Should I Get PCR Test at Istanbul Airport or in the City Center?

Last Updated on May 9, 2021

Read in this article where to book online (discounted) your mandatory request to get a Covid-19 PCR test 24-72 hours prior to travelers’ departure, at the Istanbul airport or in the city center. We put together our review for the frequently asked question of “Should I get Covid-19 PCR test at Istanbul Airport or in the city center?”, including comparison of which option is ideal, where to book online, get rapid test result to save you time and money.


Quick Booking

If you need a mandatory request to get a Covid-19 PCR test 24-72 hours prior to your departure, don’t wanna read the whole page, trust our recommendations, and book your PCR Test online and get it at Taksim (2 mins. walking distance from Taksim Square, every day between 08:30 AM and 17:30 PM), at Sultanahmet (between Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, Monday to Friday between 10:00 AM and 13:00 PM) or at your hotel/home via Private Laboratory certified by Turkish Ministry of Health, just hit the red button below and make your appointment.

Covid-19 PCR Test Appointment in Taksim with 5% discount

Covid-19 PCR Test Appointment in Sultanahmet 5% discount

PCR Test Options at Istanbul Airport

You can get your Covid-19 PCR test at New Istanbul Airport (IST) , at the 3 test centers situated on the Arrivals floor exit gate number 14. You can easily see the clinics (Safak Medical Group, Biotest, and TRG International Health Services) established at the airport, wait in the queue and get your PCR test done.

Should I Get PCR Test at Istanbul Airport or in the City Center?


Possible Advantages

Istanbul Airport’s having three PCR test centers is an advantage while there are not test centers in many of the airports of the big cities.

Possible Disadvantages

Istanbul Airport is one of the busiest ones in the world and you’ll wait in the queue on the main entrance, airline’s counter, and check-in process.

Since the airport is very huge one, you’ll need to walk from one point to another inside the airport, about at least 15 minutes.

After your check-in, you’ll also wait in the queue for passenger lounge entrance, flight ticket and passport control.

So for just getting to Istanbul Airport (IST) from the city center, you should expect to arrange your time as to be at the airport at least 1,5 hours for domestic flights and 2,5 hours for international flights.

And if we count the PCR test queue along hundreds of travelers, plus about 5 hours waiting time for the test result, it will be like you’ll need to spend your about half day at the airport. And if you have early flights, it will be kinda mess.

PCR Test Options in the City Center

If you need a PCR test to fly back to your home country or another country it doesn’t matter, you can easily get your test in several private labs in Istanbul. While majority of the tourists stay in Taksim or Sultanahmet, it will be better to find a private lab in these two top tourist neighborhoods of the city.


Possible Advantages

When you book your PCR test in a private lab, and if it is close to your hotel, you’ll only expect about 30 minutes to spend for your testing. And you can book online.

Several labs are also giving PCR test directly at your hotel or home address with their medical team, which is a great option as well.

You are able to get your test report on the same day, both in print copy and downloadable file to your smartphone. So that you can easily show the report on the border and pass.

Possible Disadvantages

We couldn’t figure out any disadvantages when you book your test at labs. You should just make sure that the labs should be certified by the Turkish Ministry of Health. That’s all.

Our Recommendations

If you ask our choice for getting the Covid-19 PCR Test which is a mandatory request for your departure, at Istanbul Airport or in the city center, than our answer would be private labs in the city. You can also make online booking with the labs. No need to go there and register.

Because you’ll definitely save time, money and feel yourself free from the hastle of getting the test at the airport together with the queue on the main entrance, airline’s counter, and check-in process. And you have to arrange additional 5 to 6 hours to get your test.

Pricing is same, 250 TL (about €25), at the airport or in the city center.

If you decide to get your test in the city center we would recommend the below labs, both certified by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

You can get your test result on the same day, in English, print copy and downloadable to your smartphone, and show it on the border. The result is valid in 190 countries except Qatar and Jordan.


If you are in the Taksim region, you can book your PCR Test online at Cihangir Lab, about 2 mins. walking distance from Taksim Square. The lab is open everyday between 08:30 AM and 17:30 PM. Just hit the red button below and make your appointment. You’ll also get 5% extra discount.

Book Your Covid-19 PCR Test at Cihangir Lab in Taksim with 5% discount

If you are in the Sultanahmet region, you can book your PCR Test online at Memorial Lab, about 2 mins. walking distance from Sultanahmet Square, between Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The lab is open from Monday to Friday between 10:30 AM and 13:00 PM. Just hit the red button below and make your appointment. You’ll also get 5% extra discount.

Book Your Covid-19 PCR Test at Memorial Lab in Sultanahmet 5% discount




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