This detailed transportation guide tells you how to take the bus from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet, Istanbul (& from Sultanahmet to the airport).
Visiting Istanbul is very exciting, but you might panic about how to get around for a moment or two after you realize just how vast the city is. It is literally HUGE. It’s also famous for its ridiculous traffic. All of this means you might wonder how you will get from the airport to where you’re staying.
Handily, it’s all taken care of for you!
Despite the traffic, public transport in Istanbul is very high quality, reliable, and comfortable. Regular ferries, buses, Metros, trains, taxis, and trams take people around the city 24/7. But when you land at Istanbul Airport, you’re probably going to want to get to your hotel as quickly as possible and freshen up. If you’re staying in Sultanahmet, taking the bus from the airport is very easy.
The HAVAIST Bus From Istanbul Airport To Sultanahmet
You can catch a Havas bus from most large airports in Turkey that will take you into the city and town centers. However, in Istanbul, this service is called HAVAIST and is much larger. There are shuttle buses that take people to all different parts of the city, depending on where you want to go.
Buses are large coaches, and they’re super comfortable. They have air conditioning, TVs, comfortable seats with enough legroom, Wi-Fi, and USB charging units. Most buses can seat 46 people on a first-come, first-served basis.
Buses travel from various parts of the city to Istanbul Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side. That means no matter where you’re arriving, and where you want to go, you can get around easily.
HAVAIST To Sultanahmet, Including Times
Sultanahmet is one of the most popular parts of Istanbul, if not the most popular part. This is where you’ll find most of the famous sights all close together, including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern, to name just a few.
Most will visit this part at least once, even if they’re not staying in Sultanahmet. It’s also famous for its traditional restaurants, serving authentic cuisine in a tourist-friendly way.
If you want to get from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet, you will walk out of the airport arrivals terminal and see the HAVAIST stops almost in front of you. Look for the bus that says ‘Sultanahmet/Eminonu,’ and that’s the one you want.
A ticket kiosk is right next to the stop, and you head there to book your ticket. However, again, this is first come, first served, and if the bus is too full for however many people are in your party, you’ll have to wait for the next one.
The good news is that the next bus will only ever be 30 minutes away! Buses run 24 hours per day in both directions.
The journey between Istanbul Airport and Sultanahmet is 45 minutes, but traffic can often play a part and increase your journey time quite significantly in some cases. It really depends upon the time of day you’re traveling, but there is always some amount of traffic, regardless of the time. Traveling over the weekends or between 5 pm and 8 pm will certainly land you in a traffic jam.
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How Much Does HAVAIST To Sultanahmet Cost?
It’s worthwhile double-checking before you travel as prices can always change, but at the time of writing, a one-way ticket from Istanbul Airport to Sultanahmet (and back in the other direction) is 87 Liras.
You will get your ticket from the kiosk at the bus station.
When traveling from the airport to Sultanahmet, you will pay in cash or by card, although they prefer cash if possible. When traveling back to the airport from Sultanahmet, currently, you can only by card, but this may be subject to change.
HAVAIST From Sultanahmet To Istanbul Airport
To catch the bus back to the airport from Sultanahmet, you wait in the square across from Hagia Sofia and look for the HAVAIST stop.
Buses are regular, leaving every 30 minutes. Again, the journey time should be 45 minutes but depends heavily upon traffic.