How to Get From the New Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City Center?

We have to travel to and from the Istanbul New Airport every time we leave Turkey for a vacation or to visit family in the Netherlands. We live relatively close to Taksim, the main square in Istanbul, and there is a good connection from here to the Istanbul New Airport. We are happy to share with you the details of how to get to the Taksim Square and other parts of Istanbul including the touristic Sultanahmet area. 

The easiest way to get from the New IST airport to Istanbul is by Taxi, but we recommend to make use of the Shuttle Bus service from HAVAIST for a more budget friendly option. This will set you back about 25-30 TL per person one way.

Best way to get from Istanbul new Airport to City Center

You will be transported in a luxurious coach bus to your destination. Get a coach bus to the destination in Istanbul where you need to be with the HAVAIST lines, or to save a few extra bucks you can take the regular IETT bus to the closest Metro station and use the metro from there.

Be aware: as of September 30th, 2020 all travelers need to have a HES code! This article will help you how to get a HES code and how to use it.

Where Is the Istanbul New Airport Located?

Approximately 50km (30mi) northwest of Istanbul is where the Istanbul New Airport is located. Fifty kilometers doesn’t seem like a lot, but in Istanbul it can easily take you an hour or more to travel that distance.

 The new Istanbul Airport was officially opened by the Turkish president on October 29, 2018. And within a year, they wanted all flights to depart from this new airport. Starting the weekend of April 6, 2019 the new Istanbul Airport is now being used as the main airport in Istanbul, in succession of the Istanbul Atatürk airport.

From Atatürk it was easy to take the metro and get to the city center of Istanbul. You could also catch the so-called shuttle bus that could drop you off at Taksim within half an hour, if there was no traffic on the road.

Which Transportation Options Are There From the New IST?

At this moment (2021) you can only get from the Istanbul New Airport to the center by Taxi or by Bus service. In the future the Metro line will be connected all the way up to the new Istanbul Airport, but this might take a few more years. We will definitely let you know when this service is ready for use!  

Taxi

Of course, the taxi is the fastest and most comfortable way to get from the airport to your hotel. But this will come down to a few hundred Turkish Lira’s (TL), if you’re lucky, because you could end up in a taxi from someone who wants to charge a tourist the same amount in €. 

Taxi from new Istanbul Airport

Be aware; Many Taxi drivers try to scam tourists by charging too much. This will be hard to fight in a language you don’t speak, so we recommend to book a taxi in advance or use one of the other options to get to the center of Istanbul.

If you prefer a reliable taxi that will wait for you at the airport, you can book one via Taxitender.com. With this you know the price in advance and you know for sure that you have a reliable driver.

Book your reliable Taxi service from Istanbul Airport to your Hotel here.Opens in a new tab.

TaxiTender

TaxiTender is an online booking platform for reliable taxi rides and competitively priced Airport Transfers. In advance, you can easily calculate a ride from the airport to the center, or going back to the airport. From the Istanbul Airport to the city center will come down to about $60-70.

Shuttle Bus Service

Bus shuttle services have been set up from the new airport, and we are happy to help you with an overview of destinations and prices for the bus from the new airport. At the airport itself, it is very well indicated where the shuttle buses are parked and if you know which bus number you need, it is easy to get close to your hotel or to a metro station, leaving you with some extra Turkish lira for your Turkish Delight or Turkish Carpet.

We always use the shuttle bus, which leaves about every 45 minutes towards Taksim and to a number of other central locations. If you want more information about the departure times you can find this in the table below. Every day, more than 150 buses run between the new Istanbul Airport and locations on the European and Asian side of Istanbul.

HAVAIST has 9 routes that they carry out and IETT takes care of another 6 routes. Depending on your destination, the journey from the airport takes about 30-110 minutes. Of course also depending on the traffic, during rush hour the time traveling though Istanbul can easily be doubled.

The bus station can be found at -2, you can reach this floor level by using the elevator or escalator.

Bus Routes from Istanbul new Airport
Bus destinations from the New Istanbul Airport

There are 23 different bus routes from the new Istanbul airport to locations in Istanbul. But the highest frequency busses are IST-18 Istanbul Airport – Mecidiyeköy and IST-19 Istanbul Airport – Taksim, these buses run every 15 minutes. 

HAVAIST Bus Routes Table

RouteTerminal StationTravel
Time
FrequencyPrice
HVIST-5Otogar Esenler
(Bus station)
60 minEvery 60
min
23 TL / $2.90
HVIST-6Halkali Istasyon75 minEvery 60
min
21 TL / $2.70
HVIST-7Beylikdüzü
(Marmarapark)
75 minEvery 45
min
28 TL / $3.60
HVIST-8Avcilar Cami100 minEvery 60
min
23 TL / $2.90
HVIST-9Kadiköy100 minEvery 90
min
32 TL / $4.10
HVIST-10Pendik YHT
(Sabiha Gökcen
Airport)
110 minIrregular
timetable
37 TL / $4.80
HVIST-12*Aksaray110 minEvery 40
min
30 TL / $3.90
HVIST-13Bakirköy IDO90 minEvery 45
min
26 TL / $3.40
HVIST-14*Taksim90 minEvery 40
min
30 TL / $3.90
* HVIST-12 & HVIST-14 are particular popular among tourists!

On the other hand, the cheapest route is currently the H-2 Istanbul Airport – Şişli-Mecidiyeköy metro station, for just TL 7 you can get from the Airport to the Istanbul Metro M2. This route is being handled by IETT, this is the government company that takes care of all regular busses within Istanbul. With the metro it is easy to reach any destination in the city center. A ticket for the metro costs TL 3.50 with the “Istanbulkart” (see the post about the  “IstanbulKart” for more information).

IETT Bus Routes Table

RouteTerminal
Station
Travel
Time
FrequencyPrice
H-1Mahmutbey
Metro
95 minEvery 70
min
7 TL / $ 0.90
H-2*Mecidiyeköy100 minEvery 30
min
7 TL / $ 0.90
H-3Halkali110 minEvery 90
min
7 TL / $ 0.90
H-6Yunus Emre Mah.90 minEvery 50
min
7 TL / $ 0.90
H-8Haciosman/
Sariyer
130 min5x a day7 TL / $ 0.90
H-9Cevizlibağ120 min4x a day7 TL / $ 0.90
* Best budget option to get to touristic center

If you choose the budget option to get from the new Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet you have to take the H-2 bus from the airport to Mecidiyeköy. Once you arrive in Mecidiyeköy you can take the M2 metro towards Yenikapi. The station before Yenikapi, Vezniciler Istanbul Üniversite, is where you will get out and to transfer to the T1 tramline towards Kabataş. This tramline will get you right through the Sultanahmet area. The total cost for this trip will be around 12 TL / $1.55.

IstanbulKart

The Cheapest and Easiest way to Travel in Istanbul is by public transport. Paying for public transport is very easy with the Istanbulkart. Here you will find all the information that you need about the IstanbulKart.

Please make sure also to read our post about how to connect your IstanbulKart to your HES code and if you need to do this as a Tourist in Istanbul.

IstanbulKart

Sim & Leo

During all our travels and living abroad we really got to know the flavors of the world. Now we are living in Turkey for some years, we love to discover the country in different ways, and then share our experiences with you. Discovering new places doesn't come easy, but we want to help with that!

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