Are Istanbul Airport Taxis Safe?


Taxis are commercial automobiles that usually carry passengers within the city and the fare is determined by taximeters. Taxis are widely used during transportation from Istanbul airports to the city center. Taxis provide great convenience when you arrive in the city and people expect to take the shortest route to avoid overpayment. But the reliability of taxis is discussed in all metropolises around the world. So, what should we pay attention to when using a taxi in Istanbul?



Taking a taxi in Istanbul is an affordable, simple, and convenient way of transport. However, all drivers are not reliable. Luckily, most of them are fair, but there is an increasing number of instances where tourists get hustled in Istanbul while taking a taxi ride. Before going to the city, it is necessary to do some research. It will help you to learn safe ways to find a taxi from airports, to be informed about the normal prices you can pay for a taxi that will take you to various districts of Istanbul, to download smartphone applications that you can use when calling a taxi.



Taxi Types at the Taxi Stands of Istanbul Airports

There are 3 types of taxis from airports. Yellow, turquoise, and black taxis. The most commonly used and the standard one is the yellow taxis.  Turquoise taxis take comfort one step further. Black taxis are suitable for crowded groups and those who want a luxurious journey.

  • The regular yellow local taxis are C Segment ones (such as Fiat Aegea, Dacia Sandero, Renault Clio, etc.). 
  • Turquoise taxis (like VW Passat, Skoda Superb, Opel Insignia, etc.) are those from the D segment. 
  • Black taxis (like Mercedes E180, Mercedes Vito, etc.) are VIP and E segment taxis. 

Turquoise taxis account for 15%, and black taxis are 100% more expensive than yellow taxis. In other words, for a journey of 100 TL in yellow taxis, the passenger will pay 115 TL in turquoise taxis and 200 TL in black taxis.



Are There Taxi Scams in Istanbul?

Sadly, as in many parts of the globe, taxi scams are a major issue in Turkey. While there are really good taxi drivers, during the day you can come across a poor driver. It would be a safe way to stop scams by having a cab firm that your hotel agrees with instead of on-road taxis. 



Here Are the 9 Tips & Things You Might Need to Be Careful About

  • Before taking the taxi, you can do a little research about the route you will go to and have information about how many kilometers it will take.
  • Be careful about choosing a taxi. Make sure that the license plate is written on the vehicle’s doors and roof. These are legal and registered taxis, if you encounter a problem, you can reach the taxi stand and complain as long as you know the license plate.
  • While getting in or out of the taxi, you can write down the license plate and the name of the station or take a picture with your phone and save it.
  • Look for the meter once you are safely seated in the taxi. Istanbul’s taximeters are normally placed behind a shift stick. You can get out immediately if the taxi does not have a meter. Some cab drivers will try to make you reason for the breaking of the meter to get you to settle to a fixed price. Do not fall for the trick of this. If the cab has a meter, when you reach the car, it should read 5 TL ($ 0,61).
  • Not many taxi drivers speak English in Turkey, so at times you might run into non-understanding. You can determine your route with navigation applications (such as Google Maps) from your smartphone and give the necessary guidance to the taxi driver.
  • Share the attitudes and behaviors if there’s any you are uncomfortable with the driver. Explain clearly that if it is going fast, it should go slow, if the sound of the music is very clear, it should be turned down, it would be better to open the window if the interior of the vehicle is stuffy. You can use Google Translate to do that. It is not rude at all.
  • There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.
  • It is not compulsory to leave a tip for taxi drivers in Istanbul. If the driver also carried your luggage and luggage, you can leave a tip.
  • You can pay by credit card in any taxis in Istanbul.

How Does the Taxi Fare Work at Airports in Istanbul?

At Istanbul Airport, taxis serve in front of the passenger exits of the Domestic and International terminals. 

Taxi fares at Istanbul Airport are calculated by adding the km price above the starting price. 

When you want to reach your destination by taxi from Istanbul Airport, you can get information from taxi drivers over the approximate km. 

In Istanbul Airport taxis, the same tariff is valid 24 hours a day. But in the city, there are day & night tariffs.



There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.

•           Yellow Taxi: Opening fee is 0,61 $; km fee is 0,38 $ and short distance travel is 1,60 $ (to prevent people from taking taxis for too short distances).

•           Turquoise Taxi: Opening fee is 0,71 $; km fee is 0,44 $ and short distance travel is 1,84 $ .

•           Black (VIP) Taxi: Opening fee is 1,05 $; km fee is 0,65 $ and short distance travel is 2,72 $.

How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Istanbul New Airport and some districts:

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Taksim: 22 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 18 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Tüyap fair center: 17 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Bakırköy IDO pier: 19 $ – 22 $

)Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Kadıköy: 27 $ – 30 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Eminönü: 20 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Şişli: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Beşiktaş: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – 4. Levent: 20 $ – 22 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Aksaray: 20 $ – 22 $

*These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.



How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Sabiha Gökçen and some districts:

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Taksim: 18 $ – 19 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 25 $ – 26 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Harem Bus Station: 16 $ – 17 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Çekmeköy: 12 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Kadıköy: 14 $ – 15 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Üsküdar: 15 $ – 16 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Ataşehir: 11 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 15 $ – 16 $

* These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.

How Can I Arrange My Transfer Between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport?

•           One option is to go from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Airport Buses. These buses run at certain times. The distance between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport is approximately 70 km. The approximate journey time between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Buses is 75 – 85 minutes. This time may vary depending on weather and road conditions. Havaist Airport Buses Ticket price between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Istanbul New Airport: 4,55 $.

•           Another option is to get from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by airport taxis. The approximate journey time from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by taxi is around 45 – 55 minutes. It may vary according to weather and road conditions. Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport Sabiha Gökçen Airport: 30 $ – 33 $.

Can I Take Uber From Airports in Istanbul?

In Istanbul, is Uber available? Sadly, the answer to the question is no. Why doesn’t Uber serve in Istanbul, though? Uber did, in fact, want to serve in Istanbul. Uber was available in Istanbul until 2019; Uber’s presence was not allowed, however. In recent years, Uber has survived many legal problems; and finally, after the court’s decision in 2019, Uber is completely inaccessible from Turkey.



Are There Apps That Provide Services Like Uber in Istanbul?

Although we hear the name of Uber a lot, many platforms serve like it. Here is an alternative transport service operating in Turkey.

Uber alternative taxi applications in Istanbul:

•           iTaksi

•           Careem Taxi Calling Application

•           BiTaksi



iTaksi

iTaksi is an application created by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In the application, you can see the approximate distance and price by specifying your destination before calling a taxi. However, these fees can change during the journey. Because the application gives an approximate fee. There are 3 different taxi types in iTaksi. Classic yellow taxis, more comfortable turquoise taxis, and black taxis with a feeling of VIP transport. There is also an advanced iTaksi complaint line.

Careem

Careem application, downloaded more than 10 million times in the Google Play Store, stands out with its modern Caarem tools. Careem taxi drivers who use the application are called captains, not drivers. So it’s like calling Uber captain instead of Uber driver. According to user comments, it is more useful and professional than the applications we described above. You can also make a reservation in advance in the application.

The features of the application include important features such as seeing the estimated price, payment by credit card, and viewing driver information. Besides, you can see where the captain you summoned is. Turkey’s Careem communication system based on user feedback is quite good. However, there are still situations where captains do not want to come when they see your destination. 

BiTaksi

With more than 1 million downloads, BiTaksi is the application with the highest score on our list with 4.6 points. The application, which is popular in Istanbul and Ankara, also draws attention to its features. During the taxi call process, you can choose the yellow taxi and the BiTaksi turquoise taxis. After calling a taxi, BiTaksi driver information; You can see information such as driver photo, name, vehicle brand, and model.

One of the best parts of the application is that the drivers have their own scores. So you can see how many points the driver received from the passengers he carried before. For Istanbulites, the question of whether it is BiTaksi or iTaksi may have come to mind. Obviously, it is useful to decide this by looking at user comments. Basically, the only difference between BiTaksi, iTaksi is that they are different companies.

In summary, there are several ways to reach the city center from Istanbul airports. If you want to use a taxi and have some doubts about its safety, this article is likely to guide you. As long as you follow the suggestions such as checking the plates on the doors, looking at the taximeter display, taking notes about the route you will go to in advance, or saving it to your phone, your journey will be smooth.


In addition, there are 3 types of taxis that we can use from airports in Istanbul. As stated in the article, the average prices of standard yellow taxis vary according to the distance and traffic density of the districts. At the same time, there are many applications with English language support that you can use for taxi transportation at Istanbul airports.

We wish you a safe and enjoyable trip in Istanbul.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

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