Flights Europe Turkey Istanbul

Flights to Istanbul

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When is the best time to fly to Istanbul?

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Base
Price
662 - 1,282 USD

Istanbul’s strategic position, straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosporus strait, means that cultural influences from diverse groups can be found in this fascinating city. If you visit during the summer, be prepared for daily high temperatures of 78 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and huge crowds at the attractions. Reserve your flights and rooms in advance if you plan to come during the summer. You might consider planning your trip for either spring or fall, as these shoulder seasons offer comfortable temperatures, slightly fewer tourists and a plethora of interesting festivals and events. If you don’t mind cold temperatures and rain, a winter visit offers the best opportunity for cheap accommodation and flights to Istanbul. You can expect average daily highs of 47 – 52 degrees Fahrenheit in December – February, so bring a warm coat.


Istanbul flight deals found on momondo

Check out some of the best fares to Istanbul found recently by users on momondo
Quickest
Cheapest
KLM
KLM
JFK
27 Dec
New York John F Kennedy Intl airport
12h 59m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
KLM
IST
17 Jan
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
26h 14m
1 Stop
JFK
New York John F Kennedy Intl airport
593 USD
Delta
Delta
LGA
11 Dec
New York LaGuardia airport
19h 55m
2 Stops
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Delta
IST
13 Jan
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
20h 52m
2 Stops
LGA
New York LaGuardia airport
651 USD
Delta
Delta
LGA
06 Nov
New York LaGuardia airport
17h 56m
2 Stops
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Delta
IST
20 Nov
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
20h 36m
2 Stops
LGA
New York LaGuardia airport
663 USD
Aeroflot
Aeroflot
LAX
02 Oct
Los Angeles airport
19h 15m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Aeroflot
IST
10 Oct
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
35h 45m
1 Stop
LAX
Los Angeles airport
685 USD
KLM
KLM
IAD
07 Dec
Washington Dulles Intl airport
18h 35m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
KLM
IST
15 Dec
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
19h 25m
1 Stop
IAD
Washington Dulles Intl airport
685 USD
KLM
KLM
IAD
13 Feb
Washington Dulles Intl airport
15h 00m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
KLM
IST
18 Feb
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
19h 25m
1 Stop
IAD
Washington Dulles Intl airport
685 USD
Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
HOU
01 Dec
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
11h 40m
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Turkish Airlines
IST
10 Dec
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
13h 35m
HOU
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
959 USD
Lufthansa
Lufthansa
HOU
14 Oct
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
17h 00m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Lufthansa
IST
23 Oct
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
15h 30m
1 Stop
HOU
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
762 USD
Lufthansa
Lufthansa
SFO
17 Feb
San Francisco airport
16h 20m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
Lufthansa
IST
27 Feb
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
16h 45m
1 Stop
SFO
San Francisco airport
734 USD
KLM
KLM
IAD
13 Feb
Washington Dulles Intl airport
15h 00m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
KLM
IST
18 Feb
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
19h 25m
1 Stop
IAD
Washington Dulles Intl airport
685 USD
KLM
KLM
HOU
13 Oct
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
16h 55m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
KLM
IST
31 Oct
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
18h 25m
1 Stop
HOU
Houston Hobby & other airports airport
694 USD
British Airways
British Airways
IAD
09 Sep
Washington Dulles Intl airport
18h 35m
1 Stop
IST
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
British Airways
IST
16 Sep
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports airport
18h 40m
1 Stop
IAD
Washington Dulles Intl airport
907 USD

Which airlines fly to Istanbul?

You can fly direct to Istanbul from the US on Turkish Airlines. Many other airlines offer flights with one or more stops, including United, KLM, American Airlines, Delta, Air France, Alitalia, Etihad Airways, Philippines Airlines, and more.


How to get from the airport to Istanbul city center?

Below you will find all the airports in Istanbul along with the distance from the city center
Istanbul Ataturk & other airports
20 mi from city center
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen
19 mi from city center

Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

Istanbul Atatürk Airport is the main international airport serving Istanbul, and sits on the European side of Istanbul, west of the city center. If you land here, you have a few options for travel into the city.

Shuttles

The Havabus airport shuttle departs every 30 minutes and will take you to Taksim square in the city center in about 40 minutes for ₺12.00 TRY. You may also pre-book your Airport Transfer Services with Efendi Travel, and get to Taksim square in about 40 minutes for ₺25.00 TRY. This may be faster as your driver will be waiting for you at the airport.

Public Transportation

The Metro trains offer another 40 minute ride into the city but may be crowded and difficult to navigate with your luggage. The railway station is only a few minute’s walk from the airport. Take the M1 red line to Yenikapi and then transfer to the M2 green line, which will take you to Taksim. The fare is ₺4.00 TRY or ₺2.50 TRY when purchased via Istanbulkart.

Taxis

Outside the arrivals hall, you’ll find the taxi ranks. Taxis in Istanbul are metered but have a bad reputation for overcharging tourists by taking the long route to get anywhere. Your ride to Taksim square should take around 30 minutes, and cost about ₺58.00 TRY.

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW)

You may land at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, which is located 22 miles southeast of central Istanbul, on the Asian side of the city. Here are your choices for travel to Istanbul.

Shuttles

Havabus shuttle also serves this airport. You can ride to the Divan Hotel, a 5-minute walk from Taksim square in about 90 minutes for a fare of ₺12 TRY.

Public Transportation

Board IETT bus E10 from S.Gökçen Nizamiye outside the airport and ride to Uzunçayır Metrobüs, then transfer to Kadıköy – Taksim and get off at Taksim square. The trip takes around 1 hour and 53 minutes and the fare is ₺4.00 TRY.

Taxis

A taxi ride from Sabiha Gökçen to Taksim square will take about 45 minutes and the cost is ₺107.00 TRY.

Car Rentals

If you plan to rent a car while in Istanbul, it’s definitely worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.


Popular routes to Istanbul

Most frequently searched flights to Istanbul along with the cheapest price and shortest flight duration
Athens to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
1h 20m
Cheapest price
124 USD
Budapest to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
1h 55m
Cheapest price
154 USD
Tel Aviv to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 15m
Cheapest price
165 USD
Amsterdam to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
3h 25m
Cheapest price
185 USD
Prague to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 40m
Cheapest price
188 USD
Beirut to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
1h 50m
Cheapest price
194 USD
Kiev to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 00m
Cheapest price
197 USD
Paris to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
3h 20m
Cheapest price
213 USD
Barcelona to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
3h 25m
Cheapest price
214 USD
London to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
6h 35m
Cheapest price
227 USD
Amman to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 20m
Cheapest price
238 USD
Tunis to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 35m
Cheapest price
254 USD
Casablanca to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
4h 20m
Cheapest price
305 USD
Cairo to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
2h 15m
Cheapest price
319 USD
Boston to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
9h 20m
Cheapest price
449 USD
Hong Kong to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
12h 10m
Cheapest price
454 USD
New York to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
12h 35m
Cheapest price
468 USD
Bangkok to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
10h 25m
Cheapest price
485 USD
Newark to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
14h 05m
Cheapest price
529 USD
Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul
Fastest flight time
11h 00m
Cheapest price
548 USD
View more

How to get around in Istanbul?

There are a multitude of options for getting around Istanbul, as you might expect of a large city that spans a waterway. It’s probably a good idea to avoid driving in the city; only rent a car if you are travelling further and require one. Traffic is very busy, and drivers here can be manic. Road signs are in Turkish, so unless you have an understanding of the language, leave the driving to the locals. Fortunately, there are many other choices for transport. For several modes, including ferries, trams, the metro, funicular or buses, you can purchase an Istanbulkart and save nearly 50% on the standard ticket price. They are available at ticket offices near transport stops and cost ₺10.00 TRY. You must load sufficient credit for travel.

Public Transportation

Each of these following transit options can be accessed with your Istanbulkart. Istanbul’s small but efficient metro system has 4 lines, including one that travels under the Bosporus. The Metrobus system offers 7 lines, a couple of which cross bridges from the European to the Asian side and back. They travel on dedicated bus lanes so are less affected by traffic jams. City buses are plentiful and cheap but can be crowded and prone to delay. Red and green buses require an Istanbulkart to ride, while the blue buses take cash. Trams and trolleys are also available, and travel between some of Istanbul’s best sights and attractions. There are also funiculars at several locations. These cabled rail lines are a unique mode of transport, often used for passage of steep inclines and sometimes travelling in tunnels. City operated ferries also travel between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. These slow ferries along with each of the above services can be accessed with your Istanbulkart, and fares are ₺2.60 TRY, as opposed to the usual ₺5, with additional transfers within a 2-hour journey window: ₺1.85 for the first transfer, ₺1.40 for the second, and ₺0.90 for all subsequent transfers. They can also be used to pay for fares for more than 1 traveler (1 swipe per person per ride).

Taxis

Taxis are readily available, and drivers are likely to approach you on the street, soliciting business. Your best bet is to have your concierge arrange for a taxi, unless you can communicate in Turkish. Taxi fares start at ₺3.35 TRY and rides up to 1.5 miles cost a fixed sum of ₺8.75 TRY. Bridge crossings of the Bosporus strait will also include tolls.

Dolmuş

Dolmuş are mini-van buses that travel on regular routes throughout the city. They carry around 10 people and don’t leave until they are full. They offer a good option for night transport that is much cheaper than a taxi. Prices are fixed, and usually around ₺2.25 TRY.

Fast ferries and sea taxis

Several companies offer fast ferry and sea taxi services to cross the Bosporus and get to various parts of Istanbul. These are more expensive than the city-operated ferries, but are an attraction themselves, and maybe worth the outlay if you consider them a sightseeing option.


What are the visa and passport requirements when flying to Istanbul?

U.S. citizens need to obtain their visa prior to arrival in Turkey. Visa applications can be submitted at Turkish missions abroad, or online through the e-Visa application system. For foreign nationals, please check the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.


Start planning your trip to Istanbul


Additional info and tips about visiting Istanbul

Things to do and places of interest in Istanbul

The sheer number of fantastic sights and attractions in Istanbul can make it difficult to plan a thorough itinerary unless you’re here for a long visit. Here are our suggestions for your trip.

  • Visit the Hagia Sophia. This 537-dated structure was originally a Greek Orthodox church, then an imperial mosque. Today, it is a museum. Marvel at the amazing 141-foot wide, 213-foot high dome, and climb the spiral ramp to the gallery where you can gaze at the superb Byzantine mosaics.
  • The Topkapi Palace is an absolute must-see! This 15th-century dated complex was home to generations of sultans and their wives who were sequestered in the famous harem. Topkapi contains a treasury that puts the British crown jewels to shame, as well as stunning views over the Sea of Marmara, Bosporus and the Golden Horn.
  • Across the Sultanahmet square from the Hagia Sophia, you’ll see the Blue Mosque, an early 17th-century dated mosque boasting 6 minarets. Officially called Sultan Ahmed Mosque, it takes its common moniker from the blue tiles lining the impressive interior.
  • For outstanding views of the city, go to the top of the Galata Tower, located in Beyoğlu, the modern part of old Istanbul.
  • Tour the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, near Topkapi Palace. Here you can see the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great carved in incredible detail with scenes from his life.
  • For a taste of local nightlife, check out the Ortakoy, a neighborhood full of nightclubs and bars where Istanbul’s young and trendy gather. You’ll find it in the shadow of the Bosporus bridge.

Tips and tricks for visiting Istanbul

Don’t stay in the Taksim area if you’re looking for peace and quiet. The old buildings offer no respite from late night noise booming out from the clubs. However, if you’re looking to party, it’s the place to be!

To avoid being cheated by a taxi driver, always carry small bills so you can give them the exact fare and count it out from OUTSIDE of the taxi. If the driver insists you owe him more, ask to see his license, take a picture of it, and write down the license number.

Flights Europe Turkey Istanbul