Transportation to, from, and within Istanbul.
How to get to Istanbul
Istanbul is located at a central point in the region and can be reached via land, sea, or air. Though it is possible to get to Istanbul using trains or buses from nearby countries, using airplanes is the better option.
There are two international airports in Istanbul. The Atatürk Airport on the European side is the main airport which most major commercial airlines use. The Sabiha Gökçen airport on the Asian side is the destination used by many of the cheaper airlines which fly to Istanbul. There are economically priced flight options from many cities all over Europe.
From the airport
Istanbul is served by two International airports: Istanbul
Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport. For airport transfers, please check with your hotel first. Some hotels offer free transportation while some others offer this service at a specific rate. Apart from transfers handled by the hotels, the most recommended option is to use the HAVAŞ Airport shuttle busses from both airports.
İstanbul Atatürk Airport is about 20-25 km. from Taksim, which is one of the
major centers in the city. The
journey from the airport to Taksim takes about 30-45 minutes by taxi or
by shuttle bus, depending on traffic. The shuttle busses to and from the airport are
operated by HAVAŞ. Taxi costs about 30 TL (~18 Euros) during the day.
HAVAŞ shuttles cost 10 TL (~5 Euros) per person. For up-to-date transportation information from this airport, please refer to this link.
Sabiha Gökçen airport located at Pendik / Kurtköy, is 50 km away from Taksim and would take approximately an hour by taxi or by bus. Many options are available
to the traveller including taxis, rent-a-car,
public bus, shuttle bus (Havaş). For up-to-date transportation information from this airport, please refer to this link. We recommend that you use the HAVAŞ Airport shuttles.
Each transportation system (metro, tram, bus, boat) has its own tickets or tokens which are usually available at their stations. There is also a prepaid "touch memory" available (called "Akbil", short for "smart ticket") which can be used on all of the public transportation options listed below. This is a small electronic device which can be loaded with an arbitrary amount of credit and the fare will be deducted on each use.
The rail system consists of metro, light rail and trams. The rail system network covers a large portion of Istanbul. You can see a map of the rail system network of Istanbul at this link.
The main metro line connects the Taksim Square to Ayazağa (the conference venue location).
You can buy tokens at every metro station. The metro is the best option if your destination is on or near this line.
There are publicly and privately operated busses in Istanbul.
You can buy your tickets from ticket booths located in major bus stops. In
private busses tickets may also be purchased on the bus.
The taxis are yellow in color and have a sign at the top that reads "Taksi". The
taximeter starts with around 2 TL which is approximately 1,2 Euros and
adds 1,3 TL for every km.
Boat and sea bus
are used heavily to travel between the European and Asian sides. They leave every 30 minutes to and from the Asian
side and provide an ideal chance to escape from the traffic in the rush
hours in Istanbul. Tokens can be bought at every station.