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Istanbul Layover Morning Tour


4 - 6 Hour

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size





Private Guided Istanbul Layover Morning Tour

Istanbul Layover Morning Tour: If you have an early afternoon or midday departure flight and want to make the most of your stopover in Istanbul, our tour is the perfect option. This personalized and private tour begins as you’re greeted at the international arrival gate by our welcome host. From there, you’ll be escorted to a private driver and van at the pickup point. After meeting your driver and boarding your private vehicle, you’ll be transferred to the tour guide’s location in the old city within 1 hour. Many major attractions of Istanbul are conveniently situated in this area. Once you reach the old city, the transfer vehicle departs, and you’ll continue the rest of the tour on foot with your friendly and enthusiastic guide. At some points in the tour, public tramways and ferries may be used to save time or just for experience. Depending on your layover duration, you can request your guide to arrange either a proper Turkish breakfast or a quick snack along the way. Then, it’s time to explore the iconic sites of Istanbul’s Old City at your own pace, including the Byzantine Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar. Finally, you’ll be transferred back to the airport with ample time for security procedures and reaching your gate on time, as we always ensure.


  • Round-Trip Tour from Istanbul Airports (IST) including pick up and drop off with a private van.
  • Take advantage of a personalized tour with a friendly local guide.
  • Visit the most famous iconic monuments of Istanbul: Byzantine Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.
  • Tasting famous Turkish Breakfast, Turkish Tea, or Turkish Coffee.
  • Enjoy an optional Turkish Bath experience and relax at a 500-year-old Turkish Bath ahead of a long flight.
  • With a Relax Cancellation Policy: Pay no penalty fee for cancellations made before 24 hours prior to the starting time due to delayed or canceled flights.


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Airport Pick-up & Transfer to City Center
Airport Pick-up & Transfer to City Center

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 breakfast or famous turkish coffee 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

Grand Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar, Spice Market
Grand Bazaar, Arasta 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

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.


  • Private Tour by Licensed Tour Guide
  • Private Round Airport Transport
  • Public Transportation Fees (Ferry & Tram and Cable)
  • Additional Services
  • Food & Drinks
  • Tickets (can be purchased in advance)


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

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.

What is the earliest time for airport pickup?

We offer airport pickup services starting as early as 6:00 AM on weekdays and 6:30 AM on weekends.


Based on 7 reviews
Very Good

Great Tour!!

Amazing experience! So easy and stress free! Latif is the tour guide to go to!

Excellent way to spend a few hours in Istanbul

I would have given 10 stars if I could. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and very accommodating. I plan to be back with my family and friends explore a great city. I wish I could have spent more time there. A+++++, and highly recommended
Mark A.

Over Night in Istanbul with Morning Layover Tour

I had an amazing experience with Istanbul Layover Tours from start to finish! I am from the USA, vacationed in Greece, and flew Turkish Air. I had a 15 hour overnight layover in Istanbul and decided to do a morning layover tour in Istanbul. It was one of the smartest ideas I had! Because it was an overnight layover, it was logistically complicated to make this work. However, I communicate with Latif over email and WhatsApp and we were able to figure things out. My flight arrived from Greece into Istanbul at 11:30pm. By the time I made it through passport control and customs, it was already past midnight. The arranged transfer was there to meet us as scheduled. The meet & greet was a bit sketchy, since you are handed off to multiple handlers who only speak broken English, until they put you into a van that just takes you away. It worked flawlessly, but happening in the middle of the night in a foreign country did make me feel a little nervous. I chose a hotel that was by Galata Tower, which is also near the city center, and was dropped off there. There were issues with the hotel, but that has nothing to do with Istanbul Layover Tours. I was able to get 3 hours of sleep, which was necessary for the events of the next day. Istanbul Layover Tour picked us up from the hotel at 7:00am and drove us to the city center. This is where I met Latif in-person for the first time. We only had 4 hours with Latif, but he made good use of every minute. The tour started off with a traditional breakfast, which included morning chai tea. Then I was able to see Constantine's Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bizarre. Since it was a private tour, it was only my girlfriend, me, and Latif. So we were able to just go-go-go. You should know that the price you pay for the tour does not include breakfast or tickets to the Basilica Cistern (450 Turkish Lira). Latif is the perfect tour guide. He is capable of reading his customers and customizing the tour to meet their needs. He asked if we were into food, shopping, or sight-seeing. We told him sight-seeing, so he showed us as much as he could in 4 hours. He also offered to take our picture everywhere we went. So we have really nice pictures, rather than a bunch of selfies. Latif is also full of knowledge. He expertly knew the order we needed to do things so that we could spend the least amount of time waiting in lines and more time seeing things. He also was able to explain everything that we saw and answered all of our questions in perfect English. And he made sure we were in a van headed back to the airport at 11:00am sharp so we did not miss our flight home. It is about a 1 hour drive from the city center to the airport. So we arrived back with roughly 2 hours and a half to make it back through security, which was plenty of time. For an itinerary so complicated, Istanbul Layover Tours made everything run incredibly smooth.
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Taylan was the best! He knew his stuff and was so engaging. He definitely went way beyond just a tourist, surface presentation. And he loves the subject matter - I could feel his passion for the titles and patterns. The drivers and greeter were great as well. It was all flawless and exactly on time as well. I am very glad to have taken this tour. 10/10.

Great Experience!

I had a layover for 7.5 hours and took a tour for roughly 2 hours. It was an absolutely amazing experience! My tour guide (Kay) was wonderful!

Lovely Morning Tour in Istanbul

My husband and I had an early morning layover in Istanbul on our way back from our honeymoon in the Maldives. We wanted to make the most of our time in the city and decided to book a private layover tour with Istanbul Layover Tours. We were thrilled to find out that we could start our day exploring the city before the crowds arrived. Our guide, Alp, was fantastic – he was very knowledgeable and passionate about Istanbul’s history and culture, and made the tour so enjoyable and informative. We visited the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar, and Alp gave us a great overview of each place. He even took us to a local cafe for a delicious Turkish breakfast, which was a great way to start our day. We were impressed with how much we were able to see and do in just a few hours. Alp was also very accommodating to our flight schedule, making sure we got back to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Overall, we had a wonderful experience with Istanbul Layover Tours and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a personalized and informative layover tour with the added benefit of breakfast and an early pick-up
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Best Tour Guide Ever

OZ! He’s the best. He was able to tailor our morning tour to our preference. he brought us to best spots for local food which we really loved! He also has very thorough expertise of the places’ history— we learned a lot. We definitely enjoyed this tour. Well worth it. We are already planning to come back! THANK YOU OZGUR!
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