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I am a travel agent in the U.S. and will be traveling in Europe, independently (not with any tour or cruise).

My husband, sister-in-law and I will be having a long layover in Istanbul on our journey to Sarajevo from Bucharest, connecting through Istanbul on September 23 (7 hours).

Do we need a visa to leave the airport during that time if we just want to get into the city to have a meal and do some shopping:) also, what is the cost and the process to purchase one?

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According to Visa Information For Foreigners:

  • United States of America: Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas from Turkish diplomatic representations abroad and also via the website http://www.evisa.gov.tr.

I'm pretty sure that "just want to get into the city" qualifies as "entering Turkey" for visa purposes.

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