Is there an airport link or subway which takes you from the IST airport to somewhere close to the Hagia Sophia neighbourhood? I am looking at either taking a cab or the public transit to get to the city. Any recommendations?
You've got three sensible options: taxi, bus, or train.
- Taxis are taxis, and they're generally fine, although I've heard the occasional horror story; get a regular cab from the rank and use the meter, the fare should be 35-40 TL.
- Non-stop airport express buses are operated by Havataş, charging a flat fare of 10 TL. They serve a variety of places in the city, the closest to Sultanahmet being Yenikapi, from where you can take a taxi onwards. The Yenikapi service doesn't run very often though, while the Taksim service is frequent but not particularly convenient.
- The M1 metro goes from the airport to Aksaray, where you can transfer to the T1 tram to Sultanahmet. Cheap (a bit over 3 TL with an Istanbulkart smart card) but slow and a bit confusing.
All things considered, if you're a first-time visitor, I'd take the taxi.