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From Sabiha Airport to the city


Page update - Apr 9, 2023

How to get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Istanbul) to the city? Which is the cheapest way? Which is the most convenient? What are the taxi fares after the hike in 2023? What are the prices for public transport after the two increases in 2023? Read the answers on our page.

Prices, timetables and all the other information on this page were updated in April 2023.

And the great news! The Sabiha Gokcen metro station has finally opened!

Option 1 - Subway

The Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Sabiha Gökçen Havalimanı) metro station on the M4 line (overlapping with the as yet unfinished M10 line) was inaugurated on October 2, 2022.

Now you can get to the city by subway. It's great, but not as fast as we all want it to be. It takes about 50 minutes to get from the airport to the last Kadıköy and Ayrılık Çeşmesi stations. To travel by subway, you need to buy an İstanbulkart (transport card) or a one-use ticket from a vending machine at the station.

If you need to get to the Asian side of Istanbul. Then simply get off at the nearest to your hotel (or other destination point) metro station on the M4 line and take a taxi (or change to a bus).

If you need to get to the European part of Istanbul. Then the situation is more complicated. Take to Ayrılık Çeşmesi station (pre-last station before Kadıköy). There, take the Marmaray line which goes to the European part of Istanbul.

Keep in mind. First, the Istanbul Metro charges a fee for interchange. Second, the Marmaray line has a different fare system according to the number of stations that you pass. See our detailed review "Istanbul Metro" for more details.

By the way, if you get hungry or thirsty, or just need a break. Get off at Ayrılık Çeşmesi station where the large Nautilus Mall is located. There's a great food court on the 3rd floor and a large CarrefourSA on the 1st floor.

Option 2 - Taxi

There is no shortage of taxis at Sabiha Airport and you will always find one. Taxi drivers are obliged to use a taximeter, but they often offer tourists a ride for a fixed fee. You must be careful not to pay exorbitant money.

The approximate prices: to Sultanahmet - 420 Turkish liras, to Yenikapi - 420 liras, to Taksim - 400 liras, to the New Istanbul Airport - 800 liras. For the current exchange rates, please see our review "Money in Turkey". For the exact taxi fares, see our review "Taxis in Turkey".

Luckily, there is a large information poster at the exit of the airport building. This poster has information about the distances and cab prices to all main areas of Istanbul. It looks like this (unfortunately, the prices in this photo are a bit outdated).

Use this information to understand the actual trip prices. Then you can already calculate your options and even negotiate a flat fare without overpaying.

If you know how to use Google Maps well you can calculate the cost of the journey yourself, based on the distance to the hotel (or other destination you want to reach from the airport). The fares (increased heavily in 2023) are as follows:

Yellow taxi (Sari, regular): 12.65 Turkish liras for boarding, 8.51 liras per kilometre.

Turquoise taxi (Turkuaz): 14.55 Turkish liras for boarding, 9.79 liras per kilometre.

Black taxi (VIP): 21.51 Turkish liras for boarding, 14.47 liras per kilometre.

It is strongly advised NOT to explain your destination to the taxi driver, but you better give him the exact address of the hotel, so that he knows where you are going. Show him either your hotel booking printing, or the address in the Booking.com app, or the booking email in your smartphone.

You do not need to look for taxi drivers as they will find you at the exit of the airport. You can easily explain yourself to them as they understand the word "meter". If you haggle over a fixed amount, you can show the numbers on your smartphone screen. You don't have to speak the Turkish language to negotiate with them.

Option 3 - Ordering a transfer online

There is no point in that. It will cost more to book a transfer than to take a metered taxi. As we have written before, there is no shortage of taxis at Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

Option 4 - Buses

Buses are definitely cheaper than taxis. You can take municipal buses, they are cheaper. HAVABÜS special buses are more expensive, but more convenient.

Finding a bus stop is easy. Walk forward after leaving the airport building. Cross the road and walk past the small cafe building, and you will find the bus stops behind this building. Up ahead is the E9 and E10 municipal buses stop. To the right are the HAVABÜS bus stops. See the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge it.

E9 and E10 buses

The ride price is 19.8 Turkish liras (2 standard tariffs). For the current exchange rates, see our review "Money in Turkey".

The fare is paid with İstanbulkart (transport card) which you can buy from a machine at the bus stop for 50 liras. Read more about how to buy and recharge the İstanbulkart in our review "Istanbul Metro". You need to apply the İstanbulkart to a validator at the bus entrance, and the validator will charge 15.34 liras from the card.

Important! If you buy the card from a vending machine, it will have 0 lira on the balance. You'll have to add more money to the card. At the airport, change your money so that you have at least 100 liras on hand. 50 liras for the İstanbulkart and 50 liras for the bus/metro.

Important! Due to the opening of the subway station, the frequency of E9 and E10 buses was increased 3-4 times. They now run very infrequently.

E9 bus heads to the Bostancı neighborhood and which stops at Bostancı subway station on the Marmaray line. The journey time is about 80 minutes. The bus leaves every 70-80 minutes.

E10 bus heads to the Kadıköy area, stops near Kadıköy Metro Station on the M4 Line and Ayrılık Çeşmesi station on the Marmaray Line. The journey time is about 90 minutes. The bus leaves every 30-45 minutes.

Upon arrival, you will find yourself near one of the metro stations. From there, take the metro.

HAVABÜS buses

HAVABÜS buses are convenient because they have compartments for luggage. First you hand in your luggage to the driver, then you get on.

There are 3 HAVABÜS bus routes to different locations in Istanbul:

- To Taksim Square. The fare is 67.5 lira;

- To the Kadıköy area. To Kadıköy Rıhtım Bus Station, which is close to Kadıköy Metro on the M4 line. The fare is 50.5 lira;

- To the Yenisahra area. To Yenisahra metro station on the M4 line. The fare is 50.5 lira.

The payment must be made in cash. Prior to departure, a conductor walks along the cabin and collects money. Only lira, not dollars or euros. It is recommended that you change a small amount of money at the airport so that you have enough to pay the fare. As a reminder, the exchange rates at the airport are not good. You can get a better exchange rate on Taksim. Read our in-depth review "How and where to exchange money in Turkey".

In theory, HAVABÜS buses have a timetable, which you can check on the official website havabus.com. However, in reality, they depart as they are full.

Upon arrival, you will find yourself near one of the metro stations. From there, take the metro.

Option 5 - Car rental at the airport

There are car rental companies on the ground floor in the airport building. You may rent a car from one of them, drive to the hotel and return the car to the office in the city the next day. You will be on your wheels for the rest of the day.

Car rental prices in Istanbul start from 250 lira per day. You should be aware however that driving a car in Istanbul is not an easy task. Pedestrians and drivers are chronically ignorant of traffic regulations, and some streets in the city have a slope up to 30 degrees. Therefore, this option is recommended only for very experienced drivers with very good nerves.

Important tips

- Don't forget that not everything can be brought into Turkey. Some things you can bring into Turkey, but with restrictions. See our "What you can and cannot bring into Turkey" guide.

Have a safe flight to Sabiha Gokcen Airport and read our interesting pages about Turks and Turkey (find the list of the pages below).

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