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layover in istanbul

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I will have a 7 1/2 hour layover at the airport. Is there enough time to visit the city? Perhaps just the market?

Thanks

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    For market, it cannot be Sunday, the closure day for both Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, if that is what you meant by the market. The Grand Bazaar is usually open 9am-7pm and the Spice Market is usually 8am-7pm. Both are on the Tram line.

    Now, the airport procedure at IST, I presume that is what you mean, is not fast. If you come to the the vast passport control area with enormously long line, you would realize what you are up to.

    First, for many nationalities, you need a Visa. They are changing to online eVisa. For example, if you are from the U.S., it is $20 plus a processing fee.

    You need approximately:
    1 hour to get out of the airport.
    1 hour to travel to downtown on public transit, 30 min plus who knows how must longer on taxi depending on seemingly perpetually grid locked Istanbul traffic (unless it is wee hour in the morning).
    1 hour to get back out of airport.
    At least 1-2hrs to Go through at least TWO (yes 2) carry-on checks before you get to the gate and passport control:
    a. First metal detector check just to go into the airport building.
    b. Another more extensive carry on check through metal detector to proceed into the departure area
    AND depending on where you are heading to
    c. A simple passport check to proceed to first part of the departure lounge
    d. Then another more extensive passport examination to actually enter the boarding area.

    I suspect you have no more than 1-2 hrs in Istanbul after all these.

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