Extended Layover in Istanbul

If you’ve read some of my previous travel posts, you know that I love to take advantage of a stopover or extended layover. For the the past few years during my annual excursion to Paris, I have been planning short stops in other countries in route. Not only is it a great way to break up all that travel time, but it also provides the advantage of two countries in one trip.

Last year on my return flight from Paris I was able to visit Copenhagen with an extended layover on SAS airlines. This year I decided that I wanted again to try and visit another uncharted country during my travels. Early on in the year I decided that I would take advantage of Turkish Airlines and visit the beautiful city of Istanbul. I had heard that the airline had a special tourism deal for those traveling with them, so I quickly booked my flight.

After booking my flight ticket, I spent more time researching Turkey and the city of Istanbul specifically. I wanted to try and see as much as possible during my 20 hour layover before visiting Paris. I learned from visiting the Turkish Airlines website that the airline had their own tourism company, Touristanbul.

Touristanbul, is a FREE all encompassing tour specifically destined for travelers with a few hours to spend in Istanbul. This tour picks you up/ drops you off from the airport. This FREE tour also includes an English speaking guide, a bus or walking tour through the best sites in Istanbul and a traditional Turkish meal!

I must say that I was quite impressed with my tour and short stay in Istanbul. I definitely made the right decision in my extended layover planning for this trip. Although I was able to see a great deal of Istanbul, I would love to return to spend more time truly getting to know that city (and all the cats). I also would like to see other cities in Turkey as well and eat more Turkish delights.

See the details from my Istanbul visit below.

Istanbul Stopover Recap

Places I visited on my tour:

  • Aqueduct of Valens
  • Aga Mosque
  • Beyazit Square
  • Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Old Book Market

Other places to see in Istanbul.

Istanbul at sunrise

Foods to try in Istanbul:

  • Turkish coffee, of course!
  • Turkish bagels with chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Goat milk ice cream
  • Kebabs
  • Turkish pizza
  • Turkish delights
  • Turkish tea
Enjoying the view before breakfast

More information on Touristanbul.

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