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?

  • if you have a layover and are planning a little self-guided touring, your best bet may be the free tour the airport provides. It's well described in other Istanbul questions here. – Kate Gregory Jun 8 '14 at 13:20

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.

  • I took the metro, I changed one time and were directly in front of the blue mosque. easy. – greg121 Jun 8 '14 at 13:08
  • Is the metro and tram part of the same system or different so that you have to pay different fares. – Thierry Lam Jun 9 '14 at 15:05
  • @ThierryLam different. – arved Dec 30 '14 at 16:33

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