Turkey at a Glance: Best Time to Visit
Recommended time to visit: Spring from March - May and autumn from September - November come between the bitterly cold winter months and the scorching summer. Temperatures are warm and pleasant at this time of year.
Less popular time to visit: There is no bad time to visit Istanbul, but the further east you go the hotter it gets in summer, with temperatures in July and August reaching 40 degrees Centigrade. The winter months from November - February see the most rainfall.
Best time for beaches: Temperatures at the coast are high from May - October, though to avoid the crowds you may wish to plan your trip around the school holidays in July and August.
Best time to pay your respects: Australians and New Zealanders who wish to pay their respects at ANZAC Cove and the surrounding areas may wish to visit Gallipoli on ANZAC Day (25 April), when the Dawn Service and other events take place to honour the war dead.
Anything to be aware of? Turkey is a largely Muslim country, and during Ramadan (between March and May depending on the year), some shops, restaurants and the like may be closed during the day. But the country comes alive at night as people break their fasts.
Climate | Istanbul
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Climate | Cappadocia
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Festivals and Events
As Turkey's cultural capital the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul is host to a number of arts festivals throughout the year while the coastal resorts are home to fun events including sand sculpture competitions and kite contests.
What is the Istanbul Film Festival?
Originating in 1982 this 10-day-long event celebrates the best of national and international film with awards given to documentaries made in Turkey amongst others. It's the largest film event held in Turkey with over 200 titles appearing in the programme. The festival takes place in April each year.
What is ANZAC Day?
Every year thousands of visitors flock to Gallipoli to pay their respects to those that died during the fateful ANZAC campaign. The day begins with a dawn service where veterans and their families would stand in silence for two minutes with the remainder of the day spent visiting the battlefields.
What is Republic Day?
Commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 on October 23rd, this day is a public holiday with traditional processions held to celebrate. Flags are carried through the streets accompanied by marching bands with performances held in local stadiums and fireworks at night.
Does Turkey observe Ramadan?
As a predominantly Muslim country Turkey observes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with 30 days of fasting during daylight hours and a carnival atmosphere in the evenings when people are able to eat and drink again.
Istanbul to the Med
Tourist Site Closure dates
Popular sightseeing spots in Istanbul are closed on specific days. Please plan your visit accordingly.Topkapi Palace - Closed Tuesday
Blue Mosque - Closed during all prayer times. Please be advised that the Blue Mosque is currently under renovation and it's not possible to visit the interior at this time.
Take a look at our handy travel resources to further help plan your trip to Turkey:
Best Places to Visit - the top spots to include in any itinerary
Tourist Visas - what you need to know to enter the country
Top Travel Tips - useful information on currency, health and shopping
Travel Alerts - current travel advice for Turkey
Traveller Reviews - what our passengers say about our Turkey tours
Turkey Video Lounge - experience Turkey from behind the lens