Border Procedures and Duty Free Allowance at Istanbul (Atatürk) International Airport

Passport sign at the Istanbul International Airport, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Practical Information, Visa, Money & Safety

The border procedures at the Istanbul International Airports are not that complicated but follow strict rules. And if you’re a duty free fan, you’ll love Turkey. After you shopped duty free prior to boarding the plane, you’re also allowed to buy duty free goods after arriving in Istanbul. Although I’ve never been asked by the customs to open my suitcases, you better stick to the rules. So, if you don’t want to waste time at either check-point, follow the guidelines below.

Duty Free shop at the Istanbul International Airport, Turkey.

Duty Free shop at the Istanbul International Airport.

Duty Free Allowance for Items Purchased Abroad

  • 200 cigarettes plus 10 cigars plus 200 grams of tobacco to include cigarette papers OR 200 grams of pipe tobacco OR 50 grams of snuff OR 200 grams of chewing tobacco.
  • 1 liter bottle of wines or spirits OR 2 x 70 cl bottle of wines or spirits.
  • 5 bottles of perfume not exceeding 120 ml each.
  • 1 kg of coffee beans
  • 1 kg of instant coffee
  • 1 kg of tea
  • 1 kg of chocolate (1kg).
  • personal gifts to the maximum value of €300 and €145 for those under 15.

Please note: that you must be over 18 years of age to carry duty free goods.

Duty Free Allowance for Items Purchased at Airport Arrival Hall

In addition to the items above, you can buy the following goods in the duty free shops in the arrival hall:

  • 600 cigarettes
  • 3 liters of beverages containing less than %22 of alcohol OR 1 liter of beverages that contains %22 or more of alcohol and 2 liters of beverages with less than %22 of alcohol
  • 1000 ml of perfume
  • 2 kg of chocolate

Duty free allowances change, so please check before you travel or ask the staff of the duty free shops.

[Photo Source]

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kokos November 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

скажите пожалуйста сколько алкоголя я могу купить в стамбуле в дютефри на один паспорт,на украину летя? спасибо! мне сказали что сколько угодно правда ли это?


Erlend Geerts November 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Я предлагаю вам проверить этот сайт:

Можем ли мы просим комментаторы придерживаться английского языка. Спасибо.
May we kindly ask commenters to stick to the English language. Thanks.


Violet Njoki Sorenson March 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

Thank you for the information regarding visiting Istanbul. I particularly like the three hour tour (hike, I presume) in Balat – which I will attempt and the Fatih Market. I will only be there for 2 days. Thank you again and keep it up for first time visitors like me. All the best!


seattletony July 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I followed the procedure outlined for Visa and it went very well. I now have in hand our printed Visas and t rust we will have no problem when entering Turkey on September 9. thank you for your very informative and interesting web site and magazine!


Erlend Geerts July 31, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Tony,

Glad to hear that. You should have no problems at all, I’ve done it myself.

Have a nice trip,


dianne September 10, 2013 at 1:13 am

You can get visas online now. Very simple!!!


paula Schwartz November 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Have a 15 hour layover in Istanbul. Would like to leave the airport to see the city. Do we need a visa for this short layover stay? We are US Citizens. Thank you.


Erlend Geerts November 19, 2013 at 7:33 am

Hi Paula,

Yes you do.



rahele kafieh March 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Dear Erlend Geerts,
I’m from Iran and I’m going to travel to Italia in May 2014 to take part in a conference. At the same time, I’d like to spend a few days in Istanbul before going to Italy and me and my husband like to come to Istanbul by bus, stay a few days and then get a plane to Rome. Do you know if it is ok to receive the schengen visa from Iran, but get on the plane to Italy in Turkey?
Thanks in advance


Erlend Geerts March 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hi Rahele,

I honestly have no clue. For visa issues, you better contact the official instances.

Kind regards,


Norbertson kevin May 8, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Hi there,
I’m a resident in us I have an ordinary american passport which have used to travel to 3 Europe countries already and its still valid till September 2015,im planning to visit a work colleague’s marriage in Istanbul before ending of this month but I’m perplexed as per the requirements cut type of visa needed before I can guarantee myself a safe travelling process to Istanbul turkey. This information would be very much a relief to me if made available before it’s late for me. Thanks and keep up the good work


Batkhuyag September 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm

they say when entering Turkey at any border control points, they ask for cash amount capability, to prove whether the person could afford anything (such as hotel, meal, transportation and others) whilst staying there, is this true? if yes, how much should i have with me the minimum? any tips? please comment. thank you.


Erlend Geerts September 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Hi Batkhuyag,

There is no such thing for tourists. A financial check only happens if you want to obtain a permanent residence permit.

Kind regards,


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