Transfer Options from Istanbul International Airport to Istanbul City Center (Sultanahmet)
The new Istanbul International Airport is connected to Istanbul city center via taxi and bus. In the future, metro line M11 will also run from the new aviation hub to Istanbul but for the moment, you can only choose between a private transfer (taxi, car) or a shuttle service. Briefly, an Istanbul airport taxi will comfortably transfer you to your accommodation in the city center in about 50 minutes costing you 31.6€/34.7$ (200₺) while the ride with an airport bus will take approximately 100 minutes with a fare ranging from 5.2₺-30₺ (0.8€-4.7€ / 0.9$-5.2$) depending on the chosen service line. However, in both cases, the journey duration is unfortunately subject to the traffic levels.
|Options||Price (€)||Price ($)||Price (₺)||Duration|
|Bus||0.8 - 4.7||0.9 - 5.2||5.2 - 30||100 min|
How to get from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City Center by Taxi
Taking a taxi from Istanbul Airport guarantees a comfortable transfer but not a quick one due to the heavy traffic on Istanbul streets. Nevertheless, with an Istanbul airport taxi, you will reach your exact destination in Sultanahmet historic area stress-free with an average fee of 200₺ (31.6€ / 34.7) depending on the travel time as taxis don’t offer fix prices. The approximately 50-km ride lasts about 50 minutes. You will find the official taxi ranks just outside every airport level.
Yellow taxis are the ordinary and cheapest ones while you can also hire a more comfortable blue taxi (15% more expensive) or a black luxurious taxi vehicle (100% more expensive).
Note that you should never take individual unofficial vehicles and you should pay attention to the “traditional” taxi drivers’ scams and overcharges.
How to get from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City Center by Bus
Two bus companies handle the transportation from and to Istanbul International Airport, Havaist Buses and IETT public buses. However, only Havaist shuttles offer a direct connection to the famous Sultanahmet as IETT buses serve mostly less popular parts of the city. Therefore, you can always take the IETT H-2 or H-9 buses but you will have to further use other bus and metro lines to reach your final destination. On the other hand, the luxurious Havaist buses iSt-20 will drop you off at Sultanahmet Square bus stop (only a breath away from Aghia Sophia and Blue Mosque) in about 100 minutes (depending on the traffic congestion).
Havaist buses run around the clock with every 30-minutes routes (every 45 in the early morning hours) and their ticket costs only 18₺ (2.8€ / 3.1$).
The bus station is located at the -2 airport level. In that area, you can also purchase an Istanbulkart which is valid for all public transportation means, even for the public toilets. Moreover, you can also pay using your credit card via Havaist App or book your tickets in advance and simply download a QR code. Cash isn’t accepted.
How to get from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City Center by Metro
The metro line M11 that will link Istanbul airport to the city center is expected to be put in operation until the end of 2020. According to the current information, if you wish to get to Istanbul Sultanahmet area from Istanbul airport by metro, you will have to take the line M11 to Gayrettepe Station and then transfer to line M2 to Vezneciler Station, a 15-20 minutes walk from Sultanahmet Square.
How to get from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City Center by Car
Another alternative for your transfer from Istanbul airport to Istanbul city center is renting a car. A car rental will give you freedom and independence but you will have to deal with the traffic jams and navigate through the hectic streets of Istanbul. However, if you wish to hire a car anyway, it is always a good idea to book your preferred vehicle in advance to guarantee the best deal. Exiting the airport complex, you will have to follow highway O-7 and you will reach your destination in Sultanahmet in approximately 50 minutes covering a 50-km distance.
How far is the new Istanbul airport from the city center?
The distance between the new Istanbul Airport and the historic center of the city (Sultanahmet) is approximately 50km. Therefore, the journey with a car should last around 50 minutes if the traffic conditions are normal.
How much is a taxi from Istanbul airport to Sultanahmet?
Istanbul airport taxis are metered and therefore, there isn’t a set price for the transfer from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet. However, you can expect to be charged approximately 200₺ (31.6€ / 34.7) if the traffic levels aren’t too high. The taxi fee is the same no matter the time of day.