Holiday Information for Istanbul, Turkey

Holiday Guide for Istanbul Istanbul is situated on two different continents: Anatolia is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Straight and Thrace on the European side, giving the city a microclimate. Istanbul has everything from bustling marketplaces to ancient ruins. Types of Holidays Many people who visit Istanbul do so for a week at the time but there is enough to do to stay for much longer than that. Fortnight holidays or weekend breaks are equally possible. Deals on accommodation can be found for all-inclusive holidays by the week or even by the month. There are lots of package... ... Continue reading

Holiday Guide for Istanbul

Istanbul is situated on two different continents: Anatolia is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Straight and Thrace on the European side, giving the city a microclimate. Istanbul has everything from bustling marketplaces to ancient ruins.

Types of Holidays

Many people who visit Istanbul do so for a week at the time but there is enough to do to stay for much longer than that. Fortnight holidays or weekend breaks are equally possible. Deals on accommodation can be found for all-inclusive holidays by the week or even by the month. There are lots of package deals available for family holidays.

When To Go

Summertime is the busiest time of the year for tourism. The average temperature for June through September is around 25°C (77°F) and this is the best time to hit the beach. The temperature of the sea is generally around 21°C to 24°C with the water being the warmest in August. May through to September are the driest months of the year and visitors can expect plenty of sunshine. In the winter, the weather can be cold but the temperature rarely falls below freezing. The average temperature is between 6°C and 11°C.

Popular Excursions in Istanbul

Istanbul has many important cultural and historical sites, including the Sultanahmet District in the old region of the city. Here visitors will find lots of attractions including the famed Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome as well as plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops.

There are museums in the city as well, including the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Ibrahim Pasa Palace, which is the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and the Mosaic Museum.

Popular Activities in Istanbul

Sightseeing and walking tours are perhaps the most popular activities in Istanbul year round.

In the summer, the beaches are popular with both tourists and locals.

The shopping is not to be missed, with many outdoor bazaars and markets, including the Gold Bazaar.

One experience that many is not to be missed is a visit to the 'Hamams' or Turkish bath houses, a great place to relaxing after a long day of touring the city. One of the most famous is Cemberlitas Hamami where visitors can enjoy a steam bath, body scrub or massage.

Beaches in Istanbul

Istanbul has over 20 beaches.

BURC Beach, which is the Bogaziçi University beach, is a party beach that is ideal for younger travellers, while Dalia Beach is more family oriented.

For those that want to do more than just sunbathe, Nonstop Beach, in Kilyos, offers beach volleyball, basketball, tennis, canoeing, paddle-boating and jet skiing, among other sports and activities.

Solar Beach, also in Kilyos, offers all of those activities plus live music venues and a Kids Club.

Wattabe is one of Turkey's top natural sports centres. Activities include swimming, sailing, mountain biking, ATV riding and even paintball.

Istanbul Nightlife

Istanbul has an active nightlife that even the hardest of partiers will enjoy. The city is rife with nightclubs, bars, pubs and cafes. One of the most popular night clubs year round is Babylon.

Budget Accommodations in Istanbul

Budget conscious travellers will find plenty of cheap deals on accommodation. One of the best places to stay is the Pierre Loti Hotel in Sultanahmet.

The Rast Hotel is located close to the main attractions and beaches.

Finally, the Hotel Ilkay in Eminonu offers affordable accommodation near the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Yeni Cami (New Mosque) and the Sirkeci Train Station.

For Istanbul's 14 day weather forecast, click here

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