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Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities

Badge of ExcellenceIstanbul, Turkey

From $149.00

Price varies by group size

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Reserve Now & Pay Later
Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 4 to 8 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English
  • Good for avoiding crowds


Cover Istanbul’s top sights in just a few hours during this private, half-day guided tour, designed as a layover excursion for airline passengers. Enjoy hassle-free, front-door pickup from your airport terminal, and transfer comfortably from airport to the city in your own chauffeured, climate-controlled transportation. Highlights include stops at the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and whatever other destinations you select.
  • A private, half-day layover tour of Istanbul
  • Don’t worry about missing your flight: enjoy stress-free transfers from the airport
  • Tick off the city’s major attractions in just a few hours—the ideal introduction
  • Enjoy a personalized itinerary, with plenty of insider tips

What's Included

  • Proffesional Guide
  • Private Tour
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Round-Trip Private Airport Transfer
  • Public Transportation tickets - Ferry & Tram
  • Food & Drinks
  • Entry/Admission - Basilica Cistern and Topkapı Palace
  • Cabin Bags and Carry-ons should be stored at the Left Lugagge.
  • Visa Requirements; Please check
  • Full Driving Tour; Blue Mosque Area is closed to car traffic.

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

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Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

  • 2/1/2022 - 5/31/2024

    Monday - Saturday : 06:00 AM - 11:30 PM

    Sunday : 06:30 AM - 11:30 PM

Pickup details

Meet & Greet Service As a part of COVID19 safety precautions, No one but only airline travelers are allowed to enter arrival terminal. Therefor,  Istanbul Airport Management instructed us to meet our travelers outside of Arrival gate #13 MEET& GREET (M44) will be waiting you with a board sign M44 in front of Exit Gate #13 Arrivals Terminal and accompany you to your vehicle We would like to inform you that Meet & Greet service is provided by a third party (M44), merely to assist you to reach your driver & vehicle at the airport and to help you where you can store your lugagge before the meeting your driver. However they are not able to answer to the questions regarding the tour service  to be provided by Istanbul Layover Tours.  PLEASE GO THROUGH PASSPORT CONTROL AFTER LANDING.  FOLLOW THE SIGN EXIT AFTER PASSPORT CONTROL KEEP EYE ON THE SIGN GATE #13 AND YOU WILL SEE THE MEETERS WAITING FOR THEIR GUESTS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE #13

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • 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
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

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.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities?

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

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities?

A:The policy on social distancing is:
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Q:What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Private Istanbul Layover Tours & Activities?

A:The policy on staff health & safety is:
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands

Traveler Photos

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131 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 131 reviews
Don’t waste hours sitting in the airport!
Cindy_B, Oct 2022
I had a 10 hour layover, and had never been to Istanbul. I am so happy I checked Viator and booked this tour!!! I landed at 3:30am. I was at the meeting spot at 6am, was with my tour guide by 7am, and was back at the airport at 11:30am as promised for a 2pm international flight. Latif was very professional and contacted me with all the details and answered all my questions. The young men running the transportation service were polite and prompt and got me into the correct car efficiently. The driver did not speak a lot of English but was safe and courteous, and pointed out a couple important landmarks through the darkness because the sun was not up yet! Mev was a fantastic tour guide and made sure I saw the most important spots in the shortest amount of time possible. She is a local, very knowledgeable, and walked me through the city telling me about both its rich history and current society. I tasted local food, had Turkish coffee and walked through many neighborhoods, both tourist and local.
Loved every minute
Mykala_D, Aug 2022
This was such an amazing layover trip and we couldn’t have asked for better from Mevhibe! She not only tailored the tour so we could see the best sights according to our schedule but also took time to take us for Turkish coffee and baklava (totally unexpected but ended up being the highlight of our trip). She made us feel right at home in Istanbul. Don’t hesitate to book with her she’s amazing.
Amazing day in Istanbul!
Danel, Jul 2022
We had a 15 hour layover in Istanbul and would definitely recommend this tour if you are on tight schedule. They are extremely well organized and my mom and I always felt safe and well looked after. From detailed directions to the meeting point to hand overs between driver and guide, everything went smoothly. Mev, our guide, was the best and went out of her way to make the day special for us while sharing the history of the city and the highlights in only a few hours. We especially enjoyed the ferry ride and she made sure we had seats for the best view of the city from the river. She was flexible to cater to our interests and made suggestions of what would be best to spend time on. Istanbul is worth a visit and I'm glad we had a guide and didn't try to navigate on our own, especially since time was limited. Thank you, Mev! Hope to see you again soon!
Perfect Istanbul layover experience!
Cynthia_L, May 2022
The tour picked us up at the airport, transferred us to our hotel to check in and drop off bags, then drove us into the heart of the city for the tour. We were met by Oz, our incredibly knowledgeable tour guide. He walked us through history, architecture, and culture so we had a full appreciation of everything we were seeing. The ferry to the Asian side of the Bosporus at sunset was especially memorable. We got to see everything we wanted to see in our short time available, and we enjoyed every second of it! I would recommend this to anyone with a long Istanbul layover!
Mev, a wonderful tour guide
James_Y, Nov 2022
The tour guide (Mev) was Marvelous! Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I did not have a lot of time but was able to see many of the sites in the downtown area - well worth seeing. She saved the tour after having problems at the airport with no record of my booking and very poor communications.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great, well-guided layover tour
Nathan_H, Nov 2022
I had an 8 hour layover in Istanbul and booked a layover tour through Viator. I was picked up at the airport on time and promptly taken into the city. My tour guide, Hazal, met me at the Hippodrome, and proceeded to provide a guided tour of the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Basilica Cistern. Hazal was a great guide, providing a detailed history of the sites, as well as contemporary context. After a 3+ hour tour, I was taken back to the airport, and made my flight in plenty of time.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Amazing Istanbul tour! HIGHLY recommend!
Linsley_P, Nov 2022
My friend and I had a 7 hour layover in Istanbul and had an amazing experience with Latif! He asked pointed questions to gauge the experience we wanted to have and made sure that we got all of the highlights of this amazing city in our allotted time. He was engaging, funny, and well versed in history and story telling. From pick up in a swanky comfortable van, to the tour and back to the airport, we felt well taken care of and would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone wanting to explore all that Istanbul has to offer. Thank you, Latif, for such a great experience! We will be back!
Just get the turkish airlines free tour
tcambiaghi, Oct 2022
Our guide was a really nice person but the overall tour does not justify the price, especially considering the fact that tickets to attractions like the basilica cistern or the gardens are not included. There was too much line for us to see Haga Sofia or the relics museum and the Blue Mosque is still under restoration. This walking tour is something you could do on your own with minimal planning on google maps as the guide added little information whenever he was not on his phone. I would not recommend this tour for a layover in Istanbul, just go with the ones provided for free by Turkish Airlines if you’re flying with them.
Response from Host, Oct 2022
Dear Tommaso, Thank you for taking your time to write this review. We value our travelers reviews and try to improve if there anything to do. Though we wouldn't want to discredit your views on your experience, we and our guide are saddened by this review and we just wanted to clarify the services rendered for your so our future travelers can get an idea if the this service can be compared to any complimentary service that you suggested. - Draft Itinerary: Once we have recieved a tour booking confirmation/request, we provide a tentative plan for giving a general idea of the time and places to visit and some other required informations including Visa and meeting point instructions to connect our staff easily and clarify any point that our travelers have any questions about their booking. We believe that it is not possible to get such a service on free tours as there is no any commitment on personal level. We believe that you have had recieved the information saying that Blue Mosque is under restoration as you replied "sounds perfect". You might have missed that. - Meeting at the Airport & Pick-Up: We were supposed to meet you at 12.00 pm at the airport and luckily your flight arrived earlier and you were able to show up at 11.15 am. As we were tracking the flight momentarily, we were there and Meet and Greet Staff was ready to meet you as well as the driver. You were handed to the driver and the first stop was your hotel to drop off your bags. We wouldn't have mentioned it but just underline the extras that you recieved; We had to detour and drive more than half than the regular distance that we would normally cover because the hotel was not in the old city. That's fine for us but you can't do that with a bus, full of 40+ people unless you hijack it. We believe that we deserve another + for perfect meeting point instructions, timely pick-up and going out of the way and driving a lot more which is not in the scope of the service. - Tour Guide and Tour: In the tour, you managed to cover Byzantine Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace (there are many artifects hall; Armory, kitchens, antique clocks, pavillions. You decided to skip only the holy relics sectioned due to the line), Suleymaniye Mosque, Spice Market and Ferry Ride to Asian and transfered back to Hotel. We are sorry for the line at the the artifact hall inside of the palace museum which is out of our control but we would like to remind you that you had to wait in that line if you were in a group tour. However, you were able to skip and decide your own schedule. Your proffesional licensed guide walked with you through all these places for almost 9 hours entire time and skipped the ticket line as the guides have priority at the ticket desks. He only used his phone to communicate with driver and the office, especially once you have asked him to buy a free Turkish coffee and a few bottle of waters during the tour. That's fine, it is our hospitality and we confirmed that we could pay for it and covered in the price. The guide also had to call the driver to give a rough idea about the location for return pick-up and arranged most convenient location for you. You had a delicious meal in a lovely restaurant by our guide's recommendation and he was happy for you even though our guide had to tip the staff at the resturant on behalf of you. We are agree with that private tours can be relatively expensive but it is definitely the best way to experience the local life, local food and culture in a relaxed & organized way without being chained to a big group. Honestly, it would be too optimistic to be able to cover such a ground and experience the city by yourself or in a group tour together with 40 people. We hope that you will get a chance to join in one of the free tours in future so you can see the difference in quality and personal attention. Kind Regards Latif Istanbul Layover Tours
Morning Layover Tour
Alia_C, Oct 2022
I had a wonderful morning (pickup at 630 a.m. from the airport!) walking layover tour seeing the Spice Market and some of the other highlights of Istanbul with Sinan. He was knowledgeable and entertaining.
1 traveler found this review helpful
So Accommodating!
Carra_R, Aug 2022
My only complaint about this trip was that I wish I had more time! First, when my flight was delayed, the tour company was super easy to contact and they waited for me. I got to see the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, as well as a bazaar and the square where they are all housed. My tour guide was super accommodating and knowledgeable, and I would recommend over and over again taking this tour.
1 traveler found this review helpful
GrecoGervin_C, Aug 2022
Mev was the loveliest tour guide I've ever met! I don't know much about Turkey but we went to a lot of places like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market! We even had Turkish breakfast and lunch! The best part for me was the Bosphorus Cruise, it was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had! The views were completely stunning, and I would love to go visit Turkey again. And what's nice is that we got to do all of these things in just 6 hours! Please book Mev for your Istanbul Layover tour, I promise you, she's the best and she will take care of you, I feel like I gained a very close friend in Turkey. :')
2 travelers found this review helpful
Best use of time/opportunity!!!
ARMITAM_H, Aug 2022
Tay was such an incredible guide! He was very knowledgeable and went out of his way to make sure I experience Istanbul to the fullest … very authentic. Overall it was very well organized, highly recommend it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
One of the best tours we have taken!
MaryBeth_L, Jul 2022
This was a perfect way to get a real “taste” of Istanbul in a short period of time. To say that Latif was an excellent guide—friendly, knowledgeable, organized—is an understatement. He was amazing! We had transfer from airport to our overnight hotel, transport to meet Latif, walking tour of the Spice Market, ferry ride to the Asian side where we are amazing food that he helped to choose, ferry back to explore Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, got Turkish ice cream (do it!) and safe transport back to our hotel. Because of this tour, I know that I want to travel to Turkey again and explore more. Highly recommend this tour. Do not do a long Istanbul layover without Latif!
This tour is a must for a long layover in Istanbul! Tour guide Hamide was 10/10!
Faina_R, Jul 2022
This tour exceeded my expectations ten times over! I was a little nervous about booking this tour as a solo traveler, but I felt safe and cared for the whole time. I was picked up at the airport in an air-conditioned car, taken to the hotel to drop off my luggage (I booked the hotel myself), and we continued on to the historic city center for the tour. Hamide was a PHENOMENAL tour guide! She answered all of my random questions about history and culture, but more importantly she shared her love for Istanbul and Turkey. She listened to my needs (e.g. stopping for a quick snack when I was hungry) and shared in the joys of exploring a new city. It was clear that she loves her work. 10/10 for Hamide! We saw so much in one day. I also appreciated how responsive the tour company was leading up to the trip. I would recommend this tour for anyone passing through Istanbul!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Istanbul in two hours
Paula_T, Jun 2022
Our guide was Oz, a well informed historian and architect that in just two hour let us discover the staples of Istanbul. We cannot thank him enough for doing it in an amicable but also very professional way.
Personalized Itinerary
Benjie_C, Apr 2022
Unfortunately, my flight to Istanbul was very delayed and cut my layover time dramatically. Latif, my guide, is so gracious enough to cancel the trip at no cost. I will be back in Istanbul and will definitely go on this tour!
Best layover ever!
Chantia_C, Jan 2022
I don't think there are enough stars to give this review. It was an incredible day. Latif was a god sent. He did the things I wanted, was willing to be flexible and was the greatest company. About an hour into my tour we were walking down the street laughing like old pals. Latif, Thank you so much for an unforgettable day in Istanbul.
Great experience!
aura_m, Dec 2021
Letif was AMAZING, he is sooo knowledgeable and accommodating that it make the day seem sunny even when it rained for the most part of it. As a solo female traveler, he made me feel safe and comfortable and was a great guide! We managed to do everything mentioned in the chronogram, eat delicious food and I got a lot of history and current events happening in Istanbul and Turkey at large. Want to come back for a long visit so much! Definitely will recommend it.
Do it !!! You will love it !!!
William_B, Jul 2021
What a fantastic way to spend my long layover in Istanbul !!!! I'm actually glad my layover was from midnight to 8AM. The after midnight tour of Istanbul was outstanding. I've bragging about my Istanbul visit to all my friends. Can't wait for my next layover. Luxury van accommodations, and a very knowledgeable guide. Well done. .
2 travelers found this review helpful
Loved the tour 10/10
Desiree_A, Mar 2020
I had a 14 hour layover in Instanbul and decided that I would go on a tour of the city rather than waiting in the airport. I looked up layover tours online and found this one. Initially, I was nervous because it was my first solo trip and I am also a woman in a foreign country, but Latif was an amazing tour guide and made me feel comfortable touring by myself!! He is very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from this tour. He also makes sure to schedule the tour and activities to fit your layover schedule and make sure you arrive back at the airport in time. Although I did not stay in Instanbul for a full day, Latif was able to show me all the popular tourists sights around the area so I felt that I had actually spent a weekend there. Additionally, I did not bring a jacket because I did not check the weather ahead of time and Latif let me wear his jacket, so that I would not be cold and could enjoy my experience, until I was able to find a shop where I could by a sweater. Additionally, he also took great pictures of me at the tourist locations on my phone. Some of the places we visited were The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market, etc. Additionally, we also went on a ferry to see the part of Turkey that is located in Asia. But he creates a schedule based on what you would want to see the most. I would definitely recommend this tour to everyone, including solo travelers, because I felt very welcomed and safe throughout the whole tour and truly learned so much during my time there.
1 traveler found this review helpful


Product code: 27009P3