Cheap Flights to Istanbul

Istanbul photo

Istanbul overview

When is the best time to fly to Istanbul?

Peak Season:

The main tourist season runs from April to the end of October, with the busiest period July and August. Flights to Istanbul are most expensive during these peaks months so it's best to search for flights as early as you can to try and save some money. If you travel in June or July you might catch the International Music Festival which is held in the city. It showcases classical music, opera, ballet and traditional music performances. To try and find the cheapest flights to Istanbul, you'll have to search well in advance.

Off Season:

The winter tends to be very wet and cold so tourism is at a low, that being said you'll find cheap flights to Istanbul and get good hotel deals too. September to October has mild weather and less tourists than the peak summer months. Flights to Istanbul are generally cheaper too. There is the Tulip Festival in either March or April which lasts for 10-15 days and the last two weeks of March has the International Istanbul Film Festival. Flights to Istanbul will vary around these events so book earlier on in the year to save money on your flight tickets.

When is the best time to book a flight to Istanbul?

To find the cheapest flights to Istanbul, try to book as early as 8 weeks before you wish to travel. Sometimes you might grab a deal on flight tickets 2 weeks before departure, although generally 6-8 weeks is the sweet spot. After this the prices will rise more the closer it gets to the day of travel. If you don't have a specific date you want to travel then you can shop around for your flight tickets to grab the best prices. January and February offer the cheapest flights to Istanbul so if you book at least a few weeks before you should be able to save money. Sitting on the left side of the plane gives you the best views as you approach Istanbul, although this is dependable on the wind and air traffic congestion.

How long is the flight to Istanbul?

Flights from London (All airports) to Istanbul - 3 hours 45 minutes

Flights from Manchester to Istanbul - 4 hours 0 minutes

Flights from Birmingham to Istanbul - 3 hours 55 minutes

Flights from Glasgow to Istanbul - 5 hours 50 minutes

Which airlines operate flights to Istanbul?

Depending on where you're flying out from, the airline will vary. The main ones that operate the route are KLM, Air France, British Airways and Turkish Airlines. One option is choosing KLM for one direction and Air France for the return flight, giving you the cheapest flights to Istanbul due to the competitive prices.

How to get from the airport to the city centre?

The busier of the two airports is Istanbul Atatürk Airport, this is 23km from the city on the European side of Turkey. The second, and newer airport, is located 30km away in the Asian side. All flights from the UK will fly to Istanbul Atatürk Airport though unless you specifically chose Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The fastest way to leave to airport and get on your way is a taxi. There are taxis 24 hours a day outside the airport but can end up more expensive than alternative options. Havatas operate a bus from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the city centre. It's a great option if you have a lot of baggage as the buses have lots of room and are fitted with air-conditioning. You can opt to take the metro straight from the airport, the trams operate every 15 minutes or so but are almost always extremely busy, meaning if you do have a lot of luggage it might not be the best option.

Istanbul insider information

If for any reason you're having doubts about visiting Istanbul, take a look at

5 reasons to pay it a visit.

An interesting fact that you might not know, Istanbul is the only country in the entire world that covers two continents: Europe and Asia.

When you're in Istanbul, make sure to go to Hagia Sofia before 10:45 to take part in a free walking tour across the city.

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How much do things cost in Istanbul?

Clothing & Shoes
Pair of Nike trainers
£ 44.12
Pair of jeans
£ 31.84
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes
£ 2.27
Large bottle of water
£ 0.30
Loaf of white bread
£ 0.36
Petrol (1 litre)
£ 1.05
1 hour taxi waiting fee
£ 4.77
One-way ticket (local transport)
£ 0.49
Taxi - fixed fee
£ 0.73
Small bottle of water (0.33 litre)
£ 0.19
Cheap meal
£ 3.41
£ 1.54
3 course meal for 2
£ 13.62
How much does a beer cost in Istanbul?
Bottle of beer (imported beer)
£ 2
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
£ 2
Imported beer (0.33 litre)
£ 2
Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre)
£ 1

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More information about Istanbul

  • Istanbul is Turkey's third largest city, also called the "capital" of the Aegean region.
  • Skyscrapers in the Levent and Maslak districts of New Istanbul bring a 21st century feel to the old city.
  • Full of cafes, bars and live music, Beyoğlu in Galata is the place to head to get a real taste of the Turkish nightlife
  • The Blue Mosque, one of the city’s landmarks, is the only mosque in the city with six minarets in its façade.
  • As Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul has a lively culture and is great spot to explore the Mediterranean
  • Whether you want to find unique fabrics, taste local food or dip into the Turkish culture head to The Grand market.
  • Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace are just two of the many ancient monuments that are found throughout the historical city
  • A good way to explore Istanbul's markets is to take a walking tour from the Egyptian Bazaar on the Golden Horn.
  • Beautiful neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings can be seen in and around the neighbourhoods of Osmanbey and Kurtulus
  • Waterfront mansions and glorious palaces can be admired along the scenic shores of the Bosphorous and Marmara coast
  • Take a trip to Sultanahmet to experience some of the most the extravagant and luxurious Turkish baths found in the city

International departures to Istanbul