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Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport Transportation Guide

Istanbul is one of the biggest and populated cities in the world, so its airport of course. Istanbul Airport is the biggest engineering project in the history of Turkey. This landmark will hold more than 150 millions of passenger when the project iş fully completed in the next 5 years. For now, phase 1 iş finished and its already one of the biggest airports in the world. If you have a question in your mind about how to go to the Istanbul City Center From Istanbul Airport or same as back, you will find detailed information about it in this post.

Where Is The Istanbul Airport?

Istanbul Airport is located on the European side of Istanbul very close to the Black Sea shore of the Arnavutköy. Location of the airport is quite far from the centre when you compare it to the Istanbul Atatürk Airport which was closed after the opening of Istanbul Airport. Istanbul Airport is 45 km away from Taksim, 60 km from Kadıköy and 85 km from Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Transportation Options From/To Istanbul Airport to the Istanbul City Center

If you’re coming to Istanbul you should know what you need to use on public transport, the Istanbul card. It is a must to have thing if you want to use public transport. Istanbul card is valid on all public transportation system, metro, tram, ferry, buses and others. You can buy Istanbul card from automated ticket machines (more than 2000 location in Istanbul) just for 6 Turkish Lira and also add on more money to it. It will be enough to add 50 Turkish Lira per person to get around in Istanbul. Don’t forget you cant take your money back from the Istanbul card.

Train Lines

There is no train lines at Istanbul Airport. The new very high-speed (> 350 km/h) train line is still planning by the Turkish government and it is expected to be finished in 2023. This line will help you to reach Istanbul city centre in a very short time and also give a change to reach Ankara faster than a plane.

Metro Lines

For now, there is no operating line at Istanbul Airport. The new metro line still in construction to the Istanbul Airport and it will be integrated with other metro lines at the Gayrettepe station and Marmaray suburban line at Halkalı.  There will 12 stations in this project and it will take less 30 minutes to reach the Istanbul city centre. For now

Bus Lines

Because of the lack of the metro and train lines, all burden of transportation is over the buses. İETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management) is the biggest public transportation company of Istanbul and it founded in 1871. Today, electricity, tramway and tunnel managements are running by other companies but the name of the İETT is symbolic for Istanbul and it never changed. Today, İETT is responsible for the whole buses in Istanbul. There several bus lines operating between Istanbul Airport and Istanbul city centre. You will detailed information about lines below and also from the İETT webpage. Most of these lines are operating 7/24.

  • H-1: Mahmutbey Metro – İstanbul Airport
  • H-2: Mecidiyeköy – İstanbul Airport
  • H-3: Halkalı – İstanbul Airport
  • H-4: Atatürk Airport – İstanbul Airport
  • H-6: Mescid-i Selam/Arnavutköy – İstanbul Airport
  • H-7: Alibeyköy Bus Terminal – İstanbul Airport
  • H-8: Hacıosman/Sarıyer – İstanbul Airport
İETT Buses
You will see different colours of buses like this, modern, fast and clean (Source).

There is also more luxury way to reach the Istanbul Airport and Istanbul city centre both. HAVAİST is the luxury bus transport between the different location of Istanbul and the Istanbul Airport. Prices of the HAVAİST buses are varying between 18 to 36 Turkish Lira per person which can be paid both Istanbul card or pre-paid. You will find the list of the HAVAİST buses but they will change in time and its better to check on the website before your arrival or departure.

  • İST-1: Yenikapı – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-2: Beylikdüzü/Çatalca – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-3: Otogar (Bus Station) – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-4: Bakırköy – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-5: Beşiktaş – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-7: Kadıköy – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-8 Pendik – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-15: Avcılar Metrobüs (Avcılar Metrobus) – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-17: Halkalı İstasyon (Halkalı Suburban Station) – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-19: Taksim – İstanbul Airport
  • İST-20: Sultanahmet – İstanbul Airport
Havaist Buses
HAVAİST Buses are faster and luxuries than other buses (Source).


Unfortunately, Istanbul taxis don’t have a good reputation. So, if you are planning to use taxis its better to be aware. For now, I almost hear nothing bad about the Istanbul Airport taxis but it will better to talk with the driver before you start the journey. Also, UBER can be used for the yellow taxis which makes your trips almost fully secure. There is a BiTaksi app also belongs to the Istanbul Municipal Municipality which can be used. You should expect between 100 – 150 Turkish Lira per ride if you are going the European side like Taksim, Levent and Bakırköy. For more of course if you are going to the Asian side like Kadıköy and Üsküdar.

İstanbul turquois taxi
New turquoise coloured taxis of Istanbul are more way better than the older ones (Source).

Private Transfer

There are numerous agencies operating to the Istanbul Airport from any point in Istanbul. You can arrange your transfer before your arrival but always don’t forget to ask for receipt and reservation confirmation.

Pros and Cons of The Airport


  • New, modern and high-tech
  • Possible to find tickets to almost everywhere in the world


  • Quite far away from the central locations like Taksim, Kadıköy.
  • No active metro or train line
  • Probable long waiting hours for the flights

My suggestion for going to the Istanbul city center from Istanbul Airport, use buses. They are cheap and offers you a small city tour. Airport buses also have places to put your luggage. I hope you will enjoy your time in Istanbul, feel free to ask anything about getting to the Istanbul city center from Istanbul Airport.

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