Istanbul has two international airports to address the growing number of tourists.
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport
It used to be a dingy terminal, but this airport was recently rebuilt and refurbished, so what you see now is a state-of-the-art facility located in Yesilkoy, to the west of Istanbul.
The airport has all the necessary facilities to ensure that you travel safely and comfortably. The Ataturk airport is equipped with a hotel (hourly rates apply to accommodations), restaurants and cafes, a post office, banks and money changing kiosks, conference rooms, 2 health clinics (open at all times), ATMs, baggage service, 24 help-desk for left luggage, duty-free shops (with 24 hour shopping!) and travel agencies. Most of the major car rental companies are also represented here – you will find Budget, Hertz, Aviz and Europcar, as well as Ulger, National-Alma and Sixt. The airport also has a rooms for babies and breastfeeding moms, as well as rooms where children can play.
To get to the city, you can take the bus, rent a car, take the train or take a taxi. Buses going to the city leave the airport every half hour. For taxis, to make sure that you are not overcharged, tell the taxi driver to use the meter. If he does not, you should insist, so that you will have to contend and argue with the driver when he presents you with an enormous bill by the time he drops you off. As for the train, the city’s Metro services the route between the airport, the bus station at Esenler Otogar and Aksaray.
Address: Bas Mudur, Ataturk Dhmi, Istanbul Yesilkoy 34830, Turkey
Telephone: (0)212 663 6400
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW)
This airport can be found at the city’s Asian side, at Kurtkoy, Pendik district. It’s just a few minutes away from the famous Istanbul Park (where they hold Formula 1 races). It was named after Turkey’s first woman pilot – Sabiha Gokcen. She is also the world’s first woman combat pilot. The Sabiha Gokcen airport was built to help ease the traffic at the Ataturk airport. Aside from international and domestic flights, it also services flights by military planes, as well as cargo and charter flights, especially those from central Asia.
The airport has the following facilities – banks, ATMs, gift and duty-free shops, cafes and restaurants. There is also a medical service for emergencies, a post office, VIP lounges, as well as car rental companies. If you need more information, there are help and information desks situated on both the Domestic Terminal and International Terminal.
To get to the city from Istanbul, you can take the Havas service bus. This bus stops at Harem, Kadikoy, Bostanci and Pendik. Other buses include the IETT public bus, which plies the route along Kozyatagi, Kadikoy and Levent. Going by bus, it would take around 30 to 45 minutes to travel to the city center. Taxis are also easily available at the terminal 24 hours a day. If you want to take the train, the nearest train station is around 4 miles from the airport and this provides you with connections to districts in Istanbul and also to nearby cities and towns. The IDO Sea Bus Port is also nearby and this can provide you with connections to the different districts of Istanbul.
Address: Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, 34912 Pendik, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: (0216) 585 5000.