Istanbul Airport (IST) is the new international airport opened in 2019 serving Istanbul, Turkey. After the closure of Atatürk Airport for passenger flights, all the scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred to Istanbul Airport. The airport is still partially under construction and it is predicted to accommodate up to 200 million passengers annually. The airport is located around 40 km northwest of the Istanbul city centre.
How to get from Istanbul Airport to city centre
Airport shuttle bus
Istanbul Airport is connected to Istanbul and its suburbs by numerous shuttle bus lines operated by Havaist company. Here are some of the most frequent lines that run to and from Istanbul Airport:
- Istanbul Airport to Taksim Square (line IST-19) – every 15-20 minutes from 05:10 to 01:00, then every 30 minutes from 01:00 until 04:30. Bus ticket costs 18 TL (cca 3€) and travel time is 80 minutes.
- Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet (line IST-1S) – every 20 minutes from 05:00 to 01:00, after that every hour until 05:00. Bus ticket costs 18 TL (cca 3€) and journey time is 100 minutes.
- Istanbul Airport to Otogar Bus Station (line IST-3) – every 30 minutes from 05:00 to 03:30; travel time is 75 minutes and a single ticket costs 16 TL (cca 2.5€).
- Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen (line IST-8) – Shuttle bus between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport departs every hour from 04:45 until 02:45. Travel time is 100 minutes and the ticket costs 30 TL (cca 4.5€).
NOTE: In case you need to reach other parts of Istanbul like Blue Mosque or Grand Bazaar, you can see all the bus stops and routes from Istanbul Airport here.
To buy the bus tickets, passengers need to buy IstanbulKart at IstanbulKart machines located at bus stop of Havaist buses. Once you buy the card, you can put a certain amount of money needed for public transportation.
Should you need transportation by taxi, you will find official airport taxi stand in front of the airport entrance. An average taxi fare to, e.g Taksim Square will cost you around 140 TL (~ €21). However, have in mind that the price may go up if there’s heavy traffic and the route from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul centre may change.
Another way to travel to Istanbul is with a private, door-to-door transfer from Istanbul Airport to your accommodation in the city. You can also pre-book a transfer to almost any city in Turkey from Airport Istanbul that you would like to visit for a hassle-free experience.
Renting a car at Istanbul Airport
Getting a personal vehicle at Istanbul Airport is not a problem since there are several car rental offices available at the airport terminal. Car rental companies such as Comet, Cizgi and Ulger offer their service every day. To avoid potential queues, we recommend booking a car in advance and have it wait for you at the airport.
Istanbul airport bus FAQs
- I arrive late at the airport. Will it be a problem for me to get to the city?
A: Not at all, all bus lines from Istanbul Airport operate during night as well. As an alternative, you can always get a taxi to Istanbul.
- I have an early morning departure from the airport, are there any airport hotels I can stay at?
Of course, there are two hotels located inside the airport which are convenient for your layovers or early morning flights. Both hotels offer a gym, meeting rooms, a bar and a restaurant:
Yotel Istanbul Airport (Airside) – Located inside the Duty-Free area, after security and passport control.
Yotel Istanbul Airport (Landside) – Located before the passport control, convenient for the incoming passengers.
- Can transit passengers leave Istanbul Airport?
If you are in between two flights and you don’t have a visa, then it won’t be possible to leave Istanbul airport. In case your layover is longer than 9 hours, airlines usually provide a free hotel accommodation inside the airport.
- Can I exchange money at the airport to pay for my transfer?
Yes, of course. There are ATMs and exchange offices available at Istanbul Airport. Have in mind that none of the transportation option will accept foreign currencies so make sure to have some Turkish Liras before the trip. Also, try to have small notes ready for transfer payment (10 or 20 TL notes).
- Is there free Wi-Fi connection at Istanbul Airport?
Passengers have at their disposal up to 2 hours of free Wi-Fi internet service inside the terminal area. Also, the internet service is offered in the café and dining areas.