When planning a trip overseas, consider visiting Istanbul during the winter months. While the city may boast a glorious landscape when the weather is warm, it also has much to offer as the temperature drops and things cool off slightly. Here are a few of the special treats you can take advantage of when you choose to travel in the off-season.
The busy season in Istanbul runs from April through October, and then the travel slows down slightly. When you travel during the cooler months, lines for the Blue Mosque drop from 45 minutes to about 10, and the vendors in the Grand Bazaar are more likely to bargain with you.
While people in the United States are enjoying eggnog, the residents of Istanbul are drinking salep. This smooth drink features milk, sugar, cinnamon and salep powder, and it’s readily available during the cold winter months. Street vendors will have it for sale, and restaurants will feature it on their menus. As the weather warms up, it disappears for another year, so be sure to enjoy a few mugs while you’re in the city. Large, fried anchovies called hamsi are also available only during the winter months.
Welcome the Nightclubs
Istanbul has several outdoor venues that shut down when the weather turns cool, but they’re replaced with active indoor nightclubs. The party doesn’t shut down, but the atmosphere changes slightly along with the venue. It’s a great opportunity to take in the legendary nightlife and see what Istanbul has to offer that other cities can only hope to imitate.
Rewards for Bargain Hunters
Temperatures in Istanbul only reach into the 40s during the cold winter months, and there’s more rain or snow than the rest of the year. While this keeps many visitors away, it also results in lower rates at hotels across the region. Many of the sights to take in are indoors, so you can still see a great deal while saving a small fortune on your vacation.
Hope for Snow
It’s not unheard of for Istanbul to see snow, and you should hope that it happens while you’re there. The covering of snow and ice turns the city into something out of a romantic fairy tale.
While the country doesn’t celebrate Christmas, the city of Istanbul does go all out for New Years. Upscale neighborhoods are draped in lights, decorations appear throughout the city, and there are special holiday festivities that you cannot enjoy any other time of year.
If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul, consider booking your stay at Hotel Büyük Keban. You’ll find the lowest rates when you book right here on our site! Remodeled in 2013, our hotel features easy access to public transportation and top features like the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Winter is the best time to see the city like the locals do, and our friendly staff is looking forward to making your stay more enjoyable. Contact us today to discuss your travel plans and see how our boutique hotel is the right choice for you.