Travels in Asia

Istanbul is a major destination for travelers from all over the world, as it offers easy access to Africa and Asia. Whether you are flying to Istanbul for business or pleasure, you will need some tips on how to find the best flight deals, which airport to choose, and when to book your tickets. In this guide, we will share with you everything you need to know about flying to Istanbul.

How to Fly to Istanbul: A Practical Guide for Travelers

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How to find and book cheap flights to and from Istanbul

If you are a frequent flyer, you probably already know how to use flight search tools like and These tools can help you:

  • Find and book cheap flights to Istanbul
  • Compare different flight options and choose the best one for you
  • Subscribe to notifications and alerts to keep track of the ticket prices

You can download the Aviasales app for IOS or for Android to monitor the ticket prices and buy them quickly when they drop.

I would like to point out that has significant advantages:

  • A convenient way to buy flights to Istanbul
  • Low prices due to the availability of a wide range of low-cost airlines
  • Promotions, discounts, and loyalty programs for registered customers

How to choose the right airport in Istanbul

One thing you should remember when buying flights to Istanbul is that there are two airports in the city:

  1. New Istanbul Airport (IATA code IST) is the main airport in Istanbul. It is located on the European side of the city, about 40 km from the city center. It is a modern and spacious airport that can handle up to 200 million passengers per year. It is the hub for Turkish Airlines and other international carriers.
  2. Sabiha Gokcen Airport (IATA code SAW) is the secondary airport in Istanbul. It is located on the Asian side of the city, about 45 km from the city center. It is a smaller and older airport that mainly serves low-cost airlines and domestic flights.

The airports are located in different parts of Istanbul, and it takes about 1.5 hours to travel from one to another. This is especially important if you have a layover in Istanbul with a change of airport. You should plan your itinerary carefully and allow enough time for the transfer.

It is usually cheaper to fly to Sabiha Gokcen Airport as it is served by low-cost airlines. If you decide to fly to Sabiha Gokcen Airport, it is more convenient to stay in a hotel in the Kadıköy district, which can be reached by metro from the airport.

If you fly into Istanbul Airport, it is more convenient to stay in the European part of the city:

You can find more information on how to get from one airport to another, and how to get from the airport to the city center, in these articles:

How much does it cost to fly to Istanbul

The cost of flights to Istanbul depends on several factors, such as:

  • Which city you are flying from
  • Which airline you are flying with
  • Whether you have taken advantage of any promotional fares

The prices can vary significantly depending on the season, the demand, and the availability. Generally, you can expect to pay more during the peak tourist season (spring and autumn), and less during the low season (summer and winter).

When is the best time to buy flights to Istanbul

The best time to buy flights to Istanbul is when the airlines offer promotions and discounts. You can save a lot of money if you book your tickets during these periods. To find out about the latest deals, you can:

  • Subscribe to the newsletters and social media accounts of the airlines that fly to Istanbul
  • Use the Aviasales  app for IOS or for Android to track the prices for your desired destination
  • Check for special offers on flights to Istanbul

Another tip is to book your flights well in advance, preferably 80-90 days before your trip. This way, you can secure the best prices and availability.

You can also use the low fare calendar to choose the best dates to travel to Istanbul


Both and have an airfare price calendar and table. The price calendar allows you to quickly see which days have the lowest airfares. All you have to do is

  1. search for flights to your desired destination (e.g. London - Istanbul)
  2. and click on the price chart icon at the top of the page.

I hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to Istanbul. Istanbul is a fascinating and vibrant city that has something for everyone. Whether you are interested in culture, history, cuisine, or nightlife, you will find it in Istanbul. So don't hesitate and book your flights to Istanbul today!

You can also read this article to find out more about the best time to travel to Istanbul.

About the author

The author of AsiaPositive Iryna Rasko

I am a passionate traveller and photography is my greatest love. Asia is a constant source of inspiration for me.

The information I share in my articles is based on personal experience and extensive research. It is my sincere hope that my articles will assist you in planning your travels in Asia and beyond.

Please note that English is not my first language and I apologise for any errors or awkward phrasing.

© Iryna Rasko