marmaray, Metro and Havataş airport bus.

Start your trip to the airport a minimum of 3 hours before your flight departure time; 3-1/2 is better, and 4 is secure.

Take the Marmaray from Yenikapı or Sirkeci to Ayrılık Çeşmesi, then the M4 Metro line to Kadıköy, where you board the Havabus airport bus to the airport.

For a last Bosphorus ferry cruise goodbye to the city, and allowing even more time, instead of the Marmaray you could take a ferryboat from Eminönü to Kadıköy, then the Havabus bus to the airport.

You can also take the M4 metro line for a traffic-free option.

To/from Istanbul Airport

You can use Havaist and Havabüs to travel between Sabiha Gökçen and Istanbul Airports, which are on different sides of Istanbul. It is crucial to take the traffic into consideration when you try to make it on time for your next flight.

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Melike Kocaer

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