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Free Istanbul City Tour

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 by in Travel | 0 comments

Sometimes the best things in travel are actually free.

The best city tours are the ones that have you pondering the possibilities of a return visit even before the day’s done and we had such an experience with Turkish Airlines’ fabulous introduction to the culturally rich city of Istanbul on a recent transit. The best part? It was completely free!

Passengers with connecting international flights on Turkish Airlines with a transit time between 6 – 24 hours have the opportunity to join a very generous free tour with Touristanbul that includes all bus transfers, admission fees, meals and the company of a gracious English speaking host. It was too good an opportunity to pass up so we went out of our way to schedule a stopover in Istanbul to take advantage of it.

Luckily, our schedule permitted us to select the longest and most comprehensive tour offered – a full day from 9am to 6pm, including breaks for breakfast and lunch.  Add to the mix a delightfully open and friendly tour guide, the lovely Yakprak, and we were on our way to see the highlights of Istanbul on a professionally curated whirlwind city tour.

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that we normally eschew junket tours and prefer to piece together our own custom itinerary. In this case, with a limited amount of time in Istanbul, this was by far the most efficient way to get a taste of the city and yet one more reason to book a connection on Turkish Airlines (in addition to the outstanding lounge – that’s fodder for another post).

For more details on how to book a free city tour with Turkish Airlines, click here.

Without further ado, here are some highlights from our Istanbul City Tour to inspire you to plan a visit of your own to this enchanting city.

Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia
Basilica Cistern
Obelisk of Theodosius
Spice Bazaar
History of Science and Technology Museum

Our bus for the day.

Blue Mosque Courtyard

Obelisk of Theodosius

Group lunch place.

Basilica Cistern

Hagia Sophia

View from Hagia Sophia

Spice Bazaar

Museum of the History of Science and Technology

Exterior of Hagia Sophia