Information & Facts
The Istanbul Ataturk Airport is 15 miles (23km) west of Istanbul
and takes around thirty minutes to reach Taksim Square. Fees depend
largely on the destination in Istanbul but should be around US$20.
Rates are as much as fifty percent higher at night. Passengers
should only take metered taxis and insist drivers turn the meter
on. To reserve a taxi in advance contact
There is a multilevel car park opposite the terminal with fees
ranging from YTL 8.25 for the first hour to YTL 26 per day.
Long-term parking is in an open parking lot and costs YTL 20 per
day or YTL 137 per month.
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Alamo,
National and Sixt.
The Istanbul Metro system provides quick and easy access to the
city, including the intercity bus terminal. Tickets cost around TRY
1.30. Use metro station Zeytinburnu and transfer to a tram to reach
the Eminonu ferry or Sea Bus docks. The airport Havas Bus leaves
from the Departures terminal gate and connects to Taksim Square or
Kozyatagi. Shuttle buses depart from 4am to 1am, and take 40
minutes into the city. Taxis are also available and cost roughly
$20 into downtown. Taxi rates are 50 percent higher between
midnight and 6am.
Banks, ATMs and bureaux de change are available. A pharmacy,
children's playroom, hairdresser, florist, newsstand and medical
services are available. Facilities for the disabled are good, but
those with special needs should make prior arrangements with their
airline. Other facilities include tourist information and hotel
reservations, bars, restaurants (very overpriced), duty-free
shopping, a conference centre, post office and 24-hour left
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely
understood in the main tourist areas.
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was
introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from
the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be
exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and
ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions,
but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open
mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but
Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on
their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and
Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are
Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the
more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some
banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash
or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions
and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as
Walking through the metro access tunnel only takes 10 minutes.
Shuttle buses and taxis are also available.