Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport is an informational guide and is not associated with, affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by the official Istanbul International Airport, and that visitors intending to reach the official site should visit the official airports sites.

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A Comprehensive Overview of Istanbul Airport

As you arrive at Istanbul Airport, the city’s ultra-modern air hub, you can’t help but feel awed by its grand scale and efficiency. Covering over 76.5 million square feet, this sprawling complex integrates the latest innovations in airport design to create a traveler-friendly environment. While navigating Istanbul Airport's gleaming concourses and expansive shopping centers, you will experience world-class amenities. With six runways and capacity for 200 million annual passengers, Istanbul Airport aims to become a global aviation leader. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Istanbul Airport's facilities, operations, and future expansion plans. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, understanding this airport's offerings will enhance your journey through this bustling air transportation mega-hub.

An Introduction to Istanbul Airport (IST)

A Vast, Modern Facility

Istanbul Airport (IST) is one of the world's largest airports, spanning approximately 77 million square feet with indoor and outdoor parking for over 70,000 vehicles. Opened in 2018, the airport features state-of-the-art architecture and technology, including an automated baggage handling system to efficiently process passengers’ luggage. With six runways and plans for expansion up to twelve runways, Istanbul Airport has substantial capacity for growth.

Serving as a Global Hub

As the hub airport for Turkish Airlines, IST connects Istanbul to more than 300 destinations worldwide. The airport serves as an important transit point for travel between Europe, Asia, and Africa. In 2019, IST saw more than 65 million passengers, cementing its status as one of the busiest airports in Europe. With its strategic location and ever-expanding route network, Istanbul Airport is poised to become one of the world’s most significant transportation hubs.

Award-Winning Amenities

Passengers traveling through IST can enjoy an array of amenities, including an on-site hotel, over 200 retail stores and restaurants, an entertainment center, gyms, lounges, and even a movie theater. The airport has received numerous accolades for its passenger experience, including recognition as Europe’s Best Airport in 2019 by Skytrax World Airport Awards. Whether transiting or starting your trip in Istanbul, IST provides a world-class passenger experience worth arriving early to enjoy.

Navigating Istanbul Airport - Everything You Need to Know

Arriving at the Istanbul Airport IST

When you first arrive at Istanbul Airport (IST), you will go through passport control and customs before claiming your baggage. The airport has a highly efficient baggage handling system, but it can still take up to 30 minutes for bags to arrive on the carousel after disembarking your flight. Be sure to have all necessary documentation ready to speed up the immigration process.

Getting Around the Airport

Istanbul Airport has two main terminals connected by an underground shuttle. The massive main terminal spans over 6 million square feet, so getting between gates and other facilities may require up to a 30 minute walk. It is best to allow ample time to navigate the airport and use the complimentary shuttle when possible. Electric carts and moving walkways are also available to help passengers with reduced mobility.

Istanbul Airport Facilities

Istanbul Airport has a wealth of services to make your time there comfortable and enjoyable. There are over 200 check-in counters and self-service kiosks, numerous currency exchange bureaus, places of worship, showers, and more than 100 retail stores and restaurants to choose from. For business travelers, the airport also has conference rooms, lounges, and a 150-room airside hotel connected directly to the terminal.

With the right planning and time management, navigating Istanbul Airport can be an easy process. Be sure to arrive with proper documentation, understand the airport layout, use transport shuttles efficiently, and take advantage of the many services available to you. By following these tips, your experience at IST will be as enjoyable as your final destination.

Istanbul Airport FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

What is the Istanbul Airport code?

The Istanbul Airport goes by the airport code IST. It is also referred to as the Istanbul New Airport or Istanbul Havalimanı. Istanbul Airport replaced Istanbul Atatürk Airport as the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey.

How do I get to Istanbul Airport?

There are several modes of transportation that can take you to Istanbul Airport:

  • Public transit: The M11 metro line provides a direct connection between Istanbul Airport and the city center. The metro trip takes about 35 minutes and runs from 6 am to midnight.
  • Shuttle: The IST Shuttle service offers transfers between Istanbul Airport and the city center. The shuttle ride takes around 30-60 minutes depending on traffic.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available for hire outside Istanbul Airport. The taxi fare to the city center is around 150-200 TL (25-35 USD) and the trip can take 30-90 minutes depending on traffic.
  • Ride-sharing: Services like Uber, BiTaksi, and iTaksi offer pre-booked rides to and from Istanbul Airport. Fares are typically lower than regular taxis.
  • Bus: The IETT bus line #96T travels between Istanbul Airport and Taksim Square. Buses depart every 30 minutes and the full trip takes around 60-90 minutes.

What facilities does Istanbul Airport offer?

Istanbul Airport has a wide range of facilities to serve passengers:

  • Over 500 check-in counters and self-service kiosks
  • Passport control with over 260 e-gates for Turkish citizens and over 50 counters
  • A large duty-free shopping area with over 350 stores and restaurants
  • Over 30 airline lounges
  • Showers, prayer rooms, and a hotel inside the terminal
  • Free WiFi, USB charging stations, luggage storage, and a lost & found office
  • An airport clinic, pharmacy, and mother & child care room

Istanbul Airport aims to provide a world-class experience for all passengers traveling through the new aviation hub. Please let airport staff know if you require any additional assistance during your journey.


In summary, Istanbul Airport is an impressive achievement that matches the grandeur of Istanbul itself. With its massive scale, striking architecture, and world-class amenities, it provides an unforgettable first impression for visitors. For travelers, it offers an efficient and comfortable transit experience. As the new hub airport for Turkish Airlines, it strengthens Istanbul's position as a global crossroads. While the airport's opening was marked by some operational challenges, it has great potential to boost Istanbul's connectivity and economic growth in the years ahead. With an eye to the future, Istanbul Airport stands ready to serve the bustling megacity and the nation.

How to Get to Istanbul Airport: Transportation Guide 2024

As you plan your upcoming trip to Istanbul, you know that getting to and from Istanbul Airport (IST) can be a bit complicated. With multiple transportation options available, you want to choose the best route based on your needs. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of shuttles, metro and rail connections, taxis, and rental cars so you can confidently navigate to and from the airport. With prices, schedules, and insider tips, you'll have all the information needed to get to IST stress-free. Whether you're a first-time visitor or seasoned traveler, this comprehensive transportation guide for 2024 has everything required for a smooth airport experience in Istanbul.

Getting to Istanbul Airport by Public Transportation

Istanbul Airport (IST) is conveniently located near major public transit options. The metro, bus, tram, and high-speed rail are all available to transport passengers to and from the airport.


The M11  Yenikapı-Atatürk Airport metro line connects Istanbul Airport (IST) directly to many locations in Istanbul, including Yenikapı, Aksaray, and Otogar. Istanbul airport metro Trains run every 10 minutes for most of the day, taking around 35-40 minutes to reach the city center. Fares are $1-$2 each way.


The IETT bus line 442 operates between Istanbul Airport (IST) and Taksim Square, with departures every 30 minutes for most of the day. The journey takes 50-60 minutes depending on traffic and costs around $2 each way. Several other bus lines also service the airport, connecting to locations like Kadiköy, Beylikdüzü, and Sultanbeyli. Buses typically run from early morning until late evening.

High-Speed Rail

The high-speed rail line from Istanbul Airport (IST) to Halkalı began service in 2020, with trains running every 30 minutes during peak hours. The rail line stops at Istanbul Airport, as well as Esenler, Büyükçekmece, and Halkalı. Travel time is around 35 minutes to Halkalı. Fares start around $4 each way.

With the variety of public transit options to and from Istanbul Airport, getting into the city is convenient and budget-friendly. No matter the time of day or your final destination in Istanbul, there is an easy way to get there from the airport. The metro, bus, and high-speed rail provide efficient transportation for all passengers.

Taking a Taxi, Private Car or Rideshare to Istanbul Airport

When traveling to Istanbul Airport (IST), you have several ground transportation options to choose from. Hiring a taxi, private car service, or ridesharing service are three convenient ways to get to and from the airport.


Taxis are readily available at Istanbul Airport and provide 24-hour service to locations throughout Istanbul. The taxi stands are located just outside the arrivals area. Fares to central Istanbul average around ₺150-200 ($25-35 USD) and the trip can take 30-60 minutes depending on traffic. Only board official taxis that are yellow and have a taxi sign on top. Negotiate the fare before getting into the Istanbul airport taxi.

Private Car Services

For a more luxurious transfer option, book a private car service to transport you to and from the airport. Companies like Atlas Transfer and Istanbul Airport Transfer offer sedans, SUVs and minivans with professional drivers. Fares are typically ₺200-500 ($35-85 USD) for up to 4 passengers depending on the vehicle type. Private car services must be booked in advance and the drivers will meet you in the arrivals hall.

Ridesharing Services

Ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft and local provider BiTaksi also provide airport transfer service. Fares are usually slightly lower than taxis and private cars. The rideshare drivers will pick you up at the designated rideshare pickup area located outside the arrivals area. Rideshare services can be requested on-demand via the company’s mobile app.

With several budget-friendly and convenient options, getting to and from Istanbul Airport should be quick and easy. Have a safe trip!

Istanbul Airport Parking and Driving Options

Valet Parking

Valet parking services are available 24 hours a day at Istanbul Airport to provide you with convenient parking assistance. Drive to the Valet Parking entrance, hand your keys to an attendant and your vehicle will be parked for you. Rates start at 70 TL for up to 2 hours. Valet parking is located in Parking Zone P6, adjacent to the Domestic and International Terminals.

Short-Term Parking

For those dropping off or picking up passengers, short-term parking is available for up to 2 hours in Parking Zones P1 to P5. Rates are 50 TL for up to 30 minutes, increasing to 70 TL for 2 hours. The short-term car parks are within walking distance of the Domestic and International Terminals.

Long-Term Parking

If you are travelling for longer periods, long-term parking is recommended in Parking Zones P8 to P12. Rates start at 140 TL for up to 12 hours, increasing incrementally up to 280 TL for 4 to 7 days. A free shuttle bus service operates between the long-term car parks and the Domestic and International Terminals 24 hours a day.

Disabled Parking

Dedicated disabled parking spaces are available in Parking Zones P1 to P3 and P6 to P8, closest to the terminals. Normal short-term and long-term rates apply. You must display a valid disabled parking permit in your vehicle.

Getting To and From the Airport

In addition to driving and parking at Istanbul Airport, there are several public transport options to get you to and from the city center and surrounding areas. The Havaist bus service operates routes to key locations across Istanbul. Metro trains on the M11 Gayrettepe-New Airport line provide a quick journey time of around 30 minutes to Gayrettepe station, where you can connect to other metro and tram lines across the city. Taxis are also available 24 hours a day outside the Domestic and International Terminals.


As you plan your trip to Istanbul, carefully consider the best transportation options to get you to and from Istanbul Airport based on your budget, timeframe, and travel preferences. Public transportation like the metro and Havaist shuttle provide affordable options, while taxis offer more convenience and comfort for a higher cost. Pre-booking a private transfer service guarantees a seamless airport ride but requires advanced planning. Whichever method you choose, allot ample time to navigate between your Istanbul lodging and the airport to account for traffic. With an informed transportation approach, your travels through Istanbul Airport can be efficient and stress-free.


Istanbul Airport, also known by its International Civil Aviation Organization code of IST, is the primary international airport for the city of Istanbul in Turkey, which is home to more than 15 million people and is an increasingly popular choice for where people spend their vacations.
Istanbul Airport IST
Istanbul Airport IST
Istanbul airport is about 33 miles (54 kilometers) from downtown Istanbul, making it a fairly convenient way for visitors from around the globe to visit the city. There are a number of transportation options for getting to and from the airport, including buses, private shuttles, rental cars and taxis, and the right choice will depend on your specific vacation needs. Eventually, the Istanbul Metro – the city’s railway network – will have connections directly to the Istanbul airport. Istanbul airport is known as Istanbul New Airport because construction finished in October 2018, to help cope with increasing air traffic to the city. Before Istanbul New Airport opened, most air traffic passed through Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which opened in 1912 as an airfield and in 1953 as an airport.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport has only one runway, and eventually the Turkish government decided that it was necessary to construct a new and bigger airport. Istanbul New Airport was the result of that decision, and just months after its opening, all passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new airport starting in April 2019. This switch made Istanbul New Airport the primary airport for domestic and international flights to and from Istanbul, leaving Istanbul New Airport to mostly handle cargo.

Istanbul Airport (IST) handled 76,236,980 passengers in 2023 and is the busiest airport in Turkey.

To get to Istanbul downtown via taxi, from Istanbul Airport it takes about 40 min without traffic and will cost about 40 euro.

Developers chose a site for constructing the new airport within a site of about 19,000 acres large (or about 7,600 hectares) located near to Lake Terkos in Turkey’s Thrace region. The airport is close to the intersection of some of the main roads leading to Istanbul and locations within the broader Istanbul Province including Arnavutköy, Çatalca and Göktürk.

Istanbul Airport for years used to be known by the International Civil Aviation Organization code of IST, but after Istanbul New Airport opened, the code was transferred to the new facility to use, and Istanbul Atatürk Airport now uses the different code of LTBA.
Despite only having been operating for a few years, Istanbul New Airport is already responsible for handling most of the major passenger air traffic for the city. According to data from 2020, that year the airport processed more than 23 million passengers, of which almost 16 million were international passengers, and also handled a total cargo tonnage of 869,289.

Istanbul airport features a single terminal that is used for all of the international and domestic flights that it processes, and it provides a total of four runways for aircraft to use. Two of the runways are about 13,450 feet (or 4,100 meters) long by about 197 feet (or 60 meters) wide, and the other two runaways are about 12,300 feet or (3,750 meters) long by about 147 feet (or 45 meters) wide. All four runway surfaces are covered in asphalt.

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Istanbul Airport Information

IATA airport code: IST

ICAO airport code: LTFM

Owner: General Directorate of State Airports (DHMİ)

Operator: IGA (Istanbul Grand Airport) Havalimanı İşletmesi A.Ş.

Serves: Istanbul, Turkey

Hub for

  • Turkish Airlines
  • Turkish Cargo

Location: Arnavutköy, Istanbul

Istanbul Airport Facilities

Banking: Whether you need to use an ATM, another type of cash machine, or exchange some currency, you will find the services that you need within the airport terminal.

Food and Drink: You can currently choose among more than 150 different options for getting something to eat or drink in the airport, ranging from fast food to fine dining and more.

For Children: Parents traveling with infants or children will be pleased to know the airport has extensive services for families, such as child-friendly security processing, the ability to borrow buggies or strollers for free, private rooms for changing diapers, and priority car park spaces.

Fresh Air: Istanbul airport provides a large non-smoking outdoor area where passengers can step outside of the terminal and enjoy some fresh air before while waiting for their flight.

Medical Aid: Health emergencies can happen at airports, and the terminal features a number of first aid stations, mobile health units, pharmacies, and even a PCR testing facility.

Pets: Istanbul New Airport provides an area where your pet or service animal approved for your flight can use the toilet either before your flight takes off or after it has landed.


Istanbul New Airport offers a designated Duty Free shopping area, as well as a large range of other stores selling many different items including clothing, books, and more.

Sleeping Options

If you’re eager to sleep before your departure or after your arrival, you can pay €70 for four hours in a YotelAir room, designed for short naps. Or you can pay €6 for one hour inside an IGA Sleepods to get some rest, but you’ll have to pay €2 more for blankets and pillows.

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Visiting Istanbul

Istanbul’s cultural diversity is a result of the many empires that once ruled the city. One can find traces of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures intertwined in Istanbul. The city is also known for its vibrant arts scene, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and lively nightlife. From meyhane restaurants to nightclubs, there are many options to experience the city after dark.

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Whether you’re visiting Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul for vacation or work, you’ll likely arrive by taking a flight that lands at Istanbul Airport. Once you have landed at the Istanbul airport, gone through passport control and collected your suitcases, you’ll next need to decide how to get to the city center.

Thankfully, Istanbul Airport provides several transportation options for making the journey, and you’ll need assistance because the distance between the terminal and the city is roughly 30 miles (or just under 50 kilometers). You can rent a car, take a taxi or private transfer, get on a bus or ride the subway system known as the Metro, and they all have pros and cons.

For example, taking public transportation like the bus or Metro can be a great way to save money, yet you’ll be sharing the ride with other travelers so baggage space may be limited. But you should be able to find a transportation option that fits within your budget and needs.

Taxi: Transfer to Istanbul city centre within 20 minutes by taxi. From the Istanbul Airport you will definitely want to catch an Istanbul Airport taxi to the City Center. This is a popular and affordable option, although the exact fare will depend on your final destination in the city, because rides are charged based on distance traveled. You won’t to have to share the car with anyone but your traveling companions, and tips are discretionary. A typical ride from the airport to the city will likely take about 40 minutes and cost roughly €20.

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Bus: Public transportation takes you to Istanbul within 45 minutes. From the Istanbul airport you can take a bus operated by own of two companies, although the journey will be longer than in a taxi or a rental car, and you might be dropped off very far from your hotel, and space for luggage could be limited. But this is among the most affordable of the transportation options, with prices ranging from just under €1 to about €4.50.

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Car Hire: The best option to explore Istanbul and its region is by hiring a car at Istanbul Airport. One of the more expensive options, you’ll pay for the entire time you rent a car, but you will have complete privacy and independence about where and when you travel. Plus, you’ve had the additional peace of mind of knowing your luggage is safe in the trunk. The exact cost of this method of transport will depend on the car you choose and how long you rent it.

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Istanbul Airport Metro: Another affordable option for getting from Istanbul Airport to the city is taking the Istanbul Airport Metro subway system. It will take roughly 25 minutes to make the journey to the final stop of Istanbul municipality of Kağıthane, with other station stops along the way. You’ll have to spend just under €3 on a reloadable Metro card and it will cost €0.50 to get from the airport to the last stop.

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Lost and Found

As with most major airports, the terminal includes lost and found facilities in the event that you cannot find your checked baggage after your flight lands, or if you misplace a personal item while within the facility. Items lost on airplanes should be reported to the airline.


  • Phone: +90 4441442
  • web:
  • Adrress: Tayakadın, Terminal Cad No:1, 34283 Arnavutköy/İstanbul, Turkey

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