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I am a south African citizen traveling to USA on a business trip with Turkish airlines. On my way back I have 18 hours layover at Istanbul airport. I have already purchased my ticket therefore I need to ask a question here.

Can I go outside the airport for few hours and come back before my flight?

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Can I go outside the airport for few hours and come back before my flight?

Yes as a South African citizen, you can get an Evisa for tourist visits of up to 180 days starting from the first entry date, valid for touristic purposes not exceeding 30 days per entry. Also you do not need to pay for your visa fee and it will be a multiple entry Evisa.

Source: Evisa

As you are traveling on Turkish Airlines, you are also entitled to a complimentary hotel stay from Turkish Airlines. A complimentary hotel accommodation (maximum 2 nights) will be provided to passengers when there are more than 10 hours (for economy cabin passengers) and 7 or more hours (for business cabin passengers) if they are traveling on Turkish Airlines.

Source: Turkish Airlines

So basically an 18 hour layover is a very long transit at Attaturk airport. Not only could you visit Istanbul for sightseeing, you could also take a complimentary hotel stay provided by Turkish airlines as well.

  • That's great, I didn't know about hotel stay. Thanks – danialdee Nov 26 '16 at 6:46

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