Istanbul, Turkey: What to pack, what to wear, and when to go [2018]

Traveling to Istanbul, Turkey? If you're planning to go to Istanbul, here is some important information about when to go, what to wear, and what to pack:

When to go to Istanbul, Turkey

Based on the climate and weather in Istanbul, the best time to go is July. See below for details.

What to wear/what to pack for Istanbul, Turkey by month

January

If you are traveling to Istanbul in January, you will notice that it is cold. Expect it to rain about half of the time. Daytime temperatures are in the 40s F (single digits C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Standard footwear
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Socks
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Umbrella
  • Fleeces
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Jacket or coat
  • Rain coat

February

If you vacation in Istanbul during February, you are likely to find that it is cold. Temperatures tend to hover around the high 40s F (single digits C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the high 30s F (single digits C).

Humidity is generally between 60 and 70% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain 5-10 days this month.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Rain coat
  • Jacket or coat
  • Fleeces
  • Standard footwear
  • Socks
  • Umbrella
  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Waterproof footwear

March

In March, Istanbul is brisk. Temperatures routinely are in the low 50s F (low 10s C) range. At night, lows are in the low 40s F (single digits C).

This is also a rainy time for Istanbul, with several of the days of the month having rain. In March, humidity reaches as high as 70%.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Standard footwear
  • Rain coat
  • Pants or jeans
  • Dresses
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Long skirts
  • Socks
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Umbrella
  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses

April

If you visit Istanbul during April, you are likely to find that it is cool. Temperatures tend to hover around the low 60s F (mid 10s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the high 40s F (single digits C).

Humidity is generally between 60 and 70% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain a bit less than half of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Rain coat
  • Pants or jeans
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Standard footwear
  • Dresses
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Long skirts
  • Socks
  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses

May

If you go to Istanbul in May, you will notice that it is mild. Expect it to rain 5-10 days this month. Daytime temperatures are in the high 60s F (low 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Long skirts
  • Standard footwear
  • Dresses
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Rain coat
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Umbrella
  • Socks
  • Pants or jeans
  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses
  • Waterproof luggage

June

If you vacation in Istanbul during June, you are likely to find that it is warm. Temperatures tend to hover around the high 70s F (mid 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 60s F (high 10s C).

Humidity is generally between 50 and 60% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain occasionally.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Long and short sleeve shirts
  • If you're going to the beach, bathing suits, swimwear
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Dresses
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Sandals
  • Umbrella
  • Skirts
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Light footwear
  • Rain coat
  • Shorts or short pants

July

Traveling to Istanbul in July, you will notice that it is hot and dry with little rain. Daytime temperatures are in the low 80s F (high 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Long and short sleeve shirts
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Skirts
  • Sandals
  • If you're going to the beach, bathing suits, swimwear
  • Rain coat
  • Rain boots
  • Waterproof luggage that you don't mind ruining
  • Umbrella
  • Dresses
  • Shorts or short pants
  • Light footwear

August

August in this region is extremely warm and dry with little rain. Temperatures average in the low 80s F (high 20s C) during the day. It rains occasionally.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Rain coat
  • Shorts or short pants
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Light footwear
  • If you're going to the beach, bathing suits, swimwear
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Sandals
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Long and short sleeve shirts
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof luggage

September

If you are traveling to Istanbul in September, you will notice that it is a perfect temperature. Expect it to rain about a third of the time. Daytime temperatures are in the 70s F (mid 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Light footwear
  • Dresses
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Rain coat
  • Sandals
  • Shorts or short pants
  • Skirts
  • If you're going to the beach, bathing suits, swimwear
  • Long and short sleeve shirts

October

October in Istanbul is balmy. The rain can amount to several inches/centimeters. During this time, temperatures average in the high 60s F (high 10s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Long skirts
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses
  • Pants or jeans
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Umbrella
  • Dresses
  • Rain coat
  • Standard footwear
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Socks

November

If you go to Istanbul in November, you will notice that it is relatively cool. Expect it to rain about half of the time. Daytime temperatures are in the high 50s F (mid 10s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Pants or jeans
  • Long skirts
  • Umbrella
  • Rain coat
  • Standard footwear
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Dresses
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses
  • Socks

December

If you vacation in Istanbul during December, you are likely to find that it can be very chilly. Temperatures tend to hover around the low 50s F (single digits C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the low 40s F (single digits C).

Humidity is generally between 70 and 80% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain about half of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Long sleeve shirts or blouses
  • Umbrella
  • Socks
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Pants or jeans
  • Dresses
  • Long skirts
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Rain coat
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Standard footwear

Year-round what to wear/what to pack for Istanbul, Turkey

Here are some general tips on what to wear in Istanbul, as well as several items to remember to pack when traveling there.

  • A plug adadpter that supports outlet types C and F
  • A SIM card that works in Istanbul
  • If you plan to visit a church, make sure to bring appropriate clothing
  • If you plan to visit a mosque, pack clothing that covers the knees and shoulders
  • Theft can be a problem, so pack theft protection, including locks for luggage and a money belt or pouch
  • Appropriate museum wear

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