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Istanbul............for one night.

I just booked passage From LAX to Venice with an overnight layover in Istanbul. 1. Is it possible to get out of the airport?? 2. The airport hotel seems super expensive, is it cheaper to book something that would have an airport taxi service?
3. As we wouldn't have much time, what are the two or three things we should do? Cheers

Posted by
807 posts

you can get to istanbul via metro pretty easily, just one change of train. check with the airport hotel helpdesk and they can book you a hotel with free bus transfer the next day. these hotels can be half price compare to the airport hotel and you can negotiate price further down if you try hard. i know sometimes they'll push you a hotel in taksim sqr, which is probably a good place to start. the bazzar closed down around 5 or 6, similar to the palaces and st. sophia, so if you come in late, you can stop by st. sophia and blue mosque for pictures, then head over to taksim square. the view across bridge is nice, and you can get a cheap bite here, or check out taksim square with plenty to do/eat for the night. the bosphorus cruise also operates in evening time, so that might be somethign you can do too.

Posted by
893 posts

1. You'll need to buy a visa at the airport. Not sure what the current cost is, but I think it's around $20. 2. When I was in Istanbul I was surprised at how expensive everything is. I would recommend choosing where you stay based on your flights - if you arrive really late, or are leaving really early in the morning, might be best to stay by the airport. 3. It would help me (and others) make recommendations if we knew when you were arriving and needing to leave. And what time of year. A lot of stuff will be closed by 5pm.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks for the responses. We get into Istanbul at 9:30 pm and take off again at 9:45 am. Not super late and not super early. Thanks again.

Posted by
893 posts

Might as well stay at the airport as that's not enough time IMO to see anything. By the time you clear customs, but your visa, travel to the Sultanhmet (old) section, it will be terribly late. And then in the morning you'd have to get to the airport before anything opens. Sorry I don't have anything better to say.

Posted by
807 posts

if you fly in at 9pm then you'll be at hotel by 11 - don't kill yourself. if you have energy, take a hotel in taksim sqr, that place is always busy. but otherwise if you have the money, stay at the airport, otherwise just ask the hotel counter get you a local cheap place in the suburbs.

Posted by
1878 posts

You are flying out 12 hours after arriving? At best you would arrive at the city center at 11pm, and have to get up at 6am for your flight. It does not seem remotely worth it to head into town, unless there is something I am missing.

Posted by
24 posts

The only reason I would sacrifice my much needed sleep after flight from Los Angeles would be because I have to see the Hagia Sofia. I'm a teacher and it would be killer to have a picture of myself in front of this ancient church. Also, a traveling companion is super pumped about buying Turkish cigarettes from a Turkish street vendor. We'll see, thanks for all the help.

Posted by
156 posts

We were in Istanbul in Sept. Visas are $30, as I recall, cabs to and from the city would be at least $30 each way. To see and picture the Blue Mosque at night wouldn't be worth the hassle. Besides, Istanbul deserves more than a very brief one night stay.