Hi I have a 3 hours 15 minutes stay in Instanbul. Can I go out for an hour to meeting a friend also will I need a visa?

  • 4
    3 Hours seems short in any situation. However, what's your nationality? – TravelLikeBeaker Jan 22 '19 at 15:43
  • Brexit has nothing to do with a transfer or stay in Istanbul, so I will take out that tag. Please tag with your nationality next time. – Willeke Jan 22 '19 at 15:47
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    Are both flights on the same ticket? Do you have checked luggage? If the answers are no and yes, you’ll be already quite busy deplaning, going through immigration, reclaiming your luggage, going through customs, checking in for your next flight before the check-in deadline, going through security, and getting to your gate before the boarding deadline, it probably leave much time for anything else. Also, you should take into account your incoming flight may be delayed. – jcaron Jan 22 '19 at 19:38
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    only been to Istanbul airport once and things may have changed, but based on my experience it's quite likely you won't even be able to get through customs into the arrivals hall and back again into the departure lounge in that amount of time, let alone leave the airport, get to the city, meet your friend, and get back to the airport. – jwenting Jan 23 '19 at 5:06

You certainly don't have time to leave the airport during your layover. Even if your friend comes to the airport and you get the right visa (or don't need one – you don't mention your nationality so we don't know), realistically you're only going to see them very briefly. To meet your friend, you'll need to go through immigration, and then back through security. Immigration can easily take an hour; security easily half an hour to an hour. You should be at your gate at least half an hour before departure (an hour for a longer flight) and, for safety, you probably want to leave extra time to get through security. That's already filled up most or all of your time with stressful will-I-make-it-on-time queueing. Things get even worse if your incoming plane is late.

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