Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Istanbul airport transportation (

shellio Jul 26th, 2012 03:25 PM

Istanbul airport transportation
I am finding less expensive and more conveniently timed flights into Sabiha Gökçen airport than to Atatürk. I know Sabiha Gökçen is farther out, but how easy/difficult is it to get into the center of the city vs. flying into Atatürk?

We would probably take a taxi or a private shuttle. Any suggestions for shuttle companies?

gemmalouise Jul 27th, 2012 02:40 AM

Hey Shellio

I frequently fly from Sabiha Gökçen and Atatürk, as you say Atatürk is closer to the city so it is easier to travel too with metro links to the center etc.

Havas is the best company for shuttles from the airport as they are always there when a plane lands! Take a look at their website. They do have a english version. Hope this helps a little. Also taxi isnt a bad choice it just depends where in Istanbul from Sabiha Gökçen you will travelling on to.

otherchelebi Jul 27th, 2012 05:34 AM

Due to repairs on one of the bosphorus bridges, traffic between the continents is horrendous almost at all times and will nbe until some time in september or october 2012.

If you are willing to take a bus or taxi to Bostanci or Kadikoy, a ferry from there to kabatas or Eminonu and then another taxi or tram to where your hotel is, Sabiha gokcen (SAW) should be fine. Otherwise, you would be wasting an additional two hours for your transfers and may miss flights, until such time as the repairs are finished, or when traveling between 1-6AM.

shellio Jul 27th, 2012 09:53 AM

Thanks, otherchelebi and gemmalouise. I'm not willing to take three different modes of transport from the airport, so I'd be stuck with the traffic you describe. I understand that Havas no longer runs a shuttle from SAW.

We would be arriving at SAW at 6:25 p.m. in early October and flying out again a week later. Istanbul Airport Express quotes 50 Euros for the one-way trip to Beyoglu. Flying to/from SAW non-stop saves us $140 per person over flying nonstop into ATA, so I'm tempted to book despite the traffic problems.

On the other hand, if it really adds 2 hours to the trip I can take a flight that has one stop, adding about 2 hours to the flight length, and fly into ATA for the same lower price.

I hate decisions! What to do, what to do...

otherchelebi Jul 27th, 2012 11:33 AM

6:25PM arrival probably means that it will be 7:30 by the time you clear passport and customs if you have checked in luggage and do a bit of duty free shopping in arrivals lounge. More, if you're getting a Turkish sim card. Hence, you will hit one of the bridges by 8-8:30PM. If the driver suspects very heavy traffic, he can easily opt for a vehicle ferry from Harem to Sirkeci (This would actually be my choice)

Especially if the day you arrive is a Saturday or Sunday, or even anyday take the risk of heavy traffic and continue with SAW rather than face the misery of a one-stop flight.

Havas is replaced by Havatas (a company somehow related to the mayor of istanbul) supposedly through fair competitive bidding.

Now that I have tried to make your decision for you, you can always blame me, :)

shellio Jul 28th, 2012 10:15 PM

Don't worry, no blame will be coming your way. We decided to fly in to IST after all, arriving a day earlier than planned on a very late flight that was somewhat less expensive than an earlier one would have been and thus having an additional full day in Istanbul. There's another night's hotel cost, but we think it was a good decision. I'm becoming more and more excited about the trip.

Thanks for your help, I may be calling on you again!

mjs Nov 24th, 2014 09:53 PM

Anyone have any updated information about transportation to and from IST to the city? Car service similar to Just Airports in London would be fine. Hotel charges high. Thanks

kawh Nov 24th, 2014 10:39 PM

have you booked a hotel yet? ours provided a free shuttle if you stayed 3 days. that made it really easy, and i don't think it's unusual.

otherchelebi Nov 24th, 2014 10:40 PM

just take a regular cab unless you have lots of luggage.

lauren_s_kahn Nov 30th, 2014 05:32 AM

I do recommend the airport transfer buses. As the previous poster states, there is a bus to Taksim for 13 lira. I took it last summer when I used Sabitha Gochen to fly back and forth to Izmir to visit Ephesus. Easy and reliable.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:58 AM.