Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Sleeping in AirportWhether your situation calls for a short nap or an overnight slumber, this sleep guide will give you the essential information needed to prepare you for sleeping in Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

This guide was last updated: 27 June 2018Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Locations & Seating

Airport Sleep GuideThere’s plenty of seating in this airport, but it is not nearly sufficient for the constant crowds of travellers. If you are lucky enough to grab a seat, it very likely padded and armrest-free. Otherwise, plan to sleep on the floor – it’s tile and linoleum, so bring an extra layer or sleep mat for cushion and warmth. Travellers prefer the International Terminal to the Domestic Terminal, where some gates are dimly lit overnight and may not be full to capacity.

Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • The corridor near Gates 201-204 sees less foot traffic
  • Gates 214 and 220 may be unused overnight, offering some quiet sleep spots and seats.
  • Gates 501-506 seems to be quiet and have some good seating options, though it may be quite chilly.
  • The hallway between the International and Domestic Terminal is reportedly decent and quiet for floor sleeping, as long as you’ve brought something comfortable to lie on.
  • Pre-Security at Baggage Claim 10
Rest Zones

At the time of this update, there are no designated rest zones within the airport.


We have received few reports from travellers related to terminal temperature. Still, you can likely expect the airport to cool down at night, as air conditioning continues to run.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.


At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.


Noise is significant here, no matter the time of day. The airport has flights coming and going 24-hours, so anticipate plenty of announcements, music, and passenger pages blaring over the loudspeakers. Your only respite may be to find a quiet nook at an unused gate for a few hours, though you’ll likely wake up when the gate re-opens or a cleaning crew comes through quickly. Definitely come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.


Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Locations: the pay-to-enter Comfort and Primeclass Lounges, both in the International Terminal. See our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide for details.

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors:

  • International Arrivals: Caffé Nero, Simit Sarayı Mobil, and Starbucks.
  • International Departures (pre-Security): Caffé Nero, Restro (Mezzanine), and Simit Sarayı (Counter B).
  • International Departures (Inside Security): 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), and Turcuisine (Food Court).
  • Domestic Departures (Inside Security): C&B, Kokpit (Food Court), Tadında Anadolu (Food Court), and Starbucks.
Security & Safety

Airport staff and security seem to tolerate, if not outright ignore, airport sleepers, most likely because they are dealing with other situations. If you manage to find a quiet gate to rest, someone will probably wake you up before the gate is set to re-open.

At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, though you may be aware of heightened safety procedures. 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 by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot 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. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.


Istanbul Ataturk Airport has a few lounges, most of which are open 24-hours. Unfortunately, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable environment, check out this list of lounges in our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide that you can pay to access.


Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without the stress of passing through security, a hotel is available. The TAV Istanbul International Airport Hotel is accessible from both the pre-Secure and Secure sides of the terminal. If you are accessing the hotel from inside Security, you must present your boarding pass and you cannot be in transit from a domestic to international flight or vice versa. Rooms are available in 3-hour blocks.

For more information on this and other nearby hotels, see our Istanbul Ataturk Airport Guide.

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