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Istanbul has two Airports. The main Airport is located on the European side of Istanbul is Ataturk Airport (IST), The airport was modernised on 2000 and again extended in 2004. The airport can host up to 20 million Passengers a year. Istanbul's second and much newer airport is Sabiha Gökçen and is situated on the Asian side of Istanbul about 30km south east of the ferry dock at Kadikoy. It is served by many budget airlines but also caters for internal flights.
Arriving from your flight
On arrival your first stop will be at Passport Control. If you are a UK, USA or British Commonwealth citizen you will require a tourist visa to enter Turkey. You can get this at the office just next to the passport control. You will have to pay in cash - £10, €15, or $20. The best way however is buy en e-visa online before you arrive from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website - https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/. You pay by credit or debit card and print off your visa. Be sure to have your visa before getting in the Passport Control line. After the passport control you will be able to collect your baggage from the carousel. There is a digital TV which shows which carousel has your flight's baggage After the baggage claim, there is the customs. Turkey uses a Red/Green channel system. Unless you are spot checked you can pass the custom and exit from the arriving hall.
Just after the exit, you will be on the welcome hall where you can find Exchange offices, banks, information desk and cafes..
Travelling from the airport to the city centre.
There are a number of ways to travel from either airport to your destination in Istanbul. If you dont have a pick up service, you have three options, Airport Taxis, which are reliable. Airport Shuttle buses going to several main destinations and, from Ataturk, the Metro, which is cheapest and often fastest. Havataş Airport buses provide services from both airports to Taksim Square, and from Sabiha Gökçen to the Kadikoy ferry terminal where you can catch a boat to Eminonu for the tram to Sultanahmet, or to Karakoy on the north side of the Golden Horn. Click here for the Havatas bus timetables.
Be sure to buy an Istanbulkart from the ticket offices by the entrance. This can be used on all forms of transport, buses, including Havatas airport buses, the Metro, trams, ferries, and the funiculars.