“Travelling back to Canada from Jakarta, we had a layover of 8 hours at the Istanbul International airport. We reached out to Istanbul Tour Studio to give us a taste of this historical city. We were picked up at the airport by our guide and chauffeur. It was early morning, before sunrise. What a gift it was to experience the city waking up. Thank you Istanbul Tour Studio for this amazing introduction to the heart and soul of Turkey. Our guide, Ms Berrin was exceptional. She made our 6 hours magical. We boarded the plane with a promise to come back! Memorable!” Read more on Tripadvisor
Istanbul Layover tour
Do you hate waiting at the airports as much as we do? Are you upset because you have only a few hours to see one of the most exciting cities of the world? Don’t worry, we have the perfect solution for you: Our Special Istanbul Layover Tour.
On this tailor-made tour, you will be picked up from the Atatürk Airport (domestic or international arrival) with a private Mercedes van and our professional tour guide will accompany you to the must-sees of Istanbul. A typical tour includes the Sultanahmet area - the old city featuring Hagia Sophia (often referred as the 8th Wonder of the World), the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.
What You’ll See on our Istanbul Layover Tour
- Hagia Sophia: This must-see was originally a Greek Orthodox church built in 537 AD. During its approximately 1500 years lifetime, the temple was used both as a church and then a mosque. Today it is one of the most visited museums of the world – with three million people being awestruck by it every year.
- The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish): One of the greatest examples of classic Ottoman architecture. Built by Sedefkar Memed Ağa in 1616, student of famous architect Sinan, Sultanahmet Mosque, it is the most prominent mosque of the Islamic world. It is the one and only mosque in Istanbul that has six minarets rising to the sky.
- Basilica Cistern (Underground Cistern): Following our mosque visit, we walk to the Underground Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish) which is a 1500 years old water storage dating back to Roman era of Istanbul. The cistern, also known as sunken palace, is a magical place with its 236 columns and upside down Medusa statue head.
- Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı in Turkish): A historical covered market built back in the Ottoman era, in 1450s. From textiles to hand-woven carpets, jewelry to antique objects, a wide range of interesting items are available here. Today the bazaar attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world. (Keep in mind that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays)
- If you have already seen the old city, the itinerary can be adjusted according to your interest prior to booking. Please note that you will not be able to bring your luggage along; if it is not already checked to your final destination we advise you to leave it at the airport storage facilities. Your flight details will be asked at the time of the booking to design the tour accordingly. Make sure you have minimum six hours between your arrival and departure flight. The tour ends with a drop off back at the Atatürk Airport. (If your layover is in Sabiha Gokcen airport, please get in touch to see what tours can be arranged from there.)
Who is this tour for?
- Anyone with at least six hours to kill that wants to see more of Istanbul than the inside of an airport.
- People interested in the complex history of Istanbul.
- First time visitors to the city that want to see the very best sights it has to offer.
Why book with Istanbul Tour Studio?
- With utmost professional standards we’ll transport you in luxury and ensure you’re back at the airport in ample time for your connecting flight.
- Istanbul Tour Studio is rated "Excellent" on Tripadvisor. Click to read the latest reviews about us.
- We make you feel at home! Our tours give you the feeling as if you were walking around in Turkey with local friends.
- Knowledgeable personnel, always on time, trustworthy, no waiting in ticket lines and much more.