Planning a trip to Istanbul or maybe you are looking for hotels near Istanbul airport? One of the most important considerations is deciding which airport to fly into. Istanbul has two main airports: New Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences to make the best decision for your trip. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the relevant information to help you choose the best airport for your trip to Istanbul.
Overview of Istanbul Airports
Istanbul Airport is the newer and larger airport in Istanbul, located on the European side of the city. It was opened in 2018 and is now one of the largest airports in the world. It has many facilities and amenities, including restaurants, cafes, duty-free shops, lounges, and more. IST serves both domestic and international flights, with over 300 destinations worldwide.
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is the older airport in Istanbul, located on the Asian side of the city. It was opened in 2001, and it is now the second-largest. It has fewer facilities and amenities compared to Istanbul Airport, but still has restaurants, cafes, duty-free shops, and lounges. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport serves both domestic and international flights, with over 100 destinations worldwide.
Choosing the Best Airport for Your Trip to Istanbul
Distance from the City Center
Istanbul Airport is located approximately 40 kilometers away from the city center, while Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is about 50 kilometers away. However, the distance can vary depending on your final destination and the traffic conditions.
Transportation Options from Istanbul Airport
IST is connected to the city center by the M11 metro line. The metro is the most convenient and cost-effective way to get to the city center, with direct services to many popular destinations. The journey takes approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on your final destination.
There is also a bus service available, with buses departing from the airport to various locations in the city. The buses run 24/7 and are operated by Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management (IETT). You can purchase Istanbulkart, a contactless smart card, from the vending machines at the airport to pay for the bus fare. You can find the bus stops outside the arrivals hall of the domestic and international terminals.
Taxis and Car Rental Services
Taxis and car rental services are also available from Istanbul Airport.
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Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Transportation Options
Havabus Shuttle Bus
From Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, you can take the Havabus shuttle bus to Kadikoy, Taksim, or Yenisahra. The shuttle bus is the most affordable option, with services to many popular destinations in Istanbul. The journey time to Kadikoy is approximately 75-90 minutes, to Taksim is approximately 90-105 minutes, and to Yenisahra is approximately 60-75 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The buses run every half an hour, and the fare can be paid in Turkish lira or by credit card. You can purchase tickets from the ticket machines or from the ticket offices located at the airport.
Taxis and Car Rental Services
Taxis and car rental services are also available from Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.
M4 Metro Line
Alternatively, you can take the M4 metro line from Sabiha Gökçen International Airport to Kadikoy, and then transfer to the Marmaray line to reach other destinations in Istanbul.
Both airports offer a comfortable and efficient arrival experience, with modern facilities and amenities. Istanbul Airport has won several awards for its services, including “Best Airport in Southern Europe” and “Best Transit Airport”.
Convenience and Accessibility
Both airports offer good accessibility, with many options for ground transportation. However, IST has more options and better connections to the city center.
Distance from the Best Attractions of Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport is closer to the city’s top attractions, such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is further away, but still within easy reach by ground transportation.
Istanbul Airport Hotels
If you need to stay close to Istanbul Airport, there are several hotels available to choose from. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the airport:
- YOTELAIR is a hotel located inside the terminal building. It offers various room types, including standard, premium, and family cabins. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, gym, and free Wi-Fi. It also has a cafe and bar. This hotel is ideal for travelers with early morning or late-night flights who want to stay near the airport.
- Crowne Plaza: accessible via a free shuttle service and offers a fitness center, indoor pool, and spa.
- Park Inn by Radisson Odayeri is a hotel located near Istanbul Airport that offers a free shuttle service to the airport, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
Hotel near Sabiha Gökçen Airport
If you’re flying into Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, there are also several hotels available nearby. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the airport.
If you need to stay close to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, there are several hotels available to choose from. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the airport:
- ISG Sabiha Gökçen Airport Hotel is located inside Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and offers convenient access to the airport. The hotel has comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a fitness center. It’s a great option for travelers with early morning or late-night flights who want to avoid the hassle of transportation to the airport.
- Hampton by Hilton Istanbul Kurtkoy: This hotel is located a short distance from Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and offers a free shuttle service to and from the terminal. It has comfortable rooms, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
- Nearport Sabiha Gokcen Airport Hotel is located near Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and offers comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the airport.
When choosing which airport to fly into for your trip to Istanbul, consider the distance from the city center, transportation options, arrival experience, convenience and accessibility, and distance from the best attractions. IST is closer to the city center and top attractions, while Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is further away but still within reach. Both airports offer many transportation options, comfortable arrival experiences, and nearby hotels. Choose the airport that best fits your needs and enjoy your trip to Istanbul!