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The larger of the two airports serving Turkey's largest city is officially called Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Car rental in Istanbul Airport is among the most practical ways to travel the 15 miles between this airport on Istanbul's European side and the heart of the historic city. Public transportation options include a light rail service which travels to Istanbul's intercity bus terminal. Passengers can also take either European-style solo taxis or Turkish shared taxis called dolmus. Bus options include fast Havatas shuttle buses which run once per half hour or slower, but cheaper, city buses.
Who to Book With
Sixt, Budget and Avis are among the international car hire firms positioned next to Turkish companies such as Ülger and Avias between Istanbul Airport's International and Domestic terminals, near the Baggage Reclaim zone. The airport car park contains reserved spaces for rental vehicles.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- A valid passport for foreign renters
- A driver’s licence
- Official booking confirmation
Istanbul traffic is typically chaotic at all hours of the day, but traffic becomes especially bad along the Golden Horn and Bosporus bridges during evening and morning rush hours. Tolls are required to cross these bridges between Istanbul's European and Asian sides, but not the other way around. Cash payments are accepted at the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, but electronic toll tickets are necessary to cross the Bosporus Bridge. Local drivers have a tendency to disobey traffic rules, and finding parking places is difficult. Motorists must often pay extra fees to have their vehicles guarded by parking touts.
The Trans-European Motorway and D-100 international road are Istanbul's main road links to its airport. There is also a light rail service connecting the airport with Aksaray, as well as shuttle buses which drop passengers off at four different Istanbul locations. City buses are slower, but cheaper, than the airport shuttles. Standard and shared dolmus taxis are also affordable.
UlaÅÄ±m A.Å operates Istanbul's light rail network, which has a line between Istanbul Airport and the city's Aksaray neighbourhood. The journey takes around 30 minutes. A single coin ticket to us this light rail network costs about £1, while an e-ticket costs around £0.70.
Ataturk Airport Taxi is the airport's leading taxi provider, and legitimate Istanbul taxis are coloured bright yellow. Shared dolmus taxis depart from the International Terminal Arrivals area. Taxi fares double between 24:00 and 06:00.
Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet is about £12
Istanbul Airport to Taksim is about £15
One-way tickets from the airport aboard the Havatas bus network cost roughly £3.50 to Taksim, a journey which takes about 40 minutes, and £1.75 to Yenikapi IDO. Regular fares aboard the cheaper Ä°stanbul Elektrik Tramvay network cost £0.60 each, while blue cards valid for a month cost about £40. The T4 Line links Taksim Square with Sultanahmet.
Each day, over 32,000 passengers travel through Istanbul Airport's two busy terminals. Travelators and escalators link the small Domestic Terminal to the much larger and newer International Terminal. Each terminal contains a departures section on its upper floor and an arrivals area on its ground floor. The International Terminal's direct destination list includes Seoul, Singapore and Newark, alongside dozens of cities throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Parking is available at Istanbul Airport's International and Domestic terminals. The airport's multi-floor car park contains half-a-dozen credit card payment points. Parking for up to an hour within this modern building costs around £3, while parking periods between 12 and 24 hours cost about £10. The airport also contains a 1,200 vehicle capacity open car park whose fees range between £2 for short parking stays of up to an hour to about £55 for a month-long stay.
The wireless internet access at Istanbul Airport is free to use at the Departures and Arrivals lounges of both terminals. Fees are charged to use the other wireless internet access points throughout the airport.
The Domestic Terminal's Arrivals and Departures floors each contain an information desk. The International Terminal contains a transit information desk which is located past the Departures floor passport control, in addition to its Arrivals and Departures floor information desks. All Istanbul Airport information desks are open 24 hours.
General Information: +90 212 444 9 TAV (828)
Airport Security Manager: +90 212 663 64 00
Wheelchairs, elevators and specially adapted telephones and toilets are just a few of the facilities available to Istanbul Airport's disabled passengers. Transportation options for disabled passengers include reserved parking places near both terminals as well as an International Departures area bridge taxi.
Restaurants and Bars
Food courts are available on both floors of both of Istanbul Airport terminals. The main Domestic Arrivals terminal eatery is C&B, a self-service establishment selling sandwiches and traditional Turkish pastries. Sbarro, Starbucks and Burger King outlets stand alongside Turkish restaurants like TadÄ±nda Anadolu at the Domestic Departures area. Greenfields is the largest restaurant in the International Arrivals area, which also includes Caffé Nero and Starbucks coffee shops. The International Departures area contains more restaurants than any other airport section, including fast food chains like Popeye's and Burger King, as well as Quick Asia's noodle and sushi dishes.
British Airways Terraces Lounge
Prime Class Lounge
YapÄ± Kredi World CIP Lounge
Wings Primeclass Lounge
HSBC Advantage Lounge
Wings Primeclass Lounge
Money and ATMs
The International Terminal contains all three Istanbul Airport banks, one of which, Türkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S., features a currency exchange office. Both airport terminals contain a total of 19 cash points where passengers can withdraw money.
A replica of Istanbul's ancient Grand Bazaar stands in the airport's International Terminal's Departures area alongside one of the continent's biggest and most affordable duty-free shops. The cigars sold at the House of Cigars and the jewellery sold at Atasay are also duty free. Even more beautiful handmade pieces are sold at the airport's two Barok Jewellery locations. Delights sells sweets made by one of Turkey's oldest pastry makers.