Istanbul airport system is 4th busiest in Europe and 10th busiest in the World with currently functioning two airports - Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen. Third - Istanbul New Airport - is to start receiving planes in late 2018.
International Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports flew over 85,500,000 passengers in 2014. Los Angeles and Shanghai outnumber Istanbul’s air traffic by about 5 million passengers per year.
Check out hotels near an Airport in Istanbul.
Taxi rates for traveling from an airport in Istanbul are usually higher than those for coming to the airport. Even though taximeters are used most of the time watch out for sneaky taxi drivers. Know your numbers!
Before jumping into a taxi make sure you:
Take airport shuttle Havatas to save on your travel from/to an airport. Find busses outside of the airport, on the second lane after the taxis, with HAVATAS written on them. Price: 16 Turkish Liras.
Havatas is available both from Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Shuttle goes to Taksim and Yeni Kapi IDO on the European side, Kadikoy, Yenisahra on the Asian side of Istanbul (schedule). Neither of the routes go directly to touristic district Sultanahmet. Hop on a metro (map) to go to Sultanahmet from Taksim or Yenikapi. Here is how to pay for your metro ride.
Ataturk Airport is the largest airport in Turkey and the main international airport in Istanbul (see departures and arrivals terminal map for details.)
This airport is to stop serving passengers by the end of 2018 as a brand new Istanbul New Airport to open in October 2018.
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport has become too congested to adequately serve current growing needs of air traffic. There is also no space to further enlarge the airport, therefore it was decided to shut it down when the New Airport starts receiving planes.
Location: Yesilkoy, European side of Istanbul. 24 km (15 miles) from Istanbul city center.
Sabiha Gokcen Airport is a modern international airport named after Turkish female aviator. Location: Pendik, Asian side of Istanbul. 35 km (22 miles) from Istanbul city center.
Istanbul is about to boast world's largest terminal in its Istanbul New Airport ("Istanbul Yeni Havalimani" in Turkish). It is also referred to as the Third Airport ("Ucuncu Havalimani" in Turkish).
The new airport is under construction and is scheduled to receive its first local passengers in October 2018 as phase I of the project.
76.5 million square meters of the first terminal is expected to serve 90 million passengers per year. Only two world's busiest airports (2016 statistics) Atlanta International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport outnumber such a capacity.
When all four phases of the project implemented and other planned terminals are added, the number of guests handled per year is expected to rise up to 200 million passengers.
Thoroughly thought out shopping and resting areas along with robotic check-in and baggage claim terminals are designed to make the New Airport the most desired layover point in the world.
Location: Arnavutkoy district on the European side of Istanbul. Do not confuse Arnavutkoy the neighborhood in Istanbul which is also located on the European side (Besiktas district) and famous for its historic Ottoman mansions and narrow hilly streets.