Welcome to Istanbul, a mesmerizing city that bridges continents and effortlessly blends the old with the new. As you prepare to explore this enchanting metropolis, you’ll need to know how to get to and from Istanbul Airport (IST) and Besiktas. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey, complete with transport options, insider tips, and frequently asked questions.

New Istanbul Airport (IST) and Besiktas: Key Locations

The new Istanbul Airport (IST) is located approximately 40 kilometers northwest of the city center, in the Arnavutköy district. Besiktas, on the other hand, is a bustling, central district situated on the European side of the Bosphorus, known for its lively atmosphere, shopping, and dining options.

Distance Between Istanbul Airport (IST) and Besiktas

The distance between Istanbul Airport (IST) and Besiktas is approximately 43 kilometers, depending on the route taken.

General Tips for a Smooth Journey

To make your transfer between Istanbul Airport and Besiktas as seamless as possible, consider the following tips:

  • Get Turkish Liras: Most transportation options require cash payment in local currency. Use an ATM at the airport to withdraw some lira in small denominations (5, 10, 20, or 50 notes).
  • Obtain an Istanbul Kart: Save money and make your journey more convenient by purchasing an IstanbulKart or Travel City Pass for public transportation. This card is cheaper and mandatory for most public transit options.
  • Hotel Address: Have your hotel’s exact address and phone number handy, as even locals may not be familiar with every hotel in Istanbul. Taxi drivers may need to ask for directions or call the hotel.
  • Plan Ahead: Make sure to be at the airport at least 1.5 hours before domestic flights and 2.5 hours before international flights. Account for at least 15 minutes of walking within the airport.

Discover the Best of Besiktas with Guided Tours

Transportation Options: Istanbul Airport (IST) to Besiktas

The following table presents an overview of available transportation options, travel times, and approximate costs:

HAVAIST Airport Shuttle (HVIST-15)75 min (or more during rush hour)74 TL
Private ShuttleAbout 40 minAbout $35 (around 700 TL)
TaxiAbout 40 minNo fixed price, approx. 600 TL
Car RentalAbout 40 minFrom 650 TL/day + gas
Public Transport (Metro + Transitions)About 2 hoursAbout 30 TL

HAVAIST Airport Shuttle (HVIST-15)

The HAVAIST Airport Shuttle is an affordable and comfortable option for travelers, connecting Istanbul Airport with various points across the city. The HVIST-15 route services Besiktas, with drop-off points at Besiktas Ferry Port. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a cost-effective and hassle-free way to reach your destination, as the shuttle offers ample seating and luggage storage.

Istanbul Havaist Airport

You can pay using a credit or debit card inside the vehicle or purchase a QR Code online via the HAVAIST mobile app or website. The HAVAIST shuttle runs on a schedule, so be sure to check the official site for departure times. If you have a layover and are short on time, this option might not be the most convenient. The shuttle also services Levent, Etiler, and Zincirlikuyu neighborhoods, making it a versatile choice for reaching various parts of the city.

Read our full guide about HAVAIST Bus in Shuttle Istanbul Airport

Free Havaist Shuttle with Istanbul E-Pass

Experience a hassle-free arrival in Istanbul with the one-way shuttle transfer service from/to Istanbul Airport (IST), included with your Istanbul E-pass. Even better, you can use the shuttle service outside of your pass valid days. Additionally, choose from 2, 3, 5, or 7-day passes, and gain access to over 40 top attractions in the city.

Click the button below to get your Istanbul E-pass and enjoy a comfortable, unforgettable trip:

Buy E-Pass

Private Shuttle

For a more comfortable and personalized experience, consider booking a private shuttle. This option is especially convenient for families, travelers with pets, or those carrying a lot of luggage. Private shuttles provide door-to-door service, picking you up at the airport exit and dropping you off directly at your destination. With a private shuttle, you don’t have to worry about navigating public transportation or finding a taxi.

Make Your Arrival in Istanbul a Breeze with Welcome Pickups

We know that traveling to a new city can be both exciting and a bit daunting. That’s why we want to share with you our personal recommendation for a hassle-free airport transfer experience in Istanbul: Welcome Pickups.

Welcome Pickups provides reliable and affordable private transfers from Istanbul Airport straight to your accommodation. Their friendly, English-speaking drivers will greet you with a warm smile at the arrivals hall, holding a sign with your name on it. It’s like having a local friend waiting to welcome you to their city!

What makes Welcome Pickups our top pick for Istanbul Airport transfers?

Transparent, fixed pricing with no surprise fees

  • Round-the-clock customer support
  • Real-time flight tracking to adjust for any delays
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before your scheduled transfer
  • A range of vehicle options to accommodate your needs

Ready to simplify your arrival in Istanbul? Click the button below to book your transfer with Welcome Pickups. We’re confident that you’ll enjoy their service as much as we do. Safe travels and have a fantastic time in Istanbul!


While taxis are an option for traveling from Istanbul Airport to Besiktas, they might not be the most reliable or cost-effective choice. It’s worth noting that taxi scams are not uncommon in Istanbul, so you could end up paying significantly more than anticipated. In some cases, taxi fares can be as high as 2,000 TL instead of the expected 600 TL.

If you have a layover and are short on time, think twice before choosing a taxi, as they can be unreliable and potentially lead to unforeseen issues. In such cases, a private transfer is a safer and more trustworthy alternative, with comparable costs and added peace of mind.

Read more on our Airport Istanbul Taxi Guide page for Istanbul taxis.

Car Rental

Renting a car is another viable option for getting from Istanbul Airport to Besiktas. This choice provides the flexibility of traveling at your own pace and exploring Istanbul on your terms.

Discover the Best Car Rental Deals with Rentalcars

For a flexible and hassle-free car rental experience in Istanbul, we personally recommend Rentalcars. Enjoy these great benefits when you choose Rentalcars:

  • Flexible rentals: Cancel or change most bookings for free up to 48 hours before pick-up.
  • No hidden fees: Transparent pricing means you know exactly what you’re paying.
  • Price Match Guarantee: Found the same deal for less? Rentalcars will match the price.

Discover the perfect car rental for your Istanbul adventure by clicking the button below.

Keep in mind that driving in Istanbul can be challenging due to traffic congestion and limited parking options, especially in popular areas like Besiktas. Additionally, rental costs, fuel, and potential parking fees should be factored into your decision.

Public Transport (Metro + Transitions)

For the most budget-conscious travelers, public transport is an option worth considering. While this choice might not be as convenient or fast as other alternatives, it can be significantly more affordable. To travel from Istanbul Airport to Besiktas using public transport, follow these steps:

  1. Take the M11 Kagithane – Istanbul Airport Metro.
  2. Get off at the Kagithane station (24 minutes).
  3. Take the M7 Yildiz – Mahmutbey Metro Line.
  4. Get off at the Mecidiyekoy station (2 stops/5 minutes from Kagithane).
  5. Take the public bus directly to Besiktas.

You can also reach Besiktas directly by public buses from Kagithane. Remember to have an Istanbul Kart loaded with sufficient funds for your journey, as it’s mandatory for most public transportation options.

Read our full guide how use Metro from Istanbul Airport


In summary, there are multiple options for traveling between Istanbul Airport (IST) and Besiktas, each catering to different needs and budgets. HAVAIST Airport Shuttle offers an affordable and comfortable solution, while private shuttles provide a more personalized and convenient experience. Taxis can be an option, but be cautious of scams and consider private transfers as a safer alternative. Car rentals offer flexibility, and public transportation is the most budget-friendly choice. Whichever option you choose, be sure to plan ahead and arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight to ensure a smooth journey.


Q: Which is the most affordable option for traveling between Istanbul Airport and Besiktas?

A: Public transportation is the most budget-friendly choice, with a cost of around 30 TL per person.

Q: How long does it take to travel from Istanbul Airport to Besiktas by HAVAIST Airport Shuttle?

A: The journey takes approximately 75 minutes, but it could take longer during rush hour.

Q: Can I pay for the HAVAIST Airport Shuttle with a credit card?

A: Yes, you can pay using a credit or debit card inside the vehicle, or purchase a QR Code online via the HAVAIST mobile app or website.

Q: Are private shuttles suitable for families with children or travelers with pets?

A: Private shuttles are an excellent option for families, travelers with pets, or those carrying a lot of luggage, as they offer door-to-door service and added convenience.

Q: Is it safe to take a taxi from Istanbul Airport to Besiktas?

A: While taxis are an option, be cautious of scams and consider private transfers as a safer and more trustworthy alternative.

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