Top Turkey Airports Info

Are you gearing up for an international journey that leads you to Turkey? This captivating nation spans two continents, Europe and Asia, making it a significant global travel hub. With an impressive influx of travelers each year, Turkey boasts a robust network of airports that cater to both domestic and international flights. In this in-depth guide, we will provide you with crucial information about Turkey's airports, ensuring you have a seamless and informed journey.

Passenger airplanes docking at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport

How Many Airports Does Turkey Boast?

Turkey proudly hosts a total of 35 international and 22 domestic airports, strategically scattered across the country's diverse landscapes. This extensive airport network ensures that you can reach nearly every corner of Turkey, whether you're embarking on a beach holiday along the Turkish Riviera or venturing into the captivating Cappadocia region. Major cities like Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara, and Izmir are home to some of Turkey's busiest airports, collectively welcoming millions of passengers annually.

Arriving plane flies above WELCOME TO TURKEY

Airport Codes in Turkey: What Do They Mean?

Airports worldwide are identified by unique codes, and Turkey is no exception. Here are the codes for some of Turkey's most prominent airports:

  • Istanbul New Airport (IST)
  • Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW)
  • Antalya Airport (AYT)
  • Ankara Esenboğa Airport (ESB)
  • İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB)
  • Adana Airport (ADA)

Istanbul's Airports: A Closer Look

As one of Europe's bustling metropolises, Istanbul houses two major airports:

  • Istanbul New Airport (IST): This monumental airport, officially the world's largest under one roof, commenced full operations in early 2019. Situated approximately 35 kilometers north of the city center, IST has the remarkable capacity to accommodate up to 200 million passengers annually when its expansion reaches fruition.
  • Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW): Named in honor of Turkey's first female pilot, this airport primarily serves the Asian side of Istanbul. It is strategically positioned approximately 50 kilometers from Taksim Square, playing a pivotal role in the city's overall air traffic.

Please be aware that traveling between these two airports may require a substantial amount of time, often exceeding 2 hours due to the considerable distance.

Istanbul's Atatürk Airport

Once one of Europe's busiest airports, Atatürk Airport (ISL) has transitioned primarily into a cargo hub.

Commercial airplane taking off at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Istanbul's New Airport: Key Details

Istanbul's new airport (IST) is a remarkable feat of modern aviation infrastructure. Here's everything you need to know about this impressive hub:

Construction and Opening

  • The construction of Istanbul's new airport began in 2015 and was completed in 42 months. It officially opened for air traffic in April 2019.

Size and Capacity

  • IST boasts the title of being the world's largest airport terminal under one roof, covering a staggering 1.4 million square meters.
  • It can currently handle around 90 million passengers annually, making it one of the busiest airports in the world.
  • However, the airport is still in its early development stages, with ambitious expansion plans.
  • Upon full completion, it is expected to have a total of 6 runways and the capacity to serve an astounding 200 million passengers per year.

Facilities and Services

  • Istanbul's new airport offers a wide range of amenities to enhance the traveler experience.
  • It includes a 451-room hotel for those in need of accommodation.
  • There are 44 prayer rooms and a mosque for religious observance.
  • Dining options abound, with a variety of bars and restaurants catering to diverse tastes.
  • Duty-free shopping opportunities are extensive.
  • VIP lounges provide comfort and exclusivity for discerning passengers.
  • Ample parking is available for those arriving by car.
  • Additional services include a hair salon, shoe shiners, kiosks, a florist, pharmacy, medical services, and banking facilities.


  • The airport is well-connected to Istanbul's city center by taxi and shuttle bus services.
  • Plans for a light rail line to further improve transportation to and from the airport were scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.

Istanbul's new airport is not just a gateway to Turkey; it's a symbol of the nation's commitment to modern air travel and its ambition to be a global aviation hub. Its impressive size, capacity, and services make it a significant player in international travel, ensuring that visitors to Turkey have a world-class experience right from the moment they arrive.

Flight Durations to Turkey

The duration of your flight to Turkey naturally depends on your departure location. Here are approximate flight times from major cities around the world to Istanbul:

  • London to Istanbul: Approximately 3 hours and 37 minutes.
  • Moscow to Istanbul: Approximately 2 hours and 41 minutes.
  • Berlin to Istanbul: Approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Tel Aviv to Istanbul: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Delhi to Istanbul: Approximately 6 hours.
  • New York to Istanbul: Approximately 10 hours and 33 minutes.
  • Los Angeles to Istanbul: Approximately 14 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Shanghai to Istanbul: Approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Vienna to Antalya: Approximately 2 hours and 38 minutes.
  • Dublin to Dalaman: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.

In summary, Turkey is easily accessible from most European cities, with flight durations of less than 5 hours. Travel from the Middle East is swift, often taking under 2 hours. However, lengthier journeys are expected when flying from Asia and the Americas.

Layovers in Turkey: Can You Explore the City?

If you find yourself with a layover in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul, you might be wondering if you can leave the airport and explore the city. Here's what you need to know:

Istanbul, sunset view from Galata tower to city district

Visa Requirements

Before leaving the airport, it's crucial to check whether your nationality requires a visa for Turkey. Even if you plan to leave the airport for just a few hours, you will need to go through customs and immigration, and they may ask to see your visa.

  • Most EU countries do not require a visa for short stays, but many other nationalities do.
  • Turkey used to offer Visa on Arrival services at major airports for certain nationalities, but this service has been discontinued.
  • Now, all visitors who need a visa must obtain one online in advance. This process is typically quick and straightforward, allowing you to pay online and avoid standing in long queues at the airport.

Notepad and  Tourist Country Map

Time Considerations

When planning to leave the airport during a layover, it's essential to factor in the time you'll need for various processes:

  • Passing through customs and immigration can take some time, especially during peak travel hours.
  • Additionally, you should account for the time it takes to get from the airport to the city center, which can vary depending on your mode of transportation.

Short Layovers

If your layover is relatively short, leaving the airport may not be feasible or advisable. It's essential to ensure that you have enough time to comfortably explore the city and return to the airport well before your next flight.

Longer Layovers

For layovers exceeding 10 hours, you can make the most of your time by venturing out and experiencing the city. Istanbul, in particular, offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions to explore. Here are some popular options:

  • Sultanahmet District: Visit iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. These historical sites are within relatively close proximity to each other.
  • Grand Bazaar: Explore one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets, where you can shop for souvenirs, spices, textiles, and more.
  • Bosphorus Cruise: Take a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, offering breathtaking views of Istanbul's skyline and the chance to see both the European and Asian sides of the city.
  • Taksim Square: Enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment options in this vibrant and bustling square.
  • Local Cuisine: Savor authentic Turkish cuisine at local restaurants and eateries.

Transportation Options

To get from the airport to the city center and back, you can consider various transportation options:

  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport and offer a convenient way to reach the city. The ride duration and cost will depend on traffic conditions and your destination within Istanbul.
  • Shuttle Bus: Some airports provide shuttle bus services to key city locations. These are often a cost-effective and convenient choice.
  • Public Transportation: In Istanbul, you can use the metro and tram systems to reach popular attractions. Istanbulkart, a contactless smart card, can be a convenient way to pay for public transportation.
  • Guided Tours: If you prefer a guided experience, there are tours specifically designed for travelers with layovers, allowing you to see the highlights of Istanbul in a limited time.

The former tram on Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Taksim-Tunel carry passengers

Leaving the airport during a layover can provide you with a glimpse of the city's rich culture and history. However, it's essential to plan your excursion carefully, taking into account visa requirements, time constraints, and transportation options. With the right preparation, you can make the most of your layover in Turkey and create memorable experiences.

Airport Transfers in Turkey

Turkey's airports offer an array of transfer options to ensure your safe and efficient journey to your destination. While rail services are still undergoing development in Istanbul, you can conveniently access taxis, shuttle buses, or regular buses from any Turkish airport.

For instance, a taxi ride from Istanbul Airport to the city center typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour and costs around USD $15.00. If you prefer to rent a car, major car rental companies operate at Turkey's primary airports. Ensure that you possess the necessary documentation to legally drive in Turkey.

Duty-Free Shopping at Turkey's Airports

If you're a tobacco enthusiast and want to know about tobacco prices at Turkey's airports, here's what you can expect:

people waiting in the New International Istanbul airport duty free area

Cigarette Prices

  • In Turkey, you can typically purchase a pack of 20 cigarettes for around USD $3.00 to $7.00, which is approximately 13 to 18 Turkish lira.
  • If you're considering buying cigarettes at the airport or on your flight, you can often find cartons of 10 packs available at duty-free shops. The cost of a carton can range from USD $40.00 to $60.00, depending on the brand and specific airport.

Tobacco Allowance

  • When purchasing tobacco at Turkish airports, keep in mind the limits for what you can take home with you. These limits are set by customs regulations and vary depending on your destination and the country's customs policies.
  • The typical tobacco allowance for most countries includes 200 cigarettes per passenger. However, it's essential to verify the specific regulations for your home country before making any tobacco purchases.

Additional Tobacco Products

  • Apart from cigarettes, you can also find other tobacco products such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco at duty-free shops in Turkish airports.
  • Similar to cigarettes, the prices for these products may vary depending on the brand and the specific airport's duty-free offerings.

Duty-Free Shopping

  • Duty-free shops at Turkish airports offer the advantage of purchasing tobacco products at reduced prices compared to regular retail stores.
  • It's important to remember that duty-free allowances differ between countries, so be sure to check the regulations for your destination to avoid exceeding your allowance and potential customs issues upon arrival.

Currency Exchange

  • When shopping at duty-free stores in Turkey's airports, you'll often have the option to pay in various currencies, including Turkish lira, US dollars, euros, or other major currencies.
  • Currency exchange services are available at the airport if you need to obtain Turkish lira or any other currency for your purchases.

It's advisable to check the specific tobacco prices and available brands at the duty-free shops of the airport you'll be departing from or transiting through. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the tobacco allowance regulations of your home country to ensure a smooth and hassle-free return journey with your purchased tobacco products.

Visa Information at Turkish Airports

Previously, Turkey offered Visa on Arrival services at major airports for certain nationalities. However, this service has been discontinued. Now, all visitors requiring a visa must obtain one online in advance. This streamlined process eliminates the need to stand in long queues and allows for online payment.

Safety and Security at Turkish Airports

Turkey places a strong emphasis on airport security. The government has invested significant resources in ensuring the safety of passengers. Security measures include multiple checkpoints, baggage X-rays, metal detectors, and immigration checks. Travelers should be prepared for thorough screening, similar to practices in many other countries.

Finding the Most Affordable Airport

The majority of international flights to Turkey arrive in Istanbul, where you have two major airports to choose from. For budget-conscious travelers, it's worth noting that several low-cost carriers, including Turkey's Pegasus Airlines, operate from Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) on the Anatolia side of Istanbul. While this airport is further from the city center than IST, it can offer substantial cost savings on your trip.

Tourists and guide near bus stopping near airport in meeting point of travellers in Turkey

For travelers seeking coastal destinations like Antalya, Bodrum, and Dalaman, Ryanair offers budget flights, primarily from Dublin, Bratislava, or Vienna.

Where Do Turkey Airport Departures and Arrivals Go To?

Turkey's airport departures and arrivals typically go to various domestic and international destinations. The specific destinations vary depending on the airport and the airline operating the flights. Here's a general overview of where departures and arrivals from Turkey's major airports commonly go:








Adana Airport



Ankara Esenboğa Airport



Gazipaşa Airport



Antalya Airport



Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airport



Bursa Yenişehir Airport



Denizli Çardak Airport



Diyarbakır Airport



Elazığ Airport



Erzurum Airport



Eskişehir Hasan Polatkan Airport



Gaziantep Airport



Hatay Airport



Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport



Istanbul New Airport



Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport



İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport



Kars Harakani Airport



Kayseri Airport



Kocaeli Cengiz Topel Airport



Konya Airport



Zafer Airport



Malatya Airport



Dalaman Airport



Milas–Bodrum Airport



Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport



Ordu Giresun Airport



Samsun-Çarşamba Airport



Sinop Airport



Sivas Nuri Demirağ Airport



Şanlıurfa GAP Airport



Tekirdağ Çorlu Airport



Trabzon Airport



Van Ferit Melen Airport



Zonguldak Çaycuma Airport




Adıyaman Airport



Ağrı Ahmed-i Hani Airport



Amasya Merzifon Airport



Aydın Çıldır Airport



Balıkesir Merkez Airport



Batman Airport



Bingöl Airport



Çanakkale Airport



Gökçeada Airport



Erzincan Airport



Hakkari–Yüksekova Selahaddin Eyyubi Airport



Iğdır Airport


Istanbul Hezarfen Airfield


Selçuk–Efes Airport



Kahramanmaraş Airport



Kastamonu Airport



Mardin Airport



Muş Airport



Siirt Airport



Şırnak Şerafettin Elçi Airport



Tokat Airport



Uşak Airport


  1. How many airports are there in Turkey?

Turkey has a total of 35 international airports and 22 domestic airports.

  1. Which are the main airports in Istanbul?

Istanbul has two main airports: Istanbul New Airport (IST) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW).

  1. What is the capacity of Istanbul's new airport (IST)?

Istanbul's new airport can currently handle around 90 million passengers per year, with plans to expand to serve up to 200 million passengers annually.

  1. Can you leave the airport during a layover in Turkey?

Yes, you can leave the airport during a layover in Turkey. However, you should check visa requirements and allow sufficient time for customs, immigration, and transportation to and from the city.

  1. How long does it take to fly to Turkey from major cities around the world?

Flight times to Turkey vary depending on your departure location. For example, a flight from London to Istanbul takes approximately 3 hours and 37 minutes, while a flight from New York to Istanbul takes about 10 hours and 33 minutes.

  1. Are Turkey's airports safe for transit?

Turkey's airports have implemented heightened security measures to ensure passenger safety. They are considered safe for transit, and the government has invested significantly in airport security.

  1. Can you shop duty-free at Turkey's airports?

Yes, you can shop duty-free at all international airports in Turkey. Duty-free shops offer a wide range of products, including perfumes, candies, tobacco, alcohol, and more.

  1. What is the currency exchange situation at Turkey's airports?

Turkey's airports typically have currency exchange services, allowing travelers to obtain Turkish lira or other currencies. Exchange rates and fees may vary depending on the service provider.

  1. What are the tobacco prices at Turkey's airports?

Tobacco prices in Turkey's airports can vary, but you can typically purchase a pack of 20 cigarettes for around USD $3.00 to $7.00. Duty-free options such as cartons are also available.

  1. Where do Turkey airport departures and arrivals go to?

Turkey's airport departures and arrivals go to a wide range of domestic and international destinations. Common international destinations include Europe, the Middle East, North America, Asia, and Africa, while domestic flights connect major Turkish cities.


Apply for Turkey visa:

  • Online Application: Fill out the visa application with your passport details.

  • Payment: Use a credit card to make an online payment.

  • Email Confirmation: After payment confirmation, your visa will be emailed to you.

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