long layover in Istanbul

Oct 21st, 2015, 10:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
long layover in Istanbul

I have a 23 hour layover in Istanbul from Italy into the states. We will get to Istanbul early afternoon. I would really hate to miss the opportunity to see at least one of two things and to eat some fabulous foods. Does anyone have any advice on what to do in an extremely limited time frame?
ashults is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It would help if you include which day of the week you are arriving and leaving and the time of your flights. If your transit straddles Sun/Mon/Tue, several key things are closed. Also IST (I presume) is a very time consuming airport to land and to depart from. On top of this, you have to add time to travel to/from town.
greg is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 11:48 AM
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Sorry. It will be a Saturday in February. I will be getting there around 3pm and leaving around 5pm the next day.
ashults is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I was in Istanbul 3 weeks ago and found the airport very easy to navigate. It was about a 30 minute drive to/from our hotel in Sultanahmet. Our hotel scheduled our shuttle so we arrived for our departing flight 2 1/2 hours early. Maybe you'll already have your boarding passes and luggage checked for your next flight though?

I didn't use this service but a helpful Fodorite posted it and I bookmarked it for a potential future layover. It might be a good start for planning even if you do it on your own which I think is very doable.

wtm003 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Get a room at the Armada Old City Hotel. It is close to the Topkapi Museum, the Blue Mosque, etc.
RonZ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2015, 01:16 PM
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Your timing is great in terms of traffic, for both entering the city and getting back to the airport.

Saturday afternoon and evening could be a good time for the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Bazaar, with dinner at Hamdi at Eminonu or one of the better restaurants at Karakoy (provided you pick one with as good a view as Hamdi) or at Sardunya (strongly recommended but will probably need reservation)(Findikli tram stop and some 200 meters back on the sea side), accessible by tram to beat the traffic in that area Saturday evening.

Check the different Sultanahmet hotels recommended by various travelers here and on trip advisor. Prefer one with a closed Winter terrace with view and good breakfast.

Sunday may be good for Hagia Sophia and possibly even a short ferry ride to Kadikoy on the Asian side and back to give you some excellent photograpy opportunities, weather permitting.

You can leave your carry-on at hotel to pick up about 14-14:30 to get to the airport. (earlier, if there is snow)
otherchelebi is offline  
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