When is the best time to go to Istanbul?

Istanbul has a lot to offer its visitors throughout the year. If one desires to discover this superb megalopolis under a clear sky without being inconvenienced by the crowd of summer visitors, spring and autumn are to be favored. This city can indeed count on magnificent climatic conditions starting from the end of winter, but the weather is particularly superb from May to November. Thus, from mid-March to early June, tourists are few and one can engage in more convivial visits. If the stay coincides with the end of March or early April, it is possible to have the privilege of admiring the blooming tulips. This is the moment that authorities have chosen to celebrate the International Tulip Festival, held in Istanbul every year. The summer season translates into a strong tourist influx and it will therefore be necessary to think of booking in advance, because with the vacationers who flock in - the rates climb rather quickly. Travelling to Istanbul in the winter can allow for an unforgettable stay, especially for those with a romantic soul.

So, when is the best time to go to Istanbul? Here's some more information to help you in your decision:

  • The best months for good weather in Istanbul are May, June, July, August, September, October and November
  • On average, the warmest months are June, July and August
  • The coldest months are January and February
  • The rainiest months are February, October and December
  • The best months for swimming are June, July, August and September

For full information about the climate and weather in Istanbul a specific month, click on the corresponding line below:

January 45°F/52°F
February 45°F/52°F
March 49°F/56°F
April 54°F/63°F
May 61°F/76°F
June 68°F/83°F
July 74°F/88°F
August 77°F/86°F
September 72°F/81°F
October 65°F/70°F
November 58°F/65°F
December 50°F/58°F

Weather and climate in Istanbul

About the climate

The capital of Turkey, Istanbul sees its climate influenced by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. The latter brings a few influences of an oceanic climate. Thus, the Turkish city observes an alternation between four well-marked seasons, with a relatively constant freshness throughout the year.

Istanbul in the Summer

In the summer, the climate of Istanbul is dry and rather warm. The presence of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea nevertheless allows to temper this heat, with a marine air that makes the climate more bearable. Both seas also provide high ambient humidity. However, precipitation is not frequent at this time of year.

Istanbul in the Winter

In Istanbul, winter is cold and snowfall is not uncommon. Although precipitation remains scarce throughout this season, it is more intense. Very extensive, the city of Istanbul thus has more rainy or arid areas. This humidity makes the Istanbul climate quite different from its African neighbors, such as Tunisia or Libya. Fog is also common in the morning most of the year, but especially so in winter. Sudden storms and very violent showers are not uncommon.

Istanbul in the Spring

As in the summer, rain is rare during the springtime in Istanbul. The temperatures are mild and rise gradually in order to reach summer temperature levels. Sunny, this season is particularly pleasant for the discovery of the charms of Istanbul and the rest of Turkey.

Istanbul in the Autumn

Wetter, the autumn in Istanbul resembles the climate of neighboring Bulgaria. If the sun is very present, there are however more rainy episodes than in the summer. The mornings begin to be a bit cool, as are the nights.

Istanbul : Blue Mosque Istanbul

The month-by-month climate

  • Between january and march the climate is not good. By early evening, the temperature averages 52°F and it rains about 40% of the time in march.
  • In april the climate is not good, but still OK. At lunchtime, it's 63°F in average and it rains about 2.4in each month.
  • In may the climate is good. the thermometer goes up to 76°F°C and, in may, 8 days of rain are expected.
  • From june to august the climate is perfect. It is for example 86°F as maximum temperature in august and you can expect to have 0.8in of rainfall/month during this period.
  • Between september and november the climate is good. The temperature rises to 65°F and you can expect to have 2.4in of rainfall/month during this period.
  • In the month of december the climate is bad. In average, on the morning it is 50°F and, in december, 15 days of rain are expected.

Tours and organised trips in Turkey

Chart: temperature and rainfall in Istanbul

The chart below allows you to look at the following seasonal norms for the city of Istanbul: minimum and maximum temperatures, and the monthly volume of precipitation for each month of the year.

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Map of Turkey

Istanbul appears on the map below with a blue icon. The other cities or locations in Turkey appear on the map with a black icon. Click for information about the climate.

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