Buses from Istanbul's New Airport are surely the cheapest way to get from the airport to Istanbul or vice versa - from Istanbul to New Airport. In this article, I will show: what kind of buses you can use, how much they cost and how can you pay for them, where can you find the bus stops at the airport, how long is a trip from the airport to Istanbul.
- Types of buses from New Airport to Istanbul
- How you can pay for the buses from the airport
- How to find the bus stop at the airport
- What is important to know about buses from Istanbul New Airport
- All bus routes from New Airport to Istanbul and back
- The most useful airport bus routes for tourists
- Buses from New Istanbul Airport to the metro and ferries stations
- How to find out the bus schedule
- The bus can be cancelled, and the stop moved
If you are short of time or travel with small kids, I advise you to look at more reliable transport. You can easily order a transfer and save your time and nerves.
Types of buses from New Airport to Istanbul
There are two types of buses running from the New Airport to Istanbul and back:
- comfortable expresses Havaist,
- the state-owned company IETT buses.
During the day busses run with intervals from 15 minutes to 3 hours. At night the interval between buses can be 4 - 5 hours. If your flight arrives or departs late at night, it is a great idea to book a transfer.
1 | Havaist express busses
All Havaist routes to / from the Istanbul New Airport are marked with HVİST (ex: HVİST-10) in the beginning.
The bus cost is from 40 to 60 Turkish lira and depends on the distance.
All passengers in Havaist busses must have a seat. It is forbidden to stand. If you didn’t get a seat in an outgoing bus, you should wait for the next one.
The bus has free Wi-Fi. To use it, you need to register your phone number.
Luggage travels in a special luggage zone. When you board on the bus, a luggage tag is hung up to each suitcase, the owner of the luggage receives a tear-off ticket. At the end of the trip, the transport company employee gives the luggage to passengers, by checking the number on the tag with a tear-off ticket.
If you do not plan to travel to the bus final destination, ensure you announce your stop when you board on the bus. The driver stops the bus only at the request of passengers at some stops along the route.
2 | Buses of the state company IETT
The routes of the IETT buses to Istanbul New Airport are marked with the letter H at the beginning (for example: H-2).
The cost for IETT buses is 15.34 Turkish liras.
The IETT bus has about a dozen seats. The rest of the space is for standing passengers and luggage.
IETT buses stop at all stops along the route that can be more than 20.
How you can pay for the buses from the airport
To pay for your travel on IETT buses, you need an Istanbulkart card. This is a special paying card for travel on public transport in Istanbul.
Istanbulkart can be bought from a ticket machine at the bus stop. It is important to remember that you need a Turkish Lira cash to buy or to top up an Istanbulkart.
You can change currency for Turkish lira or withdraw cash from your credit card at an ATM in the arrivals hall. ATMs are located in the far away corner of the arriving hall, under the escalators. Please remember that the exchange rate at the airport is 10-15% less profitable than in the Istanbul center.
Istanbulkart hasn't worked on Havaist buses.
For Havaist buses you can pay
- at a bus stop kiosk in the airport,
- when boarding a bus using a contactless bank card (for example, MasterCard Contactless).
I advise you to have a cash lira with you to pay for travel on the Havaist bus, as not all bank cards are accepted by Havaist bus terminals.
How to find the bus stop at the airport
The bus stops are located on the lowest floor of the New Airport. From the arrivals area, you can go there by an elevator or an escalator.
Follow signs for "Bus / Taxi". They will lead you to an elevator that will bring you to the lower floor.
What is important to know about buses from Istanbul New Airport
The drivers speak Turkish only. They do not understand a single word if you speak to them English or any other language except Turkish.
Buses can get stuck in a traffic jam thus your journey will take up to 120 minutes or more, instead of the promised 60 minutes.
There is no toilet in the bus.
You cannot get off the Havaist bus wherever you want. You will get out your luggage from the luggage area at the bus stop only.
It can be very hot and stuffy in the bus. It feels like drivers are saving the air conditioning. Last time I arrived to the airport in one of the bus totally wet and on the verge of heatstroke.
My advice to those who travel with children is to book a transfer, do not torment the child with such a bus ride.
All bus routes from New Airport to Istanbul and back
Attention: due to high inflation, the fare is often revised. The cost may be higher than indicated in this article, bus routes may be cancelled or a bus number can be changed. It is better to focus on the bus's final destination, not the bus number.
At the time of this article writing, there are 16 routes running from Istanbul New Airport: 6 of them are state-owned IETT and 11 are Havaist express routes. No one knows what will be tomorrow.
Recently, IST routes were renamed to HVİST and the numbering was completely redone - all old schemes and photos are outdated. I had to rewrite half of this article and remove some of the photos that were no longer relevant.
The following routes are available:
|IETT busses||HAVAİST busses|
|H-1 Mahmutbey Metro,
H-3 Halkalı Marmaray,
H-6 Yunus Emre Mah.,
H-8 Hacıosman / Sarıyer
Sabiha Gökçen Havalimanı,
Beyazin Meydan / Aksaray
The most useful airport bus routes for tourists
Only 4 bus routes from the airport are useful from the tourists point of view.
On the first two, you can get to the most popular tourist areas of Istanbul - Beyazin Meydan (the closest one to Sultanahmet) and Taksim squares.
Two more routes are useful because you can get from the airport to the metro on these buses in 1 hour only. Metro is the fastest and most reliable transport in Istanbul.
Advice: the bus numbers change often, when boarding on a bus, look at the direction where the bus is going but not at the bus number.
|#||To / From||Fare||How often||Travel time|
to Aksaray and Beyazin Meydan - the square in front of the Grand Bazaar, from where walk about 5 minutes to Sultanahmet Square
30 - 45
15 - 30
Metro (underground) stop Şişli / Mecidiyekoy, green metro line
15 - 60
|HVİST-5||Bus station and metro (underground) stop Otogar, red metro line||40 TL||
30 - 60
Buses from New Istanbul Airport to the metro and ferries stations
Bus H-2 (60 minutes on the way, fare 15.34 TL) runs between New Airport and Şişli metro station (green line of M2 metro) and Metrobus Mecidiyeköy stop.
The HVİST-15 bus (44 TL; 1.5 hours) stops
- near the 4.Levent metro station (green line of the M2 metro) and
- near the transport hub and the Beşiktaş pier, from where it is convenient to get by ferry to the Asian part of Istanbul - to the Üsküdar and Kadıköy districts.
Bus HVİST-14 (57 TL, 2 hours) travels from Istanbul New Airport to Kadıköy on the Asian side of the city.
How to find out the bus schedule
Airport buses usually leave according to their timetables, but there are times when, due to traffic jams, the bus is 40 minutes or even 1.5 hours late.
- The IETT bus schedule can be found on the IETT official website https://www.iett.istanbul/en (website in English and Turkish).
- Havais Bus Schedule is on https://hava.ist/.
I can not vouch for the relevance of the information on the official websites. Everything changes too often and quickly due to the restrictions introduced during the epidemic.
The bus can be cancelled, and the stop moved
Personal experience has shown that a bus can be canceled for several days and not a single word can be written about it anywhere. We were forced to run with suitcases and little kid from Sultanahmet Square to the embankment, where, according to the police, the bus stop was moved.
But when we arrived we have seen that all traffic was blocked there, and there was not a single bus or even taxi. I had to run to the metro and catch the IST-18 bus at the Mecidiyeköy metro station. By the way, this route has already been cancelled.
Why do you need to know all this? Be prepared to the fact that any bus can be cancelled, the stop can be moved and no one knows anything about it. Transfer from the hotel to the airport is the safest way, more convenient and faster.