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1 Day Istanbul Layover Tour

Private
Excellent
Duration

7 - 10 Hour

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

Private Layover 1 Day Tour in Istanbul; In this ultimate Istanbul city tour, the itinerary prepared for you to cover the major iconic attractions and try some local experiences in a 6 – 8 hour layover tour in Istanbul.

You will be greeted at the international arrival gate by the welcome host and you will be escorted to private driver & van at the pickup point. After meeting your driver and getting on your private vehicle, you will be transferred to the tour guide’s location in the old city in 1 Hour. Major attractions of Istanbul are situated in the same vicinity.  After reaching the old city, the transfer vehicle will leave and thereafter, you will continue this walking tour with your friendly enthusiastic guide on foot.  At some point, public tramways and ferries can be used in order to save time.

During your tour, you’ll explore the Roman Hippodrome and visit renowned monuments such as the Serpent Column, Walled Column, and Egyptian Obelisk. You’ll also have the opportunity to discover other iconic landmarks at your own pace, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace, and your choice between the Grand Bazaar or Arasta Bazaar. The amount of time spent at each attraction will be tailored to your preferences.

Depending on your interests, your guide will arrange optional additions such as traditional Turkish breakfast, lunch, dinner Turkish Bath Experience or Bosphorus Ferry Ride, as time permits.

Once the tour has been concluded, you will be transferred back by private van and dropped off at the international departure’s gate or at your layover hotel.

Highlights

  • Round-Trip Tour from Istanbul Airports (IST) including pick up and drop off with private van.
  • Visit the most famous iconic monuments of Istanbul: Byzantine Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.
  • Take advantage of a SKIP-THE-LINE TOUR with a private guide who has priority access at museum ticket desks.
  • Indulge in rich Turkish cuisine and savor the finest Turkish dishes at local eateries.
  • Enjoy an optional Turkish Bath experience and relax at a 500-year-old Turkish Bath before your long flight.
  • Benefit from our Relax Cancellation Policy: No penalty fees for cancellations made at least 24 hours before the scheduled start time, even in the event of delayed or canceled flights.

Itinerary

Expand All
Airport Pick-up & Private Transfer
Airport Pick-up &  Private Transfer

After clearing passport control and customs, Meet & Greet partner, SBL, will be ready to meet you at exit gate No: 14, International arrival terminal. Once you have spotted the sign of SBL and shared your booking information, you will be accompanied to your driver and a private vehicle. Following meeting your driver and getting on the private vehicle, you will be transferred to your guide's location in the old city, where major attractions are grouped in the same vicinity. Duration: 45-60 minutes depending on traffic or whether it is a working day or not.

Optional Breakfast or Turkish Coffee Stop
Optional Breakfast or Turkish Coffee Stop

Tasting some local Turkish breakfast or famous turkish coffee or tea before starting the tour.

Byzantine Hippodrome
Byzantine Hippodrome

Stop At: Hippodrome The equivalent of Maximus Circus, city of Rome was imitated in new capital of Roman Empire as we call Byzantine Hippodrome; Hear the stories of glory chariot riders and amazed with monuments erected by the ambitious Roman engineers; Egyptian Obelisk, Serpent Column and Column of Constantine. Duration: 30 minutes Admission Ticket Free

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque

Stop At: Blue Mosque As an operating mosque, your guide will take you inside of mosque complex in between praying times and help you to barrow a scarf or skirt if needed. it is closed until 14.30 pm on Fridays due to Friday service. Duration: 30 minutes Admission Ticket Free

Hagia Sophia Mosque
Hagia Sophia Mosque

Stop at Hagia Sophia to embark on a guided exploration with our licensed tour guide. Delve into the architectural, religious, and political facets of what's often considered the 8th wonder of the world. Today, Hagia Sophia serves a dual purpose, functioning as an active mosque for Muslim worshippers and a museum for international visitors. Please note that the admission fee is 850 TL or 28 USD. The duration of this enlightening experience is approximately 45 minutes. Admission ticket not included.

Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern

Stop At: Basilica Cistern As you walk down the stairs, you will see a palace looking underground water system built in 6th C. by Romans. Its massive size could store enough water to provide for Roman Palace and surrounding neighborhood until it was forgotten. Admission fee is 600 TL or 20 USD Duration: 30 minutes Admission Ticket Not Included

Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace

Explore the history of one of the world's longest-reigning empires with the guidance of our licensed experts as you visit the Topkapı Palace. This remarkable palace graces the tip of the historical peninsula and offers an expansive expanse with four courtyards. Inside, you'll discover the palace's various departments, including the Harem, Kitchens, Armory, Audience Hall, Council Hall, and numerous artifact halls. Marvel at the kiosks and soak in breathtaking views of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Please note that the palace remains closed on Tuesdays. Admission to this historical gem is priced at 1500 TL or 50 USD, and the duration of the visit is approximately 120 minutes. Please be aware that admission tickets are not included in the tour.

Lunch Break
Lunch Break

Get the taste of rich Turkish Cuisine in local restaurants; Starter, Kebabs, Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun), Vegetarian options and more...

Grand Bazaar & Spice Market
Grand Bazaar & Spice Market

Grand Bazaar: The world's oldest shopping mall was built in 1460s by the order of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, in order to generate income for maintaining their newly converted mosque. The city, being in the meeting point of oriental trade routes made the bazaar Grand and Famous. Today, with 3000 thousand shops offer huge range of colourful item from simple souvenirs to expensive items such as jewelry, carpets, mosaic lamps, magnets, leather. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. Spice Market and Arasta Bazaar is open 7 days of week. Duration: 60 minutes Admission Ticket Free

Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque

This historic mosque has been in active use since 1556 and bears the name of its illustrious patron, the renowned Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Situated atop the third hill of the old city, it offers a captivating journey. A brief stroll from the Grand Bazaar, along the walls of Istanbul University, leads you to a guided experience. Here, you can pause and admire the breathtaking vistas of the Asian side and the modern city from the terrace.

Bosphorus Ferry Ride
Bosphorus Ferry Ride

Embark on a captivating Bosphorus sightseeing ferry ride and behold the city's breathtaking panorama from an entirely new perspective. As you sip on a glass of traditional Turkish tea, you'll relish the beauty of simultaneous views of the Old and the New. The duration of this delightful experience is approximately 90 minutes, and please note that admission tickets are not included.

Return Private Transfer and Drop Off at Istanbul Airport or Layover Hotel
Return Private Transfer and Drop Off at Istanbul Airport or Layover Hotel

You will be transferred back to the airport at least 2 hours prior to the departure flight. Please note that travelers can use the departure transfer at any set time, as the tour already includes 2-way airport/hotel transfer regardless of when it's needed. Feel free to ask the tour operator to adjust the requested departure transfer in the itinerary.

Included/Excluded

  • Private Tour by Licensed Tour Guide
  • Private Round Airport Transport
  • Public Transportation Fees (Tram and Cable)
  • Fast Track Entry at Museums
  • Additional Services
  • Food & Beverages
  • Tickets (can be purchased in advance)

Tour's Location

Private

FAQs

Can I leave Istanbul airport during layover?

Yes, you are allowed to leave airport during layover as long as you will have a valid visa obtained.

Can I get visa online?

Yes, the process is quite simple for passport holders from certain countries, including the US and Canada, to obtain their e-visa with just a few clicks online. To check the requirements and apply online, you can visit the official website of the Turkish Republic at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/.

What is the minimum layover duration to leave airport for the tour?

Recommended minimum layover duration is 7 hours layover for international connected flight and 6 hours layover for domestic flights from Istanbul International Airport. We can accommodate business travelers with shorter layover duration.

How early should we back at the airport?

For international flights, if the luggages are checked through to final destination, and already have your boarding pass, you will be dropped off 2 hours prior to departing flight. For domestic flights, 1 hours is suffice.

Where should I keep my cabin luggage?

You can use attended baggage storage or baggage storage lockers that are available 24 hours a day in Istanbul Airport.

What is the earliest pickup time for the tour?

We offer airport pickup services starting as early as 6:00 AM on weekdays and 6:30 AM on weekends and pickup service from the city hotels as early as 06:30 AM on weekdays and 07:00 AM on weekends.

Do you offer guided tours that extend beyond 10 hours for travelers with a 24-hour layover in Istanbul?

The longest guided tour spans 8 hours, including the tour itself, along with 2 hours allocated for airport and city transfers. We can also arrange supplementary activities to fill any free time you may have and offer flexible return transfers to either your layover hotel or the airport at your preferred time of day. Depending on the arrival and departure times of your flights, we can customize a tour plan spanning 2 days to align with your specific interests.

Reviews

4.9/5
Excellent
Based on 14 reviews
Excellent
11
Very Good
3
Average
0
Poor
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Terrible
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Rabia
13/03/2024

Great tour!

Had an awesome pick up and drop of driver named Levit. The process of getting there went very smoothly. Mr latif is very easy to talk with and quick with his responses. My guide was a fun guy with a lot of knowledge about the history of the old city. Knew all the places to take me in a short amount of time. Even with bad weather we made the best out of it. I’m already looking into booking a day tour with them. Highly recommended!!
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Kelly and Leo
08/03/2024

22-hour layover

My wife and I had a 22-hour layover in Istanbul on the 14th of February of this year so we decided to book an 8-hour layover tour. We were received at the airport and driven to the meeting point with Burak in a very nice car. Burak was on time and waiting for us ready to show us around. He was very kind and paid attention to all of our requests. He knew a lot about the history of the city and was able to take us to the best places in town for our needs, be those the cheapest market or a nice restaurant. He even took us to the best place to exchange currency so we could manage ourselves better. We left with a really good impression of the city and with our minds set on someday going back for a longer stay. Thank you Burak!
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caia
04/02/2024

Great half day layover tour

The tour was excellent. Even though there was a long wait for the driver in the airport but the overall tour is enough time for me to see Istanbul. The guide was excellent - and he got me to taste all different street food in Istanbul. One highlight was the boat ride to Kadikoy and he was extremely easy to be around which is important for a one person tour. The itinerary was perfect for a layover tour as I was able to see many things in such a short period.
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June Dwyer
14/12/2023

Truly the best

When booking I read over & over again how Latif is the best guide. I hoped he is the one I will get. I traveled alone from Milwaukee to Singapore & had a 10 hour layover. The flight was late in arriving but the driver picked me up no issues & drove me into the city where this guy popped into the Mercedes van & it was Latif! I told him right away he had great reviews & I was hoping I got him and I did! I won’t tell much about the city, it’s incredible. This review is more about the tour & the guide himself. I was his only client for those 5 hours or so. (My flight being late.) I told him I would rather spend less at fewer sites than rush through more. And so we did that. I am a single woman older than Latif & he was like a big brother to me. Paid for a snack in Lira, which we ended sharing because I wanted to save space for other yummy food. We went to a few of the main attractions & ended up at the bazaar, which of course took a while because I’m a woman. He was patient & really when I mentioned I would like to look for this one item, he got totally into it & was looking all over for it. Not just for my sake, but for his own knowledge. It was fun that we both ended up like in a treasure hunt. I got tired of walking so suggested we sat down for tea & he suggested a local specialized cafe which we ended up at. You can ask him what kind of cafe it was lol. But he set me up there, ordered tea for us & took off to get us some local snacks. We exchanged pics of our families & talked about his kids & life in Istanbul. I could go on & on, but I think you get the idea. Latif is just a great guy. We can travel all over the world & see every site but it’s not everyday you run into some stranger who makes you feel like a friend has shown you his hometown. And clearly he loves his city & his work. I told him at one point, Latif, I read the reviews and everyone of them spoke highly of you. I hoped I would get you as my guide & I am glad I did. He quickly turned it around & said the good reviews only reflect what good clients they had come from. Join Latif & his associates on this tour & tell him June from Milwaukee highly recommended it!
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Michael
16/10/2023

Mr

Latif is the man! Before I had ever booked anything he would respond so fast to all of my messages and was so patient with my many questions. I had a 12 hour layover in Istanbul on my way home from a business trip and did lots of research before finally booking with Latif. As someone who plans 54 trips globally — I can say Latif ranks among the top of the top. He was very aware of our concerns and willing to do whatever to help us have a good time. He’s extremely professional and I highly recommend using him. I know I will be when I come back to Turkey with more time!
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Tom Leonard
02/10/2023

Do not miss out.

Every part of this short tour was excellent. It just worked out. The driver was at the hotel at 7:30 am as promised. The guide was excellent - English was almost his first language. He knew so much about each place we visited you could tell he has been a tour guide for awhile. He was proud to show his city to visitors like me. He answered any question and was extremely easy to be around which is important for a one person tour. The itinerary was perfect for a layover tour as I was able to see many things in such a short period.
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Theresia
19/09/2023

One great day in Istanbul

We purposely booked our flight so that we have one full day in Istanbul. I was not quite sure what to do until I luckily found this company on TripAdvisor. Communication with Latif was great, he responded right away and the booking process was seamless. We arrived in Istanbul at 7 AM, instructions to the meeting point was easy to follow and find. The private limo van was awesome and whisked us directly to our hotel in the old city. There, our guide, Mev met up with us right away. She was really awesome , very experienced and knowledgeable. We felt like we just met our long lost friend in Istanbul. We proceeded to have breakfast at a local bakery , then to visit to blue mosque, glanced at the long long long line of Hagia Sophia so we decided to skip it and do something else better with our time. We walked through the palace park then hop on the Bosphorus cruise tour . Off the boat, we went to the Spice market then lunch then on to more shopping at the Grand Bazaar before we said good bye to Mev. Per her recommendation, we went back to see Hagia Sophia at night when all the crowds are gone and just enjoyed all the lights at the square after dark. The next early morning the Limo van came to pick us on time at 5 AM to whisk us back to the airport. Overall we had an awesome experience in Istanbul, we were so glad we booked this tour which saved me so much headache of researching and booking things separately , hoping to be back again soon.
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Michael
11/06/2023

Great tour

Aloha from Hawaii, This was a great tour. On returning from a semester in Germany, my daughter had a long layover that began at night and departed the following evening. Besides the actual visiting of the sights, Latif made sure that my daughter was safe and had an itinerary of the day. When the airline hotel reservation was not available, Latif made sure to have transportation available for her. They verified all information with her, and they made sure to assist her. Latif helped me to make sure the hotel was in the right area, and he made sure that the reviews indicated that it was a good choice. She was relieved (after a few deep breaths)when I told her that Latif made sure to have transportation for her, and the hotel reservation was confirmed. In the morning, Taylan took her to see the amazing city. Taylan took many pictures along the way. That eased my worry to see her enjoying everything. She will have a lifetime of great memories in that short visit to Istanbul thanks to Latif and Taylan. Aloha and Mahalo to Latif and Taylan. From, A father far away trying to make this year a fantastic, awe-inspiring, spectacular, memory-filled experience for his daughter.
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Scott Greenberg
11/06/2023
I can’t imagine a better experience. Our guide, Mev, was as personable and accommodating as she was knowledgeable about Istanbul. She led us to the best sites, the tastiest food, and the most trustworthy shopping. Everything was very easy and we’re so grateful. Thank you Mev and Istanbul Layover Tours!
Maruna
28/05/2023

20 Hours of Layover in Istanbul

We had 20 hours of layover in Istanbul and had the best experience. Latif was diligent in building an itinerary that was comprehensive and flexible. Alp, our tour guide was exceptional in letting me experience the sites, scenes and food culture of Istanbul. I will definitely be contacting them on my next trip to Istanbul.
Bruce Moore
02/06/2022
We had the private day tour. Our tour guide was Sinan. An excellent tour guide. He was very kind, knowledgeable and helpful. Our flight was late and he adjusted our tour. We saw all the sights and Sinan was great in the local markets. He is probably the best tour guide we've ever had. It was a very enjoyable experience. Because of this experience, we plan on returning to Istanbul for a longer time frame.
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DanJ
24/03/2021

A lot of sites in jus a bit of time

Latif was a great tour guide, very professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. He provided a lot of interesting information at each stop we made, and he took me to see many of the most iconic Istanbul sites: the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. He helped get good photos at each, and when I couldn’t get to a mailbox to mail my postcards, I left them with him, and he mailed them for me. This is a great tour if you want to see a lot of Istanbul with just a little bit of time!
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Acberkley
17/03/2021

8 hour layover tour

It would be an understatement to say that Latif is great tour guide. He is—without a doubt—easily the best tour guide in Istanbul and probably one of the best in the world. I've traveled to nearly 40 countries and have gone on tours whilst visiting nearly all of them and Latif's experience, expertise, knowledge, attention to detail, and concern that you are having an enjoyable time as a tourist is second to none. I had an eight hour layover in Istanbul and after going back and forth on taking the free Turkish Airlines tour, I decided to book a private tour with Istanbul layover tours. Latif met me at the airport and had a driver waiting for us to take us into the city. On each stop of the tour, whether exploring the Hagia Sophia, drinking traditional turkish coffee, wandering into the Basilica Cistern, taking the ferry to Asia, or eating Turkish Delights in the spice market, Latif never made me feel as though we were in a rush, always answered my questions with depth and breadth, and introduced me to the real Istanbul away from all the tourist traps. More importantly, he's a genuinely good guy that cares about his clients and truly wants them to experience all that Istanbul has to offer. If you have any doubt in your mind as to whether or not you should do this tour, I guarantee you that it is money well spent and you will not regret it.
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Plachta
09/03/2021

Nine Hour Layover in Istanbul

My wife and I had a nine hour layover in Istanbul. Since neither of us had ever been to the city we really wanted to use the time to see at least some of the sites. I found Istanbul Layover Tours by searching for one of the highest recommended layover tour provider and could not have been happier with our decision. Instructions on how to find meeting point were easy to follow and the private van was great service. We were able to see Byzantine hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Spice Market, Eat a delicious  late breakfast next to the water, and take a quick ferry ride to Asian side and back all with enough time to get back to the airport with plenty of time to catch our next flight. I highly recommend booking with Istanbul Layover Tours.
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Latif Eseler

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