Istanbul has two airports. The city's major airport is Atatürk Airport in Yesilköy on the European side, which features the biggest international and domestic terminals in Turkey. The international acronym for flights to and from Ataturk airport is "IST". The distance between Ataturk Airport and downtown Istanbul is 28 km. With its passenger traffic of 28.5 million in 2008, it is Europe's 10th busiest airport.
Istanbul is also the main hub for transferring to summer destinations in Turkey, including Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye. You can make connection flights to Izmir, Bodrum or Dalaman Airports in order to travel from Istanbul to any destination on the Aegean Coast of Turkey. If you are heading to the south of Turkey for a holiday, we strongly recommend you check out the Turkey Aegean Coast website to browse information about hotels, restaurants, nightlife,shopping, blue voyages or anything else you would want to know beforehand.
The international terminal (Terminal B) is connected to the domestic terminal (Terminal A) via an underground passage which is about a 15 minute walk. The underground passage also leads to the M-1 metro line which can be used to travel to the city centre.
The International Terminal has all the expected services such as food & beverages, ATMs, exchange offices, left luggage, medical services, a pharmacy, tourist information office and an airport hotel. Although the airport has some nice restaurants, the prices for food and drink at Turkish airports is regarded as high even compared to other big European airports like Paris and London.
There is a supermarket on the subway floor where you can find everything, even beer and last-minute souvenirs like Turkish delight at a reasonable price, though there aren't many alternatives. You can also purchase cheap sandwiches, salads and mezes (small appetizers) from the supermarket.
Details of all airport services are provided on the website of Ataturk Airport. Some important telephone numbers are listed as follows:
Tourism Information Office
The Tourism Information Office is open between 9am - 11pm on the departure floor of the international terminal.
Contact Phone: +90 (212) 465 34 51 / +90 (212) 465 35 47.
Lost & Found Office
The Lost and Found Office is located on the departure floor of the terminal. Belongings may be claimed at the Lost & Found Office between 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
Contact Phone: +90 (212) 465 5555, extension 4690.
PORTCLINIC is located on the domestic terminal departure floor and the international terminal departure floor.
Phone Numbers: +90 (212) 465 5969 / +90 (212) 465 3000 (Domestic Terminal: 708 / International Terminal: 709 - 4490)
There are many ways to transfer from Ataturk airport to the city centre. You can take the Metro and Tram, airport bus, taxi or private transfer.
You can use our Istanbul Transportation Map to see the visual representation of different transport options from Ataturk Airport to the city centre.
Metro & Tram to City Center
Travelling from Ataturk Airport by metro and tram is one of the most convenient ways to get to the city center. The M1-Metro Line from Airport travels to Aksaray. You can board this line to go to Sultanahmet or Beyoglu, but you need to transfer to the T1-line at Zeytinburnu Station.
The T 1 Line is a major tram line which runs from Zeytinburnu up to Kabatas, traveling across the Galata bridge. For Sultanahmet, you will need to get off the train at the Sultanahmet stop.
For Taksim, travel until the last stop on the T1 line and transfer to the Funicular in Kabatas. The funicular travels directly to Taksim Square, where you can also transfer to the M2 Line if you want to go to the financial center of Istanbul, Levent.
You can view the schedule of metro and tram lines of Istanbul on the website of the Istanbul Transportation Corporation.
An alternative way to get to the city centre is to use the public bus number 96T. The trip takes about 60 minutes.
96T departs from Atatürk Airport and travels along the shoreline of the Sea of Marmara, stopping at the Yenikapi Ferry Terminal, Aksaray and finally Taksim Square.
If you want to go to Sultanahmet, you should get off the bus in Aksaray, and take the T1 Tram in the direction of Kabatas.
Havas ( Airport Bus Company )
Havas is a private bus company which is entitled to provide transport services between Istanbul's airports and the city center.
The Havas Airport Buses travel from Ataturk Airport to Taksim and Bakirköy.
Shuttles depart for Taksim once every 15-minutes. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes.
Similarly, Havas provides a transport service from Taksim to Atatürk Airport, departing from in front of the Metropolitan Art Gallery in Taksim.
Schedules of the Havas buses can be found on its website.
Taxis can also be an alternative for traveling to the city centre.
Ataturk Airport's webpage provides a list of approximate fares from Atatürk Airport to the major districts of Istanbul. Taxis are a major transportation vehicle in Istanbul, however tourists should be careful while using them. We suggest you check our information about Istanbul taxis before you get in.
There are numerous travel agencies which provide transfer services to and from the city centre. They usually provide a useful service with a competitive price, but we advise you to be cautious while choosing one of them.
Airport shuttles can be low in quality, so it is important to ask other travellers for a tested shuttle service or you should reserve your shuttle ride through a reliable agency.
See a list of transfer companies here.
From Atatürk Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport
The best way to get from Atatürk Airport to Sabiha Gökçen is to use the Havas Buses which travel between Atatürk Airport-Taksim and Taksim-Sabiha Gökçen Airport . You can find the schedules of the buses on the Havas website.
Map: How to go to Sultanahmet, Taksim and Kadikoy from Ataturk Airport :
The below map shows the transportation alternatives to city centre. Just click on the icons to find out more.
View Transportation from Ataturk Airport to Sultanahmet/Taksim/Kadikoy (city centre) in a larger map
Princes Islands ©Helen Simpson
Bosphorus by Mista Riggs
Istanbul Metro by Mista Riggs
Kadikoy Bazaar ©Helen Simpson
Istanbul at night by Mista Rig...
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" - Ralph Waldo Emerson