Istanbul is where continents collide.
Approximate flight time: 3 hours 50 minutes (total distance 1646 miles)
No of flights per week: 14
Airlines that fly direct: Turkish Airlines
No. of Airports in Istanbul: Istanbul New Airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Istanbul Sabiha and Istanbul
Seasons: High = April - June; Low = October - March
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
Departing from Birmingham Airport
Wherever you’re flying to in the world, Birmingham Airport is a great airport to fly from. With a plethora of food and drink options, shops and facilities, we’ve got everything you need to kick start your holiday in style.
There’s nothing better than getting your holiday started with a nice meal before you fly, and we’ve got lots of great cafés, bars and restaurants. Whether you’re travelling solo, with your other half, or with children, we’ve got a restaurant to suit your needs. Wetherspoon does great food and drink deals, Bottega Prosecco Bar is a little fancier with antipasti and fizz, and if you’re travelling with kids, Frankie & Benny’s has a great children’s menu. If you’d prefer to grab something for the plane, we’ve got Pret a Manger and Wrapchic, and there’s several coffee shops too.
You can’t visit the airport without checking the deals at World Duty Free. From alcohol and tobacco to confectionary and gifts, World Duty Free has all your favourite brands at discount prices. Once you’ve treated yourself to your favourite bottle of liquor, continue to spoil yourself at Aerospa – our airport spa offering beauty treatments in as little as 15 minutes. You will also find fashion stores like Kurt Geiger and Superdry, and jewellery stores like Pandora and Accessorize.
Why not treat yourself to some extra comfort by booking yourself into one of our five airport lounges? They all offer complimentary food and drinks, comfortable seating, unlimited WiFi and great runway views, so you’ll not want to leave the terminal.
Birmingham Airport’s great central location means travelling to the airport is easy and convenient. If you choose to drive to the airport, we have 7 car parks to choose from that are all easily accessible from the terminal building. Pre-book your car parking space online for great savings and peace of mind.
If you would rather travel on public transport to the airport, that’s possible too. Trains run to Birmingham International Station, where you can jump on a free and frequent Air-Rail which gets you to the terminal building in 2 minutes.
Arriving at Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport is the new international airport serving Istanbul and will be where you land when you fly from BHX.
The airport is located north of the city and currently has one large terminal with plans of a second terminal opening in 2025. The centre of Istanbul is around 50km away and takes around an hour to reach by car.
There are several care hire companies available at the airport or alternatively, you can take a taxi.
For a cheaper option, you can choose to take the public bus. Whether you are travelling to the European or Asian side of Istanbul, you will find a bus that travels there from the airport. Tickets can be bought at the bus station on floor -2 of the terminal building.
In the future, Istanbul New Airport will be accessible by metro and train.
Pre-book your transfer with HolidayTaxis and avoid the queues when you arrive.
What to expect in Istanbul
Unlike any other city in the world, Istanbul is split between two continents – Europe and Asia. With over 2500 years of history, culture, and traditions, amazing landmarks, lively nightlife and breath-taking views, it’s an underrated travel destination.
The main language of Istanbul is Turkish, but you will find that most locals will speak good English, particularly in tourist hotspots. An attempt to use Turkish is very much appreciated and considered good manners though.
In İstanbul, the summers are warm, humid and dry, and the winters are long, cold, and partly cloudy.
Culture in Istanbul
Because of its location, Istanbul is a fine blend of eastern and western culture that is embraced by locals, and visitors will sense the contrasts with each turn. Wander from very traditional areas, where it would be offensive to walk the streets with too much skin on show, to very modern neighbourhoods full of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and bars.
As Turkey’s largest city, there is loads to explore. Visit the Grand Bazaar for one of the most exciting shopping experiences you’ll ever have. Covering 60 streets, with over 5,000 shops, spend a day getting lost in the giant labyrinth that contains mosques, hammams, cafés and jewellery stalls. Other highlights include Hagia Sophia, an old church that was converted into a museum, the Galata Tower offering views across the entire city and the Blue Mosque, Istanbul’s most famous site.
The city’s cuisine is as diverse as its heritage, and delicious to boot. You will see gastronomy from all over the world, but we recommend sampling the city’s signature dishes. Succulent kebaps, flavoursome mezes and freshly caught fish should be washed down with the national drink, rakı (aniseed brandy), or a glass or two of locally produced wine.