How to Get From Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Taksim or Sultanahmet

Picture of the Sabiha Gökçen (Sabiha Gokcen) International Airport in Istanbul

by Erlend Geerts

in Transportation

The Sabiha Gökçen Istanbul Airport is attracting more and more passengers every year. Unfortunately, Sabiha Gökçen is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, well outside the city center. Unless your hotel has arranged for a free airport pick-up, you will need to find transportation from the airport to your hotel.

From the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, you have several options regardless the location of your hotel — Sultanahmet or Beyoğlu (Taksim/Cihangir). I hope this overview helps you make the correct choice based on your destination and/or preferences. You can find Atatürk International Airport transportation options here.

General Guidelines

  • Get Turkish Liras – If you don’t have Turkish liras on you, use one of the many ATMs in the airport to withdraw some cash money. None of the transportation options mentioned below will accept credit cards, foreign currencies or big Turkish lira notes. Make sure you have some 5, 10, 20 or maximum 50 notes handy. Also, check out our Istanbul money strategy.
  • Hotel Address – Make sure that you write down or print out the exact address of your hotel, together with its telephone number. Istanbul is a huge city with an uncountable amount of (small) hotels. Even locals don’t know them all by heart. So, if you need help, just hand over the piece of paper. It’s not unusual for taxi drivers to ask for directions at traffic lights or call the hotel. Don’t worry, he’ll get you there.

Taxi

Unless money is no object, stay clear from taking a taxi from the Sabiha Gökçen airport. A ride to Beyoğlu or Sultanahmet may easily take over an hour. Accordingly, you’ll have to pay 80 TL and upwards, depending on your final destination. Always check out the most up-to-date taxi prices.

Havataş Airport Shuttle (and Public Transportation Combination)

Havataş Airport Shuttle Service in Istanbul, Turkey

Havataş Airport Shuttle Service in Istanbul

Havataş, a municipality owned reliable airport shuttle service, is by far your best option to reach your hotel. Depending on your destination, either direct or in combination with public transportation.

To Taksim – This is the most straightforward route. Outside the airport, find the Havataş bus heading for Taksim. These buses operate daily between 04:00 and 01:00. The current pick-up and drop-off point is in front of the Point Hotel, just past Taksim Square. The ride costs 13 TL per person (luggage included) and takes approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic. You can get off at a few places, but most tourists will want to get off at Beşiktaş or Taksim, depending on your destination.

To Sultanahmet – To reach Sultanhamet, you have two options. Either you take a 12 TL taxi ride after reaching Taksim Square (see option above), or you combine another airport shuttle line with a ferry ride, followed by a small taxi or tram ride as I’ll explain now.

First, hop on the Havataş bus heading for Kadıköy. The buses operate daily between 04:00 and 01:00. The ride costs 8 TL per person (luggage included) and takes approximately 60 minutes. In Kadıköy, walk to the Şehir Hatları dock and board the ferry to Eminönü. You can find the operating hours here. The ferry ride (with a nice view) takes about 15 minutes and costs 2 TL per person.If your hotel is in Eminönü, you can walk from there. If not you, must either take a small taxi ride (5 minutes maximum) or take the T1 Kabataş/Eminönü-Bağcılar tram in the direction of Bağçılar, and get off only a few stops later in Sultanahmet.

Although very romantic, in my opinion and with all your luggage, the first option (Havataş bus to Taksim followed by taxi to Sultanahmet) is your best bet.

Hotel Airport Pick-Up

Most hotels will offer (upon request) an airport pick-up. These pick-ups are rarely free of charge, and often much more expensive than the options mentioned above. It’s up to you to calculate the difference and decide which option best suits your needs or preference.

What's Next

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

yasir August 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Hey,

If I want to get straight to Ataturk airport from Sabiha Gökçen Airport , apart from taxi what are the other viable options ? Or the only way is to first come to taksim through havatas and from their to ataturk on the same ??

Regards,
Yasir

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 28, 2013 at 7:44 am

Hi Yasir,

Apart from a taxi or private shuttle services, there is currently no direct connection. Your best get is twice the Havataş shuttle.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Viv September 11, 2013 at 7:46 am

Hi Erlend,

Thanks for the great info you have on your site.
I am arriving at 00.15 hrs at Sabiha Gökçen airport. As there are no Havataş buses available between 01.00-04.00 AM, what is the best way to travel to Taksim? (Do you think I can exit the airport in less than 45 mins to take the bus?)

Best Wishes,
Viv

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Hi Viv,

That’s a tough call to make. And also assuming that the plane lands on time.

I would play safe and use one of the private shuttles. One I have used in the past, hence can recommend, is securedrive (http://www.securedrivetravel.com.tr/)

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Armand November 10, 2013 at 2:42 am

Glad that found this site in time, thanks for the info. Very precise

Reply

Padrito November 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Hi Erlend,
can you please tell me about the new metro line that goes under the sea? It is usable from Sabiha Gokcen to the european side?
Thank you very much.

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 19, 2013 at 7:43 am

Hi Padrito,

That’s the plan, but that line will not open before the end of 2017.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Lindsey Lucenta November 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Hi Erlend,

My friend and I are both flying into Ataturk airport this Friday. She will be arriving from Amsterdam via Delta, and I will be arriving from Frankfurt via United airlines. Where is the most convenient place to meet at the airport before heading to our hotel? Are all international flights directed to the same area to get visas and pick up luggage?

Thanks!
Lindsey

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Hi Lindsay,

If the flights come in one after the other, you could meet at a baggage belt (pick a number from 1 to 10).

If there is some time in between, you could meet at a cafe at the very left after going through customs in the passenger pick-up hall.

All international flight come together in the same hall.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Naser December 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Hi Erlend,

I’ve checked the IETT website as another option and I think cheapest one, check this site as address below.
http://www.iett.gov.tr/en/main/hatArama/durakhatlari/SABİHA-GÖKÇEN-İ.D.H.-durağından-geçen-hatlar/&durak=A2411A

Best regards,
Naser

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

Hi Naser,

Regular public transportation is cheaper, but also a lot less comfortable and much slower.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Ivan January 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Hi Erlend,

great site I must admit :) I am coming with my wife to Istanbul on February 10th 2014 to Sabiha Gökçen airport and out hotel is near Kumkapi train station. We got offer from a hotel for a drive, but it is a little pricy, 65€ in one direction.
I found this service http://istanbulairportshuttle.com and the price is 20€ in one direction.
Two questions, is this reliable service, will you take it :)
And second, shuttle buses in Istanbul have some stations or they go directly to the hotel?

Kind regards,
Ivan

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi Ivan,

I’m afraid I can’t vouch for shuttle services, since I rarely use one. And when I do, I rely on Secure Drive.

The Havataş airport shuttle service just goes to fixed drop off points, not to hotels. Only a hotel shuttle service serves one or more hotels.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Lidy-Anne January 24, 2014 at 1:58 am

Thank you so much for posting all this information, it’s very helpful!

Reply

Ray February 10, 2014 at 1:33 am

Hi!

This website rocks! Still one question, im araving at SAW Airport and will take the 60 min bus to Kadiyök but then you are saying i should walk to the dock. But when i try to look at it in google maps so i know how to go, its says 2hours!! http://goo.gl/maps/dqHTd

Please help. Another question what do you Think about this hotel: Barcelo Eresin Topkapi. It should be in sultan ahmet.

Love you!

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Hi Ray,

You must walk to the Kadıköy docks to take the ferry to the European side.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Aghiad Sultan February 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Hello,
I need your help please because it’s my first time to visit Istanbul.
I will reach SABIHA GÖKÇEN Airport on 17/02/2014 at 7:30 am and I need to go to Eresin Taxim Premier Hotel
I heard about HAVAS bus which can drop me from airport to Taksim Square, but I need to know the distance between HAVAS office in Taksim Square and Eresin Taxim Premier hotel.
Also how much LT the ticket will cost me?

Thanks in advance for your help and kind support.

Regards,
Aghiad Sultan

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hi Aghiad,

Just take the shuttle, and from there on you could walk to the hotel, or take a very short taxi ride if you’re carrying too much luggage.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Fadi February 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Hi Erlend
Would you please, May you help me about this !
I will arrive to Sabiha Aéroport on 17/02/14 at 23h . I plan to go to sultanahmet and return back to Sabiha airport next day on 18/02/14 at 18h .
Knowing that we are 5 persons ( 2 adult + 3 kids between 2 and 6 years )
What kind of transport do you advice me to take ?
Best regards

Fadi

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Hi Fadi,

I would take the Havataş airport shuttle to Taksim, and two taxis from there to Sultanahmet.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Danilo February 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Hi Erlend,
I will flight to Istanbul next week from Rome Airport (Italy) to Sabiha Airport with my girlfriend and we will arrive at 18.10. I hear that the yellow taxi from Sabiha Airport to Taksim Square’s need 45 minutes and the price is 75,00 TL or 80,00? This is the true for 2 persons?or should be only for one person? What you can advice to me?

Best Wishes

Danilo

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Hi Danilo,

That’s about right. Alternatives are written in the article.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Arne Skogen Lekve February 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Hi there!

For the first time I arrive at Sabiha Gökçen Airport. I don’t like taxis. Is it possible to
get to Kadiköy by some dolmuş?

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 24, 2014 at 7:19 am

Just take the Havataş bus to Kadiköy.

Erlend

Reply

Ruben Wissing March 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Hi Erlend,

This April I’m going to Istanbul with 40 students. We are staying at a hostel near the Sultanahmet tramstop and we have to be at Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 18:30 for our flight back to Amsterdam on April 26. Since I know Istanbul can be quite chaotic, what would you recommend us to do?
Our hostel offered us transport to the airport for 8 euros per person. Do you think it will be cheaper to use buses/trams/ferries instead? If so, which ones would you recommend? Or would it get a chaos, because we are with 40 students.
Thanking you in advance!

Kind regards,
Ruben Wissing

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Hi Ruben,

This is your typical price vs comfort calculation.

At the current rate 8€ is about 25TL. For that amount the hostel would arrange a service from the doorstep to the airport.

The alternative is to walk to Eminönü or take the tram (2TL each) and take the ferry to Kadiköy, again 2TL each. In Kadiköy you would hop on the Havataş shuttle (8TL each) to the airport.

So, you can do it for half the price, but you’ll be carrying your bags and transferring a few times. The choice is yours.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

magda March 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hi Erlend and thank you for all the good information you are giving!
We are big lovers of Istanbul and visited it every year for the Tulip festival since 3 years ago. This year we thought of renting a hotel in Büyükada but we have the flight back to barcelona at 10.25 in the morning. I saw we can leave Büyükada at 5.50 and be to Kabatas at 7.30. Any idea of going the fastest posible from Kabatas to Sabiha Airport, more than tram to Taksim and bus to Sabiha?? We should be at the airport about 9 in the morning. Thank you for any suggestion!

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 12, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Hi Magda,

I suggest to take the same boat, but get off one stop earlier in Kadiköy, which is already on the Asian side. From there take the Havataş bus to the airport. You should be there well in time.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Anne March 14, 2014 at 11:49 am

I’m heading back to Istanbul in a month and the link is broken to Havatas from every travel site. When I transferred from IST several years ago, I used this service to Taksim all the time. Do you know if it is still operational? Is there a new link?

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi Anne,

They are redesigning their site at the moment, and the English part is not ready yet. For now, you can only consult the Turkish version at havatas.com.tr

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Hamed March 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Thanks a lot Erlend for your very usefull info.

Reply

Vicky March 21, 2014 at 5:37 am

Hi Erlend,

Would you know if the pick-up and drop off point of Havatas is still in front of the Point Hotel? We are arriving in Istanbul next Friday. Thank you in advance!

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Hi Vicky,

That is correct, in front of Point Hotel, opposite of the Divan Hotel.

Have a nice trip,
Erlend

Reply

Mohammad March 22, 2014 at 2:56 am

Hello Erlend,

First of all, thank you for the valuable information you posted.

I have a small situation I hope to take your advice on. My friends and I (about 7 persons) intend to visit Istanbul in June. The problem is some of us will arrive at Ataturk airport while others at Sabiha Gokcen. Our hotel will most probably be in Fatih. So:
1) What is the best and cheapest way to get from Ataturk airport to the hotel in Fatih?
2) I understand taking the Havatas shuttle from Sabiha will drop us off at Taksim, so what is the best option to get from Taksim to the hotel in Fatih?
3) Depending on your answer in the previous question, would it be best for the group at Sabiha to take 2 Havatas shuttles to Taksim and then to Ataturk airport to regroup there, and then all of us head to the hotel in Fatih together?

I really appreciate your help.

Regards,
Mohammad

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

Hi Mohammad,

I don’t know how your group is split up, but regardless of the amount of people to arrive in Sabiha, I suggest to take the shuttle to Taksim, and from there a taxi to the hotel.
If the amount of people arriving in Atatürk Airport is less than 4 I suggest to take a taxi to the hotel. If 4 or more, you probably have to take two taxis, so then you may consider taking the shuttle first, and then a short taxi ride to the hotel.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Nina March 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hello Erlend,
I’m arrving to Sabhia Gocken Airport on thursday. I am trying to make a reservation on Secure Drive’s website but it does not work! Do you have any other suggestions on transportation to the hotel which is located in Sirceki (Levni hotel & SPA).

Kind regards,
Nina

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Hi Nina,

The best way is to give them a call.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Tina March 26, 2014 at 7:27 am

Good morning Erlend,

As I would be arriving at Sabiha Gökçen airport and I have to go to Ataturk airport could you pls tell me how much time would take, what is the fastest way to go (not by taxi as it would be very expensive) and the cost.

Best regards and thank you in advance

Tina

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Hi Tina,

The easiest option is to take the Havataş shuttle twice. Timing depends on traffic, so ask them for the best time to board so you don’t miss your connection.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Hello! I’m heading to a hostel in Kadikoy and I’d like to print a map to bring with me. What can I input into google maps to get the precise location of the Havatas bus drop off? (I’ve tried lots of things like bus depot, bus station, etc. in Kadikoy and it doesn’t come up. I need an address or point of reference or address.)

Thanks so much for all this information

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Have you tried the website of Havataş (http://havatas.com.tr/taksim-ataturk-havalimani-yolcu-servisi.html). Zoom in and move the map until you’re satisfied.

Erlend

Reply

Jheronymus April 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hello Erlend,
what a wonderful site. We have found a lot of useful information.
May I ask: we arrive at Sabiha Gokcen and our hotel is near Yenikapi. Is there a possibly combination of the new Bosporus-metro and the Havatas-service?
Thanks,
Jerry

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Hi Jheronymus,

The train you’re mentioning is the Marmaray Railway, which connects Üsküdar (not Kadıköy on the Asian side) with Yenikapı. Alternatively, you could take the Havataş shuttle to Kadiköy and take the fast ferry to Yenikapı. But make sure to check out http://www.ido.com.tr for the latest time tables since these ships don’t sail as frequently as normal ferries.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Jheronymus April 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Thanks, Erlend, for your reply.

I would love to take the ferry (we’ll have little lugage) but we will be too late for it as our flight arrives at 20h30.

What would you advise from the airport to Yenikapi??
Havastas shuttle from Sabiha Gokcen to Kadikoy, metro from Kadikoy to Ayrılıkçeşme and the Marmaray metro from Ayrılıkçeşme to Yenikapi?
Or shuttle to Taksim and metro to Yenikapi?

We arrive 1st of May and we heard that Taksim might be somewhat overheated that night.

Thanks fot the wonderful website,

Jerry

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hi,

Take the Havataş shuttle from Sabiha to Taksim. In Taksim, take the M2 Metro to Yenikapı.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

J April 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Hi Erlend,

Thanks for the great information. I would really love to make the following plan work but it will be rushed – can you please give me a ‘local’ perspective?

Arrive SAW 7:25pm
Havatas to Kadikoy, 10TL
Catch ferry to Kabatas, 2TL (is a Wednesday, so final ferry is 9pm, correct?)
Walk to the Taksim Havatas stop near the Hyatt (about 1km)
Havatas to IST, 10TL, for 5am departure.

Do you think this is possible?

And my biggest question is, if I miss that final ferry to Kabatas, will it be fairly simple to catch a taxi from the Kadikoy docks to Taksim Havatas stop? And how much should that cost?

Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hi J,

Just take the Havataş shuttle to Taksim directly, and from there one to Atatürk Airport. That’s as easy as it is.

Erlend

Reply

J April 10, 2014 at 2:30 am

Hi Erlend,

Thanks, but I wasn’t specific enough: I would dearly love to take the ferry, as I have fond memories of taking it last time I was in Istanbul. I realise it’s not the easiest option!

Given that information, do you have any thoughts on my initial questions?

Reply

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