Best Time to Visit Istanbul

Best Time to Visit Istanbul

Best Time to Visit Istanbul- Intro

Turkey is a very famous country for living four seasons sharply. Moreover, Istanbul has big oscillations during season transitions. However, this is our idea: “Istanbul is always great and fascinating”. We believe that choosing the best time to visit Istanbul is very important for the best experience.

As we mentioned in our article- Istanbul History and Introduction [1], visiting a city also depends on your expectation. For instance, a person who only lives in a hot environment might prefer to see Istanbul in a snowy season for the best experience even it was rare last years. Based on our observation last three years, Istanbul only saw snow right after New Year Eve. Moreover, the city didn’t see any snow in 2018. The other example is, a person who only knows and not aware of any cold weather might prefer to see this beautiful city in a hot season. But we are about to show the numbers belong to previous years about climate.

It can be said that the climate is warm during winter and general behavior looks like the Mediterranean. However, the climate is also affected by the Black Sea and many periods in winter can be pretty cold due to being a windy city [2]. During summertime, this beautiful city is mostly hot.

Important Reminders

Another point should definitely be mentioned, Istanbul is usually an empty city during summertime since the schools/colleges are closed. As we know, Istanbul has few options for swimming and they are not the top places in Turkey. So, local people prefer to go to the west or south coasts. Turkey’s most popular cities are Izmir, Antalya, and Mugla. We believe that “feeling a city” also depends on the lifestyle. For this reason, if you want to feel this beautiful city, also try to see the negative things such as traffic jam, being crowded and more on. So, summertime might not be a good option to reflect Istanbul’s lifestyle. If this is one of your parameters, try to be careful about national holidays such as Ramadan festival (Eid) and Festival (Eid) of Sacrifices. Generally, local people visit their hometowns in these festivals.

On the other hand, there is one more big parameter, hotel rates! As expected, the recommended seasons are quite expensive because of the higher demands. Another example, if you are a shopping addict, you can get a great discount in Grand Bazaar in December, January [3]. Attending festivals might be another parameter.

Seasonal Variation

The seasonal weather temperature variation can be seen in the figures below [4]. The data comes from 1929 to 2017. As it is seen, summer is the peak temperature, but May and September are very close.


Weather Temperature Variation during the Year (in Fahrenheit)
Weather Temperature Variation during the Year (in Celcius)

The average rainfall is an almost symmetrical version of temperature behavior. December has the most rainfall chance. Starting from April till September, rainfall chances are at the lowest within the whole year.

Rainfall by month (mm)
Rainfall by month (inch)

Best Time to Visit Istanbul- Winter

December is mostly cold and rainy, however, it is possible to see a couple of sunny days. It can be said that January is the peak in winter. Temperatures are at their coldest and days at their shortest. January is the most probable snowy month, but chances of rain are much greater. The day and night temperature difference is also big this month. In February, the days are getting longer, but the behavior of January still exists. Foggy days are common in this month.

Best time to visit Istanbul- Moda Pier
Winter in Moda

Best Time to Visit Istanbul- Spring

March is mostly rainy, however, days are warmer and temperatures are higher compared to January and February. Temperatures in April are more pleasant, however, are dropping high in the nighttimes. May could have the most pleasant weather thru the year. Days are getting longer and rainfall chance decreases.

Best time to visit Istanbul- Bridge
Spring in Uskudar

Best Time to Visit Istanbul- Summer

June mostly brings sunny and dry weather and July is the month having peak day temperatures. Local people and tourists prefer to visit the coasts. August is still hot, moreover, there is a slight increase in humidity. Evenings are much cooler than June and July.

Best time to visit Istanbul- Ortakoy Mosque
Summer in Ortakoy

Best Time to Visit Istanbul- Fall

One of the pleasant weather is in September, the days are still hot with long day-time, at the end of this month, the weather is getting colder. The daytime behavior is still the same as September in October, however, the nighttime is colder. As the winter is closer, November is rainier, but the weather is still pleasant.

Best time to visit Istanbul- Haydarpasa
Fall in Kadikoy

Monthly Visitor Distribution

You can see the monthly foreign visitors arriving in Istanbul just as a reference [5]. Based on the graph, it looks like people mostly prefer summer period.

Visitor distribution of Istanbul
Monthly visitor distribution [5]

Istanbul- Experience Rank

Find out our experience rank (1: Top 12: Lowest). Do keep in mind below ranking is just a recommendation, as we already said this should be shaped with your expectation.

Best Season to Visit Istanbul
Experience Rank of Seasonal Evaluation

Conclusion

Our personal perspective is the best season to visit Istanbul is spring and fall since the weather is pleasant and the sky is clear. But, of course, you will not regret if you choose any other season.

References:

  1. https://www.istanbulfantasy.com/istanbul-history/
  2. https://www.onthegotours.com/Turkey/Best-time-to-visit
  3. https://santorinidave.com/best-time-to-visit-istanbul
  4. https://www.mgm.gov.tr/veridegerlendirme/il-ve-ilceler-istatistik.aspx?m=ISTANBUL
  5. http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN-153018/number-of-arriving-departing-visitors-foreigners-and-ci-.html
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