Making the Most of Your Layover at Sabiha Gökçen Airport

It happens that traveling means having rather long stops for transit time and, at first sight, it seems quite unbeneficial. But layover can also be fun, it can be a time to relax, go sightseeing, and rejuvenate. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) is situated on the Asian side of this bustling city and has many services and facilities that make a layover enjoyable and useful. From the lavish spaces to lie down and enjoy the show to organized tours around the city, this is how to maximize your experience at SAW.

#1. Staying at Sabhia Airport Lounge During Your Layover

Another exciting activity during a layover at Sabiha Gokcen Airport is visiting one of the airport’s lounges, since this way, one can kill time during a layover. Sabiha Gokcen Airport offers several lounges intended to offer guests comfort and quiet space, free from the noises of the airport terminals but the best lounge of the airport is a premium lounge, in which everyone with any flight ticket and without membership, can enjoy their stay at the SAW Airport.

Location: Plaza Premium Lounge Situated on the level called ‘Departures’ near gates 203 and 206 after the security zone,.

Amenities: This facility provides comfortable furniture, fast internet connection, shower facilities, and generally low noise levels, whether for relaxation or productivity. You can taste a wide range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages as well as have snacks or a full meal in a quiet atmosphere.

#2. Try Layover Tours if you Have Time

If the layover is longer, which is often the case, it may be possible to sign up for a layover tour of the colorful Istanbul. It is ideal for getting a feel of the historical enchantment and cultural pulse of the city in a short time.

The best layover tours are tours about the history and culture of Turkey; tourist attractions include Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the commercial center of the Grand Bazaar. These tours have convenient itineraries to help you arrange your time in the best way without worrying about navigation or missed attractions.

Best Idea for Sabiha Gokceb Airport Layover Tour

  • Sultan Ahmet Layover Tour: Reserve your tour of the Sultan Ahmet Center, the heart of the Old City where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires once thrived. Highlights include Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, and Grand Bazar.
  • Topkapi Palace Layover Tour: Explore the home of the Ottoman Sultans, featuring kitchens, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy, and sacred Islamic artifacts of the Prophet Mohammed. Also Visit the tombs of five Ottoman Sultans, adorned with exquisite 16th-century ceramic panels, displays of princely robes and a fragment of the Kaaba covers.
  • Bosphorus Cruise Layover Tours: enjoy stunning views of the Golden Horn, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Hagia Sophia, Maiden's Tower, Galata Tower, Blue Mosque, Ortakoy Mosque, and the two continents of Europe and Asia connected by bridges.

#3. Buy eSIM During Your Layover at Sabiha Gokcen Airport

When traveling to another country, it’s always important to stay connected, and this has been made easier by an eSIM that allows one to have internet even without possessing a physical SIM card.

Purchase: These are eSIMs that are purchased through an online platform without having to make a trip to the manufacturer’s store.

Operators: These can be bought in bulk or even on the spot depending on the large number of people to be served.

Activation: It is quite easy to activate using an application, usually by barcode scanning. It saves the hustle of exchanging SIM card trays and guarantees connectivity as soon as you touch down.

Plans: Many options in terms of time can be chosen by consumers, which can be short or long time, depending on the usage of data. Whether one requires a few days of internet service or chooses to go with a plan as long as a month, it is possible. That said, among the possibilities, there is an option that is labeled as unlimited data.

#4. Make Sure to Check if you need a Transit Visa

Depending on your nationality, a transit visa might be required to leave the airport and explore Istanbul.

Visa Requirements

It's essential to check the latest visa requirements on the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or consult your airline. Some nationalities are eligible for visa-free transit or can obtain an e-Visa easily. Make sure to verify this well in advance of your travel date to avoid any surprises. witch you need a transit visa or not, check out our Evisa page.

#5. Transfers from or to Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Public transport options to and from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) in Istanbul are many and varied to suit everyone’s preference and pocket.

  • Havabus shuttles will take you to Taksim Square and Kadıköy in about 1 hour with frequencies of every 30 minutes. Approximately 50-60 TL to reach Taksim in 1.5 hours and Kadıköy in 1 hour.
  • Municipal buses such as E 10 and E 11 run between the airport and Kadıköy, and SG 2 between the airport and Taksim.
  • M4 Metro For the airport, it is possible to follow the M4 Metro line from Kadıköy and then take buses E10 or E11.
  • Taxis depending on the traffic and the duration it takes to reach the destination which is about 1-1.5 hours takes to get to central Istanbul.
  • Private SAW airport transfers may be pre-ordered online. If you are traveling in a large group, they are relatively cheap.
  • Car rentals are also accessible in the airport for anyone who would like to drive on their own.

#6. Sleeping at Sabiha Gokcen Airport During Your Layover Time

Sabiha Gokcen Airport offers a sleep and chilling zone area for those with long layover times or early morning flights named Sleep Cabin Meanwhile, The Kepler Club is the best airport luxury lounge located inside Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport offering elegant comfort and relaxation to travelers.

This business class lounge contains several facilities and services designed to make the travel more enjoyable such as cozy chairs, free beverages, and fast internet connection.

Whether you want to work on some unfinished business, enjoy a great meal, or just take it easy in comfort and style, the Kepler Club caters to the needs of all travelers who wish to spend some time in luxury while waiting for their flights.

#7. Luggage Storage at Sabiha Airport

If you prefer to explore the city or simply want to move around the airport without carrying your luggage, there are convenient storage options available:

Luggage Service:

Location: Arrivals hall.

Fees: Charges vary based on the size and duration of storage. It’s a secure and reliable option to store your belongings while you explore the city or wait for your next flight.

Lockers: Available for shorter storage needs, with similar pricing to the left luggage service. Lockers are a great option if you only need to store a small bag or personal items.

#8. Food and Beverage Option at Sabiha Gokce Airport During the Layover

Catering facilities include several restaurants, cafes, and bars located at and around the airport, with food and beverage services offered in several specialties. From hamburgers to Steakhouses or Seafood, finally, the restaurant is there to fulfill your hunger.

#9. Duty-free shops

Stores can include general stores, duty-free items, boutiques, convenience stores, and many more containing items ranging from souvenirs, gifts, and other personal accessories to luxury products. Sometimes one does not have the time to visit local shops to shop for something to use or to buy a gift, especially before a trip, and the airport stores will always be available for you.

#10. Connect to Wi-Fi and Charging Your Mobile During Your Layover at Sabiha Gokcen Airport

There is free Wi-Fi coverage in the airport, and outlets for charging gadget batteries are placed strategically in the airport. Staying connected such as, with others, and having your gadgets juiced up is as simple as child’s play.

#11. Medical Services at Sabiha Gokcen Airport

A medical clinic and pharmacies are available for any health-related needs that may arise during your layover. In case of an emergency, you can be assured that help is nearby.

#12. Prayer Rooms

There are also special areas both for men and women that are designated for praying so that the passengers can practice it quietly. These are some of the well-maintained standard rooms that are suitable for reflection as well as praying.

#13. Enjoy Children’s Play Areas with your kids during your Layover time

There are children playing zones where children can have fun and enjoy their games during long jams. These areas are fitted with toys and fun-related items to ensure children tourists engage themselves in joyful activities.