Istanbul Airport

Istanbul International Airport

You’re planning a trip, and Istanbul is on your bucket list. But before you fly halfway around the world, you want to know the ins and outs of getting to and from the airport. We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Istanbul’s airport – IST – so you can breeze through it like a pro on your way to exploring this fascinating city. From transportation options to navigating terminals, luggage storage to flight delays, we’ll prepare you for a smooth start and finish to your Turkish adventure. Read on for essential facts and traveler tips that will make your airport experience easy and efficient.

An Overview of Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport is the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey. Opened in 2019, it is the busiest airport in Turkey, handling over 50 million passengers annually. ###A Massive, Modern Facility

Spread over 76.5 million square meters, Istanbul Airport is one of the largest airport complexes in the world. It features gleaming marble floors, high ceilings, and an abundance of natural light. With six runways and plans for expansion up to six more, Istanbul Airport is built to handle major growth in air traffic over the coming decades.

Convenient Travel Options

The airport is well connected to central Istanbul and beyond. Express busses depart regularly to Taksim Square and Yenikapi IDO Pier. The M11 metro line provides a quick rail link to the city center. Taxis and car services are also readily available for door-to-door transport.

Amenities Galore

As a major international hub, Istanbul Airport offers a full range of passenger services. There are over 300 check-in counters and passport control points to minimize wait times. The airport has a variety of lounges, showers, gyms, and even an on-site hotel. A huge array of dining and shopping options means you’ll never run out of things to do during a layover.

Whether you’re starting an epic Turkish adventure or just passing through, Istanbul Airport aims to make your journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible. With its strategic location, state-of-the-art facilities, and superb amenities, Istanbul Airport is poised to become one of the preeminent air travel hubs of the 21st century.

Navigating Istanbul Airport: Terminals, Gates, and Transportation

Istanbul Airport currently has two terminals – Terminal 1 for international flights and Terminal 2 for domestic flights within Turkey. ### Terminal 1

Terminal 1 is where you’ll arrive if flying into Istanbul from abroad. This massive terminal has boarding gates on three levels, so make sure you check the displays for your correct gate number and give yourself plenty of time. The terminal has a wide range of shops, restaurants, lounges, showers and even a hotel.

Getting Between Terminals

A free shuttle bus runs between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every 30 minutes. The journey only takes about 10 minutes but can get crowded during peak times. Allow at least an hour between connections to be safe.

Ground Transportation

Once you’ve landed, the easiest ways to get into Istanbul city center are by taxi, bus or train. Taxis are available 24/7 outside both terminals and take around 30-60 minutes to reach the city center, depending on traffic. The Havabus shuttle bus departs for Taksim Square every 30 minutes and takes around 50 minutes. The M1A metro line is directly connected to Terminal 1 and runs until midnight. Change at Zeytinburnu station for the metro into Istanbul.

Istanbul Airport is well connected, with plenty of amenities to keep you fed, watered and entertained during layovers or on arrival. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to navigate the huge terminals and multiple levels. The transport options into the city are straightforward, frequent and budget-friendly. Enjoy your trip to magical Istanbul!

Major Airlines and Destinations at Istanbul Airport

When traveling through Istanbul Airport, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Major airlines from all over the world operate out of here, flying to destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond.

Turkish Airlines

As the flagship carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines offers the most destinations from Istanbul Airport, including major European cities like London, Paris, and Rome, as well as other points in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. With a modern fleet and stellar service, it’s a popular choice for business and leisure travelers alike.

Pegasus Airlines

A low-cost carrier based in Istanbul, Pegasus Airlines provides budget-friendly fares to over 100 destinations, primarily in Europe and the Middle East. They’re known for cheap fares to places like Dubai, Beirut, and Tel Aviv. If you want to save money and don’t mind sacrificing some amenities, Pegasus is a great option.


Germany’s largest airline and a member of the Star Alliance network, Lufthansa offers direct or one-stop service from Istanbul to its main hub in Frankfurt and other cities across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For those heading to Western Europe, Lufthansa provides a comfortable experience with short layovers.

In addition to these major airlines, Istanbul Airport serves as a hub for carriers like AtlasGlobal, Onur Air, SunExpress and Borajet. No matter where you want to go, chances are there’s a flight waiting to take you there. With these options, Istanbul Airport has cemented its status as a leader for travel between Europe, Asia and beyond.

Dining, Shopping, and Services at Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport has plenty of dining, shopping, and service options to keep you occupied during a layover or delay. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something that satisfies.

Dining Options Galore

With over 50 dining venues, Istanbul Airport’s culinary offerings represent Turkish cuisine and cultures from around the world. For traditional Turkish fare, head to Anadolu or Asate Restaurant. If you’re craving pizza or pasta, La Gatta serves up Italian specialties. There are also burger joints, sandwich shops, pastry cafés, and more. Most are open 24 hours, so you’ll never go hungry, no matter the time of day or night.

Duty-Free Shopping

Over 350 stores fill Istanbul Airport’s duty-free shopping areas, selling everything from Turkish delight and baklava to designer handbags and watches. The Corendon Duty Free store is the largest duty-free shop in the world, filled with name brands like Dior, Chanel, and Victoria’s Secret. For last-minute souvenirs or gifts, browse the traditional Turkish wares at stores like Günay Gifts and Özlem Tekstil.

Useful Amenities

Istanbul Airport aims to provide for your every need during your trip. Recharge at the 24-hour charging stations and lounges spread throughout the terminals. Take a shower or freshen up at the hygiene centers. Get medical care at the airport clinic or pharmacy. There are also luggage storage, postal, and currency exchange services. Parents will appreciate the play areas and baby care rooms for little ones. Whatever you require, Istanbul Airport likely has you covered.

Between the mouth-watering food, tempting shopping, and useful amenities, Istanbul Airport ensures your experience will be anything but boring. You may find your layover goes by all too quickly! Make the most of your time exploring all the airport has to offer.

FAQs About Istanbul Airport

How do I get to Istanbul Airport?

The airport is located on the European side of Istanbul, about 18 miles from the city center. The easiest ways to get there are by bus, metro, taxi or shuttle. The IETT bus service offers round-the-clock busses from Taksim Square to the airport. The M1 metro line connects to the airport from the city center. Taxis and shuttles are also readily available but tend to cost more.

What facilities does the airport offer?

Istanbul Airport has everything you need for a comfortable journey. It features two luxury lounges, over 300 stores and restaurants, gyms, showers, and nap rooms. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. For kids, there is a play area with games and activities. The airport also has 24-hour pharmacies, an on-site medical clinic and Muslim prayer rooms.

How much time do I need for check-in and security?

For domestic flights, you should arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure. For international flights, arrive 3 hours early. Istanbul Airport can get quite busy, especially during peak hours, so give yourself plenty of buffer time to check in your luggage, go through security and passport control, and get to your gate. The check-in counters open 3 hours before departure for international flights and 2 hours before for domestic flights.

Does the airport have porter services?

Yes, Istanbul Airport offers porter services to help you with your luggage. Look for the porter help desks located throughout the terminal. Fees for porter services depend on the number of bags and the distance to your gate. Porter staff can also help push wheelchairs and help those with reduced mobility through the airport. It is customary to tip porters for their services.

Are there any airport lounges?

Istanbul Airport has two premium lounges: The Turkish Airlines Lounge and the Comfort Lounge. Access to the lounges can be purchased or may be included with certain first-class and business-class tickets. The lounges offer amenities like comfortable seating, fast Wi-Fi, TVs, newspapers and magazines, hot and cold beverages, and buffet snacks. It is a great way to relax before your flight in a quiet, exclusive environment.


So there you have it – a quick rundown of everything you need to know before flying into Istanbul’s new airport. With its massive size, modern amenities, and convenient transport links, it’s set to become a major international hub. Sure, it’s had some growing pains but the opening of the new metro line and additional gates should help smooth things out. Wherever your travels take you, be sure to leave plenty of time when passing through this busy new gateway to Turkey. And don’t forget to grab a Turkish coffee and baklava while you wait for your flight! Istanbul and its airports have so much to offer if you give yourself the time to explore and experience them. Have a great trip!

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