How to get to Istanbul

Right: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul - Photo courtesy of Turkey Ministry of Tourism

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Where is Istanbul . . .

Istanbul is located in the northwest of Turkey on the Bosphorus Strait overlooking a natural harbour known as the Golden Horn. It is the only city in the world that is situated on two continents – Europe and Asia.

Getting to Istanbul

Istanbul receives daily flights to and from the world's major capital cities.

From Australia: The most convenient and quickest flights are on Singapore Airlines via Singapore connecting on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi or Emirates via Dubai.

From New Zealand: The most convenient flights are on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong connecting with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, Singapore Airlines via Singapore connecting on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and Malaysian Airlines via Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul.

From the UK: British Airways and Turkish Airlines offer daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Istanbul.

From the USA: Delta Air Lines and Turkish Airlines offer daily direct flights from New York Kennedy to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines offers direct flights from Los Angeles to istanbul.

Flight time to Istanbul, Turkey
Brisbane to Istanbul is 21 hours, with connecting flightˆ
Sydney to Istanbul is 20 hours 35 minutes, with connecting flightˆ
Melbourne to Istanbul is 21 hours 30 minutes, with connecting flightˆ
Perth to Istanbul is 16 hours 55 minutes, with connecting flightˆ

Auckland to Istanbul is 25 hours 5 minutes, with connecting flightˆ
London to Istanbul is 3 hours 45 minutes, direct flight
New York to Istanbul is 9 hours 40 minutes, direct flight
Los Angeles to Istanbul is 13 hours 15 minutes, direct flight
(ˆIncludes layover time.)

Flying in
Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport is located 20km west of the city centre, a short 20 minute drive away (depending on traffic). An express bus service as well as a light rail metro train connects the terminal with the city centre. Private shuttle buses, taxis and hire cars are also available.

Istanbul also has a second airport, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, which is located in the Asian side of the city and is roughly an hours drive into the city. A shuttle bus connects both airports and is cheaper than going by taxi.

Entry requirements 
A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay, a return/onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds. A visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days and can be obtained at the point of entry.

Getting around
Apart visiting the many sights on foot, the best way of getting around Istanbul is to use dolmuses (yellow minivans) and the extensive public tram, metro, bus and boat system.
  Check with your hotel for a map or ask for directions – it's cheaper than taking a taxi through the often traffic-clogged streets.
  And if you do use a taxi, it's best to ask your hotel to call one for you, and check that the meter is running at the correct price level – there's a cheaper day and and more expensive night rate!

Latest update on this honeymoon destination: 13 October, 2019
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