Glorious days! Today i will explain how to get to the city center from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport. I know how crowded and confused Istanbul is for tourists. I’ve been living in this city for years. I mean, I’ve been to and from the SAW airport hundreds of times.

I am also a traveler who has visited more than 50 countries in the world, that means i understand you well 🙂 I will tell you the best and fastest ways to get from the Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the city center of Istanbul! I also have local tips that are not elsewhere, let’s start my Sabiha Gokcen Airport transportation guide!

Brief Info About Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is the second largest airport in Istanbul but one of the busiest airports in europe. It is located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. There are usually domestic flights and mid-length flights to Europe and the Middle East etc. You can also come from all over the world by connecting flights.

You Will Pass Over the Bosphorus Like This Before you Land in Istanbul. @Alevision

How far is the SAW Airport from the Istanbul City?: Sabiha Gokcen Airport is about 20 kilometers away from the city center of Istanbul. Since Istanbul is a big city, we can say that it is in center of Istanbul.

What is the exact location of the Sabiha Gokcen Airport?: It is located on the east side of Istanbul, on the Anatolian side, around Pendik district.

Is it the biggest airport in Istanbul?: No, Istanbul’s largest airport is Istanbul airport located on the European side.

How long does it take on average to get to the city?: Transportation in Istanbul is a very difficult issue. On average, it can take between 1-2 hours.

How to Get from Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) to Istanbul City?

Now let’s explore all the transportation options (shuttle, public bus, private transfer, metro)  from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the city center of Istanbul such as Kadikoy, Taksim, Besiktas, Sultanahmet etc. (and of course with the best advices and local tips)

1. Bus (from Sabiha Gokcen Airport)

First of all, the most basic way to get to the city from Sabiha Gökçen Airport by public transportation is to use buses. Because there is no transportation to Sabiha Gökçen airport by metro for now, it is under construction.

There are 3 types of buses going from the airport to the city;

Municipal Conventional Bus (Go Like a Local!)

These buses are the cheapest bus lines of the municipality departing from Sabiha Gokçen. You can ride with a standard ticket tariff. The journey may take a long time and it may be difficult to carry your luggage.

  • 16S Line Metrobus Uzuncayir / Uskudar / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (cheapest and most frequent bus)
  • MR60 Line Pendik YHT – Marmaray / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (easiest access to the rail system, less frequent)
  • 130H Line Tuzla / Sabiha Gokcen Airport
  • 131C Line Sultanbeyli / Necip Fazil Metro / Sabiha Gokcen Airport
  • 132 Line Pendik YHT / Sabiha Gokcen Airport
  • 122H Line Yenişehir – 4. Levent Metro / Sabiha Gokcen Airport

*My suggestion is to use the 16S bus in this category.

Ticket Price: 5 Turkish Lira (it’s about 0.70 USD) Standard ticket fare applies for these buses.

Don’t Forget: You need Turkish Lira, you have to change your money at the airport

*This lines operates during the day in every 20-30 minutes.

You can get information about bus lines from the official municipality website. Departure times, live bus locations and stops are here…

Sabiha Gokcen Airport Bus Stop / Right Side Municipal Buses / Left Side Airport Express Buses

Municipal Express Bus

There are also lines called express, which go to the city from Sabiha Gökçen, stopping fewer stops. You can go faster with these express lines. The most famous of these lines are the E-10, E11 bus going to Kadikoy and the E-9 bus goint to Bostanci.

  • E-10 Line Kadikoy / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (frequent bus)
  • E-9 Line Bostanci / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (goes by the coastal road)
  • E-11 Line Kadıköy / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (frequent bus)
  • E-3 4. Levent Metro / Sabiha Gökçen (direct access to the european side)

*My suggestion is to use the E-11 bus in this category.

Ticket Price: 10 Turkish Lira (it’s about 1.40 USD) double ticket fare applies for Municipal Express Buses

Don’t Forget: You need Turkish Lira, you have to change your money at the airport

*This lines operates almost 24 hours in every 20-30 minutes.

You can get information about bus lines from the official municipality website. Departure times, live bus locations and stops are here…

What a Beautiful City Isn’t It? @Anna

Airport Express Shuttle Bus (Havabus)

There are also special Havabus airport shuttle buses that you are used to from various cities of the world. You can go directly to Kadikoy and Taksim from Sabiha Gokcen Airport with these buses. Airport Express Buses (Havabus) are one of the most comfortable ways to get to the city from Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

  • SG-1 Line Kadikoy / Yenisahra / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (quite frequent, you can go from the airport to Kadikoy in about 1 hours. It goes from the highway)
  • SG-2 Line Taksim / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (You can go to Taksim in about 1.5 – 2 hours, frequent bus. It goes over the bridge and highway)

Ticket Price: 30 Turkish Lira (it’s about 4 USD) special ticket fare applies for Airport Express Buses (Havabus)

*This lines operates almost 24 hours in every 20-30 minutes.

You can get information about  Airport Express Bus Lines (Havabus) from the official website. Departure times, live bus locations and stops are here…

Airport Express Bus (Havabus) @Facebook

2. Getting to City Center by Metro & Subway

There is no metro at İstanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport for now. It is under construction, it will open soon! But if you come to Istanbul, you need to use the metro lines for the fastest transportation.

Although you cannot take the metro directly from the airport, you can transfer to the metro by bus. This way of transportation is a bit complicated but it allows you to get to the city much faster

Options for going from Sabiha Gokcendan Airport to the city by metro;

  • First Option: Take E-10 or MR60 Bus lines and get off at “Pendik Koprusu” stop and take the M4 Kadikoy-Pendik metro.
  • Second Option: Take 16S Bus line and get off at “Kartal Koprusu” stop and take the M4 Kadikoy-Pendik metro.
  • Third Option: Take MR60 bus and go to last stop and take Marmaray commuter train.
Istanbul Has Metro and Suburban Lines / This is Suburban Line called Marmaray

3. Taxi Services (from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport)

It is not a bad idea to go to city center from Sabiha Gokcen Airport by taxi, especially if you are around 2-3 people. You can easily find a taxi from the Sabiha Gokcen airport arrival terminal. If you are going to the city by taxi, you should consider the traffic. The roads will be crowded, especially at 4-6 in the evening.

*Most taxis have a credit card payment option

Sabiha Gokcen Airport Taxi Prices

  • Between Pendik – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (10-15 km)  50 TRY
  • Between Kartal / Kartal Metro – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (15-17 km) 60 TRY
  • Between Pendik Metro – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (10-15km) 50 TRY
  • Between Kadikoy – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (30-35 km) 120 TRY
  • Between Taksim – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (45-50 km)  180 TRY
  • Between Sultanahmet – Sabiha Gokcen Airport (45-55 km)  200 TRY

4. Airport Shuttles & Private Transfer

Getting from the airport to the city in a country where you come for the first time is difficult even for a professional tourist. That’s why you can choose private shuttles and airport transfers.

Private transfers from Sabiha Gokcen Airport are affordable and the most convenient way to reach the city. If you need a private transfer for airport, please write to me in the comment section at the end of the article, I can find it to you.

*You can get these private transfers for a round trip and they can easily take you to your hotel.

İstanbul Roads @Ant Rozetsky

5. by Renting a Car

Another way to get to the city from Sabiha Gokcen Airport is to rent a car. There are offices of world-famous car rental companies in Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

Car rental prices in Istanbul are around 15-20 euros per day. However, those who rent a car in a city like Istanbul, which is famous for its traffic, should take this into account.

Which is The Best Way to Go from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Istanbul City Center?

“heey Gorkem, since Istanbul is your city, let’s tell us the best way to go city center from Sabiha Gokcen Airport”

I think the best way for tourists to reach the city center is to take the express airport buses. Especially, I recommend you to use these buses that go to Kadikoy. You can also use this express busses to go to Taksim, but it will take longer because you should pass the Bosphorus from the Anatolian side to the European side by bus.

If you say you are a professional tourist 🙂 you can reach the city by transferring from buses to the metro. This is the craziest way!

If you say I like the most comfortable option, use taxi and private transfer services.

Practical Information & Tips from Real Local

  • Change your money to Turkish Lira before leaving the airport,
  • Enjoy what you see along the way!
  • Read this article before coming to Istanbul 🙂
  • In order not to get stuck in traffic, first consider going to Kadikoy, then go to Taksim or Sultanahmet by metro.
  • Consider that you will spend at least 1-2 hours on the road.
Me And My Guests: Eugenia, Vlad! / Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque / Welcome to Istanbul!

FAQs About Sabiha Gokcen International Airport Transportation

What is the best and convenient way to get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the city?

The most convenient way is to use express buses, the details are written above

What is the cheapest way to get to the city?

The cheapest way to get to the Istanbul city from Sabiha Gokcen Airport is by Municipal Conventional Bus.

How to get to city center from Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) the fastest?

The fastest way of transportation is to use the metro transit options.

Is there a metro or rail system at Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

Not yet, but under construction. You can reach by bus transfer now.

Which is the most comfortable way to get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the city?

The most comfortable way of transportation is taxi and private transfer services.

How long does it take to get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the İstanbul city?

Whichever way you use it takes at least 1-2 hours.

Is there a transfer from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) to İstanbul Airport (IST)

Yes, there is a bus running between Sabiha Gokcen Airport and Istanbul Airport. For details see here

How can I Get to the City from Sabiha Gokcen Airport at Night?

Airport Express Bus (Havabus) and Municipal Express Buses are operating almost 24 hours a day.

İstanbul Railway Network Map / You May Also Need

Transportation to Some Known Places in Istanbul

How Can i Get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Kadıkoy?

Take the E-10 bus to go from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the Kadikoy district.

Getting to Taksim From Sabiha Gokcen Airport

You can go to Taksim by SG-2 bus.

Getting to Sultanahmet From Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Take the E-10 bus and go to Kadikoy, after cross the Bosphorus by local ferry to reach Sultanahmet.

Getting to Besiktas From Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Take the E-10 bus and go to Kadikoy, after cross the Bosphorus by local ferry to reach Besiktas. (There is a special local ferry line to Besiktas)

Explore Istanbul With “Gorkem” 🙂 This is Burgazada which is one of the Princes Islands

Further Reading for Your Trip to Istanbul

If you are coming to Istanbul, you should read the travel writings of a local like me. Because only locals know the best secrets 🙂 Read more about Istanbul’s Asian Side, Getting to Asian Side of Istanbul

That’s all! If you have any questions about private and public transportation to / from Sabiha Gokcen Airport, please ask me in the comments section below, I answer them all, love to everyone! “Gorusuruz”

Notice: There are two airports in Istanbul. One is Istanbul Airport (IST) and the other one is Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) which I mentioned in this article, don’t confuse which airport to go to 🙂 If you are landing at Istanbul Airport, get information from my another article.

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