Airport pick up

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There are two airports in Istanbul; Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side and Atatürk Airport on the European side. A comfortable and smooth pick up is just one click away  through via luxurious cars or limousine service.


Atatürk Airport

Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport (IST) at Yeşilyurt, 23 km (14 miles) west of Sultanahmet Square (map), on the European side, is the busiest of Turkey's major airports.

It's the place most visitors land first.

The modern International Terminal Dış Hatlar Terminalı) is spacious and efficient, with all the expected services including ATMs (cash machines) from which you can obtain Turkish Liras, currency exchange offices; shops, restaurants and cafés with surprisingly high prices; Emanet (Baggage Check, Left Luggage) and an Airport Hotel.

Note that prices for food and drink at Turkish airports tend to be very high. My quick informal survey showed them to be 40% higher than at expensive Frankfurt Airport, and twice as high as at pricey Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

You can walk between the International Terminal (Dış Hatlar Terminalı) and the Domestic Terminal (İç Hatlar Terminalı) via walkways on the International Arrivals level, and the subterranean (Metro) level. The Havalimanı (Airport) Metro station is here.

Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus about 30 km (19 miles) southeast of Haydarpaşa Station, the Kadıköy ferry dock, and the Harem intercity bus terminal.

Located between the suburbs of Kurtköy and Pendik, Sabiha Gökçen (pronounced SAH-bee-hah GURK-chen) serves the full range of flights including international flights by major airlines, but it is still considered Istanbul's "second airport" after the older Atatürk Airport.

Note that prices for food and drink at Turkish airports tend to be  40% higher than at expensive Frankfurt Airport, and twice as high as at pricey Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Transport between Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the center of Istanbul is by private transfer van, city bus, Havataş Airport Bus, Havaş Airport Bus, taxi, shuttle van, and car rental.

The journey between Old Istanbul and the airport can take as little as 40 minutes under the best conditions (06:00 am on a weekend morning, for example), but at other times you must allow 60 to 90 minutes, and perhaps even more.

Havaş Airport Buses

For many years, the Havaş (HAH-vahsh) company has operated airport shuttle buses serving Istanbul's Atatürk Airport on the European side of the city and also Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side.

In January 2012, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality ordered Havaş to suspend its services. The Municipality had begun its own Havataş airport bus service.

As of May 2012, Havaş services were still not operating. Check this to see the current situation.

Although Havaş buses are not currently operating, if/when they resume service, you can use Havaş buses to go from the airport into the city, and even to travel from one airport to the other.

The main Havaş city terminals are at Taksim Square in Beyoğlu on the European side of the Bosphorus, and at the Kozyatağı Business Center in Kadıköy on the Asian shore.

Take a Havaş airport bus from either airport to either of these city terminals, and you can transfer to another Havaş bus going to the opposite airport

From Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen  Airport


From Atatürk Airport


There are also private shuttle service companies are available in both airports with a cheaper price than taxi.


Havataş Airport Buses

Havataş Airport buses, operated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (the city government) appear to have replaced the similarly-named Havaş airport buses to shuttle you between Atatürk Airport (IST), Sabiha Gökçen Airport(SAW), Taksim Square, the Kadıköy Ferry Docks, and the Yenikapı Ferry Docks in the center of Istanbul.

Interestingly, when the Municipality began its service, it ordered the Havaş airport buses, which had been serving passengers for 29 years, to cease operations.

The Havaş company has apparently brought a legal suit against the Municipality. As of May 2012, the case is still in the courts, and Havaş buses are not running.

So for now, Havataş is the operational airport bus service to use. Here are the schedules.