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Ataturk AirportAirport Shuttle Buses operated by a company called Havaş are a good choice of transportation for airport transfers. They are cheap, fast and take you to the main areas like Taksim and Aksaray - which is close to Sultanahmet by taxi. The Havaş shuttle buses take off from Taksim next to the Turkish Airlines office and Mc Donalds - two places that are easily recognizable. From the airport you will find Havaş shuttle buses right outside of the airport entrance doors. You may have to wait at times for some 15 to 20 minutes for the next one to take off. It will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to reach the city depending on the density of the traffic.

Havaş buses leave from Taksim, Etiler, Bakirköy and Kozyatağı. If you are staying around Taksim and Beyoglu area hotels than Havaş buses are the best option to travel to the airport. Etiler is the center of business district, Bakirköy is the main Seabus port and Kozyatağı is the main stop of Havaş on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Havaş buses departs every half an hour from Taksim to Atatürk Airport from 06:00 to 23:00 hrs and every hour from 23:00 to 06:00. Buses depart in front of the Istanbul Municipality art showroom, which is 20-30 meters from the THY ticket sales office located in the center of Taksim Square. Travel time is around 40 minutes and cost is 8,50 YTL OR 5 €. If you are staying on the Asian side of Istanbul than you can reach the airport via Havaş service from Kozyatağı. Havaş buses departs every hour from Kozyatağı from 04:00 to 24:00. There are no buses after midnite. Buses departs from Havas terminal at Kozyatağı - Ataturk Cadesi No:22. Travel time is 1-1.5 hrs and travel cost is 14 YTL 8 €. If you are staying around Levent, Etiler and Maslak, which is better known as the business districts of Istanbul then you can reach the airport via Havaş service from Etiler. Havaş buses depart every two hours from Etiler to the Airport from 06:00 to 22:00 hrs. Buses depart in front of the Akmerkez Shopping Mall - a well known spot in the district. Travel time is around 45 minutes and the cost is 9.50 YTL or 6 €. If you are staying on the Asian side of Istanbul you can also reach the airport by taking a fast ferry (Catamaran) from Kadiköy or Bostancı to Bakirköy and then take a Havas service from Bakirköyı.

Check the timetables and routes at: www.havas.net
At Atatürk Airport the Operational Representative is Süha Erkuzu
E-Mail serkuzu@havas.net
Office Phone: +90 212 465 47 00 ext. 1615
Fax: +90 212 465 57 52
Ataturk AirportTaxis are plentiful and they operate day and night. A Taxi can handle up to four persons depending on the amount of luggage and are fairly cheap. Unfortunately some of the taxi drivers in Istanbul are maniacal lunatics or at best con-artists. Fortunately most are good, honest and friendly. Some say that the Official taxis in Istanbul are the ones to use. They are yellow and display the word Taksi on their roofs. Their taxi license number should be clearly visible on the front doors and the roof. All official taxis have digital meters so keep an eye on the meter during the ride and should it seem not to be working have the driver stop and find another taxi. Some travelers prefer to agree to a set fare upfront so there can be no surprises or misunderstandings.

Istanbul taxi meters have a display stating whether the daytime (gündüz) fare, or the evening (gece) fare is being metered. The night-rate is 50% higher than the day-rate so make sure the gündüz rate is applied if it is daytime. If you take a taxi to cross either of the Bosphorus bridges or drive on the TEM highway a toll of about 4YTL has to be paid. The taxi driver will pay that for you and add this to the fare. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip unless the taxi driver went to a great deal of effort to load and unload your luggage. If you’re happy with his service you can round off the fare to a higher figure. More than likely your knowledge of Turkish is similar to the drivers English skills. It is a good idea to have the exact name and street of your destination written down on a piece of paper which you can simply hand to him.

Ataturk AirportIt is quite convenient to use the Metro from Atatürk Airport. It is the cheapest and quickest option if your flight arrives during heavy traffic hours - which in Istanbul is most of the time. The Istanbul Metro system operates from the Ataturk Airport to the main destinations like Sultanahmet and Taksim. The access to the metro is just outside the airport, although it may not be the most viable option for anyone traveling with lots of heavy luggage or who has a pressing time schedule. It not only takes a minimum 75 to 80 minutes but several transfers as well.

The Istanbul LRT is a light rail transit system consisting of 2 lines. The first line - the M1 began service on September 3, 1989 between Aksaray and Kartaltepe. The line was further developed step-by-step and reached Atatürk Airport on December 20, 2002. The other line - the T4 was opened in 2007 between Edirnekapi and Mescid-i Selam. There are 36 stations, including 12 underground and 3 viaduct stations, on the line's 32 kilometer length. The lines are totally segregated from other traffic without level crossings and run underground for 10.2 km. Service is operated with LRT vehicles built by ABB in 1989. The Istanbul Metro - the M2 is a mass-transit underground railway network that serves the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Started in 2000 it now includes 11 stations. The system currently consists of a single north-south line. It is serpentine shaped and is fully underground, running from the Darüşşafaka station in the north to the Şişhane station at Beyoğlu in the south.

Metro line which is operating from Aksaray to the Istanbul Airport is the easiest alternative. The airport is the last stop and easy to catch. If you are staying around Aksaray you can get the Metro from the first stop. If you are staying around Sultanahmet, Laleli, Eminonu, Beyazit or Cemberlitas, than you need to take the Eminonu - Zeytinburnu tram. The tram starts from Eminonu stops at Sultanahmet, Beyazit, Laleli and than leads to Topkapi. The last stop of this route is Zeytinburnu and just from this stop there is a connection to Aksary - Airport metro line at Zeytinburnu. After you get off at Zeytinburnu, just climb the stairs and connect the metro line. Total travel time from Eminonu to Airport shall be around 40-45 minutes and will cost 2 tokens - Less than 2 USD.

Ataturk AirportOn April 16, 1987 the Municipality of Istanbul established a company to provide fast sea transport with catamaran-type sea buses. With the first ten vessels purchased from Norway, modernization of sea transportation was achieved. Today, the company İDO serves 29 terminals with a fleet of 28 catamarans, including six fast car ferries. Istanbul's sea buses are ships that are smaller than the ferries, and sail more quickly. Sea buses are also an ideal way to reach resort destinations near Istanbul such as Yalova, Cinarcik, Avsa Island and Armutlu. These sea buses leave from Bostanci on the Asian side and from Yenikapi on the European side. They go to Avsa Island, Marmara Island, Yalova, Cinarcik, Mudanya, and Armutlu. They also run between the following locations:

Eminonü to Kabataş, Kadiköy, and the Princes Islands
Kabatas to Bostancı and the Prince Islands
Karaköy to Bostancı, Pendik, and Kartal
Kadiköy to Bakirköy, Eminonü and the Prince Islands
Bostancı to Bakirköy, Yenikapi, Karaköy, Kabataş, Kadiköy and the Princes Islands

Ataturk AirportOriginally a Dolmuş was a 1950'S-style sedan that packed passengers going in the same direction into it and generally went nowhere until the car was full of passengers. These days a Dolmuş is usually a mini-bus that accommodates up to 12-15 passengers. The passengers in the back of these vehicles usually pass the boarding fee forward to the driver by handing it to other passengers in between. So, if someone passes you money you need to hand it on and don't think they are strange people just handing out cash. The most popular dolmuş routes are those from Taksim to Bostancı, Kadiköy, Bakirköy, Yeşilköy, Ataköy, Topkapı and Fındıkzade - from Şişli to Kadiköy and Bostancı - and from Taksim to Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı. A Dolmuş will only depart after all or most of their seats are occupied. Bus tickets are not accepted on a dolmuş. The destination of a minibus' route are typically written on the front window and on a billboard on top of the bus. Dolmuş run from the central minibus stations in Şişli, Beşiktaş, Bakirköy and Kadiköy to a variety of destinations.

Ataturk AirportThere are companies which provide private or VIP transfers to Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Typically a driver will meet you personally at your terminal arrival gate or platform with a board with your name written on. You will be escorted to the vehicle without any hassle or waiting. You can just sit back and relax as the driver takes care of the trip to your hotel or another transfer point. No worries about rushing to make your flight with these private or VIP transfer shuttles - they schedule in advance to take you to the airport with on time with no stress. Most are willing to provide assistance with luggage and parking costs are already included into the rate. Most use late model Mercedes Benz sedans that are comfortable and well maintained.




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