Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport is the 2nd biggest airport in both Istanbul and Turkey. This fast-growing airport is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and becoming very popular every year. Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport opened in 2001 and its yearly passenger increase more than 35 million passengers in 2018. Today, more than 45 airlines flying to more than 30 countries and 125 locations. The airport is also the main hub of Turkish private airline company, Pegasus Airlines. The second runway of the airport is still construction which will increase the capacity of the airport more than twice and expected to open at the end of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.
There are world-class airlines like Qatar Airways, Emirates, besides the Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Atlas Global and more on the airport. This airport will be a good option to come to Istanbul. Also, because of the low-cost airlines, you will a cheaper ticket here than Istanbul Airport. Pegasus Airlines which is Turkey 2nd biggest airline company is making a regular campaign for flight. It will be helpful to follow their social account.
Where Is The Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport?
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. The airport is on the Kurtköy region and also very close to Formula 1 racetrack and Istanbul-Ankara highway. The airport became more popular after the opening of Istanbul Airport because of its location. Despite being quite far to the central locations of Istanbul it is still close to them more than the Istanbul Airport. The airport is 30 km far away from Kadıköy, 45 km from Taksim and 85 km from Istanbul Airport. It is also possible to go to cities which are very close to Istanbul like Kocaeli, Sakarya and Bursa directly from the airport.
Transportation Options From/To Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the Istanbul City Center
If you’re coming to Istanbul you should know what you need to use on public transport, the Istanbul card. It is a must to have thing if you want to use public transport. Istanbul card is valid on all public transportation system, metro, tram, ferry, buses and others. You can buy Istanbul card from automated ticket machines (more than 2000 location in Istanbul) just for 6 Turkish Lira and also add on more money to it. It will be enough to add 50 Turkish Lira per person to get around in Istanbul. Don’t forget you cant take your money back from the Istanbul card.
There are no train lines to the airport but the it is just 15 km away from the Pendik High Speed and Suburban Station. The suburban (Marmaray) line is operating between Gebze and Halkalı. You can travel on Marmaray just for 5.70 Turkish Lira for the whole line (43 stations). Pricing on the line depending on how far you get, so you will take some of your money from the refund machines on the stations.
For now, there is no active metro line at the airport. There are two metro lines still under construction for the airport. First one is the extension of the M4 metro line which is starting from Kadıköy and integrated with Marmaray, Metrobus line and 3 more future metro lines. The second one is the M10 (Pendik – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport) metro line which will have 6 stations and integrated with M4 metro line and Marmaray. It is expected to open the M4 metro line extension in the first quarter of 2020. With these metro lines, it will be very easy to reach almost anywhere in Istanbul.
Because of the lack of the metro and train lines, all burden of transportation is over the buses. İETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management) is the biggest public transportation company of Istanbul and it founded in 1871. Today, electricity, tramway and tunnel managements are running by other companies but the name of the İETT is symbolic for Istanbul and it never changed. Today, İETT is responsible for the whole buses in Istanbul. There several bus lines operating between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Istanbul city centre. You will detailed information about lines below and also from the İETT webpage. Most of these lines are operating 7/24.
- E-3: Levent Metro – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- E-9: Bostancı – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- E-10: Kadıköy – Kurtköy – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- E-11: Kadıköy – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- 16S: Metrobus Uzunçayır – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- SG1: Kadıköy – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- 122H: 4. Levent Metro – Yenişehir – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- SG2: Taksim – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
- 132H: Pendik YTH (Pendik Marmaray Station) – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
There is also more luxury way to reach the Istanbul Airport and Istanbul city centre both. HAVAİST is the luxury bus transport between the different location of Istanbul and the Istanbul Airport. Prices of the HAVAİST buses are varying between 18 to 36 Turkish Lira per person which can be paid both Istanbul card or pre-paid. You will find the list of the HAVAİST buses but they will change in time and its better to check on the website before your arrival or departure. There is only one HAVAİST line operating to the Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. This line is operating between two airports in Istanbul and stop on the several main public transportation stations which can be a good option for the trip. Also please don’t forget there will be delay on the road if you are taking the bus on the rush hours.
- İST-8 Pendik – İstanbul Airport
Unfortunately, Istanbul taxis don’t have a good reputation. So, if you are planning to use taxis its better to be aware. For now, I almost hear nothing bad about the Istanbul Airport taxis but it will better to talk with the driver before you start the journey. Also, UBER can be used for the yellow taxis which makes your trips almost fully secure. There is a BiTaksi app also belongs to the Istanbul Municipal Municipality which can be used. You should expect between 150 – 200 Turkish Lira per ride if you are going the European side like Taksim, Levent and Bakırköy. For less of course if you are going to the Asian side like Kadıköy and Üsküdar.
There are numerous agencies operating to the Istanbul Airport from any point in Istanbul. You can arrange your transfer before your arrival but always don’t forget to ask for receipt and reservation confirmation.
Pros and Cons of The Airport
- New, modern and high-tech
- Ticket prices are lower than the Istanbul Airport
- Low-cost airlines
- Easy to reach metro lines
- Close to the Istanbul-Ankara highway
- The new metro line will be opened in the first quarter of 2020.
- Easy to reach near cities like Kocaeli, Sakarya and Bursa
- Located on the east side of the Asian part of Istanbul
- Quite far away from the western part of the European side of Istanbul
- No active metro or train line
My suggestion for going to the Istanbul city centre from the airport, use buses. They are cheap and offers you a small city tour. Airport buses also have places to put your luggage. I hope you will enjoy your time in Istanbul, feel free to ask anything about getting to the Istanbul city centre from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport.