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Istanbul Airport Transfer Guide: Detailed Overview and Tips for 2023

Ever faced the stress of navigating your way from the airport to the city in a foreign country? This Istanbul airport transfer guide will help!

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When you’re jetting off to explore a new destination, the last thing you want is to stress about upon arrival is how to get from the airport to your accommodation.

That’s where Istanbul airport transfer services come to the rescue!

Since I have been living in Istanbul since 2019 and have had many visitors over the years, I have had to get from Istanbul airports to Kadıköy several times.

I am confident this expertise and comprehensive review will help you make the best decision when figuring out how to get from the airport to wherever you’re headed.

I’ll also give you a couple of alternatives along with the pros and cons of using said alternatives.

Avoid the hassle and chaos of trying to navigate a new city while dealing with jetlag. Start planning your journey with confidence with an airport transfer service.

#1 Top Pick
instanbul shuttle port airport transfer van with a building in the back

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Istanbul Shuttle Port

✅ 5 stars with 562 reviews

✅ Less expensive
than competition

✅ Easy process

#2 Pick
gettransfer.com logo for aiport shuttle services.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GetTransfer.com

✅ Many company options to compare

✅ Internationally known

✅ Multiple car classes

About Istanbul Airport Transfers to/from city center

Knowing your way in a foreign city begins with getting from the airport to your AirBnB or hotel in Istanbul.

Imagine stepping off the plane, and voila, a friendly driver is there to greet you, ensuring your transition from the runway to your comfy hotel bed is as seamless as can be.

These hassle-free airport transfers are like the fairy godmothers of travel, whisking you away to your hotel with ease.

Forget about deciphering public transportation maps or haggling with taxi drivers in a language you’re still trying to learn.

So, sit back, relax, and let the airport transfer magic begin!

Istanbul offers a variety of airport transportation options to help you get to your final destination in the city, particularly the New Istanbul International Airport.

When you head from the airport to a different part of Istanbul, many transportation options are available but we will take a look at the alternatives in a following section.

My highest recommendation is still a comfortable Istanbul airport transfer.

pack your carry-on right

a few specific reasons I like scheduled transfers

1. Someone knows where you are

Unlike if you grab a taxi from the line, you have scheduled it, and so if something goes wrong, it is easier to find you.

That being said, taxis are generally safe. I have traveled by way of taxi many times before I discovered airport transfers. I never had a problem.

Also if you leave something in the vehicle, it is easier to track down. ge

2. Sometimes cheaper than a taxi

You may be wondering how?!

Because taxis run on a meter, if you get stuck in traffic and your travel time gets longer or your route changes, you are going to pay for that extra time.

So if you’re traveling during rush hour especially, I even more highly recommend a scheduled transfer as it is a flat fee.

3. More often than not much better quality than a taxi

While you can get a really nice taxi sometimes, you most often will get into a taxi that has seen better days.

The transfer vehicles are in pristine condition and don’t smell like smoke. Always a bonus in my book.

Best 2 options for a Transfer from the Airport

instanbul shuttle port airport transfer van with a building in the back

1. Istanbul Shuttle POrt

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ? LOCATION: IST & SAW | ✅ Book it!

I have used this company many times. I typically use them when a group is arriving at Istanbul airports as it is so much more cost-effective than getting a couple of taxis at the airport.

They have been on time or early every time, which is a real prize here in Turkey. Having lived here since 2019, I know how rarely are people on time.

Their Viator page is where you book a transfer but the reviews are on TripAdvisor. (Viator & TripAdvisor are owned by the same company.)

They aren’t the luxury service with champagne and drinks but they are a trustworthy, affordable, and high-quality option. They are my go-to for sure.

This is always a nice van, which is great for someone with a lot of luggage or a small group of people.

Benefits:

  • They speak English when scheduling and handling details.
  • Their drivers are also English-speaking.
  • The vehicles are always very well-kept and don’t smell like cigarettes

Excellent service as always, I use this transfer every time I come to Istanbul, it’s my 7th time now and I love it, really luxurious vehicles and smooth service. Can’t go wrong.


Junaid – TripAdvisor Review

? Check Prices and Availability!

gettransfer.com logo for aiport shuttle services.

2. Gettransfer.com

⭐️ RATING: Varies w/ selection | ? LOCATION: IST & SAW | ✅ Book it!

The reason I added GetTransfer.com to this is because I know sometimes you just want to book something nicer, smaller, or different.

With this aggregate, it pulls in lots of different service providers and lets you select.

That being said, pay attention to reviews. Some have quite low scores and I don’t recommend those.

Benefits:

  • Many different service providers to choose from
  • Everything from sedans to vans to VIP
  • Internationally known – they have a reputation in the travel industry
  • Potentially different language options depending on the service provider

Like I said it is really important, however, to check the reviews. $10 cheaper for a 3-star isn’t worth it in my opinion.

very efficient and reasonably priced. Communicated through WhatsApp with the dispatcher. Immediate response and very helpful. Highly recommended, better than taxi. Used it to transfer to and from Istanbul airport.

Elena Z – GetTransfer.com review

Transportation Alternatives to private transfers

If you’re on the fence about an airport transfer, let me review the other options available for airport transfers.

Each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and considering your individual needs and circumstances, one may be a better fit than the others.

Public Transport – Havaist

The first option you have is public transport. The transport carrier, Havaist/Havabus, provides services to different locations around Istanbul.

Pro tip: They will both pick up in the same places (for your return to the airport) so make sure you get on the correct bus!

These public buses are equipped with modern facilities, ensuring a comfortable ride to the city center.

There is also a metro but the terminal metro station is in Kadıköy. You will have to transfer if you need to go to the European side.

Public transport is a particularly cost-effective method to consider, however, if you’re not familiar with the city or the language, navigating public transport can be challenging.

Istanbul Airport Shuttle

Some hotels have a shuttle transfer and can be an excellent option for travelers looking for a balance between cost and convenience.

These services offer fixed prices and the peace of mind of online payment, and they even have child seats if required.

They’re a reliable and safe mode of transfer, but it’s important to note that you may need to wait for the shuttle to arrive or fill up before it sets off for the city.

Taxis

Taking one directly from the airport can be another convenient option, as you can get right to your destination without any stops along the way.

However, there are potential concerns about scams or inflated prices.

There is also the problem if you leave something in the taxi and haven’t scheduled it or taken a photo of the license, you may be out of luck.

Recently this happened to me. I was so tired that I left my small carry-on in the taxi not even thinking.

I did go back to the airport the next morning and the guys took great care of me! Luckily the driver turned it in but if he hadn’t, I would have no way to recover it.

To avoid this, I recommend pre-ordering a shuttle transfer or choosing a reliable and well-reviewed taxi company.

Airports in Istanbul

Welcome to the New Istanbul Airport sign

New IST Airport

This new airport is a state-of-the-art airport is well-equipped with modern facilities that not only cater to your travel needs but also provide a top-notch experience to its visitors.

The airport features art galleries for the culturally inclined and a range of restaurants for varying tastes.

For those traveling with children, baby rooms and game rooms make for comfortable family travel.

Shopaholics will not be left wanting with numerous shops dotted around the airport.

This is likely where you’re flying into unless you happen to be coming from a nearby country. Then perhaps you will fly into SAW Airport.

Transport Options

  • Airport Transfer
  • Taxi
  • HavaIST bus – It is a large charter bus that leaves on a set schedule. It is located on the bottom floor of the parking garage and is labeled so you know which one to get on. You can check out the website for current prices. It is the closest thing to public transport for the IST airport.

sabiha gökçen Airport

Situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, SAW is also and International airport also offers public bus services, shuttles, and taxi services for reaching the city.

However, it’s essential to note that this airport is further from the central tourist areas, like Taksim and Sultanahmet, than the New Istanbul Airport.

Transport Options

  • Airport Transfer
  • Taxi
  • Metro – M4 (the Istanbul airport metro line) goes into to Kadıköy where you can stay or head to the other side by transferring to the Marmaray, Ferry or a Metrobus.
  • Havabus – It is a large charter bus that leaves on a set schedule. It is located on the bottom floor of the parking garage and is labeled so you know which one to get on. You can check out the website for current prices. It is the closest thing to public transport for the IST Airport.

Ataturk Airport

Ataturk Airport is now primarily used for cargo and VIP passenger flights, but it remains a point of interest for some travelers.

Transport Options

While it does have transportation options available, most commercial flight passengers will be directed to either the New Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport.


Remember, each airport and transfer method comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Therefore, tailor your choices to your convenience, budget, and travel plans while ensuring reliable services.

fAQs on International Airport Transfers In Istanbul

What is the primary airport serving commercial flights in Istanbul?

The New Istanbul Airport opened in 2018 and serves as the main hub for commercial flights arriving in Istanbul. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to cater to the varied needs of travelers. Though Sabiha Gökçen also is widely used.

Are taxis a good option for Istanbul airport transfers?

They can be a speedy option, but riders should exercise caution. It is advisable to pre-order a shuttle transfer or opt for a reputable company to avoid potential scams and ensure a hassle-free ride.

How much is a transfer service from Istanbul airport to the city?

Based on going to Sultanahmet: Taxi can be anywhere from 800 – 1000 lira from IST; HavaIST is 70 lira; Transfer is 750 – 1160 lira depending on the car selected. This is as of December 2023.

Is Uber allowed in Istanbul Airport?

For a while, Uber was banned but it is back in Turkey now.

Is it safe to use Uber in Turkey?

Both taxis and Uber are a pretty safe bet, especially when you order them from an app like biTaksi or Uber.

Final thoughts on Istanbul Airport Transfers

As you navigate airport Istanbul transfers I hope you see that it can be a smooth and convenient process, with various options suited for different types of travelers.

While there are other options like public transportation, shuttles, and taxis, I still think the scheduled airport transfer is the best way to go, especially if you have multiple people.

Make your Istanbul journey more comfortable by booking an airport transfer today.

#1 Top Pick
instanbul shuttle port airport transfer van with a building in the back

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Istanbul Shuttle Port

✅ 5 stars with 562 reviews

✅ Less expensive
than competition

✅ Easy process

#2 Pick
gettransfer.com logo for aiport shuttle services.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GetTransfer.com

✅ Many company options to compare

✅ Internationally known

✅ Multiple car classes

Read more:

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Skyscanner and WayAway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: I have used these transfers many times and they are always great. If you’d like more options, I also recommend GetTransfers.com as they allow you to compare companies.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Skyscanner and WayAway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: I have used these transfers many times and they are always great. If you’d like more options, I also recommend GetTransfers.com as they allow you to compare companies.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

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