There are currently two international airports in İstanbul, Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the new İstanbul Airport. As much as it is important to choose the most convenient airport for you, knowing how to get to the city center from the airport is also an important aspect of travelling.
This guide will list the options for you to choose the one that suits your needs the best.
ISTANBUL AIRPORT (ISL)
The new İstanbul Airport is built in Arnavutköy, instead of the old Atatürk Airport which is no longer in use. The new İstanbul Airport is the world’s biggest airport, it is designed to be modern and functional. The İstanbul Airport is not located in the middle of the city like the old Atatürk Airport however, it is only 35 kilometers away from the city center. There are a few transportation options you can choose from and they are explained in detail below.
Taxi: Taxi is the first option that comes to mind. It would be much better to choose this option if you are travelling with a group of 3 or 4 people in order to share the cost. Taxi ride to Taksim costs approximately 110 TL and 125 TL to Sultanahmet. The prices change according to the traffic and the route that is chosen. Therefore it would be wise to keep in mind that you may be stuck in traffic while planning your trip if time is important to you. Taxis are available 24/7.
Havaist: Havaist busses are specifically designed to take the visitors to the desired place. If you are planning to go to Taksim, IST19 is your best option but if you’d like to go to Sultanahmet, IST1 is the one. The bus costs 18 TL one way, per person including the luggages. The bus ride will take approximately 80 minutes to Taksim and 100 minutes to Sultanahmet however, the time could change depending on the traffic. You can only pay with Istanbul Kart for the busses, so do not forget to get one for yourself.
Subway/Metro: By the end of 2019, the new İstanbul airport will have subway connections for the visitors to reach it easily and fast.
SABİHA GÖKÇEN AIRPORT (SAW)
Sabiha Gökçen Airport is not so popular among the tourists therefore it has limited options in terms of transportation. Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located in the Asian side of the İstanbul. The options that allow you to reach the city center directly are listed below.
Taxi: Sabiha Gökçen Airport taxi can take you to the city center in an hour and cost around 125 TL. Keep in mind that the costs and time may change depending in the traffic and the route. Taxis are available 24/7.
Havabus: You can reach Taksim with these special busses for 18 TL in around 90 minutes. However, if you wish to go to Sultanahmet, you can get onto a bus or on the metro from Taksim to reach Sultanahmet as there is no direct transportation option.