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All-nighter in Istanbul?

All-nighter in Istanbul?

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Old Mar 20, 19, 7:45 am
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All-nighter in Istanbul?

Booked my first overnight lie-flat this fall, flying ORD-(the new)IST. In leaving Chicago at 11pm and arriving in Istanbul at 4pm (11 hours later), I'm thinking of just not getting a room and trying to stay busy until my 630AM flight the next day. Am I crazy? Is there plenty to do late night? I figure I'll be headed to the airport around 330AM either way, so try to take in enough of the city but not fully intoxicate myself both literally and figuratively. Has anyone tried to do something similar?

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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:17 am
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Other than visiting a night-club, what kind of a pss-time do you have in mind?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:22 am
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Well I think that's it, but the more I've thought about it the last few days I may just book a room to try to relax for a few hours. I fly to Porto the next morning to meet the rest of the group and start my 'official' vacation, so being rested for that bit is important.

I'm only 36 and can still keep up with the kids when I set my mind to it, I guess :-).

What time should I get to the airport? As a US passport holder, is there any special circumstance where I'll need a lot of time to get through customs?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:54 am
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If you keep to Chicago time (by spending most of the flight asleep) it won't be difficult to "stay up" until 0630 Istanbul time. Whether this is a good idea depends on your final destination and plans.

Personally if it's really the new airport, I would wait to see what the transportation options will be from the city at 0330.

When I do things like this I tend to see what public transport is available overnight, buy a day ticket or some equivalent and just go walking around.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 9:57 am
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Yeah, the transport/new airport thing is perhaps my biggest concern, and getting a taxi to drive me an hour after a night of beer and wine. I think I'll give it a few weeks and see how the transportation is to and from.

My IST-OPO flight is nearly five hours long, so I'm thinking I'll be able to nap a bit there too.

Last edited by Rick Londberg; Mar 20, 19 at 10:43 am
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Old Mar 20, 19, 11:28 am
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A couple things to check into (because I don't feel like doing it ):

- Assuming you are a US citizen, make sure you can get a visa to enter Turkey. It wasn't possible last time I was there. I believe it's back to normal now, but worth checking.
- You may be eligible for a free hotel room on an overnight transfer. Look at the TK website to confirm.
- TK also offers free Istanbul tours for long layovers. There are different departure times and lengths. I have no idea if any of them would leave after your arrival. More info on the TK website. It's not an all night party, but a quick spin through Istanbul with free transportation, and you won't have to worry about getting back to the airport (or hotel).

Note, these all depend on getting a visa.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
A couple things to check into (because I don't feel like doing it ):

- Assuming you are a US citizen, make sure you can get a visa to enter Turkey. It wasn't possible last time I was there. I believe it's back to normal now, but worth checking.
- You may be eligible for a free hotel room on an overnight transfer. Look at the TK website to confirm.
- TK also offers free Istanbul tours for long layovers. There are different departure times and lengths. I have no idea if any of them would leave after your arrival. More info on the TK website. It's not an all night party, but a quick spin through Istanbul with free transportation, and you won't have to worry about getting back to the airport (or hotel).

Note, these all depend on getting a visa.
It seems like the Visa thing has been worked out, I just need to apply <90 days before my trip. I think the overnight "free" hotel room requires 19 hours, I'm only at 14. Was considering the free tour, but I'm not certain I'll be out of the airport in time. Another part of the 'new airport' things I need to figure out.
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Old Mar 20, 19, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by Rick Londberg View Post
It seems like the Visa thing has been worked out, I just need to apply <90 days before my trip. I think the overnight "free" hotel room requires 19 hours, I'm only at 14. Was considering the free tour, but I'm not certain I'll be out of the airport in time. Another part of the 'new airport' things I need to figure out.
I could have sworn the hotel thing was more like 10 hours, but obviously you've looked into it.
For the free tour, you just need to find the desk once you land...there's no reservation. So you can see what's available when you get in and through the airport and make a game time call on it.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 3:57 am
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here's the info. It's 10 hrs for economy class pax and 7 hrs for biz class pax. This is all accurate for IST but not for ISL, for which there's no info (yet?)

If you're flying after June 1, there's a nonstop to LIS from ORD on TP, which should also have flat beds and would save you a day of travel.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 8:56 pm
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Thanks Palal, but I was actually trying to spend time in Istanbul on purpose :-). My wife says its low on her priority list and I don't do a ton of international travel, so was happy to sneak this in.

It must have been old information that I had then- I'll just talk to them at the airport if I don't have more information before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:59 pm
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I see your point (those wifes!!!), but then you should have included an additional day or two: Arriving late in the evening and leaving that early, you'll miss the amazing Byzantine and Ottoman sights and a boat trip along the Bosporus and/or a Prince island.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by Rick Londberg View Post
I was actually trying to spend time in Istanbul on purpose :-). My wife says its low on her priority list and I don't do a ton of international travel, so was happy to sneak this in.
That would make sense as reason for making space for a couple of days in Istanbul. Or (for me) a couple of days Chicago.

But would you recommend a first-time visitor to the US, make a late night jaunt around Chicago to get a taste of the city?


I'm guessing there are good reasons for such a long route to get to Portugal. So if you are wedded to this itinerary I suggest you find a hotel for the night: you're going to be tired!
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Old Mar 22, 19, 12:05 pm
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You're all correct! Along with the wife I'm also leaving her solo with a toddler, so yeah, I'm literally just squeezing as much as I can in on a short trip.

I've decided I'm definitely getting a hotel, even if I only sleep for a few hours. The cost (even if it isn't free) is so cheap that it'd be foolish to just ignore that option.

Thanks everyone for your info. I'll definitely get back to Istanbul at some point, this just worked out for a United redemption best this way. If I had my druthers I'd just do direct both ways in business, but the Business Saver availability didn't allow for it.
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