Turkish Airlines, Istanbul: Best Airline Lounge in the world?

I have visited my share of airline lounges. From the dump they call the Lufthansa lounge in Chennai (MAA) to the massive United lounge in Tokyo Narita (NRT). But my recent visit to the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul Ataturk (IST) Airport left me overwhelmed. I had over 2 hours to kill and I don’t think I sat down for more than 20 minutes. I was too busy exploring the lounge. And I found out after chatting with some folks on my flight that I did not find everything! I totally missed the massage therapists…

First of all the lounge is massive. Two floors, with a food or drinks station at every turn. That too different foods at every station – from freshly prepared pasta to an olive bar. From a Latte station where they hand craft your warm beverage, to a selection of at least two dozen desserts. Popcorn anyone, they have it. Turkish street food – yup. Pizza – got it. Nuts with your cold beverage – just walk around the corner.

The seating is comfortable and widely spread out. Different kids of sofas, couches and chairs all over. I saw at least one station with iMacs, another with TV screens with (I think) Playstations and a large kids play area. Heck, there is even virtual golf.

I took tens of pictures as I walked all over. There are so many, I created a gallery. Check it out.

Now, is this really the best lounge in the world? The best I have visited till date for sure. I am looking forward to seeing who can top this one (Emirates, how about a pass for your lounge next time I am in Dubai?)

What is your choice for the best lounge in the world? Leave a comment below. If you have any pictures to share, do leave a link.


  1. While I have NOT experienced the legendary Lufthansa First Class Loung, the lounge in Istanbul is the most overwhelming I personally have visited.

    To “correct” the author, there are actually at LEAST 4 latte stations, 4 bars, 4 juice bars, 3 pastry stations, 3 fruit stations, and multiple olive, nut and snack stations in addition to the multiple cooking centers with a wide variety of foods.

    Add to this electrical outlets everywhere you turn.

    And, most important to me, a direct security line/immigration desk entering the lounge with absolutely NO line (compared to the scrum that is Turkish immigration).

    My personal favorite lounge for sure….

  2. Emirates Business Lounge at Dubai is god but not as good as TK in IST. You would e underwhelmed… Try Qantas First in Melbourne instead!.

  3. @Paul, Thx for the correction. I did not know about the direct line. Would have sever me a ton of time. Noted for my next visit. Thx

    @Syl, Will have to get to MEL in QF F

    @Lea, enjoy your visit – safe travels

  4. For a business class lounge YES! Not the best lounge when comparing to First Class lounges around the world.

  5. How to find the direct security line/immigration:

    With back to glass entry doors and both main immigration lines in front of you make a 90 degree left turn and go all the way to the end. The entrance looks a little cheesy so easy to overlook. But OH the fast track ….

  6. Have to disagree. Usually arriving late at night the food is finished, staff is unhelpful and drinks are not served anymore. EK in DXB is much better in terms of food, staff and facilities.

  7. Love, love, love this lounge. You made a supreme sacrifice by taking all those pictures when you could have been enjoying all the benefits of the lounge. This is my favorite lounge of all time. Want to go back. Think I will this Fall.

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