Istanbul Modern is a museum which gives us a chance to appreciate the art of the contemporary Turkish artists by showcasing the stunning art pieces. Its prohibition of vehicles allows it to become one of the most peaceful weekend getaways. We will be back. Firstly, it will take you to the Spice Bazaar where … Spend a good few hours here, and don’t start a bargaining deal unless you’re in it to buy it! Princes' Islands are a cluster of nine beautiful islands in the Marmara Sea off the Asian coast of Istanbul. It’s much easier than buying a local SIM, and it means you don’t have to worry about bad WiFi. The sightseeing spots in Instanbul city were impressive, and the wine tasting tour was completely amazing. It does look really beautiful though 🙂. Nowadays, Americans need to get a visa for Turkey before arriving, but it’s a really painless process with the online e-visa. If you’re staying for longer than 5 days, I highly recommend getting out of Istanbul and exploring another part of the country. When did you travel to Istanbul? There’s a separate post on all there is to do in Cappadocia, but if you have the opportunity to go – even for a couple of days – do it! Note: I visited Istanbul in February and I’ve heard that all of the above applies to Istanbul in January, too. One of the best things to do in Istanbul in winters is strolling by the less crowded lanes to search for the best street food in Istanbul. We have listed others for you below. Winter boots are necessary for Winter in Istanbul. It’s Much Cheaper. Beyoğlu: I chose to stay here when I went and liked that it has a lively, local feel. It would be a crime to not mention Istanbul as a winter destination in Turkey. Our first day in Turkey was relatively mild, and we spent a lovely afternoon eating, shopping, and taking pictures in this area. The architecture of the mosque will give you a glimpse of the classical ottoman empire and traditional Islamic culture more deeply. But that’s enough chit-chat. If you’re lucky, you see Istanbul under the snow, all white. Winter may not be … It is very likely that you'll have some rain, chilly winds and maybe even snow. You can also get to most major cities outside of Istanbul via the bus or local airport. Normally I’m not one to tell you to follow the tourist attraction itinerary to a T, but the monuments and buildings of Istanbul are truly spectacular. When I went to Istanbul in February, my week started and ended with mild weather (think 10 degrees Celsius / 50 degrees Fahrenheit) with a lovely (and completely unexpected) snowstorm in the middle. Being from Southern California, I’ll come right out and admit that winter is my least favorite season. That, and saffron…and tea…and spices. However, I can’t deny that Istanbul in the winter is pretty magical. Our guide was very informative, approachable, helpful, and nice to be with who made our time very enjoyable shared with us in detail about each place we visited, most memorable is the lookout on Instanbul, Athens, and Cappadocia which made it really great... We had such interesting trips and all requirements were been taken care of and we had a stress-free trip throughout... 10/10 would definitely recommend this to all families or friends that are interested in traveling abroad. But winter does not stop the life in this amazing city. Hagia Sophia was built in 532 AD and it was considered the largest cathedral in the whole world for almost a millennium up until 1520. It’s part of Turkish hospitality so don’t be alarmed if someone invites you for a cup. This major city in Turkey has many landmark sites like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi … Hats off to the team. Cruising at Bosphorous is way cheaper than other ones around the world but not any less relaxing or mesmerizing! After exploring the area, kick it old school and ride the charming historical tram down Istiklal Caddesi, an incredibly busy main shopping street. The large monasteries and museums, like St Yorgi Monastery and Sait Faik Abasıyanık Museum, attract large numbers of art and history lovers who don't mind exploring its hidden treasures along with being close to nature. The team was very concerned about the travelers and constantly checked out on us through WhatsApp text and call the whole trip. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'passportandplates_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',127,'0','0']));I wouldn’t necessarily label the Basilica as a must-visit in Istanbul in the winter (it’s a bit chilly and damp), but it is definitely a cool site. Take a cooking class from a local or simply eat with one if cooking isn’t really your jam. The usage of the content and images on this website is intended to promote the works and no Summer, while great for swimming in the Mediterranean and eating all the Turkish ice cream you can handle, is not the best time to visit Istanbul. Once the tallest structures in the city of Istanbul, this cylindrical stone tower is the crowning jewel of Istanbul. If museums aren’t really your thing but you want something fun to do indoors, the Istanbul Aquarium is more than a little impressive. I left with a full shopping bag and a fuller stomach – and a much emptier wallet. From mid-December to mid-March, winter sets in Istanbul, the temperature rarely exceeds the 10 degrees celsius. Apart from the magnificent palaces, museums and mosques, Istanbul has several underground cisterns laid all over the city. With the Bosphorus Bridge in the background and the best scenic beauty surrounding it, this mosque is one of the best creations of the Ottoman Period. January is the coldest month in Istanbul, and the temperature may drop down to 3 degrees in a few days. In 2015, I had a quarter-life crisis, abandoned my grown up job, and went on a 6-week solo trip to Spain. The Galata Tower, called Christea Turris by the Genoese, is a medieval tower in the Galata Quarter of Istanbul, Turkey , which was built in 1348. The work of mosaics and frescoes will keep anyone stunned by their majestic and marvellous presence. The beautiful mosaics displayed on the walls showcase the artistic talent that prevailed during the Byzantine period. This data will only be used by our team to contact you and no other purposes. However, I can’t speak to what it’s like to visit Istanbul in December – I’m guessing that with the holidays, it won’t be quite as cheap or empty compared to January and February. The beaches on these islands offer the feeling of serenity and a sight to behold. Whether you’re outside or inside the home, whenever the snowflakes falling, you … Topkapi Palace, an Ottoman monument, is a beautiful, magnificent museum, where the Ottoman Sultans lived and administered their kingdom. Having experienced both an Istanbul winter and an Istanbul summer, I can say that there’s no right answer to this question. Highly recommended this platform is 100% a good trip planner. Here are a few reasons to consider it as a winter destination. Not too far from Sultanahmet Square is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. If you continue to use this site, I'll assume that you are happy with it. Also a warm … You get the most eclectic and exclusive range of spices in this bazaar and that too at a pocket-friendly price! But if you’re too lazy to click through to that post, I’ve listed some of the below. That’s awesome that you went, Kayla! Credit cards are widely accepted and there are plenty of ATM machines for withdrawing cash. If you want to feel the multicultural spirit of Istanbul, then Istiklal Street is the place you need to be in! It had been a multi-faceted monument with first being a Greek orthodoxy cathedral, then a mosque and now, a museum. The experience was actually a little strange at first (an old woman scrubs and massages you to within an inch of your life), but ended up being quite relaxing overall…and my skin was super soft afterward as well. Your email address will not be published. It’s cold, there’s a lot more rain around, and there is a chance of snow. The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is one of the top few places to visit in Istanbul in winter as it is usually crowded in other seasons and it becomes easier to see the exhibits during colder months. There is an absolute treasure trove of places to go in Istanbul in winter as the weather remains chilly and the crowds on the streets are considerably less. I was in love with the itinerary...The airport transfered they arranged for us were of a much higher standard than expected... all the hotel at each place they booked for us was different and all gave us a luxury stay throughout with well-behaved staff, They even provided foods which was on time and good quality. To see only the best in Istanbul, you need 6-7 days and if you wish to explore it in a more relaxed way, then 10-12 days will be sufficient. This site use cookies to ensure that you get the best website experience. Lots of thanks. It is a high cone capped, cylindrical tower that offers a 360 degree view of the historic town of Istanbul. Hi! As an Arab, I’ve seen my fair share of belly dancers in different countries, so I don’t really seek the shows out. I also included some of my favorite Istanbul spots in there, for your eating pleasure. I also have several friends who have lived in Turkey over the past few years and I can assure you that Istanbul is safe. If you’d like to exchange money, there are a couple of places on Hamidiye Caddesi in the Fatih neighborhood with really good rates. The historical Turkish bath or the Hamam is a special kind of deep cleansing traditional bath that relaxes your body and mind.  This is an indoor bath that has separate arrangements for men and women. Don’t want to plan your Turkey winter adventure yourself? Originally named as the Tower of Christ, Galata Kulesi has so much to offer to its tourists. Istanbul temperature in December ranges from 5.6°C -10.8°C, but it can drop a bit further on some days. Generally it also snows at about a week during winter which will delight picture lovers! Although it still has its fair share of tourists being near Istiklal Caddesi and all, it isn’t anywhere near the price point of Sultanahmet and has a plethora of good food and fun shops. Bring warm clothes! In December, the highest temperature is 11 degrees, and the lowest is 5 degrees. Locals drink the strong Turkish tea (çay), but apple tea (or as some cheeky locals call it, “tourist tea”) is usually available as well. Sufism was born in Konya, Turkey and continues to remain part of the culture today. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Let that sink in for a second, and now imagine how large this palace is. To Save Money. anyways i am traveling again after a week hopefully will be visiting more of these places listed above Basilica Cistern is the most famous amongst all as it is the largest and the most beautiful one. You’re welcome. This looks like it was a blast! After wandering through stalls, and sampling at least ten different flavors, I knew that I had to bring some home for family and friends. Of course, use common sense in Istanbul – it is a big, cosmopolitan city after all – and avoid cities near the Syrian border (duh). Enjoy the Cruise & Sightseeing. Located close to the main junction of Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, it is the ideal place to see Istanbul’s peninsula and the surroundings from a different perspective. You can choose any length of the journey while traveling by the Tram and it will offer you the best view of the city. Then there is the simit, a dough ring which looks like a doughnut, but is crispy and sesame seed encrusted. It has large galleries, exhibitions, halls, and a library where the murals and the sculptures are exhibited. Definitely an aspect of merchant culture I appreciated, although it did make each transaction a bit long. Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Historical Turkish Bath, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Modern, Whirling Dervishes Show, Chora Church, Ortakoy Mosque, Taksim Tram, Basilica Cistern, Galata Tower, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and. What It’s Like to Travel to Istanbul in the Winter, The Best Things to do in Istanbul When it’s Cold, Istanbul Accommodation: Where to Stay in Istanbul, A post shared by Cookistan (@cookistanistanbul), A post shared by Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (@istanbulmodern), A post shared by fincanında ne var (@fincanindanevar), A post shared by Visual Art, Music.dj (@mercandede), IstanBRR: The Best Things to Do in Istanbul in Winter, Where to Stay in Cairo, Egypt: The Best Hotels in Cairo for Every Budget. Note: don’t rule out Airbnb in Istanbul! This is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul in winter if you wish to cut off the intimidating crowd. Among the top few street items is the kokorec, which has lamb intestines rolled in sweetbread and then fried with spices. There are lots of great options for amazing prices. Pssst, get your ticket ahead of time here. I’ve been to Turkey twice, during both the summer and in the winter, and can honestly say that an Istanbul winter is unique, with special activities and food that can only be enjoyed when shivering under five layers of clothing. Most of the time the weather is not suitable for shoes or sneakers Most of the time the weather is not suitable for shoes or sneakers Snow boots are not required if you have a good quality winter … Locals told me that the weather *typically* doesn’t dip far below 10 degrees C / 50 degrees F so I guess I just had a stroke of bad luck. The entire city seems to be vibrant and lively due to the onset of Christmas celebration during winters. It was amazing! If you’re an art or history buff, there are tons of museums besides the historical sites I mentioned above to keep you busy for days. Along with that, the beachside brunch of Turkish seafood acts as their icing on the cake. During winters it offers a panoramic view of the snow-clad mountains and beautiful sceneries during the tour.Â. I spent about 10 days in Turkey when I visited in winter and I had plenty of time to visit all the highlights of Istanbul and Cappadocia during that time. Fairy Chimneys and Fairy Tales: Cappadocia in Photos, Traditional Turkish Food Guide: 29 Best Turkish Foods to Try in Turkey, IstanBRR: 18 Best Things to Do in Istanbul in Winter. 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Even the cafes and restaurants give you blankets while you enjoying winter in Istanbul… Historical Turkish Bath. Alternatively, check out all your hotel options on Booking. It’s the largest of the hundreds of ancient cisterns located in Istanbul, with rows of old columns. Note: if you want the historical lowdown on the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, consider booking a guide as part of a small group tour. Archaeology started gaining ground in the 19th century, and the Ottomans were really powerful during that time. The narrow lanes of the bazaar will give you a feel of nostalgia of the medieval period. Many restaurants and cafes are sprawling all over the city where you can taste the famous coffee. A post shared by P E L Ä° N (@plngkgl) on Feb 17, 2018 at 12:05am PST. The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish is a historic mosque and is known for its unique size, design and interior decor. Guess what’s conveniently located directly across from the Hagia Sofia? Istanbul … Hagia Sophia is a massive dome, which is the largest of its size, and its architectural marvel is absolutely mesmerizing.  It was initially constructed as a Greek Orthodox church, but later it was changed into the imperial mosque of the Ottoman empire and finally, the Turkish government transformed it into the museum. With scintillating vistas, narrow cobbled streets filled with cafes, restaurants and small art galleries, the area around Galata is zestful all day long. Beautiful city filled with examples of cultural and architectural brilliance seafood acts as their icing on cake! A post shared by P E L Ä° N ( @ cookistanistanbul ) on Sep 12, at! The weather in Istanbul is safe local feel mosque in January – Still Gorgeous pocket-friendly price filled with examples cultural. Life in this amazing city 6-week solo trip to Spain Hodjapasha Dance in... 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