The Istanbul Tourist Pass is one option on the tourism market that has been rapidly growing in popularity with visitors thanks to huge savings and a wide variety of attractions and experiences offered. After a few slow years, the tourism industry in Istanbul is up and running again at full pace!
Tour operators pull out all the stops to offer visitors the best tours, packages, experiences and value for money possible. No matter your holiday style or budget, you will be able to find the tour you’re looking for and see the beautiful city of Istanbul your way! But we think this pass is worth looking at
What Sets the Istanbul Tourist Pass Apart?
Convenience: It is an online Pass. That means there’s no physical ticket, just a digital QR code to access through a user-friendly App or via the official website. This QR code is you ‘digital Pass’ that gives you access to guided tours and entrance to other attractions. All you need is your phone!
Customize your holiday itinerary: With Istanbul Tourist Pass, your holiday itinerary is fully customizable, which means you pick and choose which attractions you visit depending on your preferences, interests on a city tour. The days of buying expensive full-day tours when you only wanted to see one or two places are long gone!
Save time: Skip the ticket line for all major attractions in the old city Sultanahmet district with guided tours to Hagia Sophia, palaces like Topkapi and Dolmabahce, the Basilica Cistern and more! In summer especially, the ticket lines are super long to these major attractions, so these skip-the-ticket-line tours will allow you to spend your precious holiday time seeing more of the city.
Save money: Instantly have access to more than 35 attractions, experiences and services. All you need to do is choose the number of days you want to use your Pass. The more you use your pass, the more you’ll save! There’s a helpful list on their website at the bottom of the page here: https://istanbultouristpass.com/whats-included It sets out how much money you’ll save compared to paying at the door. Have a look to easily see what great value for money you get with this product.
Get help and advice from locals: Another bonus is the personalised service they offer their customers. You get a mobile number that you can message via Whatsapp to get in touch with their friendly, local team who can help with any issues or questions about the Pass or Istanbul more generally. It’s a thoughtful and helpful service, especially for first-time visitors.
How Much is the Tourist Pass?
The Pass offers the same 35+ attractions, experiences and services for each Pass. The only thing you need to decide is how many days you want to be able to use it and for how many people.
- 2-day Pass: €95 per adult, €45 per child (aged 5-12)
- 3-days Pass: €115 per adult, €55 per child (aged 5-12)
- 5-day Pass: €135 per adult, €65 per child (aged 5-12)
- 7-day Pass: €145 per person, €75 per child (aged 5-12)
The days of the Pass are consecutive calendar days and the first day you use a service or visit an attraction counts as the first day of the Pass.
For multiple people travelling together, buy one Pass. For example, it’s better to buy one 2-day Pass for two adults and three children rather than five separate Passes made up of 2 x 2-day adult Passes and 3 x 2-day child Passes. This makes it easier when booking because you only have to do it once.
For children under 5, you’ll save money by paying their entry fee at each attraction since some places will be free, and only a few will require an entry fee.
What’s included in the Istanbul Pass
Before, I mentioned the “35+ attractions, experiences and services” so let’s look closer at what they are:
Most popular things to do:
- Hagia Sophia Museum Guided Tour
- Topkapi Palace Guided Tour
- Basilica Cistern Guided Tour
- Dolmabahce Palace Guided Tour
- A day-trip to Bursa, also near the sea of Marmara.
- A dinner cruise on the Bosphorus Strait: Get a discounted drinks package (soft drinks or local alcoholic drinks) when you make your reservation for this activity. If you are interested and want to pay for that, you absolutely can. Dinner, cruise and entertainment are free.
- BigBus Hop-on/Hop-off sightseeing tour: Get a 24-hour valid ticket to use two routes around the city and hop on and off as much as you like. The red route includes Taksim square in the cosmopolitan Beyoglu district, also known as the new city. While the Blue route covers the Golden Horn and places like the Spice Bazaar.
- A day-trip to Sapanca Lake and Masukiye
- Bosphorus cruise
- Whirling Dervishes show
- Unlimited mobile internet access for three days: Rent N Connect supplies this service. Simply order the device to be delivered directly to your hotel and start using it as soon as you arrive. Be sure to order at least a day in advance by making a reservation through your official Pass account. Just be aware that you’ll need to pay €0.50 as a security deposit for the booking to complete. There are no other costs for the three days, which includes unlimited data at 4G connection speeds!
- Istanbul Airport Shuttle Bus (one-way trip)
- Private Airport Transfer (one-way): Forget about taxis. Get a discounted price for a one-way airport transfer, so the regular price is €50 but for a transfer to/from Istanbul Airport you’ll only pay €35 or to/from Sabiha Gokcen Airport you’ll only pay €20. Get straight off flights and on your way to your hotel.
- WhatsApp Traveller Support
Other attractions and things to do:
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Istanbul
- Museum of Illusions Istanbul
- Sea Life Aquarium Istanbul
- Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Guided Tour (Near the Hippodrome)
- Princes’ Islands boat trip (round-trip)
- Blue Mosque Guided Tour: Former imperial place of worship for the Ottoman sultans
- Sapphire Observation Deck
- Bosphorus night cruise with fish and chips (this tour only runs from 1 April to 30 Nov)
- SkyRide 4D Simulation
- Besiktas JK Stadium Guided Tour (note that this tour is in Turkish, but you can borrow an audio guide on-site for a fee)
- Hagia Irene Museum Guided Tour
- Maiden’s Tower
- Grand Bazaar Guided Tour
- Hop-on/hop-off Bosphorus boat tour
- Legoland Discovery Centre
- Jungle Park
- Sakip Sabanci Museum
- Fenerbahce Stadium and Museum Guided Tour (note that this tour is in Turkish, but you can borrow an audio guide on-site for a fee)
- Xtrem Adventures
- Pera Museum
- Dialogue in the Dark
- Dialogue in the Silence
- Serefiye Cistern Guided Tour
- Upside-Down House Photo Experience
About Visiting Museums on Your Own
Please note that you can’t visit the world heritage Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Basilica Cistern, the Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum, Hagia Irene or Serefiye Cistern on your own with Istanbul Tourist Pass. The only way to do this is to line up at the ticket office of each attraction, buy a ticket and then go in by yourself.
Istanbul Tourist Pass offers a guided walking tour of these places in English throughout the week, and you can check out the timetable here: https://istanbultouristpass.com/guided-tours-timetable I think it’s better this way because you engage with a local and benefit from their knowledge and expertise about the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and the days of Constantinople. It makes for a much richer sightseeing experience. Simply meet the guide at the meeting point outlined in the timetable 5 minutes before the tour starts and enjoy!
Yes, the pass really is as good as it sounds! Rest assured that there are no hidden costs. I’ve mentioned any extra fees like audio guides so that you are best-equipped to decide if Istanbul Tourist Pass is going to work for you and save you money before you make a purchase.
For more information, check out the official website here: https://istanbultouristpass.com/ and perhaps have a look at their FAQ page for extra information. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with the latest things to see and do in Istanbul city.