Car Rental in Istanbul
Istanbul is a huge city with so much just waiting to be explored. Along with the immense range of world-class attractions and historic wonders inside the city, there are many coastal getaways, mountain retreats and authentic villages just a short drive from Istanbul – all accessible with your own rental vehicle.
Where to rent a car in Istanbul
You will be able to visit many leading international car rental providers at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, the city’s main airport, or at Istanbul’s secondary airport – Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Alternatively, if you don’t need to collect your vehicle right away you will be able to find numerous car rental agencies across the city such as Europcar, Avis, Enterprise and Budget amongst many more. Both of Istanbul’s airports have extensive transport links to the city center including public transport and taxis.
Driving in Istanbul
Istanbul is generally a comfortable city to navigate in a vehicle other than some of the old areas of the city where the roads are narrow and winding. The city has benefited from the construction of new and efficient highways in recent decades to improve the flow of traffic, but as you would expect of such a busy metropolis you can always unexpectedly end up in traffic so give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. You will find that the three bridges crossing the Bosphorus Strait are almost always jammed up and traffic around the city is heavy during the morning and evening rush hours. Local drivers may not always adhere to the rules of the road and speeding can be common on the highways.
Parking in Istanbul
For such a large and populous city, parking facilities in Istanbul are surprisingly good with plenty of private parking lots and garages available across the city. Availability can vary depending on where you are, with parking spaces both more expensive and harder to find in central areas (the popular Sultanahmet district is particularly difficult to find parking in). Street parking is available across the city which is payable by the meter and most of the modern shopping malls will have their own parking facilities to use. Hotels generally won’t have ample parking facilities so it is advisable to find secure long-term parking near your accommodation for peace of mind. If you are still looking for somewhere to stay, Skyscanner can help you find the perfect hotel to suit your style and budget.
Where to go around Istanbul
If you plan on driving to the Sultanahmet district you are far better off paying for secure garage parking (which will be rather expensive) as you have very little chance of finding parking spaces otherwise. If you enjoy more modern attractions then head to the New City district where the finest shopping malls are situated. There are many places just outside of Istanbul which all become accessible with your own vehicle like the beautiful beaches of Kilyos along the Black Sea around 30 minutes’ drive north of Istanbul or the ancient Ottoman capital of Edirne around 2 hours’ drive west of the city. For more information on what to see across this beautiful country, read our guide on the places you shouldn't miss.
* This information is correct as of December 2018