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Layover at Istanbul Airport

In mid October, I have a 6 hour layover at the Istanbul Airport while flying from Slovenia to Romania.
I have a few questions about this.

Will I go through passport control/customs when I arrive there?

Do I need a VISA?

Will I be limited to a certain area at the airport?

Are there restaurants and shops in the area where I’ll be?

And dare I hope, is there a do it yourself laundry service available (one can wish)?

Thanks! Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
6877 posts

No, you don't need a Turkish VISA because you're not leaving the airport. You would have to look at the flight info online to see what gate/terminal you will likely be in - and then you can see what shops and restaurants are around there. You are transiting through so I ma not sure you could go anywhere in the airport or if you'll be restricted to a certain area (which could be quite boring). I've never heard of airport laundry service..does that exist somewhere?

Is there anyway to turn this into an overnight (or multi-day) layover so you could see some of the city? Six hours isn't quite enough given the traffic and new location of the airport.

Posted by
1094 posts

If you go to the Tripadvisor Istanbul forum there is an excellent thread describing in great detail the new airport. My understanding is that the food is not very tasty and expensive. The space is ample and attractive, but the seating is limited.
Due to a cancelled flight from my home airport, I have an 8 hour layover in Chicago on my way to Turkey. Yuck.

Posted by
163 posts

You will definitely be restricted to an international transfer area during your six hour layover. The food at the airport is very expensive and there are limited options. I had a super expensive Carl’s Jr. meal at the Istanbul Airport back in April 2019. I had to wait for 40 mins... about 30 mins waiting in line to place my order, then another 10 mins for my food to be done. The lines for Burger King were unbelievable. There is a cafeteria style eatery for Turkish food and a super expensive sit down restaurant serving Turkish food. The food is very good, but you will need to take out a second mortgage on your house (just a little exaggeration). We don’t even know what you will have access to. I doubt you will find a laundry mat in the airport, but idk for sure.