A city rich in history and culture, Istanbul is a fantastic place to visit. This is the most populous city in Turkey, and with some initiative and careful preparation, visitors can easily explore the area and enjoy their trip to Istanbul. Skyscanner is available to help guests plan the lodging, flight, and car rental logistics of their journeys.
Car Rental from Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Passengers will find the following rental agencies in the International Arrival section of Istanbul Atatürk Airport: Avis, Budget, Alamo/National, Europcar, Kavas, Ulger, and Hertz. There are also a few companies in the Domestic Terminal, including Europcar, Euro Park/Advantage, Budget, Hertz, Avis, eSixT, Arti, and Decar. It's about a 10-minute walk between terminals, but shuttle buses and taxis are also available. A variety of vehicles can be rented from these companies, but sedans and compact SUVs are especially common.
Gas stations near Istanbul Atatürk Airport include Shell, Opet Bahçelievler, and BP stations off of E5. Drivers will also pass a Shell and a Petrol Ofisi on Atatürk Havalimanı Cd. These are the closest stations to the Domestic and International terminals, where guests will return their rentals.
The airport is located outside of highway E5 approximately 19 kilometres from the downtown area. Guests can take the E5 and exit via D100 to get downtown, but there is often heavy traffic on this route. Havaş Airport buses and public buses are also available, and a good alternate route for driving is to leave the airport via Atatürk Havalimanı Cd., turn left onto Rauf Orbay Cd., and follow Kennedy Cd. to get to the downtown area. Drivers will still hit some traffic, but this route can cut the commute time nearly in half.
New arrivals can also head north on Ataturk Blv. to visit the Mall of Istanbul, which is about 15 minutes from the airport. Drivers will also go this route if they want to get on E80, O-3, or O-6.
Things to Do in Downtown Istanbul
Some of the best cultural sites in the downtown area include Galata Tower, a fifth-century tower and former prison (which now has a top-floor restaurant), the Basilica Cistern, and the Hagia Sophia Museum, which used to be a Byzantine church and mosque. Guests craving authentic Turkish food and good atmosphere can stop by Old Ottoman Café and Restaurant or, for something more romantic, grab a bite overlooking the city at El Amed Terrace Restaurant.
There are a few parking options in downtown Istanbul, including overnight garages, all-day parking options, and metered or street parking. However, it is recommended to come prepared to spend extra on a good space, as there is typically a shortage of convenient parking. Another option is to park a rental car at one's hotel and use the city's transit system (which includes buses, trains, and trams) to get around. Paying for a transit pass before departing can be a good way to save money.
Though Istanbul can get crowded, it's an amazing place for a trip. The friendly people, remarkable atmosphere, and deep culture leaves a lasting impression on all who visit the city.