If you are going to Istanbul for the first time in your life and you do not know where to start sightseeing, it seems to me that the following suggestion may be suitable for you.
There are many companies on the market that offer tourists organized tours of the city. You can join the organised group and visit the city and its monuments with the entire coach of other tourists. What if you like to explore the city on your own and at your own speed? What if you would like to get some small tips at the start and then be able to move around the city on your own? “Istanbul – an idea for sightseeing” is my new idea on how to combine a bit of comfort and time-saving – with freedom of moving around the city and joy of travel.
Istanbul Welcome Card may be the answer to your needs.
City card, entrance tickets, discounts and more
The Istanbul Welcome Card offers three different cards:
25 Euro (about 29 $). The price includes 5 trips by any public means of transport and a Bosphorus Cruise. Due to the price and offer, in my opinion, this card is the least attractive.
55 Euro (about 64$). This card contains 10 rides with public transport and Bosphorus Cruise. Additionally: admission tickets with an Official Licensed Tour Guide and Audio Guide App in 10 Languages to the Hagia Sofia Museum and Topkapi Palace. Both trips will start with a 30 minutes introduction and orientation with a licensed tour guide (in the English language), who will tell you about the history and monuments of both attractions. Worth noting that this card gives you the opportunity to explore both places without having to stand in long, long queues for tickets!
85 Euro (about 99 $). There are 20 rides with public transport included and entry without a queue to 12 of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. There are also three trips with a Historian Guide to the Hagia Sofia Museum, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern (in English). Of course, the price of this card also includes a Bosphorus Cruise. Please note that with that card Dolmabahce Palace and Galata Tower, entrance are excluded.
In my previous post I wrote about all of those tourist attractions, so please check the below link if you want to learn more: Istanbul – secrets of the city.
Please note, with the Deluxe card you can enter each museum only once. After the first use of the card as a museum/attraction ticket – the card will be valid for 120 hours, or 5 days. This means that with the card you can use public transport for 7 days, but museums are valid only for 120 hours from the first use.
Additional benefits. What else is worth knowing?
- Each card is valid for one week (7 days) from the date you will give it during your booking process.
- Each card is at the same time – a public transport card, which gives the opportunity to use any public transport: bus, metro, tram, ferry, funicular or Metrobus. If you use the number of trips purchased with the card, you can top up the card at any ticket machine in the city. Information – how to use such machines, you will find in my other post: Istanbul – how to get to main attractions
- Each card price includes a Bosphorus Cruise. This cruise lasts 1.5 hours and you do not have to sign up for it in advance. Cruises take place every day from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
- Besides, each customer will receive by e-mail – an English digital Istanbul travel guide and city map as a PDF file. The content of the travel guide will cover: must-do things in Istanbul, suggestions for Istanbul tours and useful information
- The most important information: the card you have ordered will be sent to your hotel and will be waiting for you at the reception on your arrival – delivery is free of charge.
- Each card also gives you access to a 20% discount on other entrance tickets and attractions offered on the website istanbulwelcomecard.com. When planning your trip to Istanbul, you can, together with the card, also order tickets to those attractions in the city that are not included in the card package. Both admission tickets and the card will be waiting for you at the hotel.
Istanbul – an idea for sightseeing and benefits
In my opinion, the Istanbul Welcome Card is an interesting offer, because above all the Premium and Deluxe options allow you to bypass long queues.
If you do not know it yet – this fact in the case of such a crowded city as Istanbul – is of great importance. For example: when I was visiting the Hagia Sofia museum, I was there early in the morning – before the opening. Nevertheless, I still had to stand in a queue for 45 minutes. The queue to Topkapi Place – despite the heavy rain, forced me to wait for tickets for over 1.5 hours. The possibility of bypassing these long, long queues is a huge advantage of this offer!
Also, this card is also a public transport card. You can top it up as many times as you like and use it also in the future – whenever you will travel to Istanbul.
Finally, discounts. Yes, price is also important, because most of those who are visiting Istanbul want to visit the most important attractions. Tickets are not the cheapest and prices can change several times a year. For me, discounts are always more than welcome, and for you as well. 20% off seems a good deal.
Where to buy the card and how to order it
There is a special promotion on my blog😊. If you order the card through the links provided below, you will get a special – “EXTRA” 5% discount. The offer is limited in time.
I hope that my post “Istanbul – an idea for sightseeing” will inspire you to visit this amazing city.
Happy sightseeing 🙂
turkiye – my other posts
I also encourage you to read my other posts about Istanbul, Cappadocia and Türkiye:
- Istanbul and Cappadocia – tailor-made travel plan
- Cappadocia – a land of the beautiful horses
- Istanbul – how to get to main attractions
- Istanbul – secrets of the city
- Türkiye photos
*IstanbulWelcomeCard links are affiliates