COVID-19 Coronavirus Istanbul Turkey: Info, restrictions, test centers

Last Updated on July 24, 2021

Here you can find COVID-19 coronavirus Turkey guidance and resources for travelling safely to Istanbul, including latest info, updates and travel advice.


No Regrets Covid-19 PCR Test Booking

If you need a mandatory request to get a Covid-19 PCR test 24-72 hours prior to your departure, don’t wanna read the whole page, trust our recommendations, and book your PCR Test online and get it at Taksim (2 mins. walking distance from Taksim Square, every day between 08:30 AM and 17:30 PM) or at your hotel/home via Private Laboratory certified by Turkish Ministry of Health, just hit the red button below and make your appointment.

Book Covid-19 PCR Test Appointment in Taksim with 5% discount


Disclaimer: Here we try to do our best to provide you all up-to-date and accurate information. However, some Covid-19 restrictions, regulations can change rapidly, and we may not be aware of them. Therefore, you should double check the information against the official health websites that we listed below. Please bear in mind that if you act on the information we give here, you agree that this is at your own risk.


Coronavirus Turkey Resources

We recommend you to check the below official resources with travel alerts and warnings before you plan your travel to Istanbul and Turkey.

Coronavirus Istanbul Turkey: Latest Updates

  • Istanbul is currently subject to risk of exposure to COVID-19. With the good number of vaccination progress, the Covid cases are rapidly decreasing.
  • As of 01 July:
    • All the curfews have been completely lifted.
    • Intercity travel restrictions have been lifted.
    • The age limit for public transport has been removed.
    • All public institutions and organizations turned back to normal working hours.
    • The music restriction has been moved to 24.00.
  • Gradual Normalization Measures will be applied from June 01, 05:00 am. till 01 July, 05 am.. Tourists are exempt from these restrictions.
  • During June, curfew will be applied from 22:00 pm. to 05:00 am. on weekdays and Saturday, and from 22:00 pm. on Saturday to 05:00 am. on Monday.
  • All dining places such as restaurants, cafes, patisseries will be open for table service between 07:00-21:00, and only as package service between 21:00-24:00. They will serve as takeaway service during Sunday curfew.
  • Grocery stores, markets, greengrocers, butchers, nuts and dessert shops will be open between 10.00-17.00 on Sunday curfew. It is allowed to go to the nearest grocery store, market, greengrocer, butcher, dried fruit and dessert shops only on foot.
  • Gym, beauty centers, amusement and theme parks, internet cafes, theaters, cinemas, concert halls and all similar services at the workplaces will be open between 07:00-21:00 during weekdays and Saturday.
  • Indoor swimming pools, Turkish bath, spa, saunas and massage parlors, hookah lounge/cafes, casinos, taverns, pubs will remain closed until further notice.
  • Shopping centers will be open between 10:00-20:00 during weekdays and Saturday, and be closed on Sunday.
  • Weddings and ceremonies in the open and closed areas will be able to start from 1st of June in accordance with the determined conditions.
  • Intercity travel will be free for periods and days when curfews are not applied.
  • The academic calendar of the universities for the 2021-2022 academic year will start as of September 13.
  • As of April 22, 2021, restrictions on UK and Denmark flights are lifted.
  • See the risk group of all Turkish cities map from covid19.saglik.gov.tr (at the bottom of the page – Turkish only)
  • As of November 12, 2020, smoking in open areas is banned. This includes streets and other open public areas.
  • As of September 8, 2020, the wearing face mask outside is mandatory throughout Turkey. This includes public transport, streets, parks, gardens, workplaces, streets, picnic areas, markets, supermarkets, marketplaces, hair salons, shopping malls, etc.
  • You should avoid using public transport in rush hours and stroll at the very crowded places. Walking if possible or using a taxi would be better.
  • You must wear face mask even you are in your private vehicle with at least two person inside.
  • Standing passengers are not allowed in the public transportation vehicles.
  • Travelers already in Istanbul can dial the 112 emergency service within Istanbul and Turkey to get further information and emergency medical treatment.
  • If you want to take info and access the Turkish Ministry of Health COVID-19 Telephone Hotline (Turkish/English/Arabic), you can dial 184 within Istanbul and Turkey.
  • Local authorities may put additional COVID-19 restrictions with little or no advance notice.

Covid-19 PCR Test in Istanbul Turkey

If you are in Istanbul and want to have a Covid-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test, Antigen Test, IgG, and IgM Antibody Test directly at your home, hotel, or any address, as well as by your own pace at the laboratory on location, you can get it at Cihangir Lab in Taksim region (2 mins. walking distance from Taksim Square, open every day (inc. Saturday and Sunday between 08:30 AM and 17:30 PM).


The lab offers Covid-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test, Antigen Test, IgG, and IgM Antibody Test directly at their lab, your home, hotel, or any address.

The lab is certified by the Turkish Ministry of Health, you can make your appointment online via our partner IWC (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) registered with License No:9675). And you get the results on the same day (next day at 12:00 for afternoon tests).

The Covid-19 PCR Test report is prepared in English, complying with foreign travel procedures, and internationally valid in 190 countries. You can get the report on your Smartphone and show on the border before your departure abroad.

How It Works?

After your Booking you will get all Information and details in your Conformation Mail.
Show your Conformation mail to our Staff and get access to the Test.

PCR Test directly at the laboratory on location or at hotel/home
  • Book Taksim Lab Online (if you want the lab take your test at your hotel/home, please tick on “Want to do the PCR test in my Hotel or Home?” section on the booking page)
  • Visit the laboratory (when you book for hotel/home service, lab’s medical team will visit you)
  • Show your confirmation email to the staff
  • Take your PCR test
  • Use the QR Code to get the results with your Identity Card number
  • Get the result in print out and save it to your Smartphone
  • Show the result in print out or from your Smartphone on the Border
More Info

Cihangir Lab in Taksim is open everyday from 08:30 am. to 17:30 pm.

If you prefer the test at your hotel/home, the lab’s team will visit you between 08:30-16:00 pm. with notice about 30 mins. from arrival.

You will get the results on the same day between 19:00-22:00 pm. (next day for the tests made after 17:00 pm.)


The lab is approved and certificated by the Turkish Ministry of Health and CE.

PCR test result are valid in 190 countries except Qatar and Jordan.

PCR Test price is €25 (250 TL, same in all hospitals and clinics in Turkey). If you want the test at your address there is and additional service fee.

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount when they book online. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official IWC page.

Book Covid-19 CR Test Appointment in Taksim with 5% discount


Can I visit Istanbul now?

Yes, borders are open and you can visit Istanbul and all other cities in Turkey. You should just make sure you keep yourself safe, responsible and follow the latest restrictions and COVID-secure guidelines.

However, many countries have travel restrictions in their own and you should check your own government’s guidelines and travel advice before you plan your travel to Istanbul and Turkey.

People arriving in Turkey from abroad no longer need to self-isolate.

How early should I get the Covid-19 PCR Test before arrival?

You’ll need to have your PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in Turkey. We would recommend you have it around 24-48 hours before your flight to Istanbul.


Measures at the Istanbul Airports

When you arrive at Istanbul airports or any other airports in Turkey, you’ll go through thermal screening for temperature checks before the passport control.

You are also asked to complete a passenger locator form that is supplied by the airline.

If there is a suspect with COVID 19, you’ll be taken to an isolated place to stay under quarantine for further PCR testing.

If you have serious symptoms, you’ll be taken taken to an isolation room and stay there for 2 hours for getting the PCR test results.

If your PCR test result is positive, than you’ll be sent to a hospital, and than you’ll decide whether to be treated at the hospital or hotel.

If the isolation period will last longer than your planned trip, extra accommodation costs will be covered by the hotel.

If you won’t want to stay in Istanbul during the isolation period, and want to return to home country, you’ll be allowed on board with the discretion of the airline or captain.

You’re advised to buy health insurance packages before arriving at Istanbul, Turkey. And if you’ll have symptomatic after arriving at your hotel, than you’ll be taken for PCR test at the contracted health care facilities.

Medical treatment

If you are already in Istanbul or any other cities in Turkey and need an emergency medical assistance, use the 112 emergency service to get further information and ask for an ambulance.

You should know that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Istanbul and Turkey. So that you are advised to contact your travel health insurance company whether you are referred to a medical facility for treatment or not.

You should also check whether your travel health insurance covers treatment for COVID-19.

Using Public Transportation with HES Code

Due to latest Covid-19 precautions, you’ll need to activate a HES code when using using public transportation.

To activate the HES code, you should synchronize your HES code with your Istanbulkart. Otherwise you’ll not be able to use the public transportation.

Steps to activate your HES code with Istanbulkart

  • You should send SMS to 2023 and type HES (space) Nationality (space) Passport Serial Number (space) Year of birth (space) Surname
  • Upon getting your HES code, you should visit the Istanbulkart website on https://kisisellestirme.istanbulkart.istanbul (English language available)
  • And than you should select “I am a foreigner, I want to continue by my passport
    number.’’ box. Also note that your card number is your Istanbulkart serial number.

IstanbulKart Online with Free Hotel Delivery/Airport Pick-Up

Istanbul Welcome Card offers online purchase of the IstanbulKart with free hotel delivery or airport pick-up. It is a great option for the ones who want to skip the hassle of waiting and buying along the machines, kiosks at the airports, tram/metro stations.

Your Istanbulkart will be delivered to your hotel (in the areas of Taksim, Sultanahmet, and Besiktas, AirBnb hotels are not included) or you can pick it up at the Airport (only between 8:00 AM and 11:00 PM).

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

The is an innovative city pass. It includes fast track entry to 12 museums (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Basilica Cistern, etc), 3 tours with historian guide, 20 rides with public transportation (IstanbulKart), Bosphorus Cruise and digital guide book and city map. It also offers 20% discounts at the most important Istanbul attractions on their shop. With this card you’ll skip the long ticket lines and not have to pick anything up.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Valid for 7 days, free delivery to your hotel/airport pick-up and includes; Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace fast track entry tickets with 30 minutes guidance and Audio Guide App in 10 languages, Istanbulkart with 10 Rides, Bosphours Cruise (1,5 hours), Digital Guide Book and City Map.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


Combo Tickets for Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern

Valid for 3 days, digital pass, no need a printed ticket, guidance service with certified guides.

Buy Combo Tickets

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.




58 COMMENTS

  1. Hi! We just arrive to istambul today and I wanted to know what tourist attraction is going to be open during eid al adha holidays? What can we visit from the 20th of July until the 25th?
    Thanks a lot!

  2. We’re coming on July 2 for a few days.
    Right now almost all things we wanted to see show closed. Is it true that ALL restrictions will be lifted on July 1 ?
    Mainly interested in Kiz Kulesi, Basilica Cistern and Hamam experience.

    • Hi, hookah cafes, nightclubs, Kiz Kulesi and Basilica is closed at the moment. Everything else is open including hamams.

  3. Is it all Masjid in all across Turkey cities are closed from last year until now ? I am moslem and if I want to travel between cities I was wondering can I do my praying in the masjid all across Turkey cities? Because someone told me all masjid in Turkey are closed due to COVID19 and there are no 5 obligations prayer anymore in the masjid in Turkey. Is it true ?

  4. HI ,
    Is bars are open in Istanbul now ?
    Can I have dine in inside restaurant ?
    Can I travel from Istanbul to Bodrum using domestic flights ? is it allowed ?

    • Hi, bars closed. You can dine inside restaurant. And can travel between cities with domestic flights or bus, except Sundays for now. Thanks

      • On most wolcome card options, there is the Basilica Cistern invluded as 1 of the 3 guided tours. But as you said it is closed. Is there a replacement if it is booked?

        • Hi Alan, yes you are right Basilica cistern is closed due to renovation. On all cards you mention with Basilica Cistern, they make the tour for 1001 Cistern situated close to Basilica Cis. You can see the 1001 xistern details from its official http://www.binbirdirek.com.tr/en/

    • Hi Zeinab, Sundays will be great for tourists as there will be less traffic and local crowd :) I recommend you visit top museums and sights in peaceful environment during the day, and maybe take Bosphorus cruise or dinner cruise in the evening. You can find good deals on https://istanbulwelcomecard.com/r/705/istbeauty05 and https://istanbulwelcomecard.com/r/564/istbeauty05

    • Hi, night clubs are closed until further notice and nobody knows when they will be open. We expect them to be open by early or mid July maybe.

    • Hi David, well intercity travel is not available for Sunday for both locals and tourists. You need to take permit letter. It is better to travel between cities except Sunday.

  5. Hello, I will be travelling to Istambul in the middle of June.

    Is the curfew also valid for tourists, meaning we cannot freely move on Sundays?

    Cheers,
    Marta

    • Hi Marta, you can find the info on the page. Tourists are exempt from the restrictions. You can move on every day. Best

  6. Hello, I am planning to visit Istanbul next weekend. What kind of Covid restrictions are in Istanbul now? Llike is tere a curfew or anything like that? Is everythig open? Masks are madatory?
    Thank you for answer.

  7. Hello, I am planning to visit Istanbul mid June, by then I will be fully vaccinated and after 14 days from my second dose. Do I need also to provide a PCR test, Or the vaccine certification is enough ?
    Thank you :)

    • Hi Mustafa, I guess you’ll not need, but you should check the latest information on https://www.turkishairlines.com/tr-int/duyurular/coronavirus-salgini/seyahat-kisitlamalari/

  8. Hello,
    We are traveling to cappadocia and then from there to istanbul (by plane), we will do the pcr before leaving for cappadocia, do we need to take another pcr before traveling from cappadocia to istanbul?
    Thank you

    • Hi Joelle, the pcr test is a must for entering to your own country when departing from Turkey. And the time period varies from country to country. Some wants 24 hours before departure, and some 48 to 72 hrs. You don’t need pcr test for domestic travel within Turkey.

    • Hi Morgan, well several restrictions will be lifted from 1st of June but we will know them tomorrow night after the declaration from the government. Check the news tomorrow evening.

    • New declaration from the government will be on 31st May in the evening. We don’t expect baths will open.

  9. Hi, is the beaches open or not like in kuşadadi, çeşme etc and this restriction is followed in other cities ,Izmir and so on. Tnx

  10. Hi. I wanted to know what is expected to open after June 1st. Do you think there will be indoor restaurant dining or at least outdoor table dining?

    • Hi Afroze, well we expect restaurants and cafes will serve with 50% capacity, touristic Bosphorus cruises will operate. Actually except the dining restrictions, it is like everything is available for tourists :)

  11. Hello, I was thinking of flying to Istanbul next week. Will the big Bazar be open? Do you recommend it going to Istanbul right now or should I rather wait until June?

    • Hi Diandra, if you mean Kapalicarsi, the Grand Bazaar, yes it is open. If you are able to arrange your dates, I’d recommend you visit our city after 1st of June as more of the Covid restrictions are expected to be lifted. Best wishes

  12. I wanted to go to starbucks, but they request me to show PCR test, do i need test just to order take out food?? Taksim square starbucks

    • Hi Tomas, restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops are not open for table service. They only serve take-away. They shouldn’t have asked your PCR test. Maybe they did ask HES code.

      • where can i go swimming with my wife (beach or pool?)? do you have Any suggestion?
        we just want it to be safe and clean

  13. Hi, are the touristic cultural attractions open for tourists (Aya Sophia, Blue mosque, Topkapi Palace, Bospurus boat trip)?

    • Hi Ouarda, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque open 24 hrs, Topkapi Palace open, all museums are open (just cross check the visiting hours with the official websites), touristic Bosphours boat trips with dinner and entertainment will be available probably after 1st of June.

  14. Hello
    If i want to travel only for one day it’s ok with one pcr test? Because it’s less from 72 hours🤔😣

  15. I was wondering of restaurants, cafetarias and shopping malls remain open for tourists. So is it possible for me as a tourist to eat in a restaurant and make use of sauna and spa?

    • Hi Hakim, restaurants and cafes only give take-away services. No table service for tourists. However, restaurants and cafes at the hotels are open for table service. Saunas and spas are closed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.