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December travel to Istanbul?

I've always wanted to go and I'm reading that they are allowing Americans. Any strong opinions on whether this is a good or bad idea? I would probably go mid-December for one week. Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!

Posted by
12396 posts

This is a good weather site: https://www.holiday-weather.com/istanbul/averages/december/
Antalya is a bit nicer in December. But it is December. I go to Budapest most Decembers and the weather in Budapest makes Istanbul look glorious; still I have an amazing time. But its all about what you can or do enjoy.

As for the trip in general. My flight departs in about 4 hours.....

Posted by
1 posts

Hi -- I plan to go to Turkey the last week of Nov. for the first time. Generally, I avoid peak seasons of travel in and around Europe because I can't handle the heat or crowds.

With climate change, you just never know how good or bad the weather will be at any point, so I never really account for it. I understand everyone is different though. It would depend on what kind of activities you have planned.

Posted by
14335 posts

Use timeanddate.com for daily historical weather data for cities for any month for the past 10 years. It will give you a much better idea of what to expect than averages.

If you want to stay in Istanbul, there's definitely enough to fill a week. If you plan to go anywhere else, plan to fly there. Internal flights are usually cheap and frequent, though it's probably better to fly open-jaw with a connection in IST. I've always found Turkish Air to be better than other airlines for long-haul flights.

Posted by
219 posts

I went on the Rick Steves Best of Istanbul tour over Christmas a few years ago and had a great time. We had good weather during the day, but I was glad to have a light down coat in the evening. But way better than my home, Minnesota. I heard that it snowed there a couple days after we left, so you never know. Fabulous city!

Posted by
5644 posts

Fascinating city. Hagia Sophia is remarkable, Blue Mosque intriguing, Grand Market most enjoyable...but stay informed. Keep checking the news what is happening there now. Personally I wouldn’t return there. Not in today’s political climate.

Travel safe.

Posted by
12396 posts

I dont care for their current politics, but I think its a long way from impacting tourism or tourist safety ... a long, long way. I wouldn't hesitate to spend a week there in December, and it may still be one of a very few options in December. If travel is in your comfort zone right now then you aren't alone, there are many closet travelers; go have fun.

Posted by
1 posts

I was in Turkey in December. It's not that cold. There are not so many Tourists in the summer. Remember to bring warm clothes. Also remember about the electronic visa to Turkey. You can do it on the official government website: evisa.gov.tr or visa-for-turkey.com

Posted by
6721 posts

Hands down, one of the highlights of being in Istanbul is taking a ferry ride along the Bosphorus or the Golden Horn. I would rather do that in nice weather when you can enjoy all the scenery along the banks, not during the winter gloom. Also the boats are open, so it's a joy to do in Spring or Summer. I've been to Istanbul about 4 times and my best trip was in September/October. I'd love to go back when the tulips are in bloom in April.

Posted by
12396 posts

EddieHaskell,

First my condolences., but take it from the Beav, any place can be enjoyable any time of the year if you tailor it to the time of year. It's all about what you enjoy and how creative you get.

I just came back through Istanbul a few days ago and my only concern ....... well not such much a concern as a disappointment ..... is Turkish Air. They could have done a lot better at controlling the flight processes and environment. Mask up, bring your sanatizer (actually Turkish Air will give you a pretty large bottle) and use it often.