What is the best time to visit Istanbul, Turkey?

Istanbul, in north-west Turkey, was the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires so there’s a lot of fascinating history in the form of grand mosques, palaces, Roman ruins and more. The best time to visit is usually between May and September, but the month you choose depends on what you want out of the trip.

Good Weather

The most pleasant times for weather are spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October). This is the best time if you want to avoid crowds of tourists and you can expect temperatures to be reasonable (12-25°C), with sunshine and occasional light rain. This is said to be a good time for honeymoons and we offer romantic tours such as the Bosphorus Dinner Cruise, so you can see the city lights and look at the stars from the boat, sample Turkish cuisine and enjoy a Turkish night show.

Read More – Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

Bosphorus Cruise

We have half-day cruises where you can witness the unique history of this incredible city. You will feel the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze along the water as you listen to the tour guide and observe the pretty Ottoman-style mansions on the banks and the major historical sights. Dolmabahçe Palace, the main centre of administration during the Ottoman era, Maiden’s Tower, used as a lighthouse, Rumeli Fortress, built by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and other impressive buildings can be seen from the boat. If you want to know more about the area’s history, you’re always welcome to ask questions. September is recommended for cruises on the Bosphorus as it is still warm but less crowded than in summer. May is a good month to spot the dolphins that live in the strait.


As well as being the cultural and historical capital, Istanbul has also become the place for shopping. There are lots of large shopping malls with a wide selection of international chain stores selling designer labels. If you don’t mind crowded shops, the Istanbul Shopping Fest is held every summer and there are bargains in the quieter time from mid-December to early January, too. From clothes and shoes to perfume and jewellery, you will find whatever you’re looking for here. The Bosphorus Cruise (Half Day) includes a visit to the traditional Spice Bazaar, or Egyptian Bazaar, an Aladdin’s cave of shiny ornamental objects with intricate designs and colourful spices, dried fruits and sweets that fill the air with aromas.

Read More – Istanbul City Tour


The summer months of June, July and August are hot and humid and the peak season for tourism is very crowded so April, May and mid-September to mid-October are recommended for sightseeing. This is the perfect time to join The Istanbul City Tour (Full Day) and explore the city on foot with a guide who will show you around The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Sultans’ Tombs and more. You will return home with special memories and a deeper understanding of this wonderful city and its historical significance.

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