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Things to do in Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST)

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST). How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST).

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  • Atasay

    Jewelry has a distinctive Turkish sensibility at this duty-free shop. The designers employ historical Anatolian jewelry-making techniques and motif... More
  • Aviation Museum

    If you have a few hours to kill and feel adventurous, take a five-minute taxi ride to military-aviation paradise: the Istanbul Aviation Museum in t... More
  • Barok Jewellery

    This family-owned Turkish chain sells lovely and unusual pieces that reflect Turkey’s cultural heritage. The designers use precious and semipreciou... More
  • Delights

    If you want to bring baklava back home, don’t buy it in the city—you’ll get syrup all over your luggage. Buy it here. Delights is supplied by one o... More
  • Fitness Center

    This is the only gym at the airport. Unfortunately, it isn’t convenient for international layover passengers: you have to go through Passport Contr... More
  • House of Cigars

    One of the top choices for duty-free cigars in Europe is this fragrant, humid antechamber tucked away behind the tobacco section of the duty-free s... More
  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

    All major flights to Istanbul touch down at Ataturk Airport, located approximately 14 miles west of the city center. On average, 82,000 passengers ... More
  • Main Duty Free

    At this, one of Europe’s biggest duty-free shops, prices are lower than comparable shops in the airport’s Euro Zone. You’ll find all the expected b... More
  • Old Bazaar

    Designed to look like Istanbul’s huge, centuries-old, labyrinthine Grand Bazaar with its colorful carnival of domed buildings, arches, and pillars,... More
  • Parisli Cemil Hair Salon

    This is not a luxury spa—don’t expect aromatherapy or an oxygen facial—but it’s a perfectly serviceable salon for basic freshening-up if you’re in ... More
  • Prayer Rooms

    For a peaceful place to get right with God—or to get away from the PA system—prayer rooms, called masjids, are available throughout the airport (5 ... More
  • Primeclass VIP Lounge

    Compared to the Turkish Airlines Lounge, this airport-operated lounge is somewhat spartan, but it offers wireless Internet access, massage recliner... More
  • Sky Restaurant and Kokpit Bar

    Security regulations make it all but impossible to watch planes taking off from the airport, but these establishments in the Istanbul International... More
  • Tui Na Massage

    Two treatments—neither of them traditional Tui Na—are available at this outlet operated by a friendly Turkish couple. The more private option is a ... More
  • Turkish Airlines VIP Lounge

    Ottoman-style décor, elaborate antique portraiture, deep leather sofas, gilded chairs, crystal chandeliers, palatial marble washrooms, and darkened... More

Explore things to do in Istanbul for more options.

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