Istanbul is a beautiful and historical city, and is serviced by two airports, the Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) and the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport SAW). The largest and busiest international hub is without a doubt the Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST), and it is likely you will fly into this facility when travelling long distance into Turkey. Functioning since the 1920s, the Ataturk Airport has grown to accommodate its 60 million plus passengers with ease, and has an excellent range of facilities you can utilise whilst transiting.
You will have access to bureau de change booths, ATMs, free WiFi, a clinic, a pharmacy, several mosques, children’s play rooms and several information desks. There are also lots of options for dining in this airport, where you can try the delicious local Turkish cuisine, or indulge in the international choices available. You can also grab a glass of wine in one of the bars, or pick up a coffee or a bite from one of the fast food outlets or snack kiosk.
You can also shop in this airport, which ranges from a good duty-free section where you can pick up bargains, or if you are looking for something more traditional, there is a bazaar where you can purchase local items only found in Turkey.
There are no non-stop flights from Australia out to Istanbul, and any route you go on will be subject to one or two layovers. Airlines that do operate along this route are Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air Canada, Korean Air, ANA, Virgin Australia, Asiana Airlines, Thai Airways, Etihad Airways, Emirates, and EVA Air.
· Ataturk Airport is only 20km from the centre of town, and getting there involves hopping on the E5, then the D100 to Ayvansaray/Eyup. Once you’re on the Ayvansaray Cd, keep on this road, follow it along the water until you reach the centre of town. Utilise Skyscanner’s search tools to hire a car, or book one when you arrive through the agencies in the arrivals area.
· There is a subway rail service, which connects Istanbul Ataturk with the centre of the city. Expect to pay about 10TRY ($4).
· Buses and shuttles take around 40-50 minutes into the city. Be warned that the bus system can be a little difficult to navigate for first-time visitors, so it’s worth asking for advice at the information desk before departing the airport.
· Taking a taxi will run your wallet a cost of about 40TRY ($17), but only takes half an hour. It’s a good option if you are carrying a lot of bags, or travelling with a group. Of course, if you’d like to save, but still would like to secure private transport, consider booking a private airport transfer with Skyscanner.
Please note that information is correct as of October 2016
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