Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Istanbul Airport

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

Do you have a long layover or an early flight out of Istanbul Airport and want to save your pennies instead of paying for a hotel room? We’ve got you covered. Head straight to the airport and use our handy sleep guide to learn all you need to know about spending a night at Istanbul Airport.

We’ve collected valuable tips and advice from other sleep travellers who have shared their real-life sleeping experiences at Istanbul Airport.

If you’ve spent a night here and want to share your experience, write a review so we can keep this sleep guide up to date!

Check out our airport guide for more information about travelling to Istanbul Airport.

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.

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

Where is the Best Place to Sleep at Istanbul Airport?

You might have more luck sleeping once you have passed through security (or in the 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 snooze, 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.

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)

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 very expensive. You might want to bring some snacks.

The IGA Lounge is open 24 hours a day and offers a welcome escape from the busy terminal building. You will have access to food, refreshments, 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.

Does Istanbul Airport Have a Transit Hotel?

If the thought of fighting other travellers for a sleep pod or lounge chair at a nap zone is stressing you out, a few transit hotels are available. If you are on a layover, you don’t have to go through security, 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. But it’s always best to keep your wits about you, and if you’re not feeling safe, have an extra cup of coffee and sleep on the plane!

As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport alone or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras where you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you, and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone, we recommend that you sleep near other travellers or close to security.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with only earphones and a laptop bag strap, but without the attached iPods or laptops. The same goes for important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body so no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. You may want to padlock your bag to something if you are a deep sleeper. If your bags have zippers, turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, making it hard for someone to access it.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee, stay alert, and stay awake. You can always sleep on the plane!

Have You Slept at Istanbul Airport?

Help us keep this page up-to-date for future airport sleepers, and please write a review about your experience sleeping in Istanbul Airport.