Spotting Locations

Spotting at Turkey


General Information

Taking photos of aircrafts are not forbidden, but most of people think it is a kind of crime. We have the same thinking in Turkey. On the background, In Turkey, civilian use airports are also under act of special security areas, these are all airports, ports, power plants, nav aids, etc. In these areas unauthorized entry is forbidden, at these areas the taking pictures of buildings are not allowed, but aircrafts are free to take pictures.
So how we are spotting? Just stay away from the fences, or do not make yourself so clear to the security watch boxes around the airports. Better way is stay on the buildings, parks, forest etc surrounding airports. If you face a security staff, most possibly they do not aware of ‘photographing aircrafts are not forbidden’ listen them calmly, mostly they ask do not take photos, take a coffee break, if possible change location and continue in convenience.

Spotting at Istanbul LTBA / IST

Istanbul has three runways in open V style. If the wind is from north 80 percent of traffic uses runway 05 for landing and 35L/R for departures. In this configuration, private jets mostly lands runway 35L. (they vacate the runway at the end for general aviation area)

35L/R Take-Off, 05 Landing configuration.
For this configuration there are two most popular spotting area. Sun is on the east side at morning hours so IBB Florya municipality park is the most convenient place. It’s located at the sea side of runway 05 approach. For afternoon ‘ Flyinn shopping centre ‘ is most convenient as comfortable place for spotting. On the second floor open terrace for smokers is very close and good for spotting to departing aircrafts and general airport traffic.

17L/R Take-off , 23 Landing configuration.
When the wind is from south, Take-offs on runway 17L/R landings are on runway 23.
Flyinn shopping centre is useful for take-offs, but for landings there is no good place. The APlus shopping centre and roads around at Atakoy might be useful for 23 landings.

How to get there

To get IBB Florya park, from Ataturk airport, best and fastest way is take a taxi. Alternate way is from the some parts of city take train called Banliyö ( French originated word for suburb ) leave the train Florya, again taxi to the IBB park.

To get Flyinn shopping centre, take a taxi to Flyinn shopping centre at Florya,  be careful about airport taxis, mostly they are not happy for short distance passengers.
Alternately, from the some part of city, take train to the Florya and taxi to the Flyinn shopping centre.

For taxi price you can use mobile app.

For IOS 

For Android

Spotting at LTFJ / SAW

Sabiha Gokcen is the another airport of Istanbul, growing number of traffic every year, It’s main base of  Pegasus Airlines, second big user is the Anadolu jet. But unfortunately there is no good spotting place for both direction of airport. Airport security are not friendly, they are very unhappy with spotters. If you plan to visit around SAW expect a visit the security center. Just we can say a couple point. You can see on google map.


Spotting Locations Photos


Flyinn spotting location

Flyinn balcony

Flyinn 35L Take-off


Flyinn overview



Sea Side

05 Landing

05 Landing

Runway 35 landing

Which lenses are enough for Istanbul 


Flyinn 35L take-off – 144mm


Flyinn 35L take-off  – 97mm


Flyinn 35L take-off  close-up- 200mm


Flyinn 05 landing – 300mm


Seaside 05 landing – 90mm


Flyinn 35R landing – 200mm


Flyinn 35R landing – 89mm


Flyinn 05 landing – 250mm

Spotting permission in IBB Park from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality



Spotting Points LTBA/LTFJ

View Spotting Points in a larger map



  • Ger Buskermolen 13:21h, 16 Haziran

    Can you confirm the shopping centre “Fly Inn” has also balcony on a higher floors or do you take pictures within this building?

    Best Regards,
    Ger Buskermolen
    The Netherlands

  • ltbaspotter 16:55h, 16 Haziran

    Hello Ger,

    Yes you can take photo from Flyinn balcony.

    Check link

    Best Regards

  • JAMES ROSE 22:58h, 19 Temmuz

    My friend Peter Kendal and myself are coming to Istanbul Ataturk on the 30th July for a 2 day visit , it is our first visit and we are both avid aviation enthusiasts and have been interested in aircraft especially bizjets and airlines for 35 years!!

    Any tips re watching aircraft/taking photographs would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks for your help

    James Rose and Peter Kendal.

  • ltbaspotter 00:26h, 20 Temmuz

    Hello James,

    We are so happy for interesting with our webpage. We will so happy if I can help you. You can take photo from “Flyinn Shopping Mall” there is a good place for 35R/L take off only you can take photo afternoon. and the another place is seaside you can take 05 and 35R/L landings photos. you can take photo morning and afternoon from seaside. Other place is “Kelesoglu Building – Tarkim Flight Academy” 3rd floor. You can see small balcony. there is a good place see apron and runway 35R/L. If you can ask me anything about spotting in LTBA you can ask.

    Take care

    Besrt Regards

  • james 21:52h, 11 Eylül

    is it safe to spot at the flyinn and is it ok for photos will you get any hassle with staff

  • ltbaspotter 00:00h, 12 Eylül

    Hello James,

    Yes there is safe for spotting you can take photo from there without any problem with staff.

  • John king 10:48h, 12 Kasım

    Excellent info on Istanbul – please could you advise if there are good views of the apron and runways from the terminal as I will be transiting IST going to China many thanks in advance John

  • ltbaspotter 23:55h, 14 Kasım

    Hello John,

    Thanks for your comment. I think you should take photo behind windows. There is a no any view terrace on international terminal. I hope they will make good viewing terrace for spotters I hope 🙂

    Where will you fly to China?


  • John king 22:25h, 23 Kasım

    I am visiting Beijing & Hong kong for a week hope to do some military bases in the Beijing area

  • R.Salzinger 14:17h, 24 Kasım

    Very good information on this page.

    But one doubt remains, when is the best time of the year (in regards to sun position) to plan a visit to IST?


  • Fayaz Rasac 13:53h, 29 Kasım

    Hello for what time of the day is good the spotting of the shopping mall flyinn? Any authorization needed?

    It can be for both runways?

    Fayaz Rasac

  • ltbaspotter 13:58h, 29 Kasım

    Hello Fayaz,

    You can spotting afternoon from Flyinn shopping mall. Good time from Flyinn. You don’t need any authorization.

    Runway 05 is little far to Flyinn if you have 400mm lens you can take nice photos from Flyinn or you can go to seaside IBB park When do you think come to Istanbul?

    Thank you.

  • DCAviation 05:07h, 07 Ocak

    Thanks for this informative web site. I will be arriving in IST in couple of weeks for 2 days of spotting. Is it safe to take pictures from the balcony of the mall? Or is security going to chase me away?

  • Alexander Mishin 23:08h, 10 Ocak

    Guys, BIG Thanks for this information!:) some photos from LTBA 😉
    Best regards from Russia!

  • ltbaspotter 23:16h, 10 Ocak

    There is a safety place. You can take nice picture from Flyinn balcony

  • ltbaspotter 23:22h, 10 Ocak

    Alexander you have so good photos. I love them. You have different angle. I think you took from Polat Hotel is it right? Do you have photos in jetphotos or

  • David Connolly 23:40h, 17 Mart

    Hello – I like your website! Can you help at all with the stored aircraft at Istanbul IST? I visited last week and noted several aircraft to the left of 35L while on takeoff?


  • ltbaspotter 09:02h, 19 Mart

    Hello David,

    I liked if helped our website to you. I can help you. I think you saw in GA terminal stored aircraft. They are BEA aircrafts. Did you enjoyed in LTBA for spotting? How was it?


  • Terry 00:14h, 11 Ağustos

    Hi I’m comming to Istanbul for 4 days in September,is there any other hotels apart from radisson blue with views of the airport.
    Thank you

  • ltbaspotter 12:55h, 11 Ağustos

    Hello Terry,
    I know another hotel for spotting but there is little bit far to airport. It’s name Sheraton Istanbul Hotel Atakoy. Check bellow links. You can just take 23 landing photos and you need 400mm lens but you know wind will be from S or SW. Only you can see from Radisson Blue hotel. There is so near to airport.

  • terry 17:32h, 11 Ağustos

    thankyou very much for your help
    regards terry

  • Alexandr 12:30h, 21 Eylül

    Cool! Thanks for this guide, I planned to visit Istanbul for one spotting day at 06 of October! If somebody agreed to meet with me and get some shots together – WELCOME!!

  • ltbaspotter 15:15h, 21 Eylül

    Your welcome. If our spotting guide will help to spotters we are so happy. If we will go to spotting these day of course we can meet and spot together. Same time we have photo exhibition in Ataturk Airport departure floor but it will close 5th October if you come before 5th you can see our exhibition. You can see more info below link.

    Thank you
    Best Regards

  • Ollie 00:32h, 10 Kasım

    Hi I am planning to take advantage of Pegasus cheap fares from STN to SAW arriving at 5.15am, how would you suggest i get to the spot at Flyinn?

  • ltbaspotter 14:12h, 11 Kasım

    Hello Ollie,
    You can use Havatas airport to city bus. They are going to Saw to Taksim when you arrive to Taksim you can ride to Ataturk Airport bus and than you can go to Flyinn with taxi from Ataturk Airport. Flyinn will open at 10am. You can spotting from there until 10pm.

  • Yerbol 13:27h, 15 Kasım

    Thanks for great help with finding right spotting locations! Brgds from Almaty Spotting Club.

  • ltbaspotter 22:33h, 15 Kasım

    Thank you for your glad comment.
    Raxmet Almaty Spotting Friends

  • Ümit Mayadalı 17:13h, 03 Nisan

    Hi, i wanna share one of my LTBA spotting videos, captured from FLYINN. I think you will like it 😉 Nice website!

  • Pete 20:16h, 07 Nisan


    A group of us are also planning to visit IST with Pegasus (STN-SAW) and am trying to find out if it is possible to remain airside and spot at SAW on arrival? If not, where is the best place to spot from at IST until the Flyinn opens at 10am?

    Kind regards


  • ltbaspotter 01:30h, 20 Nisan

    Hello Pete,

    When you want to come? I think you can’t spotting in airside at SAW you can get permission from airport. Flyinn is best place for IST. Yes Flyinn is opeining at 10am and there is close at 10pm. You can see more info on this page.

    Happy spotting to your group.

  • Tim 18:38h, 21 Nisan

    We are hearing that the Flyinn Shopping centre is going to close. Is this so?

  • Ian Hiles 19:42h, 09 Mayıs

    Hi there, What is the best way to get from the Radisson Blu hotel to the Yeskiloy Museum ? Many thanks. Ian H.

  • ltbaspotter 19:44h, 09 Mayıs

    This is just rumor. We didnt hear any offical news

  • ltbaspotter 19:45h, 09 Mayıs

    Hello Ian,
    Best way is taxi. There is no any public transport to that way.

  • Jens 00:06h, 14 Mayıs

    Is it safe to spot at the IBB Park?
    Thx for help

  • ltbaspotter 02:12h, 14 Mayıs

    Yes there safety place for spotting.

  • Michel Andrieux 09:19h, 16 Mayıs

    Hello, thanks for your info about IST spotting, could you say me if flying shopping center is open sunday? many thanks for your help Michel

  • ltbaspotter 14:30h, 16 Mayıs

    Hello Michel,

    Flyinn shopping mall is everyday open 10am to 10pm

    Happy spotting

  • Fred Sonders 00:41h, 19 Haziran

    Hi, thanks for this great website.
    It made my stay in Istanbul last weekend much easier.
    Because of all the great info no time was lost in looking for places to make photos.

    One request:
    Does anyone know the registration of the Air Senegal A320 (?) that was in the Turkish Airlines Enginering hangar on Sunday June 17th?


  • Malcolm Greenbaum 17:21h, 15 Ağustos

    Great information.

    I am passing through Istanbul back to London at the end of August. Will a taxi be happy to take me from the International terminal to the Museum, then wait and take me back or is it too short a journey for them to like?

    Yesterday I also transited through Istanbul. There was a Boeing 767 pulled out of the MNG hangar. It was stripped apart from the tail which had three big red strips down it. Do you know which one this was?

    Many thanks.


  • Bernd Karlik 09:41h, 22 Ocak


    I will have a 7 hours stopover at IST in February and want to go to the Fly Inn Shopping Center.
    Contacted a taxi company but they told me taxi from IST to Fly Inn Shopping Center would be 30€ one way. Quite expensive vor 8km in my opinion!
    Now my question. Is it possible to get there by public transport?

    Thanks a lot!


  • ltbaspotter 10:08h, 22 Ocak

    Hello Bernd,
    You can use Bitaksi app for smartphone. You can see taxi cost in this app. 30€ is too much. There is about max 10$ From Airport to Flyinn you use public transport but more than one vehicle. We will write info about this.