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What’s the best time in Turkey for exploring the country?

by Elena Escudero | September 8, 2022
Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul in Turkey

Turkey is a country with fascinating ancient history, ruins surrounded by olive groves, snow-capped mountains, lush rivers and sandy beaches. It has some of the most delicious food and coffee in the world, as well as a rich cultural offer which will amaze travelers. 

We want you to have the best time in Turkey and enjoy all the activities that this diverse country has to offer. 

Let us tell you about the best time to visit Turkey, the weather in Turkey according to the season and some festivals or events you shouldn’t miss.

General weather in Turkey

This country has a very diverse topography from one end to the other, so the Turkey weather you encounter will depend on the region you visit and what time of year you go

The coastal areas near the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, as well as Istanbul, have a warm and temperate Mediterranean climate and can get extremely hot in the summer. In winter the weather on the coast will be cold and wet. The warmest month in this area is July which has an average temperature of 23.5°C (74°F), and February is the coldest with an average temperature of 5.5°C (42°F).

In summer it is best to stick to coastal areas, as Istanbul and Cappadocia can get very hot. If beach time isn’t your thing, you can head to the Black Sea mountains where the temperatures will be colder.

In winter Turkey cools down, and weather conditions can be very cold in the Anatolian mountains region, with temperatures down to −30 °C to −40 °C (−22 °F to −40 °F). However, summers are hot with temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and colder at night.

Although there can be snow in regions such as Cappadocia or Anatolia, it is very rare in coastal areas.

hot air balloons in Turkey

Turkey weather by month

Weather in Turkey in December, January and February (Winter)

The winters in Turkey can get very cold, so it’s probably not the best time to visit Turkey if you’re a fan of warmer weather. You can expect negative (or almost) temperatures. 

Snow is common in certain regions, especially if there are mountains around. It’s also the time in Turkey that sees the most rainfall.

Weather in Turkey in March, April and May (Spring)

The spring time in Turkey is a lot more pleasant than the previous season, especially in April and May, so it could be considered the best time to go to Turkey. The average temperatures range between 10ºC and 25ºC. 

It’s a great season for exploring the cities in Turkey since it won’t be as hot as during the summer, so you can walk around comfortably. 

Keep in mind that the accommodation and flight costs may be higher.

Weather in Turkey in June, July and August (Summer)

Summer is by far the hottest time in Turkey, not ideal for those opposed to going to the beach on vacation. The highest temperatures can surpass 40ºC! 

Since the weather in Turkey during the summer is so hot, it’s not really a good season for tourism, which means that the prices will be lower than during the spring. It’s a good time in Turkey to sunbathe on the Mediterranean coast, but it certainly won’t make exploring the cities any easier, although there won’t be many tourists blocking your pictures. 

Weather in Turkey in October, September and November (Fall)

The fall is a very pleasant time in Turkey for moving around and exploring, temperatures don’t usually go higher than 29ºC (which is mild compared to the summer weather!). 

It’s even a good time to go to the beach: the sea temperature is still warm, but the weather outside the water won’t be suffocating. 

Fall makes for a good time in Turkey for walking around the city: the cooler weather will make visiting ancient ruins easier and the crowds won’t be very large. The prices also tend to be lower. 

Turkish boat

Best time in Turkey for festivals and events


Turkey is a majority Muslim country, with 99% of the population registered as Muslim and 0,1% Christian. When you travel to Turkey you should bear in mind the most important Muslim holidays which are Ramazan Bayramı (Eid al-Fitr or Ramadan) and Kurban Bayramı (Eid al-Adha) which marks the end festivity of 30 days of fasting. These holidays are marked by the lunar calendar, so dates can vary slightly every year.

In 2023 Ramadan will start on the 23rd of March. Locals tend to travel during these dates so prices may go up and many businesses may be closed. During Ramadan look out for the evening meal iftar, which breaks the daily fast and is held after evening prayers. Some locals may invite you to join them.

Selçuk Camel Wrestling Festival

On the third weekend of January, Selçuk, a town in the countryside near the ruins of Ephesus is home to a camel wrestling festival. This unusual display dates back thousands of years and was originated by nomads. During the festival two male camels wrestle over a female camel in heat. Although there are some concerns about animal welfare, the Turkish government has declared the festival part of historical culture.

Turkish Hamam

If you want to indulge in a bit of pampering and hot steam during the Turkish winter, your first stop should be a Turkish Hamam. This ancient cleansing water and scrubbing ritual purifies the body and soul and is a key part of Turkish culture. Check out Cagaloglu Hamam or Hurrem Sultan Hamami in Istanbul.

Istanbul Jazz Festival

This international jazz festival is held in Istanbul in July and attracts artists from all over the world. Add it to your Istanbul itinerary and also visit the main sites of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Galata Tower among others.

Mevlana Festival

Every December, the city of Konya hosts a mesmerizing whirling dervishes festival to commemorate the Islamic poet Sufi mystic, Rumi. The mystical Mevlevi Sema Ceremony is UNESCO listed and well worth seeing at least once in your life.

What to pack and tips

  • You should maintain a degree of modesty and respect while in the country, although in coastal areas the dress code is more relaxed. Make sure you pack long sleeved shirts and trousers if you want to visit mosques or holy places as shoulders and knees should be covered. Women should also pack a scarf to cover their head in mosques and holy places.
  • There are three things you will need to know about public toilets. Most of them are squat toilets, toilets are not free, and carry some toilet paper.
  • Although there is good public transport, walking is a great way to explore. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes.
  • Discover our travel to Turkey tips if you have additional doubts.