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Old Dec 11, 11, 10:39 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Leaving Ataturk Airport (Istanbul) during stopover

I will be flying via Turkish Airlines from Bombay to Istanbul, Turkey (Ataturk airport), and have an 8-hour stopover before flying to NYC by Turkish Airlines. I saw the following tour information:

http://www.istanbulinhours.com/

Do I qualify for this free tour during my stopover? I am assuming that my luggage will be checked directly from 1 flight to the next and that I am allowed to leave the airport in Istanbul?

I have a US passport, do I need to get a visa beforehand?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 11, 11, 1:23 pm   #2
 
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Not sure about the tour but you can get the visa at the airport for something like $15-20 payable its us currency
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Old Dec 11, 11, 4:13 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fikio View Post
I will be flying via Turkish Airlines from Bombay to Istanbul, Turkey (Ataturk airport), and have an 8-hour stopover before flying to NYC by Turkish Airlines. I saw the following tour information:

http://www.istanbulinhours.com/

Do I qualify for this free tour during my stopover? I am assuming that my luggage will be checked directly from 1 flight to the next and that I am allowed to leave the airport in Istanbul?

I have a US passport, do I need to get a visa beforehand?

Thanks!
Yes you can take that tour and its free. You have to get Visa before the passport control. Also, you must reserve your seat in advance.
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Old Dec 11, 11, 4:16 pm   #4
 
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Yes, you can take this free Istanbul tour. You must have visa before you exit the airport. Also, you need to reserve your seat in advance.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 2:12 pm   #5
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We have a layover in Istanbul in a few weeks time so looking for some advice on what to do. Arriving (from OSL) a Saturday at 17:15 and departing (to BKK) "the next day" at 00:40. Unfortunately this is too late for the free Turkish Airlines tours mentioned above.

Also, a lot of the typical tourist sites will be closed or closing at that time, e.g.
Hagia Sophia Tu-Su 9AM-6PM
Topkapı Palace M,W-Su 9AM-5PM
Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) Nov-Apr:9AM-7PM (we might attempt this)

Similarly, it appears that cruises are more common earlier in the day (and might require some more time).

There is a free organized walking tour which starts at 18:00 which we will try to join (realistically though we will be too late for that as well).

At the moment I am leaning towards strolling around, visiting a hamam and perhaps getting dinner. Any other suggestions are most welcome.

I have also heard that the TK lounge is quite nice and would like to check it out. Some people report long lines at check-in/passport control; is this likely to be a problem on a Saturday evening? Also, there is apparently direct access to the lounge (and a separate passport control). Is this easy to find?

Finally, would the quickest option to get into town be a taxi at that time?
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Old Mar 12, 12, 7:10 pm   #6
 
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The flights from Bombay to IST is almost always late. Arrives between 9.30am & 10.00am. Also, the plane almost always not at the gate but you get out on a tarmac and then transported by bus in to the terminal. By the time you get VISA by paying $20.00US, and go through passport control, you will miss the free tour. You have a choice of paying $ 100-125 to many tour operators waiting outside or take a train
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Old Mar 13, 12, 3:18 am   #7
 
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here is some information i've got from couple weeks ago
i didn't end up flying TK though, maybe next time


Dear Sir / Madam

Thank you for your inquiry concerning TOURİSTANBUL and choosing Turkish Airlines.

Dear passenger , it is possible to attend our tour and come back to Yesilkoy International Airport on your own. However , we should mention some points that are important for your trip.

• Unfortunately, TOURISTANBUL does not provide transportation from city center to Airport when you decide to return on your own
• Transportation cost from city center to Airport may not be covered by TOURISTANBUL when you decide to return on your own
• You should sign Consent of Leaving when you reach hotel desk (Our staff will provide consent of leaving when you reach hotel desk and please mention your trip schedule to our staff)
• Other terms and conditions are still valid for passengers who attend our tours.
• Be aware of heavy traffic in Istanbul city center while returning to Airport.

In order to join TOURISTANBUL; your flight must be

FOR 09:00 /18:00 TOUR = YOUR ARRIVAL MUST BE 08:00 OR BELOW (AT 08:30 YOU MUST BE AT HOTEL DESK) / DEPARTURE MUST BE 19:00 OR ABOVE (YOU MUST HAVE MINIMUM 1 HOUR FOR CHECKIN AND BOARDING)

FOR 09:00/15:00 TOUR = YOUR ARRIVAL MUST BE 08:00 OR BELOW (AT 08:30 YOU MUST BE AT HOTEL DESK) / DEPARTURE MUST BE 16:00 OR ABOVE (YOU MUST HAVE MINIMUM 1 HOUR FOR CHECKIN AND BOARDING)

FOR 12:00/18:00 TOUR = YOUR ARRIVAL MUST BE 11:00 OR BELOW (AT 11:30 YOU MUST BE AT HOTEL DESK) / DEPARTURE MUST BE 19:00 OR ABOVE (YOU MUST HAVE MINIMUM 1 HOUR FOR CHECKIN AND BOARDING)

This is a hospitality service only for our international transit passenger (passenger who arrives from an international point and will travel to another internatinal destination and whose connection is not exceeding 24h).

Our scheduled tours are every day from 09:00 to 18:00, from 09:00 to 15:00 and from 12:00 to 18:00.So you should be ready at the Hotel Desk half an hour before the tour starts.

When you arrive to Istanbul, pass the passport and customs control, then at the right side you will find the Hotel Desk , next to Starbucks. For instance for our 09:00 o’clock tour, we kindly ask you to be ready at Hotel Desk at 08:30. For the 12:00 o’clock tour, this is 11:30am.

Secondly, we expect our passengers to be ready for boarding and pass the passport and custom control minimum 1 hour before their scheduled departure time. For instance if we assume that their departure is at 18:30pm, we may only suggest tours ending at 15:00

You will be our guest and Tourİstanbul is definitely free of charge for our international transit passengers(Guiding service in English with professional tour guide,meal (breakfast and /or lunch depends on tour programmes),transportation with shuttle bus and all museum fees are included.)

You may find general information about TOURİSTANBUL under the heading of “For Your Information” below the-email.

Please let us know if there is any other way in which we can be of help.

Thanking you for your kind interest


Yours sincerely,

TOURİSTANBUL
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Old Dec 21, 12, 12:30 pm   #8
 
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Free Istanbul Tour for Transit Passengers?

Hello,

I have read about the TourISTanbul promotion of free day tours for transit passengers. What is the eligibility? I have a 4-hour stopover in Istanbul while fliying from Mumbai to Hannover. Since I read about the tour, I was thinking maybe I will delay my flight from Istanbul to Hannover so I can avail this tour. Is that ok? I heard somewhere that it is not possible for travellers to change their first available connection and use this offer. Please help. I can then choose to make my travel arrangements accordingly.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 23, 13, 4:30 am   #9
 
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If I am not eligible for the tour what is the least expensive way to get to the city? I would like to go to the Blue Mosque area. Where else shall I go from there? I will be arriving IST at 5pm on TK departing at 1pm the following day.
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Old Nov 24, 13, 10:54 am   #10
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Originally Posted by ClassOnTap View Post
If I am not eligible for the tour what is the least expensive way to get to the city? I would like to go to the Blue Mosque area. Where else shall I go from there? I will be arriving IST at 5pm on TK departing at 1pm the following day.
Subway+Tram is least expensive - stops pretty much right out front of the blue mosque. Lots of small inexpensive boutique hotels around the area too.
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Old Dec 4, 13, 10:40 am   #11
 
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Are the HAVAS busess still suspended from IST to the centre?
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