Duration: Approx. between 6 - 8 hours
Tour starting point: Airport or Hotel
Tour ending point: Hotel or Airport
Includes: Officially licensed tour guide, private tour, transportation, roundtrip airport transfers
Excludes: Entrance tickets, lunch, drinks, tips to guide & driver ( recommended)
Sights to see: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, German Fountain, Highlights of Topkapi Palace Museum, Grand Bazaar
Professional Local Guide
Roundtrip Airport Transfers
Tips to guide & driver (suggested)
Meet your tour guide and van at Istanbul New Airport (IST) or Istanbul SAW Airport and start the Istanbul layover tour with the highlights of Istanbul. At the end of the Istanbul layover tour, you will be transferred back to the airport to catch your flight.
Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel lobby or cruise port and start your Istanbul Old City Tour;
Highlights of Topkapi Palace Museum; (Topkapi Sarayi) More than just an Imperial Residence of Ottoman Sultans, it was the seat of the Supreme Executive and Judiciary Council for almost 400 years long as a backbone for the country. Topkapi Palace is a great monument of beautifully designed Oriental architecture that should be listed at top of your sights to see in Istanbul.
Byzantine Hippodrome / Sultanahmet Square; where the chariot races were held in the Roman Empire times and today we see German Fountain here.
Hagia Sophia (skip the line service is not available for active mosques – there is a queue for the entrance); (Ayasofya, Santa Sofia) Built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, played a very important role in the Christian and Islamic World. After the Ottoman conquest the bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over to convert the church into a mosque, then a museum in 1934. In July 2020 it is converted into a mosque again and it’s the must-see point of daily Istanbul tours.
Blue Mosque (skip the line service is not available for active mosques – there is a queue for the entrance); Built in the early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet I, Blue Mosque is truly a magnificent masterpiece of architecture with amazingly delicate proportions for a building of such massive scale and it’s on the to-see list in Istanbul of every guest so we are visiting in our Istanbul layover tour.
Grand Bazaar; (Kapali Carsi) One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 4,000 shops selling spice, Turkish delight, jewelry, gold, leather products, carpet, and rugs. And guided tours are best here to visit Grand Bazaar, otherwise, you will get lost in its appealing streets.
At the end of your Private Istanbul Layover Tour, you will be transferred back to the airport for your international flight.
Blue Mosque is closed until 2 pm on Fridays.
Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays.
Hagia Sophia entrance will be restricted during praying time.
Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays so will be replaced with Spice Market if your Istanbul layover tour is Sunday.
Children aged 7 and under are free of charge. Please make sure that you have passport copies of children as we have to verify their ages at museums for free tickets.
If one of the mosques are not visited, Basilica Cistern will be visited as a replacement.
On Fridays, Hagia Sophia or Blue Mosque will be visited from outside because of the worship.
Annual Closing Dates of all museums and bazaars in Istanbul in 2021 are as follows;
Q: How to meet my tour guide?
A: Your tour guide will be waiting at the Istanbul Airport to meet you at a determined time.
Q: Can I state the departure time for my tour?
A: Of course! We operate tours on a private basis, so you can customize the departure time.
Q: Can I choose the sights to visit on my own?
A: Sure! You can choose the sights and museums along with all sorts of criteria you like per your tour guide.
Q: How to buy museum tickets?
A: No need to buy tickets in advance, during the tour your tour guide will help you to purchase them. Official tour guides have priority at museum ticket offices.
Q: Am I traveling with a group on the tour?
A: No, we provide Private Guided Istanbul Tours for your best experience so you will have a private professional tour guide in your preferred language.
Q: How about transportation?
A: When you book your layover tour, you will be picked up from the airport with a private van, be transferred to the sights, and then back to the airport.
Q: How about shopping in Istanbul?
A: We do not include any shopping stops unless you wish to visit one of the traditional workshops of handmade rugs, tiles, jewelry. If you have any interest in workshops, please indicate while booking.
Q: How do I book this Private Guided Istanbul Tour?
A: Easy! All you need to do is;
Fill the 'Booking' form where you will put your full details such as personal information, date, arrival and departure flight codes, arrival and departure times. Once you complete your booking we will get back to you with a confirmation email within 24 hours.
Q: How do I pay?
A: After filling the Booking form and you can proceed to the online payment step to secure the booking.
Q: Does the status of Hagia Sophia affect our tour?
A: After conversion to mosque entrance will be restricted during praying times however your tour guide will revise the route of your tour accordingly and entrance is free of charge. Please note that as it's not a museum anymore, tour guides don't have skip-the-line priority, so you may need to wait in the security line.
Q: What is a Private Layover Tour in Istanbul and what are the advantages?
A: With economic flight options Turkish Airlines offers connection flights via Istanbul and most tourists have around 10 hours of free time in the city. To make use of time in the most efficient way and explore some most popular sites of Istanbul we offer you, Private Layover Tour, from Istanbul airport with pick-up and drop-off transfers. A fast city tour will give you chance to discover the most common Instagram points of Istanbul city and accompany your private Istanbul guide you will explore the beauty of Istanbul within your limited time. Highlights of Istanbul in Sultanahmet and Taksim areas are sites that you can't miss in a short time and also easy visa process of Turkey is another advantage for all guests.