Istanbul in January 2024: Weather, events, tips

Istanbul is a bit wet but still so beautiful in January. In this new year, in 2024 we are expecting a rainy January but don’t worry there are plenty of things to do indoors in this beautiful city.

Let’s start digging into what to do in January in Istanbul but the best way to plan your trip is always to check the 100+ attractions of Istanbul Tourist Pass® and make your own list! Istanbul Tourist Pass® sets you free and allows you to discover Istanbul on your own terms!

Here are all the answers you need to plan your visit to Istanbul in January 2024. And, before beginning, we wish you a happy new year, let this year be dreamy for you and your loved ones!

Weather in Istanbul in January 2024

With temperatures in Istanbul ranging from 5°C to 9°C in January 2024, warm clothing is essential. Rain can be expected in Istanbul for about half of January. We expect about 8 to 15 rainy days, so you can put your rubber boots and umbrella to good use this month if you're determined to stay dry.

In January, you can expect a few days of snow in Istanbul. It's important to get out your snow boots and warm mittens to stay warm while you explore Istanbul. If you’re planning to visit Istanbul in the near future, we highly recommend that you review the weather forecast for Istanbul before you arrive.

What to Pack Before Coming to Istanbul in January 2024

Istanbul in January can be chilly, so it's essential to pack accordingly. Here's a checklist to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip:

Warm Clothing: Bring layers, including a jacket, sweater, and scarf to stay cozy during the cooler temperatures.

Comfortable Footwear: As you'll be exploring various attractions, comfortable and waterproof shoes are a must.

Travel Adapters: Ensure you have the right adapters to charge your electronic devices and keep your Istanbul Tourist Pass® accessible on your devices.

Camera: Capture the beauty of Istanbul's landmarks, and don't forget to charge your camera or bring spare batteries.

Umbrella: January in Istanbul can bring some rain, so it's wise to pack a compact umbrella.

With your Istanbul Tourist Pass® in hand, January in Istanbul promises to be a month filled with exploration, culture, and unforgettable experiences. Embrace the charm of this historic city and create memories that will last a lifetime. Safe travels!

Is it a good idea to visit Istanbul in January 2024?

If you love your sunny and warm days, this month can be a little challenging for you but the answer is definitely yes. There are many things to do in Istanbul in the winter, and because it is an "off-season’" period, there will be fewer lines and many deals in most attractions. Especially hotels around the old town or other central neighborhoods might have reduced prices for a comfortable stay. 

Istanbul has many cafes, restaurants, and malls you can shelter whenever you feel cold but keep in mind Istanbul is still warmer than many other European capitals. Waterproof shoes and warm coats are enough for you to walk around the city. 

In January 2024, we don’t expect many snowy days but it is more than fair to say that Istanbul is very beautiful when it snows. 

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Unlock Unlimited Adventures with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® in January 2024!

Are you planning a visit to the enchanting city of Istanbul in January? Make the most of your trip with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, your key to unlocking unlimited adventures in this vibrant metropolis. The Istanbul Tourist Pass® is not just a digital card; it's your passport to over 100 attractions and services that will enhance your experience of this fascinating city.

Top Things to Do in Istanbul in January

Visit the Hagia Sophia

Begin your journey through history by exploring the iconic Hagia Sophia. Admire the stunning architecture and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this historical gem. Your Pass includes an amazing FREE guided tour to Hagia Sophia. 

Explore the Hagia Sophia History Museum

Delve deeper into the past with a visit to the Hagia Sophia History Museum. Uncover the layers of history and witness the evolution of this architectural marvel over the centuries with crafted video projections and audio stories. Visiting this amazing technologically great museum is discounted with your Pass, here are the details

Marvel at the Blue Mosque

No trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the Blue Mosque. Experience the grandeur of its interiors and appreciate the intricate details of Ottoman architecture. With a knowledgeable guide, enjoy visiting Blue Mosque in depth. Here are the details of the FREE guided tour to Blue Mosque

Fire of Anatolia Dance Show (Exclusive)

Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing Fire of Anatolia Dance Show, an exclusive experience included in your Istanbul Tourist Pass®. Witness the beauty of traditional Turkish dance and music in a spectacular performance. Here are discounted VIP tickets for Fire of Anatolia especially for Pass visitors. 

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Shows

Embark on a romantic Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and enjoy a delightful evening with Turkish shows. Revel in the panoramic views of Istanbul's skyline while savoring delicious Turkish cuisine. With your Pass, there are two amazing cruise dinners you can choose from. One is the basic and one is premium, so choose for yourself!

Visit the Basilica Cistern

Explore the mysterious underground world of the Basilica Cistern. Marvel at the ancient columns and the captivating ambiance of this subterranean marvel. Amazing Basilica Cistern is waiting for you with a great guided tour. Click here for the details and plan your trip

Discover Topkapi Palace Museum

Step into the opulent world of Ottoman sultans by visiting the Topkapi Palace Museum. Admire the exquisite artifacts and experience the grandeur of this historical palace. Our professional and experienced tour guides are ready to take you an amazing journey through Topkapi Palace

Whirling Dervishes Show (Exclusive)

Experience the spiritual and mesmerizing Whirling Dervishes Show, another exclusive offering with your Istanbul Tourist Pass®. Witness the captivating dance of the dervishes and feel the spiritual energy in the air. Entrance tickets to the most famous Whirling Dervishes show in Istanbul are FREE with your Pass!

Traditional Turkish Rug-Making Experience

Engage in a hands-on Traditional Turkish Rug-Making Experience. Learn about the art of rug-making and create your own masterpiece to take home as a unique souvenir. With your Pass, enjoy an amazing free rug-making experience with a delicious cup of Turkish coffee. 

Events in Istanbul on January 2024

There are many events in Istanbul; concerts, theatres, shows, and many more. Nearly all of these events are in Turkish but there are still plenty of events you may want to join. Especially if you'd like to feel like a local in Istanbul, it is a great idea to catch some of the most popular events. Here are some you may be interested in.

Turkey’s most popular musical: Alice

Everyone knows the story of "Alice in Wonderland", one of the unique works of literature, and Alice takes its place on the stage again as a contemporary musical adaptation with special choreography. The Turkish adaptation of Alice Musical, which opened the curtain for the first time on February 7, 2019, played sold out many times, and won many awards in Turkey and abroad.  

Many well-known Turkish actors and actresses take part in that glamorous musical. Serenay Sarıkaya appeared as "Alice" in the musical while Ezgi Mola played "Queen", Enis Arıkan "Rabbit", Şükrü Özyıldız "Hatter", İbrahim Selim "King" and Merve Dizdar as "Cat". Get ready for a fascinating stage show with its huge stage production, impressive visual effects, unique costumes, music, and talented cast! 

Bach is in Istanbul!

If you love to feel like a local when you visit a city, then Istanbul has great concerts and events for you. Here is an absolutely great classical music concert for you at the Maritime Museum which is a great and historical venue as well. Pierre Hantaï is one of the greatest harpsichordists of our time. Hantaï became passionate about Bach's music at the age of ten and gave his first concerts at an early age, either alone or with his brothers Marc (baroque flute) and Jérôme (viola da gamba). Later, after working with Gustav Leonhardt for two years in Amsterdam, Leonhardt invited him to play under his direction. So this January is a great time to listen to some Bach in Istanbul. 

Traveling with kids? Don’t Miss the Papagenos 

Here is a great musical for families with kids! Inspired by the Magic Flute Opera, one of Mozart's most popular works, the Papagenos will be on the stage in January for children to experience the love of nature and people to the fullest with music and dance, and to enjoy the most entertaining form of opera.

In Papagenos, where nature and human love come to the fore, the story is shaped around the Papageno character, his family, the Queen of the Night, Sarastro, and the Tree Man. Explaining that all creatures living in the Magic Forest become more beautiful with love and that there is always a piece of goodness in every person, even if they are bad, Papagenos aims to present and introduce the most entertaining form of opera to all children and parents. Don’t worry about the language; music and dance are the common languages for all kids so it is a great opportunity to feel like a local in Istanbul. 

How to Travel Around Istanbul in January 2024: Unlimited Public Transportation Card

Istanbul Municipality has announced an unlimited public transportation card specifically for tourists: Istanbul City Card. This is a prepaid public transportation card that gives you unlimited access to public transportation for the number of days you choose.  Istanbul City Card is valid in every public transportation vehicle including metro, trams, buses, metrobuses, and ferries.  It is a beautifully designed physical card delivered at your hotel by Istanbul Tourist Pass® and after using it, you can keep it as a souvenir. You can have up to 40% advantage in buying with Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

Check it this unlimited public transportation card here and buy easily! So you can freely travel around the city.

A full family day: Istanbul Aquarium

Are you ready to see the breathtaking world of the seas for yourself, swim with the fishes, and go on a wild journey that will take you across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Amazon rainforests? Istanbul Aquarium is waiting for you to fulfill your dreams! Especially in the cold weather, Istanbul Aquarium is one of the best places in Istanbul to have a perfect family day.

With the vastness of its journey route, thematic zones, a thousand square meter rainforest, and interactive new generation technology, the Istanbul Aquarium is one of the world's largest thematic aquariums, where fish species living in the world's oceans may be observed. Are you ready to pursue a geographic itinerary that covers 16 theme zones from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean and the Amazon Rainforest? In the theme regions, rich information on the cultural, geographic, historical, and architectural qualities of the relevant place, as well as ornamental artifacts, interactive plays, sound and lighting, films, and visual graphics are provided. You may observe sea species native to these places as well as learn about their geographical and cultural traits.

Lindy Hop & Jazz Dance Festival: Jumpin at Istanbul 2024!

Get ready to swing and sway at the "Jumpin at Istanbul 2024" Lindy Hop & Jazz Dance Festival! From January 18th to 21st, 2024, DasDas Istanbul becomes the vibrant hub of dance enthusiasts for a spectacular 4-day event. This festival invites you to immerse yourself in the rhythm of Lindy Hop, offering a perfect blend of parties, classes, shows, competitions, lectures, and more. The dance floor in Istanbul transforms into a global gathering point, bringing together dancers from across the world and over 20 diverse dance communities from various regions in Turkey. All parties of the festival will be at the main stage of DasDas on a 600 sq foot wooden floor in a spacious area with high ceilings. All lessons will also take place at DasDas. Join them for a celebration of dance and cultural exchange against the mesmerizing backdrop of Istanbul's beauty. Don't miss the chance to make unforgettable memories during this extraordinary event! 

Enjoy 100+ amazing attractions FREE with Istanbul Tourist Pass. For MORE Istanbul for LESS visit Istanbul Tourist Pass®  and start your journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is January good time to visit Istanbul?

Yes, since it is off-season January is great for Istanbul especially if you are on a budget. There are many indoor activities in Istanbul on cold days.

Does Istanbul snow in January?

In January 2024, it is expected to snow around the end of the month. But the weather generally will be around 5-10 celsius degrees.

Is Istanbul warm in January?

Yes and no, if you think 5-10 celsius degrees in winter is warm, then yes. But it is fair to say Istanbul is pretty cold in January.

What clothes to wear in Istanbul in January?

Take your waterproof boots and warm clothes with you if you are coming to Istanbul in January.

Is it rainy in Istanbul in January?

In January 2024, it is expected to rain in Istanbul so don’t forget to bring your waterproof clothes and shoes with you.

What is the coldest month in Istanbul?

February is generally the coldest month in Istanbul so it is fair to say January is still ‘not that cold’.

Which is the best month to visit Istanbul?

Your travel expectations are what determines the best month to visit Istanbul. If you’d love to visit Istanbul when it is less crowded even if it is cold, then January is the best month to visit Istanbul.

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