The attendant will perform a scrub treatment with an exfoliate paste which will remove all the dead skins from your body. Definitely an aspect of merchant culture I appreciated, although it did make each transaction a bit long. We need to warn you though, Istanbul is in North of Turkey. You have to be prepared, take thick coats, gloves and hats. It’s also a lot closer to the tourist attractions than Beyoğlu, without being in the heart of tourist central. Locals drink the strong Turkish tea (çay), but apple tea (or as some cheeky locals call it, “tourist tea”) is usually available as well. The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective Cruise Control. 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! Once the tallest structures in the city of Istanbul, this cylindrical stone tower is the crowning jewel of Istanbul. Hi! Zillions of tourists have been visiting this architectural marvel year over year. 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. The activities like sightseeing, wine tasting, and cruise were very impressive with a great experience. You can witness this hypnotic ceremony at the breathtaking Hodjapasha Dance Theater in Istanbul. endorsement of the artist shall be implied. After exploring the area, kick it old school and ride the charming historical tram down Istiklal Caddesi, an incredibly busy main shopping street. This 3 km long street lies in the Beyoglu locality on the European side of Istanbul and is pedestrian-friendly. 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. Don’t forget to rent a TEP Wireless Hotspot for the road. Yes! Although cold isn´t so bad and you can totally go … It had European characteristics with the nightlife and ally’s that always had something unique down them but had the Muslim influence as well! Upon paying the entry fee, you can have a tour of the interiors of the tower, which is decorated like a museum. We made friends with several of the merchants: the purse store owner that spoke to me in Spanish so passerby wouldn’t understand the “secret price,” the shopkeepers escorting us to their brother/cousin/uncle’s shops and “secret warehouses,” and the lovely shopkeeper from Turkmenistan who eventually sold me my souvenirs. Istanbul … Also a warm … From mid-December to mid-March, winter sets in Istanbul, the temperature rarely exceeds the 10 degrees celsius. Naturally, it’s also really touristy. 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. I feel like it is a bit of an overlooked destination to be honest, but you’re totally right – it’s the perfect “East meets West.” That’s what makes it so fascinating – to see seemingly opposing cultures and viewpoints mesh together so well. Have you ever traveled somewhere and dealt with unexpected weather changes? Istanbul temperature in December ranges from 5.6°C -10.8°C, but it can drop a bit further on some days. Cruising at Bosphorous is way cheaper than other ones around the world but not any less relaxing or mesmerizing! Highly recommended this platform is 100% a good trip planner. A post shared by P E L Ä° N (@plngkgl) on Feb 17, 2018 at 12:05am PST. The historical Turkish bath or the Hamam is a special kind of deep … 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. Hats off to the team. This data will only be used by our team to contact you and no other purposes. In all honesty, the Galata tower itself isn’t spectacular enough be a must-see on your list of places to visit in Istanbul, but the view certainly is. It served as a cathedral for Greeks until 1935 and was then converted into Ayasofya Museum by the president Kemal Ataturk. Turkish Coffee is a very important aspect of Turkish culture and lifestyle, and you should definitely taste it once you’re here. Apart from the magnificent palaces, museums and mosques, Istanbul has several underground cisterns laid all over the city. You get the most eclectic and exclusive range of spices in this bazaar and that too at a pocket-friendly price! The temperature in Istanbul in winter varies. I wouldn’t necessarily label the Basilica as a … Many restaurants and cafes are sprawling all over the city where you can taste the famous coffee. We will be back. Get a ticket here. Tourist and public are more leaned towards districts like Nistantasi and Beyoglu whereas the shores is bit quieter. The size and architecture alone make it one of the most impressive buildings I’ve ever seen, and it is definitely worth waiting in line for. Thanks for everything. The architecture of the mosque will give you a glimpse of the classical ottoman empire and traditional Islamic culture more deeply. A post shared by Visual Art, Music.dj (@mercandede) on Apr 23, 2017 at 3:10pm PDT. Unauthorized use is prohibited and punishable by law. If you want to feel the multicultural spirit of Istanbul, then Istiklal Street is the place you need to be in! Guess what’s conveniently located directly across from the Hagia Sofia? Top 10 Things to Do in Istanbul in December … Get 15% off your rental with code PASSPORT&PLATES! I went to Istanbul last September and it reminded me of Amsterdam and Dubai combined into one city! The majority of the tourist attractions – including the Hagia Sofia – are located around an area called Sultanahmet Square. The team was very concerned about the travelers and constantly checked out on us through WhatsApp text and call the whole trip. The work of mosaics and frescoes will keep anyone stunned by their majestic and marvellous presence. Entering from the West Side of the mosque is the best way to experience and appreciate the beautiful architecture because it leads you to the grand main dome of the mosque. Enjoy the Cruise & Sightseeing. Since it’s still a functional place of worship, bear in mind that wearing appropriate clothes is a must…not that this was an issue in February. The Egyptian Spice Bazaar or Misi Carsisi is heaven for all shoppers and foodies, and you can find everything under the sun at discounted prices. The sightseeing spots in Instanbul city were impressive, and the wine tasting tour was completely amazing. 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. Your enquiry has been received successfully. Back in the day, this was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans. Istanbul is a four-season city so you do not need to worry about attractions, sight seeing etc. Don’t want to plan your Turkey winter adventure yourself? Explore the … 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. It is also known as the Kariye Museum, and it has evidence of traces of Christianity in Turkey. This data will only be used by our team to contact you and no other purposes. The entire trip was excellent...Love Everything, We were a party of 4 traveling to Turkey & Greece for the first time... We stayed for 8-nights and we visit Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Athens and we covered all its major sightseeing-spots...Our guide was a perfect match with so much knowledge...We do get amazing service from Thrillophilia too...The overall arrangements were fantastic and the experiences we had was truly an amazing one which we won't forget ever and I'll be spreading the world about this expereince! Firstly, it will take you to the Spice Bazaar where … It has large galleries, exhibitions, halls, and a library where the murals and the sculptures are exhibited. It would be a crime to not mention Istanbul as a winter destination in Turkey. Read more about me. 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. Check out Anemon Galata Hotel, my pick for Beyoğlu. Pssst, get your ticket ahead of time here. Istanbul is easily walkable if it’s not too cold but if it is, there’s also an excellent rail and bus system that will take you around. Have two days to spend in Istanbul? For those of you who have visited mosques over the course of your lifetime, you’ll note that most are actually quite sparsely decorated on the inside. Our destination expert will reach out to you soon! 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. Even more if you´re visiting during December and January. Originally named as the Tower of Christ, Galata Kulesi has so much to offer to its tourists. Lots of thanks. Hagia Sophia is one of the treasured heritage monuments in Istanbul that reminisces of the Byzantine era of architecture. Thanks <3, Your email address will not be published. I mean, we’re talking thousands of shops selling everything from souvenirs and trinkets to fake bags and luxury rugs. I would love to recommend this trip and this booking platform for everyone who is looking for a perfect trip... We highly recommend Thrillophilia if you are planning a trip to this beautiful country. That aside, Beyoğlu is home to some of the cooler local places, such as Taksim Square, Istiklal Caddesi, Aya Triada, and local and international markets alike. Note: you may want to arrange an airport transfer to your hotel ahead of time! As an Arab, I’ve seen my fair share of belly dancers in different countries, so I don’t really seek the shows out. Hanging outside Ortakoy Mosque in January – Still Gorgeous! 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. During winters it offers a panoramic view of the snow-clad mountains and beautiful sceneries during the tour.Â. Being tourists you would certainly fall in love with some of the points of interest in this monument like the marble door, wishing column and loge of the empress. Come for the samples and leave with gifts for all your foodie friends back home. The entire city seems to be vibrant and lively due to the onset of Christmas celebration during winters. Istanbul … The thought of some stranger poking and prodding at me while I’m half-naked is actually far from relaxing to me. Many youngsters come all the way to enjoy their adventure sports like wall climbing, beach surfing, motorboating, etc. Despite the weather, Istanbul is an enchanting city at a crossroads: where East meets West, and old meets new. 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. You most … Princes' Islands are a cluster of nine beautiful islands in the Marmara Sea off the Asian coast of Istanbul. My friends all thought Istanbul was such a weird and random place to go (we live in Missouri) but it got my attention because it had been described as “Where East meets West” and it was the perfect combination of both! 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. But if you’re too lazy to click through to that post, I’ve listed some of the below. Yeah, a lot of shopping happened here. 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. If you’re lucky, you see Istanbul under the snow, all white. Here are some travel experiences I recommend: P.S. 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. In December, the highest temperature is 11 degrees, and the lowest is 5 degrees. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂. Istanbul’s bustling cruise port receives over 600,000 visitors per year, and … The Turks don’t discriminate when it comes to caffeine, so it should come to no surprise that Turkish coffee is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Along with that, the beachside brunch of Turkish seafood acts as their icing on the cake. Winter season isn´t the best time to visit Istanbul, as it can get very cold. If you’d like even more information about safety in Istanbul, check out this post. The average temperature is just 6C, with highs of 8C and overnight lows of 4C … The cistern was a water filtration system for the palace at one point and has been in a bunch of movies. We have listed others for you below. It’s Much Cheaper. The tower has nine stories and is 66.90 m or 219 ft high and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built. It’s now a UNESCO heritage site and museum that includes important relics of the Muslim world. It’s no secret that traveling in the off-season is budget-friendly – prices for … 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. Let that sink in for a second, and now imagine how large this palace is. 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 … What temperature is Istanbul in winter? The scenic beauty of this mosque will definitely tempt you to indulge in some photography sessions.Â, When you are in Istanbul, you have to take a ride on the heritage Taksim Tram. 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. Share your story in the comments below! 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. Nowadays, Americans need to get a visa for Turkey before arriving, but it’s a really painless process with the online e-visa. It was amazing! While Istanbul is part of Europe, many people probably have a mistaken idea that Istanbul is further south (and thus warmer in winter) than it actually is. 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. Out of these nine islands, only four are famous and operative, to which many fast and regular paced ferries carry thousands of people every day from the neighbouring cities of Turkey. Even the cafes and restaurants give you blankets while you enjoying winter in Istanbul… What most visitors don’t know is that the grounds of your cup of Turkish coffee hold your fortune – or so some people believe. That’s awesome that you went, Kayla! While this might be a good place to stay if you don’t want to trek too far in the cold, it’s definitely the most expensive of the options. The city is brimming with prime vacation spots which will be relatively empty on account of the weather, and this is the best time to seize a perfect vacation in this eternally beautiful city. Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty in Istanbul that stands as a testimony to the glorious past. Note: I visited Istanbul in February and I’ve heard that all of the above applies to Istanbul in January, too. The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in the world, and that is why it has great historical significance. Also not to be missed: roasted chestnuts, roasted chickpeas, and pickles in their own juice. This is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul in winter if you wish to cut off the intimidating crowd. However, the dance and dinner show at Sultana’s is said to be a fun night out, and Time Out magazine says it’s “an ideal venue to sample Turkish culture and food in one place.” So there you go. Istanbul is a haven for Islamic art, culture, and history, and one of the best shows that portray these elements together is the Whirling Dervishes Show. Definitely worth experiencing! If museums aren’t really your thing but you want something fun to do indoors, the Istanbul Aquarium is more than a little impressive. That, and saffron…and tea…and spices. Hi! Required fields are marked *. The narrow lanes of the bazaar will give you a feel of nostalgia of the medieval period. Everything is up and runs in normal schedule during winter too.. December is one of the most pleasant months of the winter… The excellent news is that Istanbul’s top tourist … When did you travel to Istanbul? Turkey uses the Turkish Lira, and at the time of updating this post (September 2018), the rate was about USD $1 to 6 TL. It’s safe for solo female travelers as well, in case you’re reading this and wondering. Chances of rain and wind are high, which can make average winter temperatures feel even colder. Karaköy: If I had to choose my favorite neighborhood to stay in from these options, I’d choose this one. December is one of the coldest months in Istanbul. Explore the Basilica Cistern. This is a must try experience for all tourists coming to Istanbul weather it’s in winter or summer. Among the top few street items is the kokorec, which has lamb intestines rolled in sweetbread and then fried with spices. Alternatively, check out all your hotel options on Booking. 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