Istanbul Airport, also known as Istanbul New Airport, (IST IATA) is the primary of two passenger airports serving the city of Istanbul, (the other being Sabiha Gökçen on the Asian side). It is 35 km north of Istanbul on the European side of the city. Just about every major city in Europe (including European Russia) has a direct flight to and from IST, and there are extensive connections across the Middle East, with destinations to the Far East, Africa and North America also served. Many of these are operated by the national carrier Turkish Airlines, either itself or via code-share agreements.
Istanbul has been a center for trade and travel for centuries, and at the nexus of Orient and Occident, its airport has come to serve the same role in the modern era. Turkish Airlines likes to claim (and Lufthansa likes to rival this claim) that they are the airline with destinations in the most countries; certainly many countries are reachable from Istanbul Airport. The only other airport that can challenge the FRA-IST rivalry when it comes to number of countries served is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with the globally well-connected KLM and the Dutch tradition for trade and travel dating back centuries.
Overcrowding at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, one of the busiest in Europe, was compounded by the fact that there was no room for expansion there due to the urban buildup around the airport. Thus, a new airport started construction as one of several Turkish megaprojects in the 2010s.
There were many delays to opening, and flights were transferred to the airport in stages. Beginning October 29, 2018, a limited number of Turkish Airlines flights to Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Baku in Azerbaijan, and Ercan in Northern Cyprus began operating from Istanbul Airport. In early 2019, some short-haul Turkish Airlines services to several European cities and Kuwait were added. Finally, on April 7, 2019, all flights were transferred when the airport became fully operational.
There are two websites for the airport:
- One about the construction of the airport, and
- the other for travellers, and for passenger information.
See Turkey#Get in for visa requirements. From 2020, most EU, UK, CIS and South American visitors do not need a visa. Those from many other countries including Australia, Canada and US can get an e-visa online, valid for 90 days. You can also get one on arrival at the airport, at a higher price.
You do not need a visa if you are just transiting the airport to another country, including to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
There is one terminal with 5 concourses (A, B, D, F and G). Due to the long distances between concourses and possible security checks the minimum connection time (MCT) is 75 minutes. Each concourse extends out from the central area where the check-in counters, security checkpoints and baggage claim are situated. The C and E gates connect directly to the main terminal and are therefore not considered independent concourses.
All major cities in Turkey, and quite a few medium-sized towns, have at least one daily flight to IST, with the capital, Ankara enjoying an almost hourly frequency. Concourse G (in the southeast) is reserved solely for domestic flights, although 3 passenger boarding bridges of Concourse F (which is directly to the north of Concourse G) have also been allocated for domestic flights.
For domestic flights use entrance doors No. 1 and 2 at departures level. Domestic check-in procedures can be completed at aisle D check-in counters, or alternatively at the self check-in kiosks at aisle E.
Upon completing procedures, all passengers need to pass through the security check opposite aisle D. Priority lanes and direct access to the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge is available to those with the appropriate ticket or status.
Turkish Airlines international economy class passengers can enter check-in areas using the entrance doors No. 3 and 4 at departures level. Check-in procedures can be completed at aisles F, G, H and J.
International business class and Star Alliance Gold card passengers should use entrance door No. 5
Special check-in counters are available in the following aisles:
- Aisle E for self check-in kiosks
- Aisle G for passengers with disabilities and those travelling in large groups
- Aisle H for family check-in counters and for unaccompanied minors
- Aisle K for flights subject to special security (US, UK and Canada)
- Aisle L for Turkish Airlines business class and Star Alliance Gold card passengers
- Aisles A to C and M to S for all other carriers (non Turkish Airlines flights)
Upon completing check-in, to reach the gates all passengers need to pass through the security check opposite aisles G, H, J and K.
With the opening of the first phase of airport metro line in January 2023, Istanbul Airport finally offers travellers the multiple transportation options that one would expect of a major international airport, including taxi cabs, underground rail, local bus and long-distance coach services. A notable omission is high-speed intercity rail services to Istanbul and beyond. These are planned but construction is running several years behind schedule, typical of many major infrastructure projects in Turkey.
All buses depart from -2 level, which is one floor below the arrivals level. 22 bus routes by five operators run from the airport almost around the clock. Fare payment is by IstanbulKart (Istanbul's public transport smart card). These are available for both purchase (60 TL as at Jan 2023) and top-up (in case you already own one) at the airport from either the automated machines (cash only) or the Havaist ticket counters (cash and credit cards accepted).
The operators are:
- Istanbul Seyahat have three routes as of Jan 2023. You can book online in advance, if you're confident of your arrival time.
- Istanbul airport – Çorlu – Tekirdağ, (adult fare 180 TL) every 2 hours 08:00-01:30. Change at Tekirdağ for frequent buses to the Gallipoli peninsula and Çanakkale.
- Istanbul airport – Lüleburgaz (adult fare 200 TL) – Babaeski (adult fare 220 TL) – Edirne (adult fare 240 TL) every 2-3 hours, midday to midnight.
- Istanbul airport – Çerkezköy – Kapakli (adult fare 160 TL) every 2 hours 08:00-22:00.
- BBBUS a long distance coach operator serving the city of Bursa that commenced in 2021. You can book online in advance via their website.
- Havalines a long distance minibus service operating the Gebze route that commenced in 2021. You can book online in advance via the obilet website. The service operates four times per day (01:00, 08:30, 14:00 and 19.30).
- Istanbul airport – Gebze, (adult fare 140 TL).
- Havaist - Composed of a fleet of over 100 forty-six seat luxury coaches with plenty of space for luggage, seat-back screens, onboard WiFi and at-seat USB power sockets. As of Jan 2023 they operate 11 routes[dead link] covering 45 stops[dead link] with frequencies varying from 30-90 minutes. As an alternative to using an Istanbulkart, fares can be pre-purchased online via their website or the Havaist app, although the interface is still mostly in Turkish. An account must be created and credit preloaded. The balance is then represented by a QR code within the associated Havaist App. When scanned by an onboard reader the appropriate fare is deducted. Children up to the age of 5 travel free. The most useful route for tourists is HVIST-16 serving Taksim. The former IST-20 service to Sultanahmet has not yet been reinstated post-COVID-19 shutdown. Stops that have interchanges with metro lines (or are within walking distance) are indicated in bold in the table below with a coloured roundel indicating the line.
|Route||Stops||Journey Time (mins)||Fare (TL)|
|HVIST-5 OTOGAR – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Esenler Otogar 1 – Hasdal – Goktürk – Istanbul Airport||60-75||68|
|HVIST-6 HALKALI – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Halkalı istasyon 2 – Halkalı Meydan – Güneşpark Evleri – Atatürk Mahallesi (Arenapark) – Demirciler Sitesi (Mall) 3 – Başakşehir Metrokent 4 – Istanbul Airport||60-75||64|
|HVIST-7 SILIVRI – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Silivri Otogar – Silivri Çarşi – Selimpaşa – Kumburgaz – Çatalca Devlet Hastanesi – Istanbul Airport||100||91|
|HVIST-8 BEYlLIKDÜZÜ – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Beylikdüzü (Marmarapark AVM) – Tüyap – Büyükçekmece – Tepecik – Serbest Bölge – Çatalca Devlet Hastanesi – Istanbul Airport||75-90||85|
|HVIST-9 AVCILAR – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Avcılar Cami – Haramidere San. Sit (Torium) – Bahçeşehir Merkez – Ispartakule Blokları – Istanbul Airport||90||68|
|HVIST-10 BAKIRKÖY – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Bakırköy ido iskelesi – Ataköy 3. Kısım – Şirinevler 5 – Yenibosna (Kuleli) – Istanbul Airport||90||78|
|HVIST-12 BEYAZIT MEYDAN – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Beyazıt Meydan – Aksaray Metro 6 – Ulubatlı 7 – Ayvansaray – Nurtepe Viyadük – Istanbul Airport||90||87|
|HVIST-13 SABIHA GÖKCEN AIRPORT – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Istanbul Airport||110||110|
|HVIST-14 KADIKÖY – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Kadıköy – Acıbadem Metro Istasyonu 8 – Yenisahra 9 – Tepeüstü – Kavacık Köprüsü – Istanbul Airport||120||96|
|HVIST-15 BEŞİKTAŞ MEYDAN – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Beşiktaş Meydan – Zincirlikuyu Metrobus 10 – 4. Levent 11 – Istanbul Airport||75||74|
|HVIST-16 TAKSIM – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Taksim 12 – Piyalepasa – Nurtepe Viyadük – Istanbul Airport||90||87|
- iETT[dead link] - These are regular buses with limited luggage space. Slower, but more economical than the Havaist coaches, they operate 6 routes as of Jan 2023. Stops that have interchanges with metro lines (or are within walking distance) are indicated in bold in the table below with a coloured roundel indicating the line.
|Route||Stops||Journey Time (mins)||Fare (TL)|
|H-1[dead link] MAHMUTBEY METRO – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Mahmutbey Metro 13 – Mahmutbey iski – Karacaoğlan ilkokulu – inönü Caddesi – (Ateştuğla) – Halkalı Caddesi – Pirireis – 15 Temmuz Mahallesi – Sanayi Mahallesi – ikitelli Köprüsü – Istanbul Airport||45-60||15.33|
|H-2[dead link] MECIDIYEKOY – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Mecidiyeköy Metrobüs 14 – Çağlayan Yolu – Nurtepe Viyadük – Afet Koordinasyon Merkezi – Karayollari 1 bölge Müdürlüğü – Hasdal – (Orman Yolu) – Kıyı Emniyeti – Istanbul Airport||45-60||15.33|
|H-3[dead link] HALKALI – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Gümrük – Halkalı Marmaray 15 – Gültepe Camii – Göl Konutları – Bezirganbahçe Toki – Toki Konutları – istasyon Mahallesi Muhtarliği – Sakarya Sokak – (Yenidoğan) – (Şehit Münir Alkan) – (Mehmet Akif Ersoy Hastanesi) – Avrupa Konutları 3 – Halkalı Polis Merkezi – Halkalı Park – Koca Ali Sokak – Güneşpark Evleri – Halkalı Yolu – ikitelli Caddesi – Atatürk Mahallesi – iETT ikitelli Garajı – (Tem Yolu) – imsan (Sanayi Sitesi) – (Masko 3) – Masko 2 – Masko 1 16 – Demirciler Sitesi – Istanbul Airport||45-75||15.33|
|H-6[dead link] |
YUNUS EMRE MAH. – ISTANBUL AIRPORT
|Yunus Emre Mahallesi – Tuz Deposu – Mimar Sinan Bulvarı – Halk Ekmek Fabrikası – Hükümet Konağı – Haci Mehmet Cingil – (Malkoçoğlu) – Ortaokulu – Hayırlioğlu Camii – Mescid-i Selam (Camii) – isfalt – Habipler Mahallesi – Habipler – Tepe üstü – Arnavutköy Yolu – Sıncanlar – Fenertepe Yolu – Fenertepe – Kayabaşı Yolu – Orman İşletmesi – Balcılar – Boğazköy Tesisler – Çamlık – Yol Bakım – Boğazköy Yolu – Arnavutköy Devlet Hastanesi – Fatih Caddesi – Gaziosmanpaşa Caddesi – Necip Fazıl Caddesi – (Arnavutköy Merkez) – (Mehmet Akif Caddesi) – Arnavutköy – Redif Sokak – Osmangazi Caddesi – Cemal Reşit Rey ilkokulu – Kozlar – Hazreti Ömer Camii – Kiptaş Konutları – Arnavutköy Belediye – Taşoluk Yeşil Cami – Anafartalar Ortaokulu – Taşoluk Yolu – Hasan Tahsin Cad. – Yavuz Selim Mahallesi – Çardaktepe – Nargül Sokak – Osmanlı Konakları – Sancaktepe – Taşoluk Belediyesi – Fatih Caddesi – Çangalçeşme Yolu – Çamlık Mahallesi – Terkos Yolu – Çamlıktepe – Mesire Yeri – Istanbul Airport||45-75||15.33|
|H-8[dead link] HACIOSMAN / SARIYER – ISTANBUL AIRPORT||Hacıosman Metro 17 – Hacıosman – Hacıosman Bayırı Caddesi – Sarıyer – (Bahçeköy Öğrenci Yurdu) – (Şifa) – Yusuf Ziya Stadı – Hüseyin Kalkavan Lisesi – (Alt Sokak) – Köşebaşı – Maden Kocataş – Maden Mahallesi – Maden Üstü – (Rumelifener Yolu) – Acarlar – Nalbantçeşme – Gürgensu Sitesi – Nalbanttepe – Zekeriyaköy Trafo – Bahçeköy Yolu – Zekeriyaköy Yolu – Demirciköy Yolu – Ormanada – Kuzey Konakları – Yeşilvadi Fidanlığı – Yeşil Vadi – Uskumruköy Yolu – Şehitlik Mevkii – Aslan Fidanlığı – Kilyos Mezarlığı – Istanbul Airport||50||15.33|
|H-9[dead link] |
CEVIZLIBAG – ISTANBUL AIRPORT
|Cevizlibağ – Nakliyeciler Sitesi – Tınaztepe – Kocatepe – (Bakırköy Adliyesi) – incirli Metrobus 18 – incirli E-5 – Bahçelievler 19 – (Dr. Sadi Konuk Devlet Hastenesi) – Çocuk Sitesi – Ataköy Geçit – Şirinevler 20 – Kuleli – Kültür Üniversitesi – Istanbul Airport||75-90||15.33|
There are three types of taxi at Istanbul Airport, orange (economy) taxis, turquoise (comfort) taxis and black (premium) taxis. The orange and turquoise taxis can carry 4 passengers whilst the black taxis can carry up to 8 passengers. Whichever you decide to use always insist on use of the meter as there are no fixed prices to the city. Many taxis now accept credit cards for payment, however there is a small surcharge which is indicated by an official sticker in the window.
Istanbul Airport has published some guideline fares (Jan 2023). These rates are for both day and night but do not including highway or bridge tolls.
|Destination district||Journey time||Orange Taxi||Turquoise Taxi||Black Luxury Taxi|
|Aksaray||~38 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Bakırköy||~43 mins||480 TL||555 TL||850 TL|
|Beşiktaş||~39 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Beylikdüzü||~44 mins||610 TL||700 TL||1035 TL|
|Etiler||~33 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Kadıköy||~50 mins||610 TL||700 TL||1035 TL|
|Levent||~33 mins||400 TL||455 TL||675 TL|
|Maslak||~35 mins||400 TL||455 TL||675 TL|
|Otogar||~32 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Sabiha Gökçen Airport||~58 mins||735 TL||845 TL||1250 TL|
|Şişli - Mecidiyeköy||~40 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Sultanahmet - Sirkeci||~53 mins||480 TL||555 TL||850 TL|
|Taksim||~40 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Tarabya||~41 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
|Tuzla||~68 mins||865 TL||995 TL||1470 TL|
|Yeşilköy||~40 mins||440 TL||505 TL||745 TL|
After multiple delays, 7 stations of the airport metro line (designated M11 on network maps and a U-symbol totem outside stations) opened on 22nd January 2023 including Istanbul Airport Metro station. The station is situated approximately 300m from the main terminal building, just beyond the multi-story car parks, in the development known as Airport City, however it is directly linked to the terminal via footbridges and moving walkways.
With a journey time of approximately 24 minutes, line M11 will take you as far as Kâğıthane (as of Jan 2023) where you can transfer to Metro line M7. (see the table below for a detailed list of interchange opportunities at the various operational line M11 stations.)
The metro is by far the best method of reaching the city when balanced against speed, reliability and affordability, but beware there are no free transfers, although reduced fees are charged for up to five transfers within two hours to other vehicles on the Istanbul transport network. So make sure you have enough credit on your IstanbulKart if you intend to travel on further by bus, tram/streetcar or metro. Seating on the metro is limited, which can make for a long period of standing on the way into town.
Unlike other metro lines in Istanbul, fares on line M11 vary according to distance and the number of stops travelled. Travellers with an IstanbulKart pay the maximum charge upon tapping in at the departure station and are automatically refunded any excess fare upon tapping out at the arrival station, so always remember to tap out on the reader at your destination station. Bear in mind that you may need at least an initial 13TL credit per traveller on your Istanbulkart even if you only intend to travel one stop on line M11, although to celebrate it's opening, journeys on line M11 are free for the first month until February 23, 2023.
Line M11 will initially run from 6am to midnight, 7 days a week, with a service frequency of approximately every 10 minutes. In the future it may also operate around the clock on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays as per other lines on the network, with a service frequency of approximately every 20 minutes between midnight and 6am.
The terminus at Gayrettepe station is expected to become operational by May 2023 and offer transfers to Metrobus services at Zincirlikuyu via a 600m moving walkway and more importantly, Metro line M2. The remaining 7 stations on line M11 are due to enter service in late 2023 and will eventually add transfer opportunities to Metro lines M3, M9 and M1b at various stops along the route and terminate at Halkalı station in the Küçükçekmece district.
|Station||District||Fare to/from Istanbul airport||Nearby Public Transport Connections||Notes|
|↑↑ UNDER CONSTRUCTION (anticipated opening May 2023) ↑↑|
|Kağıthane||Kağıthane||12.77 TL|| Istanbul Metro: |
İETT Bus: 39Ç, 41ST, 41Y, 44B, 46Ç, 46T, 48, 48H, 48N, 48T, 50D, 62, 63, 64Ç, 65A, 65G, 399B
|Hasdal||Eyüpsultan||11.29 TL||İETT Bus: 48, 48A, 48E, 48F, 48Y, 50G, H-2|| |
|Kemerburgaz||11.29 TL||İETT Bus: 48, 48A, 48C, 48D, 48E, 48G, 48K, 48KA, 48L, 48P, 48R, 48Y, 50G|| |
|Göktürk||9.90 TL||İETT Bus: 48, 48A, 48C, 48D, 48E, 48G, 48K, 48KA, 48L, 48P, 48Y, 50G|| |
|İhsaniye||9.90 TL||İETT Bus: 48F, 48KA, 48M, 48P|| |
|Satellite Terminal||Arnavutköy||-|| |
|Istanbul Airport||-|| İETT Bus: H-1, H-2, H-3, H-6, H-8, H-9 |
Airport coach services: Havaist, Havalines, BBBUS, Istanbul Seyahat
TCDD: High Speed Train (commencing late 2024)
|Cargo Terminal||9.90 TL|
|↓↓ UNDER CONSTRUCTION (anticipated opening late 2023) ↓↓|
The airport will eventually have its own dedicated high-speed rail station with two lines planned:
- One south-westward (due to open in 2024) that will travel non-stop for approximately 20 miles (31 km) to Halkalı station and beyond. Located in the Küçükçekmece district, Halkalı station will offer an interchange with the trans-Bosphorus Marmaray line and other long-distance rail services as well as Metro line M1b.
- One south-eastward (due to open in 2025) that will travel non-stop for approximately 40 miles (62 km) to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and beyond on the Asian side via the third Bosphorus crossing (Yavuz Sultan Selim Suspension Bridge).
If you plan to rent a car for the duration of your stay, the airport has a glut of car rental companies on site including both well known International chains and local enterprises. Many are open 24 hours a day and their offices are clustered in the arrivals hall opposite meeting point 3 / exit door 9.
The airport is located at exit K7 on the O-7 / Otoyol 7 (English: Motorway-7). This is sometimes also referred to as Kuzey Marmara Otoyolu (Northern Marmara Highway). A typical journey into one of the European side districts will take about an hour.
Uber is also available at Istanbul airport. Vehicle types are the same as those listed in taxi section[dead link]. To use Uber cars, you need to go up from the Arrivals floor to the Departure floor and then request a trip on the app. In comparison to taxis, Uber cars are slightly more expensive, but are more regulated.
A few tips to ensure a safe and pleasant Uber trip:
- Verify the number plate of the vehicle and driver name via the app before getting into any car. Sometimes, some taxi drivers may solicit customers and even deceive you to get in their cars, claiming they are the Uber driver that you are waiting for. Remember not to jump into the car if the plate number doesn't match the one on the profile, even if the driver shows you your trip request on his Uber app. Such drivers are likely to be scammers.
- Remember to validate fares at the end of the trip. If the final fare is way off the estimated cost, you can verify the cost by multiplying the rate by trip distance shown on the receipt.
- Report the driver in case you have any poor experiences.
Since there is only one terminal built so far, with no rail or bus transfer system in place, you will probably have to walk everywhere. It can take quite a while to walk between gates, especially if they are an opposite ends of the huge terminal with its long concourses, so allocate sufficient time for connections. Estimated times to walk from the central terminal area to furthest gates at the end of each concourse (gates A11, B15, D17, F16 and G11) are around 15-20 minutes.
There is also a buggy service priced at 5 EUR (free for iGA pass members; those over 65 years of age; families with children aged between 0-2 years old and expectant mothers). There are four buggy stations, three in the International departures area of the terminal and one in the domestic section. The locations are as follows:
- Western Buggy Station (international departures area): located across from gate C1
- Northern Buggy Station (international departures area): located after the stairs leading down to the D gates
- Eastern Buggy Station (international departures area): located across from gate E1
- Domestic Buggy Station: located across from the stairs leading down to domestic departures
For transfer passengers who are required to re-clear security and whose connection time is less than 60 minutes, there are Short Connection areas in each concourse which avoid the need to traverse the length of the concourse to the central transfer hall. The locations are as follows:
- Concourse A: Mid-concourse, opposite gate A5
- Concourse B: Opposite gate B8
- Concourse D: At the very far end of the concourse, near gate D16
- Concourse F: Opposite gate F8
Turkish Airlines offers free guided tours of Istanbul's sights to their passengers under a program called Touristanbul. This program includes transport from and to the airport and a traditional Turkish meal.
The conditions are: you need to have a layover of at least six hours and at most 24 hours, between 09:00 and 18:00 and, in addition, both your arriving and departing flights must be international and operated by Turkish Airlines. No prior reservation is needed for these tours, you only need to proceed through customs and immigration and after that to the "hotel desk" in the arrivals hall (near meeting point 4 / opposite Exit door 14) . The airline has more detailed information on its home page. Remember to check if you need a visa to enter Turkey.
Museums and exhibitions
- Istanbul Airport Museum, inside international departures. 8:30-23:00. As of Aug 2021, the museum exhibits 316 works from 29 museums. Various other semi-permanent exhibitions are dotted around the concourses. €13.
- Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge (take up escalator near gate E1)
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Lounge (take up escalator near gate C1)
- Turkish Airlines Exclusive Lounge (opening postponed due to COVID-19)
- Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge (close to door 14, arrivals level. Opening postponed due to COVID-19)
- Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge (take elevators opposite gate G6)
- IGA Lounge (pay per use lounge, priced at €50 + tax, (€32.50 if over 65) but includes Fast Track, Priority Check-in and Buggy service if pre-booked)
- Skyteam Lounge
- Emirates Lounge (opening postponed due to COVID-19)
- Komyuniti Lounge (Landside, within the Yotel near entrance 7, departures level. €40 + tax inclusive of food and drinks. Showers also available.)
- Komyuniti Lounge[dead link] (Airside, within the YotelAir. €40 + tax inclusive of food and drinks. €50 + tax inclusive of food, drinks and shower. Shower only access is €15 + tax.)
Not to be confused with the traditional airport lounges, this is a specially designed zone located on a mezzanine above the duty free shops in the international departures area. It is aimed at passengers between the ages of 15 and 30. Facilities include both free and paid Wi-Fi options, Playstation, an audio system and large screen projector, table football, popular comics and free board games. It is intended that this area will also host live performances on an occasional basis.
Istanbul Airport Library, which contains more than 2,000 books, is located in the domestic departures area just before gate G2.
This viewing terrace, overlooking runway 1 and the Air Traffic Control Tower, offers the opportunity to while away a few hours at the airport. Transportation to the spotter area is provided by İGA with vehicles departing from column no.7 on the -2 floor. As of Aug 2022, it is only available by pre-booking and open on Saturday (14:00 - 17:00). It is free of charge, however it is landside, so remember to check if you need a visa to enter Turkey. Those unable to enter Turkey and still wishing for some fresh air can access the outdoor terrace near the B gates
Eat and drink
A wide variety of food outlets are available both airside and landside, with both Turkish and International cuisine being well catered for. A current list of outlets can be found on the official airport website[dead link].
The airport website lists a few outlets that may be helpful to those with dietary restrictions.
Vegan / vegetarian friendly
For those with infants HIPP Infant Formula is available from Mvnch[dead link], Çay Saati[dead link] and Enva[dead link]. In addition many of the food outlets offer kid's menus including Popeyes[dead link], Burger King[dead link] and Gloria Jean's.
As with most modern international airports, there are shops galore in addition to the obligatory duty free stores. In certain concourses you might be forgiven for thinking you were in a shopping mall. A current list of retailers can be found on the official airport website[dead link].
- WiFi[dead link]: Up to 1 hour of free Wi-Fi internet service is provided. Users must register with their mobile phone number to receive a code via SMS for activation. For those without a mobile phone, access codes can be obtained from kiosks by providing your passport number. A video[dead link] on the airport website details the procedure.
Travellers with Disabilities and Special Needs
Restrooms: Accessible restrooms whose doors open through sensor detection, lock from inside with a button, and give audible “occupied/vacant” warnings are standard across the airport. Wheelchair friendly toilets are available at 5 locations:
Visually impaired services:
There is Four-lane Tactile Paving
Braille encoded boards are located:
Loud Steps: Using Loud Steps, passengers can find places and boarding gates, get a step-by-step route, learn their current location and what is ahead in the direction they hold their phones. You can watch a video with further details online. Passengers using a mobile phone with the 'voice assistant' feature, can directly access “Loud Steps” when they open the map within the Istanbul Airport app. Passengers not using the 'voice assistant' feature, can tap on the walking human icon in the top right after opening the map, so that the map will open with the loud steps interface.
Hearing impaired services: For passengers using hearing aids, induction loop services are available:
For passengers using sign language, orange-colored ‘Ask Me’ digital information kiosks located throughout the terminal provide video information using sign language. In addition, passengers who communicate using sign language can make contact between 8am and 5pm (weekdays) via the ‘IGA Video Call Center’ option in the iGA Cares section of the Istanbul Airport mobile app or istairport.com
The airport has been designed to be child and family friendly, including family priority car parking spaces, security check points, privacy rooms, stroller loans and free buggy services for those with infants aged up to the age of two. There is also a children's play area located at each of the five piers.
Electric Vehicle Charge Points
As of 2021, it hasn't been determined if there any electric vehicles charge stations within the airport car parks. However if you need an emergency top up it is confirmed that the nearby mosque (Ali Kuşçu) in the Airport City development has 7 electric vehicle spots in its car park, but their power output is unknown.
A non-smoking fresh air terrace is located on the left side, right next to the pier where the B gates are located.
Istanbul Airport has a number of service points to meet the health needs of passengers including Mobile health stations, First aid / emergency services, Pharmacies and PCR test centre.
Guests who wish to breastfeed or change the diapers of their babies may use one of 9 dedicated Infant Care rooms. All are equipped with breastfeeding chairs and baby changing units.
- Airside: You can find the iGA Lost and Found Property offices in front of gate C3 after Passport Control.
- Landside: To collect lost property landside head to the Lost & Found Office located across from R check-in island (Entrance no. 7 on the departures level). Property is held for 3 months after which time if remaining unclaimed it will be disposed of. The exception is foodstuffs, these are destroyed after 24 hours.
The call centre can be reached on 444 1 442 by phone or WhatsApp. To report lost property at the airport you must complete the following form[dead link]. Any property lost or left on an aircraft should be reported to the airline directly.
Left Luggage / Lockers
- Airside: You can only pay for this service by credit card. The fees as of Sep 2021 are as follows:
- Between 0-3 hours; luggage €5 (€3.25 if over 65), pochette-bag €2 (€1.30 if over 65), cloakroom €2 (€1.30 if over 65)
- Between 3-6 hours; luggage €9 (€5.85 if over 65), pochette-bag €3 (€1.95 if over 65), cloakroom €3 (€1.95 if over 65)
- Between 6-9 hours; luggage €16 (€10.40 if over 65), pochette-bag €6 (€3.90 if over 65), cloakroom €6 (€3.90 if over 65)
- Landside: There are two Left Luggage areas available in the arrivals level in addition to lockers. The initial fee for the lockers for up to 12 hours storage is 40 TL for small bags and 60 TL for large bags. A further fee of 40 TL (small bags) / 60 TL (large bags) is charged for every 24 hours thereafter. The locations are:
Two free-of-charge pet rooms / toilets, where you can see to the basic needs of our little friends, can be found after the security checkpoints on the Departures floor.
- Near the West wing museum and İGA Lounge Floor (airside)
- Restroom area across from the İGA Sleepods (airside)
There are 3 prayer rooms in the airport in total, at the service of individuals from all religions.
- 1 in Departures Floor F Pier
- 1 in Departures Floor International Terminal Airside
- 1 in Arrivals Floor International Terminal Meeting Point Hall
In addition 44 muslim prayer rooms (half of them serving men and the other half women only) are dotted throughout the concourses.
- YotelAir, Tayakadın Mahallesi, Terminal Caddesi No:1 Arnavutköy (Airside: in the Duty Free Area after passport control and security. Landside: use entrance Door 7 at departures level.), ☏ , [email protected]. The only on-site hotel at Istanbul Airport. It has 451 rooms (174 rooms airside and 277 rooms landside). From €70 for 4 hours.
- IGA Sleepods[dead link]. Sleeping pods are located airside close to the entrance to the D gates. These are available at a price of €15 (Apr 21) per hour (€4.90 if over 65) between the hours of 07:00-19:00 and €20 (Apr 21) per hour (€6.85 if over 65) between the hours of 19:00-07:00 (Blanket, pillow, pillow cases are a €3 option).
The airport is so far from anywhere (one of the main criticisms regarding the relocation from Atatürk Airport) that it seems there is nowhere in particular worth seeking out nearby.
Provided that you have your visa in order and can arrange transportation, relatively close by sites in the lush countryside of Istanbul's north include Kemerburgaz and Belgrad Forest, both with many Ottoman-era aqueducts that blend perfectly with their jungle-like surroundings to the east, and mysterious Byzantine ruins scattered in the forests, the as-yet peaceful 1 Lake Terkos and extensive under-developed beaches on the Black Sea coast to the west.
This new district will be formed of a mixed-use development comprised of four main zones. The Core Zone, although still mostly a construction site, is taking shape just in front of the current terminal area. This zone will be a short walk from the terminal itself via a new public plaza and will ultimately have direct access from the airports' metro and rail stations. The finished development will include an aviation academy / university, retail, open-spaces, residential apartments, commercial office space, a world class hospital facility and some very much-needed hotels. In addition, the Core Zone will be home to a cultural and conference center which includes a museum, exhibition spaces and convention halls.
Ali Kuşçu Camii-i-Şerifi
No doubt you will have noticed this, the only finished structure within Airport City as of 2021, on your approach to the terminal building. If you have plenty of time before your check in closes it may or may not be worth a look depending on your level of interest in modern places of worship. The parking lot located to the south of the mosque has a capacity of 260 (15 reserved for disabled vehicles, 7 for electric vehicles). Named after the Turkish astronomer, mathematician and linguist ., it is formed of a courtyard with its central fountain, a small dome above an entrance leading inside flanked by a pair of 55m high minarets, and the main prayer hall with the grand dome and mahfil area. 72 coloured glass panels rise from the turquoise blue carpets inside this dome, topped with decorative mesh panels, which continue the pattern skywards. At the top of the mesh panels is ornamentation made of box profile on which the 99 names of Allah are inscribed in gold leaf in a modernized Kufic script, all within the belt section. While the top of this section now forms the roof, there is further decorative work in the form of the Ikhlas Surah at the top of the dome with 4 verses arranged between the ribs.
|Routes through Istanbul Airport|
|Edirne ← Saray ←||W E||→ Istanbul → Adapazarı|
|Ends at at Kınalı (W E) ←||W E||→ Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge → Gebze → Ends at at Hendek (W E)|