Istanbul in November – is it worth going and what to expect? Weather, air temperature, how to dress, is it possible to swim, prices for hotels and excursions 2023. What to do in Istanbul at the end of autumn, where to go – in the review of good Time for Trip.
Istanbul is the largest and obviously most interesting city in Turkey. The once legendary Constantinople, standing on the border of two worlds: eastern and western, has aroused the curiosity of travelers for centuries. And do that now, of course!
Therefore, do not look for a reason for a long time! Moreover, it is easy to decide on a trip to Turkey, because you don’t even need a visa.
And if there is a language barrier, it is minimal – the locals know English. Not too good, but enough to communicate with foreigners.
Is there any doubt that Istanbul will be in demand at the end of November? Of course not! Moreover, literally everything is conducive to the trip!
In the late autumn the main metropolis of Turkey is so beautiful and truly soothing that you will fall in love with it – almost certainly.
Yes, and weather conditions, if they don’t allow swimming on the threshold of winter in open water, are still excellent from the point of view of a northerner. And sometimes just gorgeous!
For example, at the beginning of the month here you can undress to the T-shirt. And this is at a time when in central (at least) Europe, almost anyone takes out from the wardrobe solid autumn clothes!
Weather in Istanbul in November
In most cases, it makes you glad that you were able to overcome skepticism and decided to travel to this point on the globe. For the air temperature in the first half of the month easily reaches +20 °C. And even at night it doesn’t want to fall below +10-12.
November 2021 turned out to be very warm in Istanbul. After all, the thermometer, up to the second decade, overcame the swelling of +23 °C!
At the same time, the weather showed amazing stability, maintaining a positive mood almost until the middle of the month. As well, which is commendable, air temperatures practically did not decrease with sunset.
The number of sunny days, of course, was less than in the summer months. But the probability of a clear day was about 40%. Which, as any European understands, is simply chic for this time of year.
And you could walk the streets in velvet twilight. Literally soaking up the atmosphere of the “Magnificent Century” in exceptionally pleasant scenery. There are few tourists, there is warmth in the air, everything around… so beautiful!
The statistical volume of precipitation falling in November (40-50 mm) makes it easy to come to terms with their existence. And plan sightseeing activity without much regard for weather forecasts.
If it’s raining, wear a hooded windbreaker. Can it last all day? Extremely unlikely – this weather is typical for Istanbul in December.
is just around +18-16 °C. That, of course, will not give a reason to swim in the Bosphorus.
Which should not affect the decision to take a boat trip along the legendary strait that delimits Europe and Asia. After all, in all reviews such excursions are given a very high rating.
Yes, and to the south: not only in the Marmara, but also in the Aegean Seas, the beach season at this time is closed or close to it. So, whether you choose Bodrum or Marmaris, everywhere you will see the same picture: the vast majority of the few vacationers are only looking at the water. But prefers to sunbathe on the beach.
There are rare exceptions – in Alanya in early November it is quite possible to swim. Unless, of course, you are not too picky about the temperature of the water.
By the end of November, the weather in Istanbul seems to remember something important. And reduces the heating of the atmosphere to less joyful +10-12 °C.
But even at night you shouldn’t expect steam from your mouth and frost on the grass. Since winter comes here late. And he does it far less thoroughly than in Canada or, for example, in the north of the United States.
How to Dress
Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that it is quite possible to go to Istanbul even in mid-November. If you do not pursue a sea holiday as your main goal.
From clothing, you should take a windbreaker and even a warm sweater or sweatshirt with you – quite piercing winds sometimes blow from the Bosphorus. But it’s also not worth it to warm up too much. As well as carrying a suitcase of winter clothes.
Since in some cases a T-shirt or a light shirt plus the same jacket is enough for walking in the daylight. And you will only need a cap for one thing – so that the bright sun does not blind your eyes.
Again, free space in your luggage will definitely come in handy on the way back. After all, in Turkey you can buy so many original things: both as a gift and for yourself.
If you plan to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia, an amazingly beautiful region in central Turkey, on the edge of autumn, you should approach the issue of equipment more thoroughly.
Since it can be icy there – sometimes snow falls and the air temperature drop down to zero. And an attempt to fly in a balloon is completely fraught with hypothermia – if you dress too frivolously.
As for hotels, in November you will be able to pick and choose from a list of very decent options. And for very modest money.
For example, the relatively inexpensive Angel’s Home Hotel in the Sultanahmet area.
Guests in every way praise its location – key attractions are only 5-7 minutes on foot. Received compliments veranda overlooking the strait and literally homely, very cozy atmosphere inside.
Very good and usually inexpensive Basileus Hotel is located near the Blue Mosque. It’s a 7-minute walk to Hagia Sophia, the staff is helpful, Wi-Fi just fly. It becomes clear what makes up the final 9.5 rating…
It costs a little more to stay at The Byzantium Suites Hotel & Spa. But that object beckons guests with spa treatments and a rooftop terrace with gorgeous panoramic views. Not only the Bosphorus is visible, but also the Princes’ Islands.
Things to Do
You definitely won’t have to suffer from boredom while walking around the Turkish metropolis in late autumn. On the contrary, there may not be enough time to see all the top sights of Istanbul. Therefore, we advise you to develop a detailed travel plan in advance!
Most of the local attractions – everyone knows this – “lives” on the European coast. But some are based on the other side of the strait.
- By the way, on the last, legendary Bosphorus, it is best to ride on a sightseeing boat!
Among the mandatory places to visit, we will highlight the the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. At least half a day it will take to visit another must-seen sight, the Sultan’s Palace of Topkapi.
The first one, officially now the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, has somewhat lost from the recent transformation of its status: the crosses are smeared over, and the marvelous frescoes are bashfully closed.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, dates back to the beginning of the 17th century is still grandiose.
As for former sultan’s residence, nestled in the most trump spot of the city, where the palace of Roman emperors once stood, it’s sometimes not entirely open. Some part of large complex are constantly being reconstructed and updated.
Inside, you need to see not only the private quarters of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire! But also the surviving early Christian church of St. Irene.
One of the earliest Orthodox basilicas in the world has preserved walls. But unfortunately, almost completely lost the interior decoration.
The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet is another prominent landmark in the city. Where anyone can go – regardless of gender and religion – you just need to follow the dress code.
Not so long ago there was a renovation in Sultanahmet. That is why tourists discovered the second most important local mosque – Suleymaniye. Which is really very good!
Do not miss the opportunity to go underground to see a huge antique water tank, the famous Basilica Cistern. Thankfully it’s close to all of the above.
Do you want to not only see, but also learn? Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of that very “Magnificent Century”, the series of which do not get tired of being shown on TV? Then you should take part in a unique sightseeing tour… quite expensive but definitely exhaustive!
Not too expensive even in season. And on the threshold of winter, a significant discount awaits you!
We will not invite you to the Grand Bazaar – not everyone can withstand a visit to such an attraction. For there, basically, one has not to marvel at the oriental flavor, but to fend off annoying sellers.
Who try their best to make you buy. Naturally, at a greatly inflated price.
But on the Galata Tower, a wonderful example of the serf art of the Genoese, it is better to climb. For from there, from a height of fifty meters, an exceptional view of the Golden Horn Bay opens.
Palaces and Museums
We recommend paying attention to a couple of European-style sultan’s palaces. Both have been preserved in excellent condition and invariably delight tourists.
We talk about:
- Dolmabahce on the European coast
- and the summer residence of the sultans, Beylerbeyi in the Uskudar.
Reviews often mention that the latter is usually not crowded with tourists. But in late autumn, Istanbul is not teeming with them anyway.
Let us also mention such a little-known place as Museum of the Rahmi M. Koch. It is located in the depths of the Golden Horn and is considered one of the most underestimated sights of the Turkish metropolis.
If you have some free time, limit yourself to a sightseeing boat trip. It will allow you to see the city from a different angle. And, perhaps, even mentally travel back to past centuries.
You can also go from Istanbul to the Princes’ Islands. Although the most pleasant time to do this is from May to October.
Long-distance voyages have also become fashionable in recent years. Not only because they allow you to organize a real trip. But also because of the modest distance – you can get from Istanbul to Cappadocia (by cheap rental car) in 8-9 hours.
Equally, you can get to Antalya, crowning the trip with the very sea that millions dream of. There you can take a dip even late autumn!