is the biggest airport in the country and among the biggest in Europe. It is only 15 mi from the center of the city making it very easy to go there during a layover. If you can’t leave the airport, there are a lot of things to do and see inside it such as play rooms, shoe shiners, news stands, food, and many more. You can get more info here. You can get “Primeclass” Service at the airport. Check here for more information. In addition, there are several lounges for travelers in the airport including Turkish and Emirates lounges. You can also go to the SkyTeam exclusive lounge.
Istanbul Layover At Ataturk Airport
The International Airport Hotel is also inside of the airport. There are 85 rooms, and you can book them hourly. They offer all the amenities of a regular hotel. If you want to place your bags somewhere while checking out the city, go to Baggage Custody Services. There are available 24/7 and charge fees per day.
To get back and forth to the city is easy. There are several options to take:
- Hire a Car: many major rental companies exist. Go to the information counter for more information.
- Metro: Take the metro from Esenler Terminal. Go here for more info.
- Take the bus: There are several shuttles to the center of Istanbul. The trip takes about 30 mins. Check out Havas schedule for more information.
- Take a Taxi: You can take either a regular taxi or a shared taxi (domus) just outside the airport.
Things To Do During Layover In Istanbul
Tours Of The City
There are a lot of tours to take of the city. No matter what you are interested in and how long you have, you can find something. There are boat, cultural, wine, food, night, and tons more options.
It you want some souvenirs, this is where to go. In fact, you can find all most anything here. There are over 4 thousand shops, and bargaining is normal here.
This is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque received its name due to its color. It was originally constructed to go against the Hagia Sophia, located right across from it. The both of them are great to visit if you don’t have a lot of time.
Going to a Turkish bath is an experience, you can go and get soaked, get a steam, and even many different kinds of massages. Check out here for a list of places to go in Turkey. It is the perfect way to unwind and relax while having a layover in Istanbul.
The Topkapi Palace is in historic Istanbul. From 1465 to 1853 it was the palace of for the Sultans. It’s an interesting area to learn the history of the city. Go here for more info about visiting the museum.
Galata Tower was constructed in 500 AD. It’s amont the most famous places in the city. It also provides great views of Istanbul from it. Originally it was called Tower of Christ and was a watchtower. However, today it is a club and restaurant.