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Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels

Istanbul, Turkey
Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels

From $149.00

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 to 8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Take advantage of extended layover time in Istanbul on a round-trip tour of city highlights from the airport, customized to suit your interests and schedule. Zip with ease between iconic sights such as the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, or Topkapı Palace, and benefit from historic and cultural insights provided by your professional guide.
  • Swap the dreary departure lounge for the vibrant city
  • Round-trip transfer from the airport ensures a hassle-free experience
  • Enjoy the personalized experience of a private tour
  • Unwind on an included Bosphorus boat cruise, where time permits
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Local taxes
Professional guide
Private tour
Round-trip private transfer
Fuel surcharge
Air-conditioned vehicle
Food and drinks
Visa expenses. Please note that you might need a visa to leave the airport. Please apply online
Entry/Admisión fees for sights ( if you choose to enter ).Can be paid by cards or cash in TL

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
After you get off of the plane and pass through the passport controls and custom checks, please walk to the exit GATE 13 ( outside the airport ) where it is Meet & Greet point for the transfer organizations. Right after you exit you will see many people holding signs boards. Please keep your eyes for the board sign as M44. Tell your name to the Wellcome & Greeting staff and he will accompany you to the driver. Please note that, the sign holders are the third party and their english is limited. If you have any issue make them call Salih. + 90 534 200 55 65

The next step is that he will accompany you to the driver and driver who will bring you to the center where you will meet your guide. Driving duration to the center is approximately one hour.

P.S. if you have any luggage with you, we suggest you to store them at the airport while on tour. Alternatively, you can leave them at the car which will bring you to the center.


  • Istanbul Airport, TayakadIn Terminal Street No. 1, Istanbul 34283 Turkey


  • Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Sanayi, 34906 Pendik/İstanbul, Turkey

Departure Time

2/2/2021 - 1/1/2023
Monday:06:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Tuesday:06:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Wednesday:06:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Thursday:06:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Friday:06:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Saturday:06:00 AM - 10:30 PM
Sunday:06:30 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Dress code is smart casual
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY My Local Guide lstanbul
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels.
What is the policy on sanitization during Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels.
What is the social distancing policy during Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports & Hotels.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Highly recommended - do yourself a favor and get the tour!" See review


41 Reviews
3 stars
2 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 41 reviews
Worst, most costly, tour of my life.
, Sep 2021
While the guide is very friendly, the tour itself was awful and they did not get us back to the airport in time despite repeatedly reminding him what time our flight was. We got back 20 MINUTES before our flight!!! Border patrol and 2 security checks and he’s like “you have plenty of time!” No we didn’t. We even ran. The entire airport. And we couldn’t get to our gate within 40 minutes much less 20. This tour cost us $1500 with missed flights and hotel costs. And 2 days of vacation. We were to just see the Bazaar in Istanbul. That’s it. We were pushed to visit his friends booths and forced to walk and wait and visit a “hidden” (illegal) shop of immigration designer purses where the sales pitch began. I guess he thought Americans would spend money and he gets a cut. It wasted our precious time. We just wanted to walk around and see the bazaar, not deal with personal sales pitches. It wasn’t a free tour, we were paying customers. We had booked 2 toys with him (of course cancelled the second). When we told the company we missed our flight, we’re told “oh sorry” and he tried to find us another flight. He could’ve put us in a taxi to get to the airport faster but put us in the ban, which had to go much slower. $1500 loss + tour cost + we didn’t get to experience what we wanted to = biggest tour mistake if our lives. And collectively we’ve taken 300 tours in dozens of countries. He was polite and friendly but it was all awful. And that’s putting it nicely and cooling off for 2 weeks before I wrote this review. Don’t book this tour. Save your money. Get a taxi and go yourself. Arrive back 2 hours before your flight. He also tries to get you to cancel and book outside of Viator so there’s no accountability at all. Don’t do it. Just avoid this tour company all around.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Hi Dawn, thank you for taking your time to write a review even though it is not a type of the review we expect. We have been running layover tours for years and it is the first time we had this issue of someone who lost their flight. We organize layovers tours based on the information you provide to us since we don’t have a copy of your ticket. So let’s look at your tour details: You landed at 1pm, got picked up at 1:40 arrived to the center at 2:40 pm. You asked for a visit to Grand bazaar and a birthday cake for your friend. We organized that for you at a panoramic restaurant after your visit to Grand bazar and you thanked me many times for how great the tour was and for the cake before you got in the van. I put you back in the private van at 4pm and you arrive at the airport at 5:05 pm. Since your flight is at 7pm you have two hours prior to your connection flight time and we didn’t get how you could miss your flight when you have two full hours. Based on the past tours we always leave guests at airport two hours prior to their flight but no one ever lost the flight. You have even suggested the others to do tours on their own and sayin “get back to airport two hours before your flight departure “ this is exactly what did! We dropped you off at the airport two hours before your flight! This is a clear proof that you actually gave us wrong information about your flight departure and you proof it yourself. You contact us about you lost your flight and we still refunded you. We knew it is not our fault and we didn’t have to but we just wanted to be there to help you. Regard the shopping at the Grand bazaar, we didn’t take you to our friend shop but we suggest the shops we know. It is likely to see people change their mind about what they buy, they want to change they sometimes want to give back and get the money back. This won’t be posible at a shop we don’t know so we take you the ones who accept the refund in case of any issue like this happen. We don’t get a cut like you have thought. Moreover, you asked for purse to buy and we were just close to the shop and l suggest you, so there is no force shopping here. I’m seeing that you even provócate Viator against us and it is not very nice of you. You booked this tour months ago and we can reach you through the phone number you put in the booking. Later you cancelled the tour and we contacted you to tell we are sorry to received the cancelation. You responded with saying “ we had to cancel because our pan had changed and we will rebook again” and you asked for the tour price if you book directly. We gave you the price but you choose to book through Viator because we would only accept cash and that didn’t work for you since you wanted to pay by card. We wished this didn’t happen and we hope you will find some other type of tours which suits to your style of traveling for your future trips.
It was great advantage in...
, Aug 2021
It was great advantage in short amount time! Salii is best knowledge about historical buildings, culture and he knows about a lot off beautiful places and food restaurants! I had a great time! I’m so thankful about get from trip. I’ll love to come back Istanbul ❤️ Thank you so much him! I’m highly recommended!
icon Response from Host , Aug 2021
Thank you for taking your time to write this lovely review. We were lucky to have you on our Istanbul Layover tour in Istanbul and we are very happy to see you enjoyed your tour with us. We hope to see you have another tour with My Local Guide Istanbul in the future.
9.5 hour layover Turkish evening delight
, Mar 2020
We arrived in Istanbul at 5PM and took a private tour ( scheduled in advance) for 7PM as we had a 9.5 hour layover. Little did we know that it would be RAINING!! After some moderate anxiety on my part about connecting with the tour guide, we found our driver who picked us up at the airport in a very comfortable VAN and deftly delivered us to OUR MAGNIFICENT tour guide. Despite the steady, falling rain, our indefatigable guide showed us SO MUCH that we practically had to beg him to let us return to the airport! We went to a small spice market as the larger ones were closed for the day! The shop keeper was delightful and gave us wonderful samples of tea and other delicacies. From there in the RAIN we boarded a water taxi and went to the Asian side of Istanbul—just because. We returned and walked and learned and saw the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. We could not enter as everyone as closed. Our evening ended with a DELICIOUS local meal where we ate among Turkish families. The food was SO GOOD! There is nothing comparable to hot lentil soup to warm your damp bones. Afterwards, our guide delivered us to our return driver who drove us safely back to the airport for our continued journey! I will return to Istanbul for an extended visit as our guide shared such wonderful history that I must thoroughly see things I could only glimpse because of the hour. I pray that I can find his card as I will request that we work with him again!! This was a wonderful way to spend a long evening layover.
1 traveler found this review helpful
So glad I scheduled this tour!
, Feb 2020
Salih was an amazing guide. He is knowledgeable and personable. I had a great tour and only wished I had more time. Istanbul is a great city!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thank you for this lovely review. We are glad to see that you enjoyed your tour with us. We hope to see you traveling with us again in the future.
Excellent use of layover time
, Jan 2020
Pick up at 8a from airport and return by 5p. Ride very prompt and nice new vehicle. Salih Batkin was excellent. Lots of knowledge, friendly and paced sites effectively. Definitely a great time, I highly reccommend to others.
We toured, we shopped, we ate!
, Jan 2020
We were able to schedule our tour between 1 of our 3 layovers in Istanbul. The first 2 were less than 4 hours so we shopped at the airport but during our return flight we had an 8 hour layover. Don't forget to get your VISA. CASH ONLY but I think you can do it online, we just forgot! We wasted an hour getting out of the airport. I also think the 7am pick up time is the earliest you can start your tour. None of this impacted our tour. Once we were escorted to our driver, we met up with our tour guide & the time we wasted was a thing of the past. Our guide was AMAZING and very accommodating. We had no idea what to expect to see in Istanbul but this pit stop fit in well with our primary trip to Israel and Egypt. Don't ask why...LoL
Istanbul day tour
, Dec 2019
Had an excellent tour with Mr Salih. Everything was smooth sailing from airport pick up to drop off. Mr Salih was attentive to my requests and constant need for caffeine. He has a great sense of humor and is very worldly. He kept me entertained throughout even though I was severely jetlagged. I really appreciated that there is none of those detours to random tourist gift shops, so the hours are spent solely on important things.
Such An Awesome Experience
, Dec 2019
I spent about 4 hours walking around with Salih enjoying the architecture and history behind the buildings. We went into the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, the Bazaar, and saw the Bosphorus from afar. He's hilarious by the way...excellent guide. Istanbul itself was absolutely beautiful and I felt safe the entire time that I was there. I highly recommend spending some time here on a quick layover like what I had.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
Thank you for your lovely review. It wasn’t pleasure to assist you in lovely Istanbul. We hope to see you in Istanbul again in the future.
Istanbul Layover Tour - Worth it!
, Nov 2019
We were returning home and had a nearly 10 hour layover. This was our first layover tour and it was absolutely worth it. Our only hangup was confusion regarding my visa requirements which meant showing up a little late for the driver; otherwise, everything went smoothly and they transported us from the airport to our tour guide, Salih, who was awaiting us. A few words about Salih. He is a wonderful guide and a very knowledgeable individual -- not only about Istanbul, Turkey, and the history of the tour sites, but also about the larger picture and scope that influences the current culture and trends in Istanbul and beyond. For our next trip, which will likely be more food-tour oriented, we'll definitely be reaching out to him. My tip to anyone considering or planning a layover tour, or any tour in Istanbul for that matter, is to book it. It's absolutely worth it. Also, my suggestion is, before your tour, use the online messaging app to contact Salih or your guide, and ask whatever questions you have before hand. He is very responsive and will get you setup so that your tour runs smoothly. 5 of 5 stars!
Istanbul city tour
Bob W
, Oct 2019
This was a perfect solution to a long layover in Istanbul. The guide met us at our hotel and took us by tram and walking to 4 major sights as requested. He was knowledgeable and friendly and we saw the city from the street level up. It was beautiful and we can't wait to go back and spend more time there. Back at our hotel, a driver took us to the airport for our flight. We highly recommend this tour.

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