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mrs

Traveling To Ataturk Airport?

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Hey guys,

It's almost time for me to leave Turkey! I just realized that I don't really know how I'm going to get to the airport for my flight home, so I was hoping someone could tell me about different options. I don't want to take a taxi because all of my friends have been taken advantage of by taxi drivers and I don't think I'm up to that kind of obstacle. Is there a bus from Taksim? Or another central location? Ahh, I haven't yet used the bus system but I don't think it would be that bad? (Although I have one large suitcase, so does that mean I must take a taxi?)

Please help! :)

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The Havaş (ha-vahsh) bus goes directly from Taksim Square to Ataturk Airport. It is a bus specifically for transporting people to and from the airport, and has the word Havaş painted on the side in big letters (easy to spot). The fee is something like ten or 15 TL. It has luggage racks inside as well. I went to the Havaş website (www.havas.com.tr) to see if the Havaş bus still departed from Taksim Square, considering the recent protests, but the page which reported the Ataturk Airport bus's route was offline. If the stop hasn't been moved down the road somewhere, it pulls up right at Taksim Square. You should be able to walk up to Taksim Square and ask around about where the Havaş bus departs and when. They run on a set schedule, usually on the hour.

Edit: See Abi's post below, where she provides updated information on the Havaş bus's departure point. Thank you Abi!!

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How long is a piece of string!?

Paks the journey can take 40 minutes to about 1.5 hours depending on the traffic. Usually it takes the Kennedy Cad. route which takes the bus to Yenikapi first then onto Bakirkoy then through to the airport. Traffic along these parts can be sporadic, during Ramazan, Sultanahmet and the surrounding areas are very busy (Kennedy Cad.)

I would give it about 1.5 hours.

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Oh dear.

Thank you!

Man, I'm super glad my flight isn't until 12 something because you're supposed to arrive at airports an hour ahead of time, I'd assume international airports should require two hours ahead!

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you can also take the trolly from kabataş or karakoy to aksaray and take the M1 metro directly to the airport from there. total trip will cost you about 4TL and will take a little over an hour, but no traffic and the metro is air conditioned

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no law against it. i wouldn't think it would be rude unless you start unpacking and folding your underwear in the metro. hell, i dragged luggage to the top of the empire state building once, didn't have much choice. you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

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It should say on your ticket when to check in, but I would definitely get there at least 2 hours before the flight takes off. When you get to the airport your baggage will have to be scanned before you check in. That can take a long time if it's busy at the airport also getting through passport control.

I looked at the Havas website and it appears that it doesn't run anymore as that route was suspended last year. Instead you can use Havabus. As the pick up point is opposite the Divan Hotel it might be a good idea to get you hostess to confirm it still is correct.

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I have a friend who's going tonight to find the airport since they're flying out so the will get back to me if that is the current location, although I asked some of my other friends and they said they thought it was!

Thanks guys!

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Guest

I agree with Abi, get there at least 2 hours early to check your baggage and find your way around.

I used to take the Istanbul LRT (Hafif raylı sistem or Hafif Metro (Light Metro) in Turkish), I was always at the airport in about an hour.

The cost is approximately 6 TL for regular price.

The web site mentions getting on in the old town or Sultanahmet, the first (or last) stop is Kabataş. (Here's a map)

You have to change trains once and the last stop is literally under the airport. If you get on at Kabataş, you should be able to sit until you change trains at Zeytinburnu. I was always able to put my bag under my seat when I got on at the first stop.At Zeytinburnu you will have to carry your luggage up and then down some stairs. If you can manage the stairs, then the ride is cheap, comfortable, easy, no traffic hassles, etc.

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Are you sure? The buses and website still seem to say havaş.

Havaş

I rarely use havaş these days any way, in Istanbul the underground plus tram is much cheaper and just as quick, same in Antalya with the 600 city bus from the domestic terminal.

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Havataş Airport buses, operated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (the city government) have replaced the similarly-named Havaş airport buses to shuttle you between Atatürk Airport (IST), Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), Taksim Square, the Kadıköy Ferry Docks, and the Yenikapı Fast Ferry Terminal in the center of Istanbul.

Interestingly, when the Municipality began its service, it ordered the Havaş airport buses, which had been serving passengers for 29 years, to cease operations.

The Havaş company has apparently brought a legal suit against the Municipality. The case is still in the courts, and Havaş buses are not running.

So for now, Havabus is the operational airport bus service to use.

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Thanks Abi, the Havatas are still very useful if you are flying into or out of Sabiha G airport. They leave from the 'Point' hotel in Taksim, we caught one a couple of weeks ago

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Are you sure? The buses and website still seem to say havaş. http://www.havas.com.tr/Pages/Intro.aspx

Yes, Abi is correct, take a moment to check out the Istanbul page "Page not found" It used to state their lawsuit against the city.

Havaş does run in most other airports around the country including Dalaman and Antalya in our area.

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I did a test run and found it pretty easily across from the Point Hotel and the Metro station.

I think I'll take the Havatas instead of Metro because it's cheaper if you don't have an Istanbul Card. (I'm borrowing mine from my landlady so I won't have it when I leave.)

Thanks so much guys for helping me with this!

And waaaaaa, two more days and I'm gone!!!

Can I still hang out here and write with you all? Posted Image

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I'm glad the forum was able to help you Paks. Yes, you can certainly hang out here for as long as you like.

I hope you have a safe trip and that you will be taking back some good memories of your stay in Turkey :):)

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I will! I will! It was difficult at times, but only because I was lonely away from my family and also because I got frustrated easily with my slow learning - but now that it is about to end I am feeling bitter-sweet. I want to stay and keep speaking Turkish, but I also really want to go home to my family! I am positive now that I will come back though so it's good to have this kind of feeling!

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Can I still hang out here and write with you all? Posted Image

No I'm afraid not. At the border I will personally take your computer and clean it with special mice. Effectively blocking you from ever seeing this site again.

Me and my colleagues will then perform a special 'Memory be Gone!' technique on you and you will never know we existed.

Posted Image

*My friend and I at Ataturk...performing said procedure.

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Hehehe. :)

Thanks guys!

So, I'm back with another question. I'm bringing Lokum back to the States, is there something I need to do when I hit customs at the airport because of this? It'll be in my suitcase so not on my carry-on. (I haven't gone through customs before on my own, only ever as a little girl. At Ataturk Airport on the way here I didn't have to do anything with customs for some reason.)

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