Long layover in Istanbul - The airport hotels are a good option

Istanbul Ataturk airport

If you have an overnight connection at Istanbul Ataturk airport, there is good news for you - There is abundance of hotels in the area that can help you relax well, before your next day flight. In any case where Turkish Airlines or your other carrier for your next flight doesn't cater for your overnight transfer, you may consider this option as it will cost you around USD 100 or maybe even less, and this is a rate for 2 people sharing a room. 

The first thing you need to find out is whether you are eligible to pass thru immigration in order to exit the airport. Either you can apply for a transit visa on arrival or enter visa free, depending on the immigration regulations considering your country of residence. In case you hold a passport, which allows you to enter Turkey, just pass thru immigration and you will find yourself in the arrivals area. It is extremely safe, and you are unlikely to be harassed by anyone. If entering Turkey is not an option for you, still there is good news for you. TAV Airport hotel offers access thru the transit area of the international terminal of Ataturk Airport. You can book a room for a duration of as short as 3 hours. 

Once you find yourself in the arrivals hall, the second thing you need to do is find the most convenient way of transportation in order to reach your transit hotel. Istanbul's metro is directly linked to the international terminal of Ataturk airport. In the (rare) case, where your hotel will be located along the metro line, metro could be an option. You can buy a one way pass for TLR 4 from an automated vending machine at the entrance of the station. In the event where metro is not a convenient option, our recommendation is to check for airport shuttle transfer. Most of the bigger hotels offer free shuttle service to the airport and back, running throughout the day. For example, WOW Airport hotels offer shuttle service every half an hour starting at 6.30 until 22.30. Shuttle services are unlikely to cover the late hours though. Once you book your hotel, it always makes sense to drop an email to reception and inquire about free shuttle service, timetable and instructions. If the timetable is in line with your arrival schedule, go for it. If not, go for the obvious - taxi. But don't panic, taxis in Istanbul are relatively inexpensive and extremely well organized. The so called airport taxis are the only ones with license to pick passengers at the arrival hall. They charge a fixed fee plus a variable charge based on the distance. If you know where are you going, you can use this calculator to estimate the fare

Lastly, our recommendation is to pre-book your accommodation. Istanbul Ataturk airport is sitauted in an urbanized area, close to the marmara sea shores. There are hotels all around it. features more than 150 hotels in the surrounding area. It is good idea to stay close the airport in order to avoid the morning congestions. If you decide to stay in the center, it may take longer than an hour to reach the airport. The hotels within very close proximity are TAV Airport hotel, Wyndham Grand Istanbul, Hilton Garden innPullman Istanbul Airport & Convention Center, Ramada Encore, Elite World Business Hotel, Radisson Blu Conference & Airport hotel, Royal Inci, Mercure, WOW airport hotel, Rox hotel, Adela, Sahra Airport hotel, and others. You may be surprised how good the rates you can find. It is very feasible to book a double room at a 4 star airport hotel at a rate of EUR 50. 

To book hotels in the vicinity of Ataturk airport you may want to check offers here. Note that you may not be able to see hotels if searching with Turkish IP address. 

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport

The Sabiha Gokcen airport is located in the Asian side of Istanbul, and although it is less busy compared to Ataturk, it is also a connection hub. Many passengers opt to transit between Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports, as a number of domestic destinations are served from Sabiha Gokcen airport. In case of a long layover or an early morning flight, plenty of options for reasonably priced accommodation exist. The ISG Airport hotel is located right at the airport premises. Many nice hotels are located in the nearby Pendik neighborhood. Some of the recommended hotels are Miracle Istanbul Asia, Hampton by Hilton, Nearport hotel. All hotels in the area around Sabiha Gokcen airport you can check and book here

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