The Best of Winter in Istanbul
Collected by Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
The temperatures drop, raindrops pool in cobblestone streets, and Istanbulites hibernate indoors. Wintertime in Istanbul offers travelers a chance to see another side of Turkish culture.
Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi, 34437 Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey
So why go to Istanbul in the late fall/early winter? Well, airfares are lower than in high season, you can pretty much get any hotel room you want, there are no crowds so no lines to stand in, and the price of pretty much anything you might want...
Teşvikiye, Vali Konağı Cd. No:40, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
If you’re keen to experience the medieval practice of "kahve falı" or "fal" (fortune telling with Turkish coffee) then make an appointment at Symbol Café in Nişantaşı with Tunc, one of the few English-speaking coffee readers in the city. Once...
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Walk into Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) and look up to the heavens to see why so many conquerors and their respective religions claimed this basilica turned mosque turned museum as their own. Visitors will swoon over the Byzantine gilded mosaics,...
Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Try to catch a football (soccer) game in Istanbul even if you don’t care about football. In any other city, you’d want to watch the game live at a stadium. But if you are in Istanbul you want to be in a hookah bar. I would recommend "Ali Baba...
Come October, the weather cools and fisherman start overflowing local fish markets with freshly caught hamsi (European anchovies) from the Black Sea. Istanbulites (locals) who have been patiently waiting for months to taste this tiny meaty fish...
Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:8, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Rumeli Cafe is an ideal location for dining while people-watching from the streetside terrace in the bustling Sultanahmet neighborhood. Summertime sees the opening of a rooftop dining area, where guests can gaze at the stars and glimpse at the...
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