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

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.

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.

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.


No Regrets Booking Advice




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.


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