1. Istanbul Ataturk Aırport (IST)
2. Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
Before begining your journey please consider having some Turkish Liras from the exchange offices at the airport. You can't use foreign cash in most of the shops, restaurants and transportation. Exchange offices in the airports might be slightly expensive so consider buying a small amount. Exchanging 30 Euros or 30 Dolars should be fine. We can help you exchanging more money at the conference desk. It is also a good idea to have 5 or 10 Liras at easy reach for your last bus.
Second thing, consider buying an "Istanbulkart" at the airport before begining the journey. You can use this in metros, busses, ships etc. Information desks at airports might help you about this.
FROM ISTANBUL ATATURK AIRPORT (IST):
The best way to avoid in-city traffic is to use the metro (subway). You can download the Istanbul railways map from this link. (Maps showing more options like accessibility, restrooms, black-white, etc. are accessible from this link)
1. Follow the metro signs for the station. Consider buying a Istanbulkart which is cheaper and much convenient than the tokens.
2. There is only one line departing from the airport: M1A (One of the red lines in the map, airport is on the left bottom side.) Take this line to the very last station YENİKAPI. This trip takes around 35 minutes. Get off at Yenikapı station.
3. You are at YENİKAPI station which is a big terminal with many connections. Follow the signs to MARMARAY line.
4. Take the MARMARAY line in the direction of AYRILIKÇEŞMESİ.This will take you to the Asian side of Istanbul passing under the sea. (Dark gray line in the map)This trip takes around 12-13 minutes. Get off at the last stop which is AYRILIKÇEŞMESİ. Go down the stairs.
5. You are at AYRILIKÇEŞMESİ station. The only metro line passing from here is the M4 line. (Pink line in the map.) Take M4 metro in the direction of KARTAL. This trip takes around 30 minutes. Get off at KARTAL which is the last station. You have to go towards exit number 4. This is important: always watch the signs for EXIT NUMBER 4. (Turkish word for exit is ÇIKIŞ)
6. When you come to ground level from exit 4 you will see the bus stops just in front of you (slightly to the left). Walk 60 meters towards them and you should be just in front of the departure point of of bus number 17B. The timetables for 17B can be found in this link. This bus ride will take around 1 hour.17B busseshave generally an advanced information system. You can watch the screens for the names of the stops. You have to get off at BAYRAMOĞLU stop. (If you miss it, the next three stops which are FATİH İSTASYONU, FATİH SULTAN MEHMET CD or YAZI SOKAK are also fine.)
7. When you get off the 17B, wait at the very same stop for another bus which is number 502. 502 busses are very common, they pass every 10 minutes or so. But please note that your Istanbulkart WILL NOT WORK on this busses since you are no more in Istanbul. No problem, they accept cash which is 2 Liras. The tricky thing here is you HAVE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DRIVER to tell him that you are going to ELITE HOTEL DARICA. Because some 502 busses pass directly in front of the hotel, some prefer not to do so (especially if they don't know somebody is going there.) You can print the following expression and show it to the driver:
MERHABA, TÜRKÇE BİLMİYORUM. ELITE HOTEL DARICA'YA GİDECEĞİM. YARDIMCI OLABİLİR MİSİNİZ?
That means "Hello, I don't speak Turkish, I'm going to Elite Hotel Darıca, can you help me?"Most likely he is going to bring you just in front of the hotel. He might also get you to a very nearby stop (which should not be more than 5 minutes on foot) and point you the direction to the hotel. The journey in 502 busses should be around 20-25 minutes.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT LATE ARRIVALS:
The last metro from Ataturk airport departs at 00:00 at night. However you will be too late to catch the last 17B bus which depart at 00:50 if you are that late. You have to leave the airport at around 23:20 to be able to get on last 17B. However, in that case you will have already missed the last 502 which departs at 22:30. If this is the case, it is still OK. Just get off the 17B at BAYRAMOGLU stop. Look around you and you will see a big restaurant complex with Burger King, Mc Donalds, etc. Walk to the Mc Donalds, there is a taxi stop called "MOBİL TAKSİ" which is 50 meters to Mc Donalds. It is open 24 hours. However, it might be hard to spot because it is behind the trees but it is very near indeed. You can ask pesonnel at Mc Donalds which is open 24 hours if you can't see it. Just say "TAXY" or "MOBEEL TAXY". Those taxy drivers work with our institute often and they are reliable and trustworthy people. They told me that it is around 25-30 Liras from that point to Elite Hotel Darıca.
8. Here are some mobile numbers just in case:
Doğan Erbahar (General Coordinator): +905358979899
Ali Cemil Başaran (Organizing Committee): +905384109327
FROM SABIHA GOKCEN AIRPORT (SAW):
Most convenient way is to use the E-10 busses. You can find the timetables for E-10 busses at this link. Ask the information desk for their departure points. They generally have an advanced information system in these busses, you can see the names of the stops on the screen. Get off at the stop called KARTAL KÖPRÜSÜ. This trip from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to KARTAL KÖPRÜSÜ should take around 40 minutes.
Here you will see the metro sign. (See step 1 of previous section). This is Kartal Metro Station, go down to the station using the escalators but don't go towards the metro. Instead watch the signs to find the the exit number 4. Once you reach exit number 4 proceed from the step 6 of the previous section.