Buses from New Airport to Istanbul or back

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 busses 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.

Buses from New Airport to Istanbul or back | Travels in Turkey | Asiapositive.com

Contents:

Due to the number of restrictions related to the coronavirus epidemic, many routes and bus stops were canceled. It is physically impossible to track all the changes now, when the information even on the official websites is not always up-to-date. If you are short of time, 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:

  1. comfortable expresses Havaist,
  2. the state-owned company IETT buses.

Just a few bus routes are round-the-clock. During the day busses run with intervals from 15 minutes to 3 hours. At night the interval between buses can be 6 - 8 hours. If your flight arrives or departs late at night, it is a great idea to book a transfer.

1 | Havaist express busses

Havaist bus in the new Istanbul Airport | Turkey | AsiaPositiveve.com
Havaist bus in the new Istanbul Airport

All Havaist routes to / from the Istanbul New Airport are marked with HVİST (ex: HVİST-10) in the beginning.

The bus cost is from 25 to 45 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.

Havaist bus - the seats are comfortable, there is free wi-fi, but no toilet | Istanbul, Turkey | Travels AsiaPositive.com
Havaist bus - the seats are comfortable, there is free wi-fi, but no toilet

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.

Havaist bus stop in Eminonu | Busses from the new Airport to Istanbul | Travels in Turkey
Havaist bus stop in Eminonu

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 7 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.

IETT bus in the new Istanbul Airport | Travels in Turkey
IETT bus in the new Istanbul Airport

How you can pay for the buses from the airport

IETT busses

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.

Havaist busses

Istanbulkart hasn't worked on Havaist buses since March 2020.

For Havaist buses you can pay

  1. at a bus stop kiosk in the airport,
  2. 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.

On the right - a bus stop, on the left (along the wall) - machines for buying and replenishing Istanbulkard | The new Istanbul Airport
On the right - a bus stop, on the left (along the wall) - machines for buying and replenishing Istanbulkart

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.

Lift to bus stops | Buses from New Airport to Istanbul or back
Lift to bus stops
Escalator goes down - to bus stops | Buses from New Airport to Istanbul or back | AsiaPositive.com
Escalator goes down - to bus stops

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.

Individual transfer Shared transfer Things to do in Istanbul

All bus routes from New Airport to Istanbul and back

Attention: in recent months, the cost has increased, many bus routes have been canceled, including buses to Sultanahmet Square.

At the time of this article writing, there are 16 routes running from Istanbul New Airport: 7 of them are state-owned IETT and 9 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 bussesHAVAİST busses

H-1 Mahmutbey Metro,

H-2 Mecidiyeköy,

H-3 Halkalı,

H-6 Yunus Emre Mah. Arnavutköy,

H-7 Alibeyköy Cep Otogarı,

H-8 Hacıosman/Sarıyer

H-9 Cevizlibağ - Otogar

Avcılar-Bahçeşehir,

Bakırköy,

Beylikdüzü – Çatalca,

Halkalı - Başakşehir,

Kadıköy

Sabiha Gökçen Havalimanı,

Taksim

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 - 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 / FromFareHow oftenTravel time

HVİST-12

to Aksaray and Beyazin Meydan - the square in front of the Grand Bazaar, from where walk about 5 minutes to Sultanahmet Square

30 TL

30 - 45

minutes

100 min
HVİST-14

Taxim Square

30 TL

15 - 30

minutes

80 min
H-2

Metro (underground) stop Şişli / Mecidiyekoy, green metro line

7 TL

 15 - 60

minutes

 60 min
HVİST-5 Bus station and metro (underground) stop Otogar, red metro line 23 TL

 30 - 60

minutes

 60 min

Buses from New Istanbul Airport to the metro and feries stations

Bus H-2 (60 minutes on the way, fare 7 TL) runs between New Airport and Şişli metro station (green line of M2 metro) and Metrobus Mecidiyeköy stop.

Hotels in Şişli area (a convenient and inexpensive area of ​​Istanbul) >>

The HVİST-14 bus (30 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, 
  • the bus goes to the final stop at Taksim Square.

Hotels in the popular tourist area Taksim >>

Hotels in Üsküdar (quiet residential area) >>

Bus HVİST-9 (32 TL, 2 hours) travels from Istanbul New Airport to Kadıköy on the Asian side of the city.

Hotels in the Kadıköy area (non-tourist area in ​​Istanbul) >>

Buses from New Istanbul Airport to metro stations | How to get from the New Airport to Istanbul | Travel and leisure in Turkey |  AsiaPositive.com
Buses from New Istanbul Airport to metro stations

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.

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 canceled, and the stop moved

I have been following the buses from the New Istanbul Airport for a year now and I see that everything is changing with a crazy speed, the coronavirus has added chaos.

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 canceled.

Why do you need to know all this? Be prepared to the fact that any bus can be canceled, 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.