Review of Istanbul Airport
Istanbul International Airport Details
Istanbul International Airport (IATA: IST) is the main airport serving today the largest city of Turkey, Istanbul. Located in the area Arnavutköy on the European part of the city, Istanbul Airport opened in 2018 and its opening ceremony, on 29 October 2018, was scheduled to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.
Built on the north of central Istanbul, near Lake Terkos, Istanbul International Airport has been designed to accommodate around 200 million passengers per year. It offers a main terminal – said to be the world’s largest airport terminal building under a single roof – and two sets of parallel runways. Until the project’s completion by 2025, Istanbul Airport will provide six sets of runways, as well as VIP lounges and indoor and outdoor parking space accommodating up to 70,000 cars. It also features a control tower shaped as a tulip, the national flower of Turkey.
Istanbul Airport Public Transfers
Access to Istanbul International Airport is offered by city buses, taxis and private cars. The airport is also planned to be connected with the city by two lines of Istanbul Metro, the first leaving from Gayrettepe Station and the second from Halkali.
What to do in Istanbul
Istanbul, the iconic city of the past built as a bridge between Europe and Asia, West and East, is an amazing place to visit. Being uniquely beautiful on its contrasts, the city which met so many different rulers over the past offers a trip to history, combined with the traditions and Muslim culture of the East. Divided by the strait of Bosphorus and laved by the Sea of Marmara, the city had been a major capital of both Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, a symbol of power across the centuries. Constantinople’s rich past is evident all over the city until today, though its name has changed: in 1930, Republic of Turkey changed the city’s name to Istanbul, an appellation used by Greek speakers when referring to the city.
Of course, it is impossible to start your exploration across Istanbul in any other place than Hagia Sophia. The Byzantine church, inaugurated in 537 AC by the Emperor Justinian, is a true architectural miracle and the epitome of the Byzantine architecture. Legend has it that Justinian, when entering Aya Sofya for the first time, exclaimed “Solomon, I have outdone you!”, due to its unprecedented and monumental glory. Turned into a mosque and then a museum, Aya Sofya features amazing mosaics on the inside as well. Get your transfer arranged and admire another landmark of the city: the lavish Topkapi Sarayi, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 15th century, was home to the Ottoman Sultans and features some of the most beautiful ornated treasures of the city.
Continue your tours by visiting the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet Camii. Built in the 17th century by Sultan Ahmed I, the famous mosque owes its more common name to the blue tiles surrounding its interior, forming an amazing colour effect. Another famous landmark to include in your day transfers is Süleymaniye Mosque, located on the hill above Sultanahmet district. Built for Süleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century, the mosque’s dome reaches up to a 53-metre height, whereas on its gardens it houses the Ottoman cemetery featuring the tombs of Sultan Süleyman and his wife.
Taking a private tour to the past, visit the ancient Hippodrome, built by Constantine I in AD 330, as a center of the Byzantine public life. Imagine where chariot races, but also iconic conflicts, took place and take in all historical vibes. Also, if you like history, it is worth spending some time in the Archaeological Museum, where artefacts of the ancient Middle East are displayed, as well as in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, inside the palace of Ibrahim Pasa, which features an impressive collection of Turkish carpet styles across the centuries and amazing ceramics.
Reach the Fortress of Yedikule, built in the 5th century by the Emperor Theodosius II. On the south of Constantinople’s defensive walls, the fortress was later also used as a prison and execution place, but today is a great place to climb up and admire the view over the Sea of Marmara. Another must-see landmark and also a great place to admire the view over Istanbul skyline is the Genoese Galata Tower, built in the 14th century.
Last but not least, your city tours in Istanbul must include some wandering around its famous bazaars or markets. The Grand Bazaar is exactly what its name announces. A large covered market, surrounded by thick walls and located between the Nure Osmaniye Mosque and Beyazit Mosque, which offers 11 gates and numerous laneways, separated by the selling goods, and featuring every piece of Turkish handicraft. Also, stroll across the Spice Bazaar, where you can try some Turkish lokum and buy dried fruits, nuts, herbs, and – well – spices.