Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
Too crowded and nearly zero space to put your feet up and relax on a long layover. Bars and restaurants are packed and very limited seating. Every time I fly through here I regret it.
- a traveller (June 2016)
To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down of what travellers have reported to us during their time at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
What to Expect
- Due to the damage and renovations from bombings in June 2016, this information may change.
- This is a large, modern airport but it’s very crowded with travellers everywhere no matter the time of day. Plenty of seats still can’t accommodate number of travellers.
- There are two terminals: Domestic and International; you can walk between them inside Security.
- 24-hour eateries are available. See Food / Drinks in the airport guide below.
- Find an unused gate to charge your phone.
- Security is strong so you should feel safe. Many travellers report poor customer service from airport staff, with few able to speak much English.
- WiFi is available, but rarely seems to work. See WiFi information in the airport guide below.
Where to Sleep
- Overall very few comfortable seating options are available; some travellers report more comfortable benches but they fill up quickly - grab them if you see them!
- Try the corridor by Gates 201-204 for a quieter stay, benches with armrests (March 2016 review).
- At the Baggage Claim 10 (Airside) there are a couple benches with no armrests (December 2015 review).
- Starbucks seems to allow overnight travellers to get some shuteye; buy something to be nice.
- Gets cold at night. Come prepared with a blanket and warm clothes.
- For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel inside the airport and other nearby hotels that provide free airport shuttles. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
Good to Know
- Showers are available in a few of the lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below.
- If your layover is longer than 6 hours during the day, take advantage of a free tour of Istanbul courtesy of Turkish Airlines. See Layover Tours in the airport guide below.
- Economy class passengers can pay to use one of the first class lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below.
For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
- Primeclass Lounge - Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside, 2nd Floor. Hours: open 24 hours.
- Comfort Lounge - Location: International Terminal, Airside, Mezzannine Level. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours.
- HSBC Club Lounge - Location: International Terminal, airside, 2nd floor. Hours: open 24 hours.
- Primeclass Lounge - Location: International Terminal, airside, above the food court. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminals, you can surf 2 hours for free. You will require a Turkish mobile phone number, as the access code will be sent to your phone. If you have an international phone, you will have to pay for service or go to Starbucks.
If sleeping in Istanbul Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside and near the airport:
- TAV Istanbul International Airport Hotel - Located inside the terminal in two sections (landside and airside). The airside location is located on the right after the passport control point at the departure floor of the international terminal. The landside is located next to the VIP Lounge in the international terminal. The airside location provides hourly rates and is not for passengers transiting from domestic to international flights, or vice versa. Guests for airside location must present boarding card at check-in. Hourly rates are offered in 3 hour blocks. Airside rates from € 95 (single) / € 110 (double) for up to 3 hours. For 15-24 hours, the rates are € 195 (single) / € 220 (double) plus VAT.
- WOW Airport Hotel - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs from 6:30AM to 10:30PM.
- WOW Istanbul Hotel- (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs from 6:30AM to 10:30PM.
- Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel Istanbul - (8 min from the airport) Located adjacent to the airport. Free shuttle available from 5:30AM to 1:00AM. Shuttle leaves on the hour from the hotel to the airport, and every half-hour from the airport to the hotel.
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Ataturk Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - There are 30 ATMS located throughout the airport.
- Currency Exchange - There are 5 currency exchange offices located on the Departures Floor, Landside • Arrivals Hall, Airside • Arrivals Floor Landside.
- Duty Free & Shopping - There are at least 20 shops (Domestic and International terminal locations) which are open 24 hours a day.
- Food & Drinks - There are several food concessions that are open 24 hours. I've listed them below:
»International - Landside: Caffe Nero • Starbucks • Simit Sarayı Mobil
»International - Airside: Restro • Caffe Nero • Simit Sarayı • Cakes & Bakes • Turcuisine • The Greenport • Starbucks • Coca Cola Cafe • Millenium Lounge • Coca Cola Bus Gate
»Domestic - Landside: no 24 hour food/beverage options
»Domestic - Airside: Kokpit Cafe • Tadinda Anadolu • Starbucks • C&B
- Hairdresser - Parisli Cemil Bay/Bayan Kuaför Salonları operates hair salons in both Domestic and International terminals.
- Information Desks - Locations: International Terminal, Landside, Arrivals Floor and Departures Floor • International Terminal, Airside, Transit Area • Domestic Terminal, Landside, Arrivals and Departures Floor. Hours: open 24 hours. The airport also offers 14 Passenger Information Kiosks, scan your ticket and you will be shown how and where to check in, interactive info such as location of services, weather, etc.
- Layover Tours - Turkish Airlines provides free sightseeing tours to travellers with a layover 6 - 24 hours in duration. Visit the Hotel Desk in the International Arrivals terminal at least 30 minutes before the tour starts. Tours take place from 8:30AM - 11:00AM • 9:00AM – 3:00PM • 9:00AM – 6:00PM • 12:00PM – 6:00PM • 4:00PM - 9:00PM (cultural walk). Read our blog post "Top 6 Airports Offering Free Layover Tours!" for more info.
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - Location: International Terminal, Arrivals Floor• Domestic Terminal, Arrivals Floor. Hours: open 24 hours. Rates: from 20.00TL (suitcase) to 45.00TL (extra large baggage).
- Medical Clinic - Location: Landside in both Domestic and International Terminals. Hours: 24 hours a day.
- Mosques - There are 8 mosques in the airport. Locations: International Terminal, landside, check-in area (2) • International Terminal, transit area, airside (2) • International Terminal, arrivals floor (2) • Domestic Terminal, airside, departure gates (2). Hours: open 24 hours.
- Pharmacy - Location: Günay Eczanesi, Arrivals Floor, landside.
- Showers - Available in the Comfort and Primeclass Lounges in the International Terminal. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
The airport is open 24 hours.
City-owned Havataş Airport buses offer service from Atatürk Airport to Taksim Square and the Yenikapi Fast Ferry Terminal. Buses between the airport and Taksim run daily from 4:00AM - 1:00AM, with departures every 30 minutes. The pick up point at Taksim is in front of Point Hotel. Travel time between the airport and Taksim is 40 minutes, and at the time of this update, a one-way fare is ₺ 11. Buses between the airport and Yenikapi run daily at 9:05AM (10:15AM on Sunday), 11:45AM, 4:45PM and 7:45PM. Times may be adjusted according to ferry schedule. Yenikapi pick-up point is at the 1st port, and a one-way fare is ₺ 5,5. If traveling to Sultanahmet, take the Atatürk-Taksim bus to the stop at Aksaray, and take a taxi from there. For further information, go to the Havataş website.
Car rental agencies are available in both Domestic and International Terminals of the airport. The following major car rental agencies are located in the International Terminal: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty. Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National/Alamo and Thrifty have rental desks in the Domestic Terminal. Local Turkish agencies also operate in both terminals, offering both self-drive and chauffeured vehicles for hire.
Several area hotels provide airport shuttle service free or for a small fee. Contact your hotel of choice for shuttle service availability. The following hotels offer airport shuttle service: Airport Inn Hotel • Elite World Business Hotel • Istanbul Gonen Hotel • Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel • Ramada Encore Istanbul Hotel • Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel • Sapko Airport Hotel • WOW Istanbul Hotel • WOW Airport Hotel.
The M1 (Red) Line starts at Yenikapi and ends at the airport at Atatürk Havalimani station, just a short walk from the airport terminals. Connections to the T1 and T2 tramway are available from Zeytinburnu, a metro station along M1. The T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram goes to Sultanahmet and Taksim (via Kabataş). If heading to Taksim, stay on the T1 tram to Kabataş station and take the F1 Taksim-Kabataş füniküler (funicular) to Taksim, or take the M1 to Vezneciler station and switch to M2 (Green) Line, taking that to Taksim . The Metro, and other modes of public transportation, requires the purchase of tokens or rechargeable Istanbulkart. At the time of this update, a single ride token costs ₺ 1,5. For information on Metro routes, fares and schedules, go to the Istanbul Ulaşım website.
Metered taxis are readily available 24 hours a day at both terminals. Fare includes a flag drop charge plus charge per km, as well as charge per minute during traffic jams or if the passenger requests that a driver stop and wait. At the time of this update, taxis in Istanbul charge a flag drop flat rate of 3,2 TL plus 2 TL per km. You can calculate an estimate of your ride by using this airport-endorsed Istanbul Taxi Price Calculator before hailing a taxi.
Last Updated: 12 April 2016
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.