How to get a free hotel or a tour in Istanbul

When we’re planning our trips, searching for possibly cheaper routes of that trip takes a big part of that planning. The invested time in possible routes usually pays out later.

It was like this when we were planning our trip to Ethiopia. We were going from Portugal and my sister with her boyfriend and our friend were planning to join us from Lithuania.

In the end the most economical way was to go through Istanbul (Turkey) with “Turkish Airlines”. It was the cheapest way for us, as well as the group from Lithuania.

But our flight from Porto to Istanbul was on one day and the flight to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) was the next day in the afternoon. And the group from Lithuania had more than 6 hours layover in Istanbul.

At that time we got to know that “Turkish Airlines” offers a free hotel if you need to spend a night in Istanbul waiting for your next flight. So we used this option and the group from Lithuania went for the free tour in Istanbul while they were waiting.

Check out the websites above to get more info on how to get the free stay/tour, but we basically just had to go through security and passport control and look for the “Turkish airlines” hotel desk at the airport. They then took our details and brought us to a minibus that brought us to the hotel. Just beware that you need a Visa in order to do this and that Turkey offers e-Visas to certain countries and Visa-free entrance to others.

Our hotel was closer to the airport than the city centre. It wasn’t a “fancy-shmancy” place but it was very good (I reckon it was a 4 star hotel) for a one night stay. Next morning we received breakfast that was included in the offer and took the metro to the city centre. Since we both were in Istanbul before, we didn’t have any agenda. We just walked around, had a nice lunch and got back to the airport for our next flight.

For this trip we took only hand luggage, we packed everything into the backpacks (yeah, I know, everything what you need for two weeks fit into one bag pack requires some mastery), it gave us some liberty to stroll around without preoccupying with luggage.

Do you know any air companies’ offers that their clients could benefit?

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