On his way back from collecting his award in LA for his win at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award in the category Favourite South African Star in Los Angeles this past weekend, AKA made a stop in Istanbul.
No stranger to international travel, AKA shared some of his top travel tips:
How do you prepare for an international trip?
Normally I get a haircut and throw all my clothes into a bag 30 minutes before I have to leave. Then I check if I have my passports and then make a run for it.
Window or aisle?
What were the top 5 things you needed to pack for this trip to Istanbul?
Portable charger, Reebok sneakers, my Rolex, my laptop and an open mind.
Which country stands high on your bucket list?
What are your top travel tips?
Follow the rules.
What’s your travel style?
Move fast to get to where you want to be. Be prepared for absolutely anything.
Some traveling hacks, which is generally not known by people?
Make sure you get a plug who works at the airport to take you through VIP customs and check in.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
Favourite airline? And why?
Turkish Airlines, of course! I mean have you seen their 5-star Business Class?! They have an on-board chef which makes my selective food and drink choices a breeze and the fact that they offer a free Istanbul Tour for Turkish Airlines passengers with a layover of between 6-24 hours. That’s exploring 2 countries with one ticket.
Time Zone: 1-hour ahead of South Africa (GMT +3).
Public Transport: Istanbul has a superb public transport system with trams and the metro (which you can catch from the airport) being heavily used by tourists. Uber is also available in the city.
Climate: The best times to visit Istanbul and the inland regions are April to June (spring) and from September to November (autumn) when the climate is mild. The southern coastal areas are warmer all year round.
Stopping over: If you have a connecting international flight in Istanbul with a layover between 6-24 hours, you can use the TourIstanbul service to do a free trip around the highlights of the city. If you have a longer connection, you can qualify for complementary accommodation as well.
Top attractions in Istanbul: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Basilica Cisterns, Galata Tower, Bosphorus cruise.
About Turkish Airlines:
Turkish Airlines has daily return flights to Istanbul from Johannesburg, five flights a week from Cape Town and four a week from Durban. Flying to more countries than any other airline, Turkish Airlines offers connections to 306 global and domestic destinations in 124 countries.
Visas are free for South Africans and simply need an online application in advance – https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/