Istanbul Airport (IST) – information and airport services

Istanbul Airport is the largest airport in Turkiye and one of the busiest airports globally. Find out everything about the airport and its services in our guide.


Current IST flights delays

Flight delay status based on 124 observations out of 122 flights between Jun 24 13:06 and Jun 24 16:06 (UTC). Compared to the last time period the situation is improving

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Istanbul Airport (IST), located about 35 kilometers northwest of Istanbul's city center, is a major international airport serving as Turkiye’s primary gateway and a critical hub connecting Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Since its opening in April 2019, the airport has quickly become one of the busiest airports in the world, celebrated for its modern facilities and extensive capacity.

Terminal layout and gates

The airport boasts a single, massive terminal divided into multiple concourses that facilitate efficient movement and handling of the high volume of passengers.

Concourse A

Serves domestic flights with gates A1 to A19. It offers quick access to lounges, retail shops and dining options suitable for short-haul travelers.

Concourses B and C

These handle international flights at gates B1 to B19 and C1 to C19. They accommodate wide-body aircraft and feature extensive duty-free shopping, international dining and premium lounges.

Concourses D and F

Mixed use for international and domestic flights, with gates D1 to D19 and F1 to F19. These concourses facilitate easy transfers between flight types and are equipped with family play areas, spa services and various lounges.

Baggage handling when connecting at IST

As previously mentioned, Istanbul Airport is a large hub and often used as a connecting airport. When it comes to the luggage handling, this depends on which type of ticket you have purchased, as presented below.

  • Single ticket connections: Travelers booked on a single ticket will have their baggage transferred automatically to subsequent flights.

  • Multiple tickets or airlines: Those with bookings on multiple tickets or different airlines may need to reclaim and recheck their luggage manually. Make sure you have a little extra time at your connecting airport if this is your case.

istanbul airport hub information
Istanbul Airport is a major international airport serving as Turkiye’s primary gateway.

Security routine at Istanbul Airport

Travelers arriving at Istanbul Airport from countries within the Schengen area usually bypass further passport control or security screenings, as these flights are considered domestic within the zone.

However, passengers coming from non-Schengen countries must undergo passport control upon entry into Turkiye. During this procedure, you might be asked brief questions about your journey, and you'll need to show necessary travel documents like your passport and possibly a visa. Additionally, customs checks to inspect for restricted or dutiable items may be conducted based on your origin country.

Food and drinks at the airport

Istanbul Airport offers a variety of dining choices that reflect both local and international cuisines. Listed below you find some of the popular dining options available.

  • Arby’s: There are several Arby’s at the airport, and here you can enjoy for example salads, wraps and sandwiches.

  • HD Döner: Eat traditional döner and classic Turkish flavor at this popular food chain.

  • Simit Sarayı: Located in Concourse B, Simit Sarayı is famous for Turkish simit and tea.


If you want to relax a little before your flight, there are a number of different lounges found at the airport. One of the options is Turkish Airlines Business Lounge which is accessible to business class passengers and elite frequent flyers, located near Gate E1. Another lounge is the IGA Lounge, which is open to all passengers for a fee. The lounge offers comfortable seating, refreshments and other amenities.

Find a hotel in the area

There are several hotels connected to and around Istanbul Airport – learn more about a few of them below.

  • YOTEL Istanbul Airport (Landside and Airside): Provides modular rooms on both sides of airport security.

  • Menalo Hotel Premium Istanbul Airport: A short drive away, offering upscale accommodations and shuttle services.

  • Atar Airport Hotel: This three star hotel offers comfortable rooms and airport transportation.

See more hotels surrounding Istanbul Airport

Transportation options

Getting to and from Istanbul Airport is facilitated by a range of transportation methods:

  • Havaist Buses: These buses connect the airport to various points across Istanbul, with fares ranging from 21 to 30 Turkish Lira depending on the destination.

  • Taxi: Taxis are available around the clock outside the arrivals area, with fares to the city center typically costing between 150 to 200 Turkish Lira.

  • Ride-sharing: Services like Uber and BiTaksi offer convenient ride-share options from the airport. These apps allow you to book rides directly from your smartphone, often at prices competitive with traditional taxis. The pick-up points for these services are clearly marked outside the arrival areas.

Istanbul Airport facts
The flag of TurkiyeIstanbul, Turkiye
Known as
Istanbul Airport
İstanbul Havalimanı
Airlines at Istanbul Airport airport

From IST, you can choose from 89 different airlines to 306 different destinations

Turkish Airlines logotype
Uzbekistan Airways logotype
Red Wings logotype
Iraqi Airways logotype
SCAT Airlines logotype
Aeroflot logotype
Istanbul Airport car rental

If you are in need of a rental car, there are several options at IST.

Airport transfer and taxi

If you are arriving at Istanbul Airport and want to go to the city, you have several options. You can take a bus, a taxi, or a rental car. The bus is the cheapest and most convenient option, as it runs frequently. The taxi is more expensive and may take longer depending on the traffic. The rental car gives you more flexibility, but you have to pay for parking and fuel.

Airport transfer picture
The graph above shows the number of departing passenger seats (with passengers or not) for the next 24 hours. This will give you a hint on how many people to expect at the terminal including check-in and security. Updated 00:10.
This graph shows the number of arriving passenger seats (with passengers or not) for the next 24 hours. With this information you may predict how many people will be arriving at the border check or taxi line for example. Updated 00:10.
Istanbul Airport airport hotels

If you are in need of a good night sleep, before or after you flight, we can help you decide where to stay. Within a distance of 3km we found hotels like YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport, Duty free - International Transit area , YOTEL Istanbul Airport, City Entrance

istanbul airport turkish airlines
Istanbul Airport is the main hub for Turkish Airlines, which offers thousands of flights here every month.

Hub information – IST Airport

The airport serves as a global hub, especially for Turkish Airlines which operates flights to more destinations worldwide from Istanbul than any other airline from a single airport. This makes Istanbul Airport a central point for international transit, effectively connecting passengers to over 300 cities across continents.

See all airlines operating out of Istanbul Airport

Things to do in Istanbul

Whether you're just passing through or staying in Istanbul, you'll find plenty of fun activities to do after landing at Istanbul Airport.

  • Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour
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  • Taste of Two Continents Food Tour
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  • Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
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  • Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Stopover on the Asian Side - (Morning or Afternoon)
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  • Istanbul Sunset Cruise - Luxurious Yacht Cruise with Live Guide on the Bosphorus
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