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Coastline in Fethiye

When is the best time to visit Turkey?

The best time to visit Turkey depends on what you’re interested in. April, May, September and October are pleasantly warm, with temperatures of 20°C-30°C, so are typically the best times to visit Turkey’s grand array of ancient sites.

The summer months (June through to September) are very hot, with temperatures reaching the mid-thirties on the south coast. This is perfect for lounging by the sea or a pool, although visiting the sites can be quite uncomfortable.

The weather begins to cool off from late October. November through to March can get quite cold and many hotels in coastal areas close during these months. However, despite the cool temperatures, these winter months can be the best time to explore the sites, as they’re far less busy. In Cappadocia, the temperature can drop below 0°C, although the snowy landscape is lovely to behold.

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Turkey Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ankara 4°C 42mm 7°C 36mm 12°C 36mm 17°C 42mm 22°C 52mm 26°C 33mm 30°C 14mm 30°C 11mm 26°C 18mm 20°C 26mm 13°C 30mm 7°C 47mm
Antalya 14°C 216mm 14°C 156mm 17°C 101mm 21°C 46mm 25°C 29mm 30°C 9mm 33°C 3mm 33°C 5mm 30°C 11mm 25°C 73mm 20°C 130mm 15°C 246mm
Bodrum 14°C 168mm 14°C 117mm 16°C 79mm 20°C 38mm 25°C 23mm 30°C 11mm 33°C 3mm 32°C 7mm 29°C 18mm 24°C 53mm 19°C 94mm 15°C 165mm
Cappadocia 3°C 40mm 6°C 34mm 10°C 40mm 16°C 53mm 20°C 54mm 24°C 35mm 28°C 9mm 28°C 5mm 24°C 13mm 18°C 28mm 12°C 35mm 6°C 44mm
Istanbul 9°C 102mm 9°C 70mm 11°C 69mm 16°C 50mm 21°C 33mm 25°C 30mm 28°C 23mm 28°C 32mm 24°C 46mm 20°C 73mm 15°C 91mm 11°C 123mm
Pamukkale 10°C 97mm 12°C 80mm 15°C 62mm 20°C 47mm 25°C 36mm 30°C 20mm 33°C 14mm 33°C 9mm 29°C 17mm 23°C 40mm 17°C 62mm 12°C 105mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Turkey

Blue Mosque

Visiting Turkey in January - March

January, February and March are fairly cold months in Turkey, although temperatures do warm up by March. Snow is not uncommon in January and even February, especially in the interior around Cappadocia. Because of the low temperatures this is a quiet time to visit Turkey, so you are likely to have the sites more or less to yourself.

Pergamon Acropolis

Visiting Turkey in April - May

The temperatures in these spring months are moderate, making this an ideal time to visit the many ancient ruined sites dotted around the country. April is also peak tulip season, and the parks and gardens of Istanbul are bursting with color; although it can be rainy during April too. As this is such an ideal time to visit Turkey it is also the most expensive for hotels in places such as Istanbul and Cappadocia. However, many of the hotels along the Turquoise Coast are still closed.

Events & Festivals

  • Hidrellez Festival (5th to 6th May): Celebrating the start of spring, this festival includes street performances by traditional gypsy bands.
  • The International Istanbul Film Festival (April): Takes place every year with the aim of promoting excellent cinematic theatre in Turkey. Read more
Cappadocia

Visiting Turkey in June - August

The summer months, from mid-June through to mid-September are very hot, perfect for relaxing on the beautiful Turquoise Coast and swimming in the Mediterranean. However, these high temperatures make exploring Turkey's ancient heritage quite uncomfortable, as there tends to be little or no shade at the plethora of ancient sites. This is also peak season for cruise ships, making coastal resorts and the more popular ancient sites such as Ephesus very busy. Cappadocia, by contrast, tends to be quieter over the summer months, and beautifully carpeted with wild flowers throughout, making this a great time for hiking.

Events & Festivals

  • Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival (June and July): Set within the spectacular Aspendos Roman theatre, the festival hosts numerous performances by international ballet and opera companies.
Local life

Visiting Turkey in September - October

Early September is still hot, but from the middle of the month onwards temperatures begin to cool, although sea and land temperatures are still warm, creating similar conditions to the spring months but with shorter days. Again, this is an excellent time to explore the cities and ancient sites, as well as to visit the Turquoise Coast as prices are lower and crowds are fewer. Prices tend to be high for the boutique hotels in Istanbul and Cappadocia, although hotels along the Mediterranean typically close by mid-October. 

Events & Festivals

  • International Wine Festival (end of October): Annually held in Cappadocia, with wine tasting events from local vineyards. Read more
  • Republic Day (29th October): Celebrated across the country, but most vibrantly in Istanbul, with various art events and firework displays.
Myra

Visiting Turkey in November - December

In November and December it's quite chilly throughout most of the country, with the exception of the southeast (around Antalya) which remains fairly warm. Temperatures in Konya and Cappadocia can be quite cold and snow is not uncommon, creating fantastic panoramas. Istanbul is much quieter than at other times of the year, making this a great time to visit if you don't mind the cooler temperatures and occasional rain or snow.

Events & Festivals

  • Mevlana and Whirling Dervish Festival (December): The annual ten day event is held in Konya and commemorates Rumi, with various events and ceremonies taking place in open-air locations around the city. Read more

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Turkey, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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