Istanbul is a beautiful city with a remarkable history. The capital of four empires, located on two continents, contains a diversity of sites.
Istanbul is beautiful at every time of the year, and whenever you decide to visit it, take time to appreciate the daily lifestyle, culture and history of this magnificent city. This epic cradle of civilization and one of the most multinational cities in the world is beautiful at any season, each season gives you a different perspective. Sailing on the Bosphorus, eating at the local fish restaurants or wandering around the ruined castles - no matter what you are planning to do, Istanbul will definitely take your breath away.
In order to make your vacations in Istanbul even more impressive, get prepared in advance with the help of our new article, where you’ll find everything you need to know about the best time to travel to Istanbul.
When is the best time to visit Istanbul?
If you are looking for the best season to visit Istanbul, choose spring or autumn. Many offers will cost you less because there are fewer tourists around this time of the year.
Istanbul in summer
Istanbul experiences its busiest time during the summer when many tourists visit Istanbul, Turkey. Residents leave Istanbul, making it more simple to manage the traffic and population without clogging the highways. The extended workdays in Istanbul during summer allow for late-night travel and the use of local services.
In June, the average temperature is +19–+28 C, and in other summer months, expect +21–+30 C. Sun in June is hot: get ready for 10-12 hours of sunshine daily There are 10–12 hours of sunshine per day. In June and July, expect 30mm of rain on average, and August sees 20 mm of precipitation most of times.
If you planned your trip for summer, this is a great time for swimming. The water is the warmest (+22C) in August. +25–27C is the maximum water temperature in Turkey.
Istanbul in autumn
The autumn weather in Istanbul is ideal for sightseeing tours. It receives a reasonable number of tourists and has a vibrant cultural life. We advise seeing the city, getting fresh air, going to cultural events and shopping, and enjoying pleasant weather. It is the shoulder season when prices in the city are generally lower.
Autumn in Istanbul is warm and sunny. Expect +17,5 to 25,5C on average in the city in September. With temperatures ranging from +9 to +16C in November, October is becoming colder (+14 to +20C).
If you want to swim in the ocean, it is still possible to do in the first month
The water temperature in October is 15-21C. Until November, carefully choose a day for swimming.
There are 8 hours of sunshine in September and 3,5 hours in November in Istanbul. On the contrary, more rain is falling in November. So, anticipate 40 mm of rain in September and 80–85 mm for the remainder of the autumn.
Istanbul travel in winter
Winter here does not have as harsh temperatures as winter in Europe, however it is a bit cold.
A whirling dervish show and hammam feel like two fantastic indoor activities to take while staying in Istanbul, and almost all options have discounted prices.
Not many people arrive in Istanbul this time of the year, and you may get everywhere you want without standing in long queues.
Istanbul's current average monthly highs and lows are 7–10C in December, 5-8C in January, and 3–8C in February. Even though it almost doesn't snow, you nevertheless get precipitation. December and January have the most rain (100 mm each). In the rest of the year, expect 14 days of precipitation, with 17 of them falling in December.
The amount of sunshine is quite limited in the December-January time (3 hours a day), while in February there is more sun. Better yet, become accustomed to your surroundings and refrain from going out late in the city. Filling most of your luggage with waterproof clothes is a good idea. If you want to avoid wet weather and low temperatures, go in February (70 mm of rain in 2 weeks). The other months see 100 mm of rain.
Istanbul in spring
In spring, the streets of Istanbul are still not too congested. Istanbul is in full bloom, and visitors of Turkey who pre-booked their trips especially love the city parks, music festivals, and other attractions like helicopter rides.
Istanbul is the capital of an event industry. 5000 dancers from Europe and all over the world attend the International Dance Fair in the city, which runs from March 27 to April 1. A variety of foreign films will be featured in the Istanbul Film Festival (mid April). If you are a gourmet, visit Sunday (every Sunday in April) and the Cheese Festivals (18–21 April). Traveling at any of these times is fantastic.
Istanbul weather is 7-12C in March with 5 hours of sunshine, April may expect 9-17C with 6 hours of sun, and 13-21C in May. (9 hours of sun). The wettest month in Istanbul is March (46 mm in 4 days), yet it may seem drier in May and April (32 mm).
Here are some suggestions of places to visit when you know when to travel to Istanbul so you may have great memories of your trip.
Joining a tour to one of the Princes Islands
Nine tiny islands form this group of off-coastal islands in the Sea of Marmara. No motor vehicles are allowed here, making it a haven for anyone looking to escape Istanbul's urban noise. Travel to Buyukada, which is the largest island in the archipelago. There are several historical places to visit here (e.g., Hamidiye Mosque). On Buyukada, you may fully immerse yourself in the Ottoman empire by touring the best locations on a horse-drawn carriage and passing by Galata and Maiden's Tower on one of boat tours while learning about their legends and enjoying the sea air away from the city.
by Nedjet Duzen
Getting to know the Turkish religious heritage
Istanbul, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is home to a wide range of world attractions. Book one of our tours to Topkapi, Ottoman, or Hagia Sophia mosques, among Istanbul's best ancient sites, to discover more about Ottoman history. Some of them belong to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We have some fresh suggestions if you want additional relaxation options in Istanbul.
Warm-up in a traditional hammam
Turkish equivalent of a sauna, a hammam features foam massage and peeling. You will relax and recover from the long journey during the session. Finish your city tour with one of the best times at hammam.
Take an evening cruise
The minarets may take your breath away at night. Dining with a view of Istanbul at night in Bosphorus strait, during which the best national food and entertainment are provided, is just what you need to fall in love with this country. Many say that you would not have been in Turkey if you had not taken the Bosphorus trip. Use your opportunity to travel to the continental boundary between Asia and Europe.
With our 2-day E-Pass, you will travel to the main landmarks of Istanbul without the long queues for the reduced prices.
Events in Istanbul
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (23.04)
In 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was created. The Turkish people and international tourists (e.g., from Europe, Asia, and other places) celebrate the festival with concerts, fairs, and cultural programs.
National Sovereignity and Children's day (by Yavuz Meyveci)
Victory Day (30.08)
In 1922, Turkish army forces defeated the Greeks and secured their significant victory. Tourists and residents commemorate this date with solemn parades and demonstration flights.
There will be several events from August to October where you can taste wine and grapes. The Istanbul Coffee Fair is an event for those who prefer coffee, or kahve, to wine; in 2022, it runs from October 6–9 with concerts, workshops, and coffee tastings.
If you are looking for music and art shows, the following events are the best ones to visit:
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Dates: late June to early July
Go to Istanbul, where the greatest jazz festivals in Europe are held yearly. Make sure you attend this event. .
Celebration of theater in Istanbul
When: September's final week
Watch staged shows at this event in Istanbul.
International holidays like Happy New Year (1 January) are celebrated in Istanbul with fireworks set off at midnight.
You should understand how to use public transportation to save money when moving between different Istanbul tourist attractions. Read our advice to concentrate on getting around Istanbul instead. We will provide you with the new, best suggestions.