We really appreciate what Turkish Airlines has done to make families feel welcome, by offering in-flight toys, family entertainment and healthy dining and drink options on their Trans-Atlantic flights — and now, free tours.
Yes! A few well-guided Istanbul city tours are available, absolutely free, for passengers in transit with a minimum six-hour layover. With so many sophisticated Istanbul family attractions we think you’ll appreciate the sightseeing time, even if you’re enduring a long layover after a very long trans-Atlantic flight.
And despite the current political problems (please check the travel information pages of the U.S. Department of State before booking), Istanbul has enjoyed a tourism boom in relative safety since being Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2010.
Leave the Airport for a City Sightseeing Tour
So here’s the deal: Turkish Airlines is making your layover at Istanbul Ataturk Airport even more productive by offering Touristanbul free tours of 6-9 hours in length, focused on the most significant historical places, for guests transiting Turkey who’ve purchased tickets on Turkish Airlines. Join it at the Airport’s Hotel Desk at the international terminal; passengers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. There’s no need for an advance reservation (ask questions at firstname.lastname@example.org), making this a great wait-busting option for those whose flights are unexpectedly delayed.
After you book the tour (and they’re given two to three times daily in English most weekdays), you and your family will be picked up by a private tour guide. Whatever luggage is not checked can be stored at the airport for a nominal fee. Unfortunately, there is no special service for the mobility impaired.
All expenses for transportation, meals (and they have vegetarian options) and museum fees will be taken care of by Turkish Airlines. By the way, business class passengers with a seven-hour layover also have the option of an Istanbul Bosphorous sightseeing tour by boat — meal at the magnificent C?ragan Palace Kempinski included — from €183 and up.
Make an Overnight Stopover to Enjoy Istanbul
Starting in summer 2018, the Stopover service is for transfer passengers departing from all nine US gateways and flying to Africa, Eastern Europe and Balkans, South Europe, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan.
If you have more than 20 hours of connection time in Istanbul, your family will receive complimentary accommodations in centrally located neighborhoods and the opportunity to explore more of Istanbul. Economy class passengers will receive a one night stay at a 4-star hotel in Sultanahmet, while those flying in business class will enjoy two nights at a 5-star hotel in Taksim. Travelers will receive accommodation vouchers from Turkish Airlines’ authorized staff after completing the flight booking process.
For more information about arranging the Stopover, please visit Turkish Airlines site or email email@example.com and let us know what you saw.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.