Italian citizen here, travelling from Italy to Tokyo with 14 hourse layover in istanbul. I was searching what to do in that HUGE amount of time, so I saw in Istanbul airport there are many lounge, but that are only "usable" for 3 hours. So I was wondering to go seeing what's outside the airport, but i'm not sure if I can exit in turkey and then reenter with the same ticket . My ticket was bought in the Turkish airline site, and I don't know , since the checkin is doable only 24 hours in advance, if my ticket is OK to let me do as described. I tried to reach out Turkish airlines but they told me that until checkin they don't know how my ticket will be (?).

Do you guys have any hint or some experience on doing this sort of things?

  • What time are your flights arriving / departing? IST-NRT flights depart early afternoon, so a 14-hour layover would mean arriving in IST shortly after midnight? That's not quite a great time to visit IST, so you probably mean you want to sleep at a hotel close to the airport?
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 18:10
  • Ah no I had missed the flights to Haneda. Still, can you less us know the times and whether you just want to sleep in a hotel or actually go downtown (or somewhere else)?
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


Turkish Airlines offers a free tour of Istanbul if your layover time there is between 6 and 24 hours. (If your layover is over 20 hours, there's a different program where they will give you a hotel room in Istanbul. I've done the latter after missing a connection. I recommend it.)

From https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/flights/fly-different/touristanbul/

About Touristanbul

If you have a connecting international flight in İstanbul, and a layover between 6 and 24 hours, you can take advantage of our complimentary Touristanbul service to discover İstanbul.

With Touristanbul, you can visit İstanbul’s most notable historical sites and enjoy authentic Turkish cuisine. In the city that never sleeps, Touristanbul offers an unforgettable experience.

If you are on an international flight that connects through İstanbul with a layover between six and 24 hours, the Touristanbul service is provided free of charge. After landing at İstanbul Airport, you will be picked up by a vehicle and driven back to the airport at the end of the tour.

How to book Touristanbul

After your Turkish Airlines connecting international flight lands in İstanbul, you can sign up for Touristanbul at the Hotel Desk in the International Arrivals Terminal of İstanbul Airport. Touristanbul is only available for flights operated by Turkish Airlines. Passengers can take advantage of free tour using their ticket number only ıf issued by Turkish Airlines stock number starting 235.

Before visiting Türkiye, you can obtain an e-visa at www.evisa.gov.tr/ website. Please check your country’s requirements to see if it is necessary to obtain a visa to enter Türkiye.

If you are eligible for an e-visa you may obtain it from the Turkish Airlines Sales / Ticket Desks before or on the day of your departure.

The service for connections over 20 hours obviously doesn't apply to you, but for other readers who might be interested, it is described at https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/flights/stopover/


14 hours is definitely enough to leave the airport during a layover. The exact situation depends whether you have 1 booking or 2 separate bookings. You need to make sure to check-in for both flights. Checking in for the first flight does not mean you are checked in for the second. In both cases, you can then exit the airport but make sure to leave adequate time for pre-flight checks when you return. If you have 2 separate bookings, you will need to collect any checked-in luggage and re-check it when you return.

You do not need a visa, Italian citizens can enter visa-free for up to 90 days.


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