Turkey straddles both Europe and Asia with the greatest proportion of its territory in Southwest Asia. It has a total area of 780,580 sqm. The country is bounded to the east by Georgia, Armenia and Iran, and to the south by Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, to the west by Greece, Bulgaria and the Aegean Sea and to the north by the Black Sea. Turkey’s geographical coordinates are 36 degrees N north latitude and 26-45 degrees E longitude.
Most international and domestic flights arrive and depart from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport which is 24 km far from the city centre, handles 20 million passangers annually through 9 domestic and 23 international gates.
Atatürk International Airport
Adress: 34149, Yeşilköy-Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 663 6400
Istanbul’s second airport Sabiha Gökçen International Airport with a capacity of 3 million international passangers per year, is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, 42 km away from Taksim Square in city centre.
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Adress: 34912, Pendik-Istanbul
Phone: (0216) 585 5000
Most major European airports are 2-4 hours away from Istanbul by air and from the east coast of America, it is about a 10 hour journey. Istanbul is readily accessible from all parts of the world and served by more than 50 international airlines.
Railway transportation is available from Sofia, Belgrade, Bucharest and Budapest (connections from Munich and Vienna) to Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul.
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 Sofia – daily
IC 90/91: from Pythion via Thessalonica (connection from Athens) – daily
Istanbul Express: from Munich via Slovenia, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria
There are two main stations in Istanbul: Sirkeci Station on the European 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 ATM’S.
Haydarpaşa Station on the Asian shore is connected to the European shore by ferry to Karaköy. Sirkeci 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 also available.
The road network throughout Turkey is extensive with motorways, dual carriageways and numerous three-lane highways. Drivers bringing in cars to 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.
Northern Route: Belgium – Germany – Austria – Hungary – Romania – Bulgaria – Turkey
Southern Route: Belgium – Germany – Austria – Italy – with ferry to Turkey
Intercity Coach Services
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. Most of the leading intercity coach companies provide free shuttle services from central Istanbul to the terminus.