Istanbul Airports:
Arrival and Departure

Which one of the two Istanbul airports will you be arriving to?

What To Do After Arrival and Before Departure? What To Buy From The Duty-free Shops?



You will find here all necessary info for your arrival and departure, that will save you time and keep you from being bored!




There are two International Istanbul Airports:

1) Ataturk International Airport (IST)

2) Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW)

1) Istanbul International Airport (IST)

General Info:

  • Location:
  • Ataturk International Airport is the main Istanbul airport. It is located at the European Side of Istanbul, in Yesilkoy; 23km west of Sultanahmet.

    It can host up to 20 million passengers a year.

    Domestic Terminal is very close to the International Terminal.

Arrival to Ataturk International Airport (IST):

  • Baggage Claim:
  • After the passport control, there are 11 baggage bands and digital screens on these bands, showing the flight numbers.

    You will need a coin of TL 1 or € 1 on you, for a trolley, in this Istanbul airport. You can get it back when you return the trolley.

  • Arrivals Hall:
  • Just after the exit, there is the Arrival Hall where you can find all things necessary.

    This Istanbul airport is older, more central and bigger than the second Istanbul airport (Sabiha Gokcen on the Asian Side). That is why you will find everything you need easily.

    - There are exchange offices, ATMs, rent-a-car desks, a pharmacy and a PTT (post office) at the international arrivals area.

    - There is also a Tourist Information Office (212-663 0793) that can supply maps, advice and brochures for 24 hours.

    - There is a supermarket on the walkway to the metro, again open for 24 hours.

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Departure from Ataturk International Airport (IST):

Doesn’t matter from which Istanbul airport, departing from this beautiful city is always sad.

Hoping you can come back soon, here are some details which will be handy;

  • Check in:
  • Always be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to your flight.

    You may encounter a long safety check queue at the entrance and a long line at the passport control, depending on the season.

  • Free Time:
  • If you have enough free time after your check-in you can have a lunch, dinner or a coffee in restaurants and coffee shops at the Departure Hall.

    You can buy magazines and books here.

    But remember to have an eye on the passport control line. It can get over-crowded in a matter of minutes.

    You can do some shopping after the passport control. There are a lot of nice shops and Duty Free shops at the waiting area.

    And you can eat and drink beverages in this area too.

  • What to Buy:
  • There are duty-free shops in both Istanbul International Airports. But the one in the Ataturk International Airport is a giant one.

    You can find the best brands of beverages, perfumes, skin care products, cosmetics, chocolates and so on..

    Besides these you can find a vast variety of Turkish delights, raki (alcoholic aniseed drink), evil-eye beads, magnets with Iznik tile patterns, textile products, backgammon boards, nargile and so on..

    Remember to stop by the Vakko shop and see their scarves and ties collections. There is one for every taste..


2) Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW):

General Info:

  • Location:
  • It is located on the Asian side of Istanbul in “Kurtkoy” and is used mainly by domestic airlines and low-cost European airline companies.

  • info:
  • You can check the official web site of Sabiha Gokcen International Airport if you’d like;

    www.sgairport.com

Arrival at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)

  • Baggage Claim:

There is a new and bigger facility recently opened to service in 2009. You will find your way easily.

  • Arrivals Hall and Facilities:

- There are two banks (Türkiye Is Bankasi open for 24 hours and Akbank open between 09:00 – 20:00) at the Arrivals Hall.

- There is a mini-market for Newspapers, cigarettes, magazines, perfumes, personal care products and packed food.

- A Unitel technomarket shop is selling cellular telephones and accessories, various electronic devices and equipment

.- There is a Tobacco Shop, a Turkish Delight Shop and Duty Free shops.

- PTT ( Post Office ) is open between 08:30-16:30.

- Wireless internet is available for passenger usage. You can pay with a credit card through www.winet.telekom.gov.tr or you can buy a prepaid card from the Post Office.

Departure from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)

  • Check in:
  • Always be at the airport at least 2-2,5 hours prior to your flight. This is a must if you are flying from an Istanbul airport.

    You may encounter a long safety check queue at the entrance and a long line at the passport control, depending on the season.

  • Free Time:
  • If you have enough free time after your check-in you can have a lunch, dinner or a coffee in restaurants and coffee shops at the Departure Hall.

    But remember to have an eye on the passport control line. It can get over-crowded in a matter of minutes.

    You can buy magazines and books here that will keep you busy while waiting for your flight.

    You can do some shopping after the passport control too. There are Duty Free shops and cafes at the waiting area. You can eat and drink beverages in this area while you wait for your flight.

  • What to Buy:
  • There are duty-free shops at the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport are very nice ones too.

    In the Duty-free shop, You can find exactly the same products with the Istanbul International Airport.

    There are other shops in this area that sell a vast variety of Turkish delights and everything you can relate to Turkish culture, like backgammon boards, nargile, evil-eye beads, here.

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