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cab from Ataturk airport to Suntanamhet district

About how much should one expect to pay one way for a taxi from Ataturk International airport to sultanameht district?
Are cab drivers generally honest? Thanks to everyone for help. Don

Posted by
6879 posts

I think taxi drivers are the same worldwide - totally depends on the person. Some will try to rip you off, others won't. But the traffic in Istanbul can be insane, so that will determine your fare. I would personally take a shuttle instead. Much less expensive and will sit in the same traffic as a taxi (so you're no worse off but you'll pay less).

Istanbul (new) airport website:

HAVAIST shuttle- IST20

I only used the below website to get timetables and price (since a lot of the text is in Turkish)
"Istanbul Havalimani"means airport in the to/ from dropdown menus
Shuttles run every half hour and cost 18 Lira (bargain)

Posted by
456 posts

I have always been a little leery of cab drivers in Istanbul, especially around Sultanahmet. I have had three experiences with taxis in Istanbul. The first time, our tour guide was hesitant for me to catch a cab and suggested that I instead take the streetcar to a taxi stand outside the because the cab drivers in Sultanahmet tend to rip off tourists. The second time, I only had to go a couple blocks, maybe 1/4 mile, through a tunnel that was not accessible to pedestrians, and the cab driver charged me about $16. I was in a hurry, and didn't negotiate as I should have. The third time was okay, but that was only because our tour guide negotiated everything up front. (The reason I had to keep catching cabs on a tour was because my traveling partner was ill, and I was dealing with trying to get him to hospitals and doctors appointments and such.)

Check and see if your hotel can provide transportation. Many hotels, even the small ones, offer airport transfers. This method has always worked for me.

By the way, Ataturk is the old airport. It only handles cargo these days. The new airport is Istanbul International, which opened last spring.

Posted by
163 posts

As Marie said, Atatürk Airport is no longer being used for passenger airplanes. The new Istanbul Airport opened in April 2019.

To add some detail to the info Agnes provided, I also highly suggest you take the HavaIst bus from the airport. They are comfortable big buses (like Greyhound in the USA). From the arrivals level of the airport you need to go downstairs to the lower level to catch the bus. The only way to pay is to first purchase an Istanbul Kart which is used for all public transportation in Istanbul, so you are likely to need it anyway. There is a kiosk on the lower level at the airport to purchase an Istanbul Kart. Idk if they accept credit cards at that kiosk, so you should probably get some Turkish Lira cash on the arrivals level first. The bus ride will take around 1.5 hours mainly due to traffic.

1) Buy Turkish Lira at the big Exchange Desk right outside the interior door of the arrivals level. The exchange rates were very competitive when I was there. You will need about 25 TL per person (bus fare is 18 TL and the card costs 6TL. I rounded it up to 25TL.
2) Go downstairs to lower level (one level below arrivals level) and look for the kiosk to purchase your Istanbul Kart.
3) Purchase Istanbul Kart (one or more, depending on your needs)
4) Look for where Bus Number 20 stops. Buses run pretty frequently.

Posted by
163 posts

As for taxi drivers being honest... I try really hard to avoid taxis in any city I am not familiar with. That includes within the USA or anywhere in the word. Unfortunately, too many taxi drivers will take advantage of tourists since they don’t know their way around.

Posted by
1097 posts

The Havaist bus is a great way to get to and from the airport. On a Monday morning at 9:30 it took less than an hour. On a Saturday afternoon it was closer to an hour an a half with more than half that time within a few miles of Sultanahmet.

I do recommend getting an Istanbulkart, however, most of the passengers were using credit cards and I saw the driver accept cash from one passenger.

Posted by
134 posts

Rick has info on the new Airport at this site:
"You can reach the Old Town or the New District by taxi, private transfer, or shuttle bus (Metro lines connecting the city center to the airport are currently under construction, with plans to be operational by 2020):
Located outside door 9 of the arrivals floor, 24/7 taxi service can take you directly into the city (expect to pay about 240 TL to the Old Town or 170–190 TL to the New District).
Private transfers can be booked directly though your hotel for €50, with a customary 10 percent tip.
Havaist runs luxury buses every 30–50 minutes between the city center and airport, with onboard Wi-Fi, USB outlets, and space for luggage. The IST-1 line runs into the Old Town, while IST-19 serves the New District (18 TL).
For those staying in the New District, the cheapest option for getting to/from the airport is the H2 shuttle line, which leaves at roughly 15-minute intervals, costs 5.20 TL, and is run by Istanbul's public transit agency, IETT. (IETT does not offer direct or connecting buses to the heart of Old Town; the closest stop is a fairly short taxi ride away, but taxis often turn down fares this small — you could find yourself stranded.
To ride either the Havaist or IETT bus, you'll first need to purchase a refillable Istanbulkart transit card, available at blue ticket machines in the airport's arrivals hall at the airport."

Posted by
1104 posts

We are using our hotel's shuttle service. Check with them, they may offer this.

Posted by
2023 posts

Our hotel did not offer a shuttle service so we took a taxi. The driver was very fast driving and I was certain he would run down a cat or two. Thankfully that did not happen. There is no shortage of cats there.