I will share with you information that will be extremely useful to those who find themselves for the first time in Istanbul: how to get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport without problems, adventures and help to the center of the unfamiliar Istanbul – Sultanahmet.
What is Sultanahmet?
It is one of the most important tourist areas in Istanbul. Here are the famous Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and other cultural and historical monuments. There are also star hotels and inexpensive hostels.
If you want to see the historical part of the city, visit Sultanahmet. If you settle in this area, all its monuments will be within walking distance from you, you can save a lot of money on transportation in Istanbul.
Transfer options from Sabiha Airport to Sultanahmet
You can order a cab and tell the cab driver that you need to get to Sultanahmet, but this way of travel for a tourist is the most expensive in Istanbul, although the Turkish lira has fallen recently, but too often you will not use a cab.
In case of force majeure, always keep a few transfer options in reserve from Sabiha to Sultanahmet. Write down possible routes, public transport numbers and ticket prices in your smartphone.
Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the map
Route from Sabiha Airport to Sultanahmet
A convenient way to get around Istanbul, there are many Russian-speaking cab drivers. But the cost of their services is noticeably overpriced. KiwiTaxi service says: a transfer from Sabiha to Sultanahmet costs 2,700 rubles. But for the first trip to Istanbul, it’s okay.
It is advisable to pre-book a cab online, then the cab driver will meet you at the airport with a sign. All additional services in the cab – for a fee. A child seat costs 300 rubles. You can also look for a cab on the GetYourGuide website.
If you have purchased a tourist trip to Istanbul in advance in Russia, often a cab transfer from the airport to your booked hotel in the Sultanahmet area is included in its price. Talk to your tour operators about this in advance.
Bus or shuttle
The ticket will be relatively inexpensive, noticeably lower than the cost of a cab. But the shuttle runs once an hour, and the regular bus runs slowly. If this is your first time in Istanbul, it’s easier to settle for a cab right away and get your bearings next time.
HAVATAS shuttles go from Sabiha Airport to the city. This shuttle costs 10-15 Turkish liras one way and takes 40 minutes to Kadıköy wharf (the best route). A plus of HAVATAS is the presence of a luggage compartment.
You can also use regular buses, but their travel speed is noticeably lower. A city bus ticket costs 4 Turkish Liras and takes at least 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the Kadıköy wharf. The stop is near the airport.
While still in Russia, you can use the Internet to book a transfer from Sabiha to Sultanahmet through their official website. All you have to do is go to www.intui.travel and fill out a simple form. The trip costs about 1,300 rubles.
Be as careful as possible when filling out the form. To avoid confusion, please indicate the correct date of your arrival in Istanbul, your full name, the number of passengers and the number of bags you need. You can use Intui to get anywhere in the city.
Ferries through the Golden Horn
You can get from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to the Sultanahmet area by taking a ferry across the Golden Horn Bay, for example. This bay geographically divides the European part of Istanbul in two.
As you know, the Bosphorus, which is located in Istanbul, divides this huge metropolis into European and Asian parts. And the historical part of Sultanahmet city and Sabiha Gokcen airport are in European Istanbul.
Two bridges have been built over the Bosporus and three over the Golden Horn, but even this infrastructure does not save the city from occasional traffic collapses. The underground tunnel under construction in Istanbul is unlikely to help either.
But ferries crossing the Bosporus and the Golden Horn really help relieve the load on Istanbul’s roads. To get to Sultanahmet, you need to take the ferry to Kadıköy and take it to the other side of the Golden Horn.
The ferries are owned by IDO and Turyol, the second company serves far fewer routes. Passengers pass through the bay on tickets or tokens, the prices of which are unified.
You should buy paper tickets for tourist ferries, they cost much more than the usual Istanbul bus tickets, but are guaranteed to take you to the other side of the bay or strait.
How do I get to Sultanahmet by ferry through Kadikoy wharf?
This is a very comfortable option: first from Sabiha Airport go to Kadıköy, and from the pier move on the ferry on the waters of the Golden Horn Bay to the pier Eminenu. From there you can walk to the sights or the hotel in Sultanahmet.
You can get to Kadıköy by HAVATAS shuttle or by regular bus. The only difference is the price of the ticket and the speed of travel. Ferries to Emineny depart from the pier almost every 10 minutes.
The ferry ticket costs 3 Turkish liras. It goes along the Golden Horn Bay for about half an hour. On the ferry you will definitely be offered tea, coffee, juices and sweets. To pay for the ferry, you will need the IstanbulKart transport card.
How do I get to Sultanahmet via Taksim Square?
From Sabiha Gokcen Airport you can get to the famous Taksim Square by HAVATAS Shuttle, the ticket costs 15 Turkish Liras, the trip will take at least 1 hour and 30 minutes, much depends on traffic and weather.
From Taksim Square to Sultanahmet you can take a cab or public transportation, in the latter case you will need to make several transfers. Istanbul does not have the most comfortable public transportation.