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Things to do in Istanbul – Winter

2nd January 2014

Where East and West collide; it can only be the beautiful city of Istanbul.

Istanbul is a wonderful city and with its rich and exotic history, great attractions and amazing sights, Istanbul is an ideal place for a short break or holiday. 

But don’t be mistaken into thinking your stay won’t be as good just because it’s wintertime. In fact winter is the perfect time to visit Istanbul as there are less tourists. And this will allow you easier access in to Istanbul’s top tourist attractions and give you great low season deals on hotels.

The wonderful festive lights and decorations in Istanbul are also to be enjoyed.

Weather temperatures in Istanbul during January
Temperatures during winter are quite cold and reach an average of 8°C during the day and drop to 3°C after dark. 

Dress warm
It’s highly likely that you’ll experience rain during your stay, so be sure to wrap up warm and bring some waterproofs with you.

Things to do
There are many things to see and do in Istanbul during the winter season. Let’s explore a few options;

Istanbul is a shopper's paradise and has the most number of Shopping Malls than any other major city. Here are a few choices;

Indoor Shopping


Istinye Park – located in maslak, European side
mall features 300 shops, the first IMAX Theater, top local and global brands, cafes and exclusive restaurants.

Trump Towers Mall Istanbul – Şişli, European side

Trump Towers shopping mall in Istanbul, the first venture to bear the Trump name in Europe, opened on 19th April 2012.

Shopping mall features 175 stores offering a unique blend of fashion, entertainment and restaurants located in Istanbul’s Şişli district.

Astoria Istanbul – Esentepe, European side

The Astoria Istanbul Shopping Center brings together leading Turkish and international brands, in a unique lifestyle space.

Shopping mall features 110 shops

Eating out

There's a reason why Turkish cuisine is considered 3rd in the World. 
The varieties of tastes and styles used in Turkish cooking are simply delicious and best of all, a good eatery is never far away.

Find restaurants in Istanbul

Indoor Tourist Attractions

Istanbul has many tourist attractions. Here are a few indoor activities to enjoy.

Istanbul modern museum

A museum of contemporary art in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. 

The museum prominently features the work of Turkish artists


TurkuaZoo aquarium
Turkey’s first giant aquarium located inside the ‘Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall’ in Bayrampasa.
See large tiger sharks, giant stingrays, piranhas and octopus in this fantastic underwater world.

Istanbul Dolphinarium
Have you ever wanted to swim with the Dolphin’s? 
Well, here’s your chance to swim with dolphins or watch a number of scheduled performances showcased at the center. 

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Located in Sultanahmet Square, the museum showcases Islamic artworks collected from the Ottoman Empire (beginning of the 20th century) These works include carpets, manuscripts, metalwork, glassware, ceramics, woodwork and ethnographic materials


There are more than 100 cinemas in Istanbul and most shopping malls have cinemas featuring the latest film releases in their original language;

Beyoğlu AFM Fitaş

At: İstiklal Road, No. 24-26

Tel: 0212 251 20 20
Beyoğlu Cinemajestic

At: İstiklal Road. Ayhan Işık Str. No. 10

Tel: 0212 244 97 07
Mecidiyeköy AFM Profilo

At: Profilo Mall, Cemal Tahir Str. No. 26-28

Tel: 0212 212 56 12

Hotels - Finding a place to stay

Accommodation is in abundance and you can expect to find a vast range of hotels located throughout the entire city. Whether you’re looking for budget accommodation or a luxury suite, you can easily find a suitable place to rest your head.

Find Hotels in Istanbul

Top winter tip – When in Istanbul, don't forget to sample the delicious winter hot drink called salep.

Whatever activity you choose, you can be sure to have a great time in one of Turkey’s most popular cities.


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