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Known for its East-meets-West contrasts and a deep-rooted legacy from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is a magical city and the meeting point of Europe and Asia.
Home to UNESCO-listed monuments and landmarks, you’ll find no shortage of history and cultural heritage while you roam the streets of Istanbul. Museums like the Topkapi Palace and art galleries in Istiklal Avenue showcase masterpieces created by some of the world’s most appreciated artists; temples of worship, such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, dot the cityscape; and a sea of colour fills the covered streets of one of the oldest and largest markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar.
With the mighty Bosporus dividing the city in half, you’ll find no shortage of natural beauty and breathtaking views. Take a ferry ride and watch the seagulls play in the wind as you pass by palaces and minarets, or simply stroll along the banks to watch the city unfold while the sun sets on the stunning skyline of one of the most iconic cities in the world.
Current weather in Istanbul
Istanbul tourism essentials
Weather in Istanbul:
Summers in Istanbul are generally sunny, warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C. The cold weather starts in November and lasts until March, with an average temperature between 3°C to 8°C.
Best time to visit Istanbul:
Although the weather in Istanbul is tourist-friendly throughout the year, the best time to visit is from late May to early October. If you want to avoid crowds, however, you’ll be better off planning your trip to Istanbul by skipping the touristy month of July.
Things to do in Istanbul:
● Shop your heart out at Kapalı Çarşı (Grand Bazaar) and Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Bazaar), the two most visited shopping areas in Istanbul.
● Climb up the Galata Tower to enjoy a spectacular birds-eye view of the city. The best time to admire the palatial silhouette of the town is early in the morning.
● Take a ferry ride up the Bosporus to admire mansions, palaces and fortresses. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins swimming by.
Food specialities in Istanbul:
Turkish delicacies are famous for their flavourful and soulful appeal. Do not miss their pide flatbreads served along with delicacies like kuru fasulye (stewed beans) and manti dumplings. For something a little sweeter, try the kanafeh, a noodle-like pastry, and baklava, a Turkish dessert where crunchy nuts, soaked in syrup are wrapped in the thinnest layer of dough and baked to perfection.