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Save time when landing at Turkey's Istanbul Atatürk Airport
4 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Istanbul Atatürk Airport is Turkey's largest airport. It's located on the European side of the city, approx. 24 km west of the city center, and serves as the central hub for Turkish Airlines.

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The first rule to save time at Istanbul Airport (Turkish: İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı) is to have all the required documents depending on your nationality. iVisa can help you check what documents you need and ensure that everything is correct and up to date. This way you'll fly through the queues!

Let's dive in.

An overview of Istanbul Airport

The airport has two main terminals:

  • Terminal 1: Domestic departures and arrivals, check-in counters, security checkpoints, shops, etc.
  • Terminal 2: International departures and arrivals, with immigration. This is where you will land when arriving in Turkey on an international flight.

You can walk from the domestic to the international terminals within 5 minutes or so. The International terminal also offers direct access to the Metro Station via escalator.

Here's a detailed version of the Istanbul Airport map:

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Tips for a stress-free arrival at the airport

Here are some of our top tips for arrivals at Istanbul Airport:

  • Remember that prior to departure, your airline/cruise ship check-in agent will ask to see your eVisa for Turkey before checking in. Apply with us and receive your Turkey tourist visa within 24 hours!

  • It's advisable that you take a printed copy of the visa with you as proof of visa payment.

  • Always check the stamp in your passport that you receive on arrival, as this indicates how long you can stay in the country.

  • You can take a taxi, use public transport, or arrange a pickup for the city center.

  • There are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices just outside the customs area. However, they can be expensive! If you don't need immediate cash, we recommend to use ATMs or exchange offices in the city instead for a better rate.

  • A yellow fever vaccination, hepatitis, and rabies vaccines are not required for visiting Turkey, but it's recommended to consult with your general practitioner for more advice on health-related preparations.

Can I leave the airport if I have a long layover?

If you are stuck at the airport for a long time, it's a great idea to get to Istanbul to discover the centuries-old heritage of the city. Check out this blog from our travel reporter to find out the best things to do and see in the city!

However, make sure you have a valid visa to enter the country if you're planning on leaving the airport.

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Do I require a visa for Turkey?

Some nationalities do need a visa to visit Turkey. You can check your eligibility for the Turkey eVisa here.

Before application, we recommend that you put together all the documents you are required to provide. This is a short list, and it is likely that you already have everything you need:

  • Copy of your valid passport: Your passport or travel document with an expiration date at least 60 days beyond the planned departure date from Turkey.

  • Email address: When applying with iVisa, your visa confirmation will be sent to you via email, so make sure that you include a valid e-mail address you have access to.

  • Means of payment: We accept multiple methods of payment, such as credit and debit cards, PayPal, and Amazon Pay.

Do not forget to double-check your information before submitting your application!

How long is the Turkey eVisa valid for?

The Tourist eVisa is valid for 180 days after issued from the date of application.

One of the common concerns about electronic visas is the cost. With iVisa, applicants have three available options when it comes to processing time, and this will determine the price. The three options are:

  • Standard processing – your visa application is processed within 24 hours, and the price is USD $112.49 (service fees included).

  • Rush processing – you will receive your visa within 4 hours, and the total price of it is USD $156.49 (service fees included).

  • Super rush processing – this is the fastest option. You will get your Tourist eVisa in only 30 minutes, and you will be charged USD $200.49 (service fees included).

Once the application is done, you will receive the Tourist eVisa by email. No need to deal with an embassy. We do the application for you so you don't lose valuable time. Next, keep a printed version of your Tourist eVisa on hand and present it along with your passport once you arrive in Turkey.

Turkey Airport guides

For a complete guide about arriving in Turkey at one of the major airport, check out our airport guides, with tried-and-tested tips by our travel reporter:

Need more info about the Turkey eVisa or other entry requirements?

If you have more questions about visas or other entry requirements for Turkey, click here and start chatting with one of our customer service representatives. Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected].

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