When traveling to Istanbul, one of the first challenges you may face is getting from the Istanbul Airport to your hotel. The city has two major airports: the new Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW). This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the various transportation options available for getting from the Istanbul Airport to your hotel in popular areas like Sultanahmet, Taksim, and the city center.
New Istanbul Airport (IST)
Istanbul Airport to City Center
The new Istanbul Airport (IST) is located about 40 kilometers from the city center. Opened in 2018, it replaced Ataturk Airport and became the main international airport in Istanbul. There are several transportation options to get from the airport to the city center, including taxi, metro, bus, and shuttle services.
Taxis are readily available at the airport, and taking a taxi from Istanbul Airport to the city center is a convenient option. A taxi ride to Sultanahmet or Taksim should take about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. However, be aware that taxi drivers might not speak fluent English, so it’s a good idea to have your destination address written down.
Istanbul Airport Metro Line M11
Since 2023, the Istanbul Airport Metro Line M11 connects the airport to the city center. The M11 connects to the M2 line at Gayrettepe Metro Station, which further connects to popular destinations like Taksim Square and Sultanahmet. The total travel time is approximately 40 minutes, making it a fast and efficient option for getting to the city center.
Several public bus lines serve Istanbul Airport, including the H1, H2, H3, H4, H6, H7, H8, which connect to Taksim, Sultanahmet, and other parts of the city. Buses are an affordable option, but they may take longer to reach your destination due to multiple stops and traffic.
Shuttle services, like the Havaist Airport Shuttle, includin the IST1? IST2 and IST3, provide a comfortable and convenient way to travel directly from Istanbul Airport to the city center. These shuttles have designated routes and stops, including popular areas like Taksim and Sultanahmet. You can book a shuttle service in advance or at the airport upon arrival.
Time Table of Havaist Airport Shuttle
Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet
The historic center of Istanbul, Sultanahmet, is home to iconic attractions such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Here’s how to get from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet:
Taking a taxi from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet is a convenient option. The travel time is around 40 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
From Istanbul Airport, take the M11 metro line to Gayrettepe Metro Station. From there, switch to the M2 line and travel to Vezneciler Metro Station. Finally, take the T1 tram line to Sultanahmet. The total travel time should be approximately one hour.
The IST-1 bus from Istanbul Airport stops at several locations in Sultanahmet. The journey may take between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on traffic.
Shuttle services like the Havaist Airport Shuttle have designated routes with stops in Sultanahmet. This option offers a comfortable and convenient way to travel from the airport to the historic center.
Istanbul Airport to Taksim
Taksim is a bustling area on the European side of Istanbul, known for its vibrant nightlife and shopping. To get from Istanbul Airport to Taksim, consider the following options:
A taxi ride from Istanbul Airport to Taksim takes around 40 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
Take the M11 metro line from Istanbul Airport to Gayrettepe Metro Station, and then switch to the M2 line towards Yenikapı. Get off at Taksim Metro Station. The total travel time is approximately 40 minutes.
The IST-2 bus line connects Istanbul Airport to Taksim. The travel time varies between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on traffic.
Shuttle services like the Havaist Airport Shuttle have designated routes with stops in Taksim. Booking a shuttle in advance or at the airport ensures a comfortable and convenient ride to Taksim.
Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, approximately 45 kilometers from the city center. Here are some options for getting from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to your hotel:
Taxis are available at Sabiha Gokcen Airport, and taking a taxi to the city center is a convenient option. The travel time to popular areas like Taksim and Sultanahmet is approximately 60 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic.
Several bus lines, such as the E3 and E10, connect Sabiha Gokcen Airport to various parts of the city. The travel time to the city center ranges from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic and the route taken.
Shuttle services, like the Havabus Airport Shuttle, operate between Sabiha Gokcen Airport and popular areas like Taksim and Kadıköy. The travel time to Taksim is around 90 minutes, while the trip to Kadıköy takes approximately 60 minutes.
Private Airport Transfers
For a more personalized and comfortable experience, consider booking a private airport transfer. This service offers door-to-door transportation between the airport and your hotel, with a professional driver who can assist with your luggage. Private transfers can be booked in advance, and prices vary based on the destination and vehicle type.
When traveling to Istanbul, consider your preferences, budget, and travel time when choosing the best way to get from the airport to your hotel. Public transportation options like the metro and buses are affordable and efficient, while taxis and shuttle services provide more convenience. Private airport transfers offer a more personalized and comfortable experience. Regardless of your choice, Istanbul’s transportation options make it easy to explore the city and its many attractions.