What's the Weather like in Istanbul in September
September is the end of summer and start of autumn in Istanbul. At the start of the month, temperatures are still high, it's likely to be hot and dry. But by the end, temperatures have fallen rapidly, rainfall averages have risen, and it will feel much cooler.
The average temperature in Istanbul in September is 21C, with highs of 25C. The highest temperature ever recorded in the area at this time is 35C. Overnight, the temperature drops to around 16C; the lowest temperature ever recorded in the area at this time is 7C, at the end of the month, but for the most part it's unlikely to get that cold. It's still quite warm and pleasant in Istanbul at this time, if temperatures aren't quite as scorching as in preceding months, like August and July.
With high temperatures, expect long hours of sunshine. September sees around 9 hours of sunshine each day.
Average Sea Temperature
It's likely to be slightly hotter in the south of Turkey, with an increased number of sunshine hours and even warmer seas. In Alanya, in the south-east of the country, for example, the average temperature is 25C, with highs of 29C. Overnight, the temperature only drops down to 19C, on average there are 12 hours of sunshine each day, and sea temperatures of 27C.
Turkey sees some rainfall all year round, which explains why the country has never seen drought conditions. Despite still warm temperatures, at this time rainfall averages increase by more than twice the amount of previous months and in September, Istanbul sees rainfall averages of 50mm over eight days. It's likely to be even wetter in the northern part of the province, where they see greater amounts of precipitation year round. In the south of the country, rainfall averages are still much lower and Alanya, for example, will only see around 10mm of rainfall over four days in September. Dalaman will see marginally more, with 24mm expected over four days. However, it's still much drier in the south than in Istanbul.
Cloud & Fog
Istanbul also sees cloud cover and fog year round. While this is unlikely to cause any disruption in the summer months, there are still an average of four fog days in September. Fog and cloud cover is generally confined to the northern part of the province and, at this time, it's likely to be clear skies again by midday.
Istanbul Hotels in September
World Heritage Hotel Istanbul
World Heritage Hotel Istanbul is newly constructed, in the heart of the Sultanahmet district in the Old City, with all the main attractions just a step away. The rooms have been tastefully decorated in a modern Turkish style, with full orthopedic and anti-allergenic adjustable beds in every room. Facilities include an on-call doctor, laundry service and breakfast saloon.
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel
The gorgeous Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel perfectly fuses modern and ancient décor and architecture. It's the very definition of chic. The traditional spa offers a range of pampering treatments and two restaurants provide a unique Turkish fine dining experience.
Istanbul Beach for September
Poyrazkoy is a typical fishing village on the Asian side of the city, and one of the closest settlements to the Black Sea. It's a little more remote than some of the other beaches, but absolutely worth the trip. The beach is quite small, but there are plenty of facilities including dressing rooms, restaurant and café. Protected from wind and strong currents, you'll find plenty of boating activities and ideal conditions for sunbathing. This is a traditional area, so a section of the beach has been segregated to allow the local women a little more privacy.
Some of Istanbul's loveliest beaches are located a short boat trip away on the Prince's Islands. Local people row and swim out from the shore, but there are plenty of boats for tourists who might be less confident rowing themselves (or who don't fancy a long swim). In summer, several ferries make the 90-minute voyage from the Kabata ferry dock to Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Büyükada.
These nine small islands, about 20 km southeast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, were called the Princes Islands by foreign chroniclers because of the Byzantine emperors' practice of sending bothersome princes out there to be blinded, exiled or executed. This somewhat gruesome history shouldn't put you off. Thanks to their relatively remote location, the beaches on the Islands are likely to be far less crowded than those closer to the city centre during the week.
Bars and Restaurants
Ayran is one of those things you either love or hate. But it is considered the national drink in Turkey, so it's probably worth a try. A cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt, it's especially popular during the summer months. It's sold at most restaurants and kebab shops.
Siirt Seref Buryan Kebap Salonu
Head to Siirt eref Büryan Kebap Salonu, in the Fatih neighbourhood, to try the büryan kebab (sort of like a Turkish version Texas pit barbecue). A side of lamb is slowly cooked over coals in a deep hole in the ground, resulting in exceptionally tender meat covered in a thin layer of crackling, crunchy fat. While you're there, check out the perde pilavi, a fragrant peppery pilaf made of rice, chicken, almonds and currants wrapped in a thin pastry shell and baked until the exterior turns golden brown and flaky.
If you're looking for a restaurant with a great view, that won't break your wallet, try Hamdi Restorant. With 180-degree views over the beautiful city, it's a great setting. They also serve a delicious köfte and roasted eggplant.
Things to do in Istanbul in September
The Maiden's Tower
The Maiden's Tower sits at the mouth of a small islet, at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus. There is much debate about the story behind the Tower. Local tales say it was built by a wealthy man, trying to protect his daughter from a prophecy foretelling her death. For whatever reason it was built, the views are spectacular.
sküdar, Haydarpaa or Kadıköy
Hop on a ferryboat in Eminönü or Karaköy and cruise across the Bosphorus to sküdar, Haydarpaa or Kadıköy and back. It takes about an hour, costs very little, and is a great introduction to the landmarks of this beautiful city.
The Istanbul Aquarium is a great family day out. On the Sea of Marmara shore, 19 km west of Sultanahmet, to get there take the suburban train from Sirkeci to Florya. There are tons of activities for children, who will no doubt also love the atmospheric caves and tunnels that house lit tanks of aquatic animals.