Whimsically situated either side of the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is separating Europe from Asia. This incomparable geographical position gives Istanbul its characteristic weather. Cold air streams from Balkans and the warm waters of the Aegean Sea constantly clash to dominate the city. Dates may differ from year to year but you can experience all four seasons in Istanbul.
Istanbul is a year-round holiday destination. Every single season has something special to offer to you. Early autumn may be a good time to escape from the sultry moisture. Late spring may tempt you with a warm sunny day then surprise you with heavy rain. From November through early May cold winds blow from the sea and fill the Bosphorus region. As a consolation Istanbul offers you sparser streets and more reasonable prices in this season. Istanbul’s weather may be the key factor for your holiday plans. In order to discover the best time to go to Istanbul, let us guide you through the four seasons of this ancient city.
This three month window is stuck between a hot and humid summer and cold winter days. In most holiday regions of Turkey, early autumn presents you a milder and more enjoyable weather. The summer heat does not abandon the coastal regions so rapidly and the cool winds sweep the sultry moisture away. Also the high season for Istanbul ends around this time and prices get lower. Come mid-autumn you need to watch out for rainy days and chilly nights. Usually around early November temperatures decline rapidly and cold winds from Siberia make it hard for you to enjoy your Turkish coffee at the Bosphorus region.
Istanbul’s weather gives you what you would expect from a European city during winter. It is the wettest season, cold, dark and foggy. You may see some snow but it is getting rarer every year. However thanks to the warm currents from south, the freezing cold days are not as abundant as in an European capital. This season offers the lowest prices and less crowded sights.
Starting from early April the winter chill leaves the city and temperatures rise significantly but don’t let this trick you. Istanbul is slow to warm up. During day time, the spring sun keeps you warm but nights are still cold. It would be wise to keep your umbrella close since rainy days are still common until mid May. There is an ancient traditional festival celebrated at Ahırkapı, Istanbul on 5th of May. Hıdırellez celebrates the end of Winter and coming of the Spring. The famous tulip blossom around mid April, which is also an indicator of warmer days.
When it comes to Summer heat, Istanbul has developed a new habit of acting like a south coast city. Starting from mid June the weather is hot and humid. After early July the humidity levels start to increase rapidly, making it hard to explore the city at day time. The temperature will read between 30°C and 40 °C. Keep in mind that the prices will go up in this season and tourist attractions will be densely populated as expected. It is also the holiday season for locals so most Istanbullers leave the city for vacation. The Bosphorus region is the most popular part around this time because of the cool summer breezes it offers.