Up until recently, there were wonderful times when it was possible to get from the Istanbul airport to the main attractions in the city center in just 20-25 minutes. However, with the transfer of operations to the New Istanbul Airport, It will now take much longer to get to the city. The trip will take at least 1 hour. In this article, you will find the fastest and cheapest ways to get from the New Istanbul Airport to the city center, to your hotel, or to a metro station. You will also learn how much it will cost to travel on different types of local transportation, and how long it takes from the main Istanbul Airport.
From this article, you will get to know:
- Istanbul’s main airport since April 2019
- Metro at Istanbul New Airport
- The fastest way to get from New Istanbul Airport to your hotel
- Shared transfer is a good option for solo traveler
- The bus is the cheapest way to get from the new Istanbul Airport to the city
- How to get from Istanbul New Airport to Taksim Square area
- How to get from the airport to the historical center of Istanbul - Sultanahmet District
Istanbul’s main airport since April 2019
In April 2019 Ataturk Airport was closed. All flights from Ataturk transferred to Istanbul's New Airport, which locates 40 km north-west of Istanbul historical center.
Since April 2019, Istanbul's main international airport is Istanbul Havalimani Airport (IATA code - IST).
Read more and find a useful map with all the airports in the article: All three Istanbul airports in 2020.
Metro at Istanbul New Airport
The metro line to Istanbul New Airport is under construction. Construction completion deadlines are in late 2020 - early 2011.
The fastest way to get from New Istanbul Airport to your hotel
A taxi or transfer from Istanbul's New Airport is undoubtedly the fastest and most convenient way to get to a hotel anywhere in Istanbul.
At the airport you can take a taxi (any payment is only in cash by Turkish lira):
- black taxi cars - premium class (more comfortable and more expensive),
- yellow taxi cars - economy class (more modest and cheaper).
I could not find taxi prices in official sources, but there is information from travelers in forums. They say the travel by taxi from the airport to the center of Istanbul costs 150 - 350 Turkish liras (~ 24 - 56 €). There are also messages where much larger sums are mentioned. The price increase is justified by the detours of closed roads or long waits in traffic jams.
Experienced travelers know that taxi drivers at the airport are like a smart tribe that takes every opportunity to empty the pockets of tourists. Therefore, it is much safer to pre-order a transfer from the airport to the hotel and back from the hotel to the airport:
- Transfer prices are fixed and, unlike the usual taxi, can not increase during the trip.
- A driver meets you near the exit from the arrivals area, saving you time in searching for a taxi.
- The transfer can be paid online, which will eliminate the need to change money at the airport at an unprofitable rate.
- In the process of ordering a transfer, you can add a child seat for a small passenger.
Shared transfer is a good option for solo traveler
If you, like me, sometimes travel alone, then you may find it convenient to book a shared transfer from the airport to the hotel.
At the airport, you will be met and taken to the hotel by minibus. There may be other tourists in the car with you. I booked myself this shuttle several times and found it as very convenient and much faster than using public transport.
You do not need to inform anyone if your flight delay and you arrive at Istanbul airport later. You can always use the next shuttle. This shared transfer service operates round-the-clock.
If you want to use the shared transfer, book hotels in the Sultanahmet or Taksim area (group transfer operate only in these areas):
- hotels in the Sultanahmet area - near the main Istanbul landmarks,
- hotels in the Taksim area - near streets of shops, bars, restaurants, and discos.
The bus is the cheapest way to get from the new Istanbul Airport to the city
Be aware that you will need an Istanbulkart card to pay for the bus ride.
Bus routes have been added or canceled since the launch of Istanbul's New Airport. At first, there were 8 bus routes, then 23, then 19.
For more details read the article Buses from New Airport to Istanbul or back.
The fare on the bus ranges from 5.2 to 25 TL.
The duration of the bus ride from the airport to the final stop is from 1 to 2.5 hours.
How to get from Istanbul New Airport to Taksim Square area
If we're talking about public transportation, then the most convenient area to cheaply catch a bus, and where you can book a hotel is the area of Taksim Square.
Bus IST-19 for 18 TL takes you from the Airport to Taksim in about 1 hour and 40 minutes (of course, if there are no delays due to traffic jams).
The airport bus stop is located near the Ramada Istanbul Taksim 4* hotel, 600 meters from the entrance to the Taksim metro station (green line M2) and the funicular to the T1 tram line.
How to get from the airport to the historical center of Istanbul - Sultanahmet District
Traveling by bus will be cheaper, but you will need to spend much more time and make several changes.
The best route from the airport to Sultanahmet:
- by bus IST-1 to Yenikapı (cost - 18 TL, travel time - approximately 1.5 hours),
- from Yenikapı, take a taxi for 20-25 TL and drive to your hotel in the Sultanahmet area in 10 minutes, or continue your journey by public transportation.
If you want to get to the hotel as quickly as possible and at the same time avoid the haggling cabbies, order a transfer - save your nerves and positive mood for your holiday in Istanbul.