Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Istanbul Airport

sleeping in Istanbul Airport
(photo courtesy of a guest reviewer / July 2019)

If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at Istanbul Airport, you might be wondering if it is possible to sleep in the airport. Our guide to sleeping in Istanbul airport provides essential information for seasoned airport sleepers and newbies to help travellers arrive prepared for the experience.

We keep this guide up-to-date with the help of airport sleepers who have generously shared their experiences and airport reviews. If you have any tips or photos to contribute, please take a moment to write a review. Your feedback will help us stay informed about the latest advice for future sleepy travellers.

Can I Sleep Overnight at Istanbul Airport?

Based on traveller’s reviews, this isn’t the best airport to try and sleep at if you are in the terminal’s public area awaiting a morning flight.

Istanbul’s main terminal is open 24 hours for domestic and international flights and is currently the world’s largest single terminal building. This would make you think there were plenty of places to stretch out and enjoy an airport sleep. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. According to recent reviews, a lot of floor space is available to set up camp, but if you want to sleep there, you’ll be frequently woken up by security guards and other airport staff.

Where is the Best Place to Sleep at Istanbul Airport?

You might have more luck sleeping once you have passed through security (airside/transit area) at one of the nap zones located throughout the airport, where you can stretch out on reclined chairs. According to the Istanbul Airport website, 278 of these chairs are located across six zones, so hopefully, if you’re here looking to sleep, you’ll be able to find one!

At gates B9, B17 and B18, there are round couches that travellers have slept on in the past, but recently, the airport has installed centrepieces on them, which makes them a bit trickier to sleep on.

If you don’t mind paying for a more comfortable sleep, you can rent one of the 25 sleep pods at Istanbul Airport. These can be rented by the hour and cost €15 per hour.

Do you have a good location, airport tip or photos to add? Click here for our review form.

Istanbul Airport
(photo courtesy of a guest reviewer / September 2019)

Is There Anything Open 24 Hours?

If you need to stay overnight at Istanbul Airport, you’re in luck because several things are open to help you pass the time. However, if you get the midnight munchies or want to stock up on snacks to see you through the night, be warned that the airport is reportedly costly. You might want to bring some snacks.

The IGA Lounge is open 24 hours daily and offers a welcome escape from the busy terminal building. You will have access to food, refreshments, comfortable seats and power outlets to charge your electronics.

There are several free water dispensers throughout the terminal to stay hydrated before your flight.

Vending machines are also located throughout the terminal, where you can buy snacks and refreshments. Plus, there are some restaurants and cafes open through the night.

Are There Lounges at Istanbul Airport?

While lounges are available at Istanbul Airport, none have sleep facilities. Economy class travellers can pay to access a few of the lounges. Find out more in our Istanbul Airport Guide.

Istanbul Airport
(photo courtesy of a guest reviewer / July 2019)

Does Istanbul Airport Have a Transit Hotel?

If you are on a layover, you don’t have to leave the airport, as two transit hotels offer both short-term and overnight rates.

The off-site hotels are a bit of a distance from the airport, and there don’t seem to be any hotels with airport shuttles, but we have included a few nearby hotels in case you want to stay somewhere other than a sleeping cabin. Visit our hotel partner at Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near the Istanbul Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

yotel istanbul airport airside
Yotel Istanbul Hotel with locations landside and airside (photo credit: Yotel)

Is it Safe to Sleep at Istanbul Airport?

At the time of this update, we have had a couple of reports of pickpockets at Istanbul Airport. No other safety issues have been reported at IST.

Sleeping in any airport can include a certain level of risk, especially when you are travelling alone. It’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and the security of your valuables. Here are a few tips:

  • Safety First. It’s a good idea to know where the security office is located and look for video cameras where you plan to sleep. You can also ask the security personnel for advice on the safest places to spend the night.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you’re travelling alone, we recommend you stay near other travellers or close to security. This will help you feel more secure and deter potential thieves.
  • Hide Your Valuables. It’s also important to hide your valuables. Don’t leave them out in plain view, as this could make you a target for theft. Additionally, if you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something or sleep with your bag up against a wall to make it harder for someone to access zippers and pockets. We have received reports of sleepers who woke up without their phones and laptop bags. The travellers were left with just their headphones and laptop bag strap.
  • Stay Alert. It’s best to stay alert and awake if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to help you stay awake, and remember that you can always catch up on sleep during your flight. These simple precautions can help you enjoy a safe night at the airport.

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Airport Photo Gallery

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