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TRAVEL TO ISTANBUL



İstanbul is accessible by air, sea, rail, and road. Air transport is perhaps the most significant considering overall congress requirements, but other modes of transportation maybe more convenient for visitors from neighboring countries.

BY AIR
Most international and domestic fl ights arrive and depart from İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport, which is 28 km from the city center. The airport has been recently expanded and is able to handle 70,000 passengers a day, a fi gure that rises to 95,000-100,000 at peak times. İstanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is on the Asian side of İstanbul, 50 km away from Taksim Square in the city center. Most major European airports are 2-4 hours away from İstanbul by air. From the east coast of North America, İstanbul is about a 10-hour journey. İstanbul is accessible from all parts of the world, served by more than 300 international airlines.

AIR MILES TO İSTANBUL FROM SOME INTERNATIONAL CITIES

City Flight
Distance
City Flight
Distance
City Flight
Distance
Athens 349 Madrid 1564 Zurich 1000
Amsterdam 1253 Moscow 1028 Tel Aviv 688
Berlin 992 Oslo 1520 Kuwait 1605
Bucharest 305 Paris 1277 Bahrain 1697
Budapest 614 Prague 868 New York 4538
Brussels 1126 Rome 839 Los Angeles 5220
Copenhagen 1144 Sofia 271 Rio de Jan. 6400
Dublin 1568 Stockholm 1290 Buenos Air. 7570
Helsinki 1295 Vienna 748 Beijing 4159
Lisbon 1860 Warsaw 842 Tokyo 5291
London 1423 Zagreb 947 Cape Town 4908


BY RAIL
There are trains from Sofi a, Belgrade, Bucharest and Budapest (connections from Munich and Vienna) to Sirkeci Station in İstanbul. Main services are:

• Bosphorus Express: from Bucharest, daily
• TransBalkan Express: from Budapest via Bucharest, daily
• Prietenia Express: from Kischinev, daily
• Balkan Express: from Belgrade via Sofi a, daily
• IC 90/91: from Pythion via Thessalonica, daily (connection from Athens)
• İstanbul Express: from Munich via Slovenia, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria

There are two main train stations in İstanbul: Sirkeci Station on the European side and Haydarpaşa Station on the Asian side. These historic station buildings are nostalgic gateways to the city. Both stations are well equipped with restaurants, newspaper kiosks, waiting rooms and ATMs. Both stations are conveniently located. Haydarpaşa station on the Asian shore is connected to the European shore by ferry to Karaköy, and Sirkeci station is a short walk or taxi ride from Eminönü ferry terminals. Suburban trains also run from Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa stations. Trams to Sultanahmet run past Sirkeci station, and city bus services are available.

BY ROAD
The road network throughout Turkey is extensive, with motorways, dual carriageways and numerous three-lane highways. Drivers bringing cars into Turkey must show their registration documents and driving license at the point of entry. If arriving from Europe, visitors must have a Green Card (available from insurance companies) as well as appropriate insurance. Driving is on the right. Seat belts are mandatory and driving after consuming alcoholic drinks is prohibited. The speed limits are 120km/h on motorways, 90km/h on main roads and 50km/h in towns.

Coach services to all parts of Turkey are reliable, reasonably priced and convenient. İstanbul’s International Bus Terminal located in Esenler, about ten kilometers from the city center, serves all international and domestic lines.

DISTANCES FROM MAIN EUROPEAN CAPITALS

City KM City KM City KM
Athens 1136 Edinburgh 3562 Naples 1475
Amsterdam 2633 Frankfurt 2198 Oslo 3475
Barcelona 2913 Geneva 2321 Paris 2658
Belgrade 839 Hamburg 2583 Prague 2019
Bergen 3957 Hannover 2445 Rome 1681
Berlin 2668 Helsinki 3631 Roterdam 2658
Bern 2150 Le Havre 2877 Sofia 560
Bonn 2367 Leipzig 2224 Stockholm 3466
Brussels 2608 Lisbon 4180 Stuttgart 2035
Bucharest 693 London 2912 Tirana 1003
Budapest 1227 Madrid 3530 Vienna 1610
Copenhagen 2887 Manchaster 3229 Warsaw 1909
Dover 2795 Milano 1874 Zagrep 1234
Essen 2452 Munich 1806 Zurich 2092

BY SEA
The Bosphorus Strait divides İstanbul’s Asian and European shores. Central İstanbul and the historical peninsula are on the European shore, which is itself divided by the natural harbor of the Golden Horn (Haliç). Tiny fi shing boats and day cruisers share the Bosphorus with enormous international cargo ships, navy vessels, tankers and giant luxury liners from Europe.

The two largest quays, Eminönü and Karaköy, are on opposite sides of the Golden Horn and linked by the Galata Bridge. Karaköy is where luxury cruise ships headed for the Aegean and Mediterranean dock, as well as smaller CIS vessels. Local ferry services mainly depart from Eminönü, Karaköy, Beşiktaş and Üsküdar.

International ferry services

  1. İstanbul-Ukraine-Odessa
  2. Venice-İzmir
  3. Athens-İzmir
  4. Brindisi (Italy) or Bari (Italy)-Çeşme (İzmir)
  5. Various services from Turkish coastal towns to Greek islands