How to go from Istanbul airport to the city

transport metro lines Istanbul airport Turkey Turkish Airlines

The new hub of Turkish Airlines and the main international airport serving Istanbul in Turkey was officially opened on October 31st 2018, when the first commercial flight took off from one of its runways. Istanbul airport is also a base for Atlas Global and Onur Air, and connects the European side of Istanbul with many major cities all over the world.

Istanbul’s new airport (IST) is located roughly 40 kilometres away from the city and the journey from the airport to Istanbul centre by car takes 45 minutes on average, especially in congested traffic. For the time being and until the M11 metro line –still under construction- starts functioning in August 2021, travellers who land in Istanbul airport have several means of transportation at their disposal: taxi, Uber services, shuttle buses and car rental.

In this post, we will help you decide which way to travel from Istanbul airport to the city suits your needs best, as well as keep you informed of the details about the projected opening of the M11 Gayrettepe–Istanbul New Airport metro line.

Travelling by taxi from Istanbul airport in Turkey

Taxis are found right outside the Arrivals area of the main terminal of Istanbul airport, although if you have made a reservation beforehand, you will need to go down two floors to get on your pre-booked vehicle. Allow between 45 minutes to one hour to arrive to downtown Istanbul and expect to pay a fare of 32 euros approximately.

Uber at Istanbul airport

Should you opt for commuting from the airport to Istanbul with an Uber car, travel times and fares can be similar to those of a taxi or slightly lower. Visit the Uber app to request your service and find Uber locations in Istanbul’s new airport.

Shuttle buses from Istanbul airport to the city

Those who prefer to take a bus to Istanbul are advised to travel with line IST 19, connecting the terminal building with Beşiktaş, Taksim and Zincirlikuyu. The shuttle bus company name is Havaist and ticket fares vary according to your final destination in Turkey.

Renting a car in Istanbul airport, Turkey

If you would rather hire a vehicle and drive from the airport to central Istanbul yourself, know that there are car rental facilities in Istanbul airport that comprise offices by internationally renowned brands like Goldcar, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, Avis and Europcar.

Metro line from IST airport to Istanbul

Travelling at 120 kilometres per hour, the new M11 metro line that will connect the airport to Istanbul is meant to considerably shorten the journey between the main terminal building and Gayrettepe station, possibly reducing it to a maximum of 30 minutes. As part of the Istanbul Metro system, line M11 has been planned as a high-speed, direct service for travellers landing in Istanbul airport or departing it. It is expected to start operations in August 2021.

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