8-Hour layover in Istanbul

Jan 1st, 2013, 07:26 PM
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8-Hour layover in Istanbul

I have two 8-hour layovers in Istanbul. One is during dinner time (5pm-1am) and one is early in the morning (6am-1pm). I've never been and I don't know much about it. Any suggestions for what to do/see on the cheap side? Can I take their train to the center city area from the airport?
meamop is offline  
Jan 1st, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Yes, you can take the train from the airport to the Sultanahmet area (or very close to it). For the 5pm-1am shift you could visit the Blue Mosque and go inside to admire the interior. Depending on how long you plan to stay inside the mosque, you might also be able to make your way over to Istiklal Caddesi where the street is more alive with shoppers and tourists in the evening than Sultanahmet.
For 6am-1pm day I think you'll have time to visit inside the Aya Sofya (9am-7pm, daily except Mondays. Get there early to avoid potentially long line. Before that you can just walk around the area.
Axel2DP is offline  
Jan 5th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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is it worth leaving the airport and getting a visa and going through customs and everything to check out istanbul? i only have 8 hours...how much of an ordeal is it to leave the airport and come back in the same day for an international flight?
meamop is offline  
Jan 5th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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I had two long lay-overs in Istanbul, and it was worth leaving the Airport. The line for the Visa was very short and moved quickly. (cost was $20) A friend and I had never been there and we managed to to do quite a few things considering it was late at night when we arrived. Its easy to find an english speaking taxi cab driver that will take you around the city. We went to a few bars there and they were really cool. They even had a Supper Club. I recommend exchanging currency at the airport there for Turkish Lira, especially if you walk around the main streets located right near the airport. Lots of cute shops.
nereydag is offline  
Jan 5th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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very helpful nereydag, thanks! any other experiences?
meamop is offline  
Jan 5th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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It would be worth it even just to see the Ayasofya.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jan 5th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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How about dinner at the fish restaurants in Kumkapi. Refer this excellent site - http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/g...sBars/kumkapi/
worldinabag is offline  
Jan 29th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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also, if i take a cab from the airport to the city of istanbul, will it be pretty easy for me to return to the airport? or via the subway system?

thanks again!
meamop is offline  
Jan 29th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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I would look into getting a private guide, It may cost a bit but you will see more.

I had an 8 hour lay over in Amsterdam.
I booked a private guide, he was right there when I walked out of the airport.

He took me to all the major places and drove me back to the airport in time.
I had no worries
Percy is online now  
Jan 29th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Percy, I'm on a very strict budget, so I don't think I can afford a guide, but thanks for the suggestion!
meamop is offline  

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