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Questions about 25 hr layover in Istanbul

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In June 2014 we will be arriving IST from LAX at 5:10pm and leaving the next day at 6:15pm for a flight to Tanzania (all on Turkish Airlines). We will want to spend the night and do some exploring the next day. I have read that it can take anywhere from 35min. to 2 hrs to get from airport to the city. When we arrive at 5:10pm and go through immigration/customs, etc. will that be rush hour? Would it be better to just spend the night closer to the airport and get into the city in the morning (say leaving around 8/8:30am) or would that just be rush hour at that time? What would be the best plan to avoid the most traffic - want to maximize our time to sleep and our time to explore the next day.

Also, while normally I would be looking for something a bit more quaint and authentic would be fine for this one night with a larger hotel - priority will be getting a good night's rest on good beds!!

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