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Travel Guide: How To Maximize A Stopover In Istanbul, Turkey

Are you Ghanaian passport holder? Do you fancy a two-in-one travel experience through Turkey? If yes, here's a post to allay your fears and guide you through achieving this goal.

What Is a Stopover?

A stopover/ layover can be a great way to explore one more country/ city as part of your journey to another country/ travel destination. Almost all airlines have stopover options for the various destinations they fly into, hence this travel hack can be maximized with a variety of flight options. 

In December 2019, I visited Istanbul, Turkey as part of my journey to Bali, Indonesia. It was a refreshing experience offered by Turkish Airlines and as a dedicated traveler, I was sure to seize the opportunity to see and explore a bit more of Turkey. 

In this blogpost, I share easy steps, requirements, cost and benefits on how to maximize a Turkish Airline stopover with a Ghanaian passport. Note: Ghanaian passport holders do not require a transit visa in order to stopover at Istanbul. However, if the intention is to explore the city, then a transit visa is required for entry. 

Seven (7) Steps To Obtaining The Turkish Transit Visa

1. Set a date for your trip

2. Examine the list of requirements for visa application (I elaborate on each item below)

  • A Valid Passport 

  • A Destination Visa

  • Two (2) American size passport pictures (2x2 inch)

  • Introductory Letter

  • Bank Statements (six months)

  • Pay Slips (Past Three Months)

  • Flight & Hotel Reservation

  • Travel Insurance

  • Receipt of paid visa fees

  • Print out of Application and scheduled visa appointment confirmation 

3. Scan all of the above documents and save to your computer 4. Apply online at

5. Pick a date for your visa Interview 

6. Attend visa interview at the Turkish Embassy in Accra

7. Pick up your passport and visa


Below are the visa fees for obtaining a Turkish Transit Visa with a Ghanian Passport:

  • Single Transit - GHS 230.00

  • Double Transit - GHS 579.00

  • E-Visa - € 40 (on arrival) if you have a USA, UK or Schengen Visa Note: There are no hidden/additional charges 


With a Turkish Transit Visa obtained while flying Turkish Airlines, you are entitled to the following benefits upon arrival in Turkey once you present your boarding pass to the Turkish Airlines desk at the airport. 

  • Free hotel accommodation for layovers six (6) hours+

  • Airport transfers

  • A meal every 6 hours

  • Automatic luggage transfer to final flight destination


The visa process took 1.5months in total

  • One (1) month from a successful online application to interview date

  • Two (2) weeks from interview date to visa pickup date. 

NB: Note however, that my application was done in late November - early December and this is often not advisable as it’s the peak period for most travel destinations & services.


While stoping over in Istanbul, you can use the opportunity to explore the following in only a few hours! I booked a 'half day walking tour' with and it was truly such an amazing experience!

  1. The Sultanahmet Square

  2. The Blue Mosque 🕌 (Hagia Sophia)

  3. Tomb site of Sultan Ahmed

  4. The Underground Cistern

  5. Experience the ice-cream show 

  6. Souvenir Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

  7. Visit a spice shop / local eatery  

Happy travels!

As always, if you find these pointers useful in your visa application/ travel planning, be sure to drop a comment below to let me know or send me an email at with your feedback/experience. I love hearing from you!


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