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We recently took a trip to Greece on Turkish Airlines. This flight had a 10 hour layover in Istanbul and through Turkish Airlines they offer a free tour of the city during your layover! You have to have a layover over 6 hours and I honestly wouldn’t try if it’s under 8 hours. You can also be put up in a hotel for free but we chose the tour and it was so fun to see the city while we waited for our flight!
I wanted to give a few tips about Touristanbul:
- You will need a Visa to attend the tour. You can apply for your visa on the site for $50 per person BUT if you grab your Visa at the Instanbul Visa counter it is only $30 per person. You will need to pay in cash. It took 2 minutes and was worth the $40 savings! Follow the “Vize” sign when you get off the plane.
- Once you have your Visa in hand head to the Passenger pickup area and find the Tourisanbul Counter. It is a little ways down on the right hand side. It is near Meeting Point 4.
- They want you to sign up for a tour 30 minutes ahead. You can’t sign up before you arrive. We arrived a little under that time frame but they made room for us. They have City Tours, Boat Tours and Shopping Tours. The City Tour was the only one offered in the time we had. The schedule is posted on the website.
- The tour is about 5 hours and they feed you and leave some time for the cute shops in Turkey.
- Wear Walking Shoes! We walked about 4 miles. This helped with our jet lag and kept us awake!
- You can store you luggage for a fee or they will put it on the bus for you. We did the bus and it was great!
We are so glad that we did it and it was worth the hassle of the visas, finding the counter ect. The tour maybe could of been a bit better (we couldn’t hear a lot of what he said) but we did cover a lot of ground and we had a large group which made it tricky for the guide. BUT it was so fun to see Istanbul and get some fun in during a loooonnnng layover.
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Hi! I'm Aubree