Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit. Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.
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, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport.
What to Expect
Istanbul Atatürk International Airport features two interconnected passenger terminals, with one serving domestic travel and the other, international. As Turkey’s largest airport, the facilities stay crowded at all times, and, despite significant seating, there is not enough seating to accommodate all travellers. Travellers have reported poor and rude customer service from staff, many of them who don’t seem to speak much English; but travellers feel safe due to enhanced security. Landside and airside shopping and dining services are available throughout the airport, with some eateries offering 24-hour service. WiFi is available, and there are some charging spots for re-charging mobile devices, but you will have to seek them out. For additional comfort while you wait, economy class passengers can pay to use one of the first-class airport lounges, some of which offer showers. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below.
Where to Sleep
Travellers tend to recommend the International over the Domestic Terminal for better sleeping, though both are described as not having enough seating capacity for the number of passengers. That said, much of the seating, if you can get it, is described as comfortable and some of it armrest-free. Some gate areas are dimly lit at night, and might contain a free seat or comfortable corner spot. Try the corridor by Gates 201-204 for a quieter stay and cushioned seats. (August 2016 review). A few benches without armrests have also been spotted at Baggage Claim 10 (December 2015 review). For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel at the airport, and some others just a quick shuttle ride away. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
Good to Know
If your layover is longer than 6 hours during the day, take advantage of a free tour of Istanbul courtesy of Turkish Airlines. See Transit Tours in the airport guide below.
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.
Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships
Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!
Passes Primeclass Lounge (International) – Location: International Terminal, airside, above the food court. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]
Passes Primeclass Lounge (Domestic) – Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside, 2nd Floor. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]
Related Pages: Istanbul Ataturk Airport Lounges
If sleeping in Istanbul Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside and near the airport:
Inside 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. » Check Rates
Near Airport WOW Airport Hotel – (5 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs from 6:30AM to 10:30PM. » Check Rates
Near Airport Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel Istanbul – (8 minutes from the airport) Located adjacent to the airport. Free shuttle available from 5:00AM to 1:00AM. Shuttle leaves on the hour from the hotel to the airport, and on the half-hour from the airport to the hotel. Pick-up is in front of the A and B gates at international arrival terminal. » Check Rates
To see more options there is a list of hotels near Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminals, you can surf 2 hours for free. You will require a mobile phone number capable of receiving texts in Turkey. If you have an international phone, you will have to pay for service or go to Starbucks.
- WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.
Food & Drinks
- Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
» International Arrivals: Caffé Nero • Simit Sarayı Mobil • Starbucks.
» International Departures (landside): Caffé Nero • Restro (Mezzanine) • Simit Sarayı (Counter B).
» International Departures (airside): Caffé Nero (Food Court and opposite Duty Free) • Cake & Bakes (Food Court) • Coca-Cola Bus Gate (Gates 301/312) • Coca-Cola Cafe (Gate 213) • Millennium Lounge (Mezzanine) • Simit Sarayı (Gate 219) • Starbucks (Gate 219) • The Greenport (opposite Duty Free) • Turcuisine (Food Court).
» Domestic Departures (airside): C&B • Kokpit (in the Food Court) • Tadında Anadolu (in the Food Court) • Starbucks
- Information Desks – There are a total of five information desks in the airport, all open 24 hours. There is one desk each in the landside area of International Departures and Arrivals, and the Transit Information Desk is located airside in International Departures. The Domestic Terminal has one each in the landside area of Domestic Departures and Arrivals.
- Luggage Storage & Lockers – Everything from plastic shopping bags to luggage to bicycles can be stored in Baggage Custody Services. Daily storage rates are 15.00 TL (plastic shopping bags), 20.00 TL (regular sized suitcase, backpack, etc.), 30.00 TL (large items, like golf bag) to 45.00 TL (oversized items, like bicycles). Location: International, landside, Arrivals floor • Domestic, landside, Arrivals floor Hours: Open 24 hours.
- Luggage Wrapping – Truestar Luggage Wrapping service is available. Locations: entrance of the Domestic Terminal, landside, Departures Level • International Terminal, landside, in front of Check-In Counters B and D Hours: Open 24 hours.
- Medical Services – Urgent and emergency medical treatment is available at the Portclinic. Two Portclinics can be found on the Arrivals level of both the International and Domestic terminals. Hours: Open 24 hours.
- Pharmacy – Günay Eczanesi. Location: International Terminal, landside, Arrivals.
- Mobile Charging – According to a review in January 2018, there are mobile charging stations.
- ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: unknown.
- Currency Exchange – There are five currency exchange offices total in Atatürk Airport. You can find two of them landside in International Departures, two of them airside in International Arrivals, and one located landside in International Arrivals.
- Prayer Rooms – There are eight masjid (mosques) total in the airport. Two mosques, one each for males and females, are available in the following locations: Check-In area • International Departures (airside) • International Arrivals Floor • Domestic Departures gates Hours: Open 24 hours.
Rest & Relaxation
- Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
- Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
- Rest Zones – Not available.
- Duty Free & Shopping – There are at least 20 shops (Domestic and International terminal locations) which are open 24 hours a day.
Showers, Salon & Spa
- Hair Salon – Spa Express & Hairdresser and Parisli Cemil provide beauty and salon services in both Domestic and International terminals.
- Massage – Massage & Oxygen Bar. Location: International Terminal, airside, Departures. Massage services are also available at the TAV Istanbul International Hotel. [ see Airport Hotels above ]
- Showers – Available in the Comfort and Primeclass Lounges in the International Terminal. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
Things to do & see
- Transit 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.
The airport is open 24 hours.
As of March 2018, Istanbul Ataturk airport is served by the following airlines: Adria Airways • Air Astana • Alitalia • Azerbaijan Airlines • Delta • Emirates • Iran Air • Korean Air • Meraj Airlines • Qeshm Air • Scat Air • Tajikistan Air • Turkmenistan Airlines.
City-owned Havabus Airport buses offer service from Atatürk Airport to Taksim Square and the Yenikapi Fast Ferry Terminal. For further information, go to the Havabus website.
Car rental agencies are available in both Domestic and International Terminals of the airport.
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 Airport Hotel.
The airport is connected to the Metro system via the TAtatürk Havalimani station, just a short walk from the airport terminals. 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.
Last updated: 2018-10-23
This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning. All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.