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6 Hour Layover in Istanbul Airport with connection to Rome

We have a 6 hour layover in Istanbul airport. is there enough time to maybe sneak out and
see a little bit of Istanbul and get back to our next flight to rome? Is it worth our time without
getting too caught up in the city?

Posted by
6694 posts

Given that you have to get a visa (about $25) to leave the airport and the very short time you have, I would say "no". It takes quite a while just to get through security and back, and your trip to the center would be very rushed (it takes about 45 min to get from Old City to airport once you are able to leave). I highly recommend Istanbul if you have more time in the future (even an overnight layover).

Posted by
1921 posts

I agree with Agnes. It would be nice to get to see the city, but I think you just don't have quite enough time. I found that checking in and security (there were THREE security stops on the way to my gate, if I recall correctly) takes a long time there.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have to agree, six hours gets eaten up pretty quickly. You won't have six hours' sitting around in the airport, going through passport control and security will take some time, your disembarkation from the plane won't begin for several minutes after you land, if the flight is on time.

Istanbul is a great city but it is large - save it for another trip.

Posted by
2201 posts

On a weekday last October our plane landed in Istanbul Airport timely at 1PM. We already had our visas, we knew where to go to get cash and metro tickets, and it was still over 2 full hours by the time we arrived at our hotel, NEAR the old city sights. Almost 30 minutes to get through the passport line, and that was already having the visas in hand. It will be hour back to the airport, and the two security lines plus the passport exit line will surely cost you another hour. You have to ask yourself if this is worth it.

Posted by
9 posts

Hi definetely agree with agnes, but after custom issues if you will have 6hours net then go and back to the airport (Ataturk) around 1,5-2hours then you will have 4hours to visit some of the main highlights such as Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque or you can enjoy the grand bazaar.
But if you have less than 6hours then I would suggest you to come and see the rich highlights of the city next time.

Posted by
78 posts

U may have only 30 minutes or maximum one hour to see. If u take metro from Airport, and get out in Aksaray station and take light tram in Aksaray to go to Suktanahmet ( 4 stops ) , it will take maximum 30 minutes +10 minutes plus 5 minutes fast walking between light tram and metro station. So total 45 minutes to arrive Sultanahmet with fastest way. But just make it 1 hour maximum in case so you will spend two hours to leave from airport and to go back.
So left with 4 hours, 1 hour to see, so left 3 hours for customs. So thats enough time for u. Customs departure from Turkey is not busy but it sometimes gets too busy in arrivals.
So if u can get out of arrival customs in 1.5 hours maximum, u can do it.

If u think its too risk for u but u still wanna see a turkish town in Istanbul, take metro from airport and get out in Sirinevler station. Its 3 stations next after airport and it wont take more than 10 minutes to arrice Sirinevler from Airport.