Need to Know

Istanbul Airport: Where Modernity Meets Turkish Hospitality

Istanbul International Airport began operating as the world’s largest airport on October 29, 2018. The airport, which has been serving its passengers at full capacity since April 6, 2019, has been awarded the Global Traveller’s Leisure Lifestyle Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the tourism sector, for  “Outstanding Innovation”, with the Special Achievement Award. The detailed information about the airport, which is built on 76.5 million square metres, is as follows:

Tip: To ensure a smooth and convenient transportation experience during your trip, renting a car at the airport is a great option. Click on this link to view rental options and prices, which will open in a new tab so you can continue reading the article.

1. Location

Location of World's Largest Airport

Istanbul International Airport is located on the coast of the Black Sea on the European side, avoiding traffic and making sure you don’t miss your flight. The airport, from which you can easily reach the city by public transport, is 36 km from Levent, 40 km from Taksim, 47 km from Üsküdar, and 52 km from Kadıköy on the Asian side. Istanbul International Airport is also connected to Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and North Marmara Highway, which connects the two continents.

Check out this blog post to compare Which Airport is Best to Fly and is Closest to Istanbul? and decide on your trip.

2. Capacity

Istanbul International Airport attracts attention as a global transfer centre to countries all over the world. There are flights to 45 cities on domestic routes and international flights are provided to 249 different cities in 110 countries. When all phases of Istanbul International Airport are complete the annual passenger capacity is expected to reach 200 million people.

Find Your Flight

3. Transportation

Havaist, IETT, and Istanbul Travel services are available for incoming or outgoing passengers. You can choose one of the 44 stops on 12 different lines. Havaist runs a shuttle service from Istanbul International Airport to the city 24 hours a day and according to the time of day, shuttles run between every 15 – 40 minutes.

IETT is the name given to all public transport vehicles in Istanbul. It provides services with vehicles departing from Halkalı, Mahmutbey, Mecidiyeköy, Ataturk Airport, Mescid-i Selam and Alibeyköy Mobile Bus Stations.

If you are outside Istanbul you can reach Istanbul International Airport by Istanbul Seyahat from Çorlu and Tekirdağ.
You can find detailed information about the times from here.
Click here to book.

There is also a 24/7 taxi service at Istanbul International Airport. They’re available in three different colours; Black (E), blue (D) and orange (C). If you’re travelling as a crowded group, you have to choose the blue and black ones.

You can visit local attractions of Kadıköy, if you want to find out, check this out How to Get from Istanbul Airport to Kadıköy!

4. Prices

Prices at World's Largest Airport in Istanbul
If you’re going to Istanbul International Airport by IETT, you pay the Istanbulkart fee. On Havaist the fees are determined according to the location of the stops. Click on this link to see how much you’ll pay.

5. What’s Inside the Airport?

What's inside of Istanbul Airport

Shopping centres: You can meet all your needs in the shopping centre where exclusive, high-quality products are available from fashion and accessories to jewellery and watch brands. There are also practical shops such as a pharmacy.

Food & Drink:

You’ll find everything from fast food to traditional Turkish dishes among the many airport restaurants offering different concepts. And there’s an abundance of places for tea and coffee to relieve tiredness before and after the flight.


Istanbul Airport Duty Free

Duty-free sales, carried out by Unifree Duty-Free with more than 30 years of experience, consist of boutiques spread over 18 thousand square metres with a total sales area of 55 thousand square metres. In addition, the total area occupied by classic duty-free shops is 34,000 square metres. The Bazaar section of 3,000 square metres, devoted entirely to local and regional products, is an area where you can buy ethnic objects. The duty-free zone is divided into 9 sections which are created with different concepts such as Fashion Garden, Family Palace, High & Lux Hills and Style Beach. It welcomes passengers coming to Istanbul with top brands, quality products, and rich varieties suited to each section.

In the duty-free zone, the latest technology products are used. With the “magic mirror” featuring 3D hologram system technology, customers can see watches, sunglasses, accessories, clothing and make-up products on the cabin without trying them on. If you’ve already shopped in stores with the electronic customer recognition system, you’ll know your shopping experience is personalised and the products you like are offered to you. Duty-free is accessible to people with disabilities using mobility scooters and trained sales consultants.

Children’s Playgrounds

There is a playground on the outgoing passenger side of the international departures which allows children to enjoy themselves while waiting for their flight.

Tip: Thinking of spending a week in Istanbul? Be warned that the city’s traffic can be a major obstacle to your itinerary. To avoid wasting time on the road, consider staying close to the city center, museums, and other must-see sights. Our top pick for accommodations is the Galata Tower area, which is conveniently located and offers a plethora of hotel options. Follow this link to view the hotels in the area, and don’t forget to read on for more tips on how to make the most of your trip!

Yotel Airport Hotel

Yotel Istanbul Airport

Yotel Airport Hotel is one of the largest airport hotels in the world with 451 cabins, 277 of which are on the land side and 174 on the seaside. Yotel Istanbul Airport, the largest hotel in Europe, can accommodate anyone on the land side, while international passengers can stay on the Yotelair airside.

6. Istanbul Airport Mobile App

Istanbul Airport Mobile App

Istanbul Airport Mobile App can be downloaded to your phone to help plan your time correctly. The app has many useful features:
The home to airport feature shows you the time required from leaving home to arriving at the airport. The flight-tracking feature scans your boarding pass and saves it to the app so you can find out how much time is left until your flight, follow the instructions and minimise the risk of missing the flight.
The map feature shows where you can find whatever you need at the biggest airport in the world while the discover Istanbul feature informs you about events taking place in Istanbul.
The transport options feature shows the transport alternatives to the airport in detail. The application is available on IOS and Android.

7. How many hours before my flight should I get to the airport?

You need to be at the airport at least 2 hours before domestic flights and at least 3 hours before international flights.

Check out the HeyTripster readers’ top-rated Istanbul attractions:

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Dogus Gulyuva

Born and raised Istanbulite. Keeping an eye on the opportunity to explore this ancient city even more. Trying to do the best for nature.
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One Comment

  1. Istanbul Airport is new, impressive and so big. It is always better if travelers arrive to the airport a few hours earlier before flight time.

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