Discover Istanbul, home of transportation
How to get to Istanbul? Getting to Istanbul is easy, thanks to one of the best transportation systems in Turkey and direct access from major centres around the world. Istanbul is accessible by air, by sea, by rail, and by road.
Istanbul is accessible by air, sea, rail, and road. Air transport is perhaps the most significant way overall requirements, but other modes of transportation may be more convenient for visitors from neighboring countries.
The road network throughout Turkey is extensive, with motorways, dual carriageways and numerous three lane highways. Coach services to all parts of Turkey are reliable, reasonably priced and convenient. Istanbul's International Bus Terminal located in Esenler, about 10 km from the city center, serves all international and domestic lines.
There are trains from Athens, Thessalonica, Munich, Vienna, Sofia, Kischinev, Belgrade, Bucharest and Budapest to Sirkeci Station in Istanbul. There are two main train stations in Istanbul. Both stations are conveniently located. Sirkeci Station on the European side and Haydarpasa Station on the Asian side. These historic station buildings are nostalgic gateways to the city.
Most major European airports are 2-4 hours away from Istanbul by air. From the east coast of North America, Istanbul is about a 10 hour journey.
Istanbul is accessible from all parts of the world, served by more than 300 international airlines.
Most international and domestic flights arrive and depart from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, which is 28 km from the city center. The airport has been recently expanded and is able to handle 90.000 passengers a day. Istanbul's second airport, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is on the Asian side of Istanbul, 50 km away from Taksim Square in the city center.
The Bosphorus Strait divides Istanbul's Asian and European shores. Central Istanbul and the Historical Peninsula are on the European shore, which is itself divided by the natural harbor of the Golden Horn. Tiny fishing boats and day cruisers share the Bosphorus with enormous international cargo ships, navy vessels, tankers and giant luxury liners from Europe.
The two largest docks are Eminonu and Karakoy. Karakoy is where luxury cruise ships headed for the Aegean and Mediterranean dock, as well as smaller CIS vessels. Local ferry services mainly depart from Eminonu, Karakoy, Besiktas and Uskudar. There are a number of international ferries stopping at Karakoy Port.
Getting to Istanbul, Turkey
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