The climate of Istanbul: when to plan a vacation?
The climate of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, can be defined as transitional Mediterranean, since it has quite cold winters, but otherwise it has Mediterranean characteristics: the wettest seasons are autumn and winter, and the summer is hot and sunny.
The city is located in the west of Turkey, at 41 degrees north latitude, in the Bosphorus strait, which separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Marmara, and also Europe from Asia.
In one year, 680 mm of rain fall; the wettest months are November and December.
Winter in Istanbul
Winter in Istanbul, from December to March, is quite cold: the average January temperature is 6 ° C. In winter, mild periods alternate with cold periods, in which the temperature remains a few degrees above freezing, and rain or even snow can fall. In fact, snowfalls are not so rare, on the contrary they occur more than once almost every year, accompanied by frosts, generally not intense. This possibility of it being cold and snowing is due to the proximity of the Balkan peninsula, which cools down a lot in winter. During the most intense cold waves, the temperature generally drops to -8 / -9 ° C, but the coldest record is -14 ° C, recorded in January 1963.
March is generally still quite a cold month, and often still takes on winter characteristics. The heaviest snowfall occurred on March 3, 1987, with 63 cm. In February 2015, the snow reached 75 cm in the nearby town of Çatalca, belonging to the metropolitan municipality of Istanbul.
During this period Istanbul is still wonderful to visit and there are fewer tourists. Just cover up!
Spring in Istanbul
Spring in Istanbul, in April and May, is mild, with sunny days rapidly becoming more frequent, while the rains are becoming more rare. However, in April it can still be cold, and there may be temperature changes, especially in the first half of the month.
Visiting Istanbul this season is wonderful. The city is colorful and fragrant with the many blooming flowers, there is also a tulip festival in Istanbul at the end of April every year, where one can see millions of these flowers with different colors in all parts of the city.
People always think that tulips are from Holland. Instead, the tulips were born in Turkey. In the sixteenth century the bulbs were brought to Holland from the Ottoman Empire and quickly became extremely popular in Holland and throughout Europe.
Summer in Istanbul
Summer in Istanbul, from June to August, is hot and sunny, and also quite sultry; the heat is felt especially inside the city, while a beneficial breeze blows from the sea. The average temperature in August, which is the warmest month, is almost 26 ° C. However, in the hottest months, July and August, and more rarely in June, it can sometimes reach 35/37 degrees. The record of the heat is 40.5 ° C, recorded in August 1970. The sky is mostly clear, although some showers or thunderstorms, generally not intense, cannot be excluded. In this season, visiting Istanbul is always very nice. The terraces of the clubs on the Bosphorus give a unique atmosphere, and if you like the sea we recommend you visit the Princes’ Islands and the closest beaches to Istanbul. Among the most popular beaches in Istanbul are Küçüksu Beach, a delightful beach and once the favorite of the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV, Caddebostan Beach, Sile Beach, Kilyos Beach and Uzunya Beach.
Autumn in Istanbul
Autumn in Istanbul, from September to November, is initially warm and often sunny in September, but the disturbances gradually become more frequent, so that there are on average 5 days with rain in September, 7 in October and 9 in November. Visiting Istanbul during this time is just as wonderful. With mild temperatures it is better to walk around the city to visit the museums of Istanbul and the many attractions of the city: from Topkapi Palace to the Grand Bazaar you have many choices.
The sea temperature is also still acceptable, so spending a few days on the beach is still a good idea.