The Istanbul Welcome Card is one of the four common city passes in Istanbul, together with Istanbul E-Pass, Istanbul Tourist Pass, and Istanbul Museum Pass. We tested them all and here we’ll give you information and advice about the Istanbul Welcome Card, including should you buy it, what you ‘ll get, what are the advantages and disadvantages, the purchase process, how you’ll use it and how much you’ll save when comparing with other city passes.
Let us give you some useful info first, about what is this Istanbul Welcome Card and compare it with other passes. And than describe you how to use the card.
Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.
Insider Advice: If you ask our advice about which card you should buy in between the three Istanbul passes that we mention above, we highly recommend you buy Istanbul Welcome Deluxe.
What is Istanbul Welcome Card?
Istanbul Welcome Card is a travel discount card provided and offers combo attractions for less for individual, family or groups. And you will get valuable discounts of up to 50%. It is a very compact card. What we’re telling you about here is a superb easy and convenient discount card.
There are four types of Istanbul Welcome Card (Classic, Premium, Saver Combo and Deluxe), and all are valid for 3 to 7 days.
1. Istanbul Welcome Card Classic
Pricing & Validity
Valid for 7 days starting from your first activation. Price is € 24.
2. Istanbul Welcome Card Saver Combo
Pricing & Validity
Valid for 3 days starting from your first activation. Price is € 58.
No Regrets Booking Advice
3. Istanbul Welcome Card Premium
Pricing & Validity
Valid for 7 days starting from your first activation. Price is € 74.
4. Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe
Pricing & Validity
Valid for 5 days starting from your first activation. Price is € 114.
Which Card should I get?
It will depend on your wish and the duration of your Istanbul visit. We recommend you to buy;
- Premium Card – if you stay for 3 days and need Istanbulkart, public transportation card.
- Saver Combo – if you stay for 3 days and do not need Istanbulkart.
- Deluxe Card – if you stay between 3-7 days or more into seeing great museums with historian guide.
You can save more with the Deluxe Card.
Is Istanbul Welcome Card Worth It?
If you’re looking for taking Istanbul’s couple of top attractions plus public card with as little stress as possible, than yes it will worth it.
A Few Reasons
* You’ll save time and money.
* The 20% discounts you’ll get on the additional attractions is the highest discount percentage available on the market.
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* If you individually buy the guided attractions on location, you’ll pay more
* You will not wait in the long queues. It will be about 2 hours in high season, and nobody wants that. Also consider how much your time is worth? If your time is relatively worth like €20.00 an hour, you’re far way into savings.
* With the Istanbul Welcome Card, you’ll cover transportation and the most important highlights in Istanbul. And you can use your personal discount code to book all the additional tours, attractions, experiences and transfers online in advance, skip the lines, for 20% less than the official price and enjoy your visit hassle free.
* Also if you buy the card from our site, you’ll get extra 5% discount. (a good will discount for us, for our website visitors).
Which Card We Recommend?
* From the three variants of the Istanbul Welcome Card, our recommendation is the Premium Card (if you’ll stay less than 3 days and need public transport card), Saver Combo Card (if you’ll stay less than 3 days and do NOT need public transport card), or Deluxe Card (if you’ll stay more than 3 days).
* You’ll see the most visited Istanbul attractions as included in the map you’ll get, additional 2 walking tours, plus an Istanbul kart for public transport.
* The Deluxe Card also includes an Istanbul Museum Pass, and bonus Basilica Cistern fast track entry ticket with guide, and 10 additional public transport rides (total 20) than Premium Card.
How to use Istanbul Welcome Card?
Now let us tell you how you’ll use the card. Hope you’re not bored with this long page.
* After you get your card, you’ll just need to go to the meeting points for the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace fast track entry and guided tour, plus Bosphorus Cruise. All are described with the tickets in the envelope.
* You’ll also see a marked plan on the map you get.
* No need to make any reservation. Your name will be on the list for 7 days and you can come visit the museums, and Bosphorus cruise at any available days and times, by meeting the Istanbul Welcome Card guide at the meeting points. So easy.
Hagia Sophia Fast Track Entry
* The meeting point is in front of Hagia Sophia, next to the main entrance with long queue. The English speaking local guides will be in red Polo and hold a sign with the inscription Istanbul Welcome Card.
* There will be free WiFi from the Istanbul Welcome Card to download the Audio Guide app.
* From there, guides will take you inside and you’ll get a brief 30 minutes orientation about the 1500 years old history of Hagia Sophia, and how to get to the different parts of the museum.
* Hagia Sophia is open every day of the week.
* And then, you can experience and enjoy the museum at your own pace, take pictures, etc. You can spent the whole day inside.
Topkapi Palace Fast Track Entry
* The meeting point is the 1st gate of Topkapi Palace. The English speaking local guides will be in red Polo and a red umbrella with the signs of the Istanbul Welcome Card.
* Some mix the meeting point for Topkapi Palace, they go to the 2nd gate of the palace where tickets are sold, but it is wrong. You should go to the main gate, in front of the big Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III. (see below)
* From there you’ll into the palace and on the way the guide will make you a short tour and tell you about all the sights in the palace. You can read more about the palace/museum on our Topkapi Palace Museum page.
* Than, you can just enjoy the palace at your own pace, enjoy a long coffee break looking over a spectacular Bosphorus view, take pictures, etc. You can spent the whole day inside.
* Topkapi Palace is open every day except Tuesdays.
Bosphorus Cruise & Audio Guide
* The departure point for the ferries is Kabatas Dentur Ferry Port (see location map). You can easily access the port via Tram.
* You’ll see a separate stand and reception with the red label for the Istanbul Welcome Card at the Port, where The Marine Officer will meet you there. The meeting point is also explained on the ticket with a plan.
* The Marine Officer will take you directly to the ferry (without waiting in the queue).
* There is free WiFi at the dock.
* Audio Guide App in following 9 Languages: English, German, Russian, Italien, Italien, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish
* You just sit back and enjoy the beautiful views of the Bosphorus, with bridges, palaces, fortresses, seaside residences and many other historical places.
* You should sit on the top deck to get the best views. This Bosphorus Cruise will go for 90 minutes.
* You can use your Istanbulkart to get back to your hotel by public transport.
* Basilica Cistern is included as a bonus with the Deluxe Card.
* The meeting point is the entrance of the Basilica Cistern. Situated about 100 meters from Hagia Sophia’s entrance. To the left when you face Hagia Sophia’s entrance.
* Again, the English speaking local guides will be there, and you can enjoy Basilica Cistern like the same way you’ll do with Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.