Turkey is a beautiful destination rich in culture and history. It is home to a myriad of must-see attractions and a diverse population comprising some of the friendliest people. Like its people, Turkey’s regions are diverse, experiencing different climates and temperatures throughout the year.
As such, the best time to visit Turkey will depend on what you’re looking to get out of your vacation. To follow is a guide on when to go to Turkey based on months, seasons, and regions.
Best Time of Year to Visit Turkey – Seasons
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Wondering what is the best month to visit Turkey? Below is a deeper look into each season to help you plan the perfect vacation.
Spring in Turkey – April to May
Spring is the most beautiful season in Turkey. From April, tulips and other flowers begin blooming across the country. So whether you’re visiting the cities or the outskirts, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
Spring in Turkey is regarded as the shoulder season. This is one of the best times to visit as the average temperature sits around 24ºC (74ºF). As the weather is more pleasant, this time of year is ideal for visitors looking to take Turkey tours exploring the country’s many cultural attractions.
Additionally, the crowds are less overwhelming. You can also expect to find better deals concerning accommodations and airfare. This is particularly true for Turkey’s coastal regions which is great for anyone seeking a budget-friendly beach vacation.
However, spring is a prime time to visit Istanbul and Cappadocia. Some consider this to be the high season in these cities as many hotels are fully booked. So if you’re visiting either of these destinations, it is best to book your trip in advance.
Summer in Turkey – June to August
If you’re visiting Turkey in summer, expect large crowds as it is the high season. During this time, much of Europe is on summer holiday. As such, many tourists flock to the beautiful country to relax and enjoy the pleasant weather.
In summer, temperatures in Turkey are often above 30ºC (86ºF), and sometimes reaching 40ºC (104ºF) or higher. This is not the most ideal time to explore Turkey’s ancient heritage as the weather is rather stifling, especially further inland.
Instead, this is the perfect time to visit Turkey’s gorgeous beaches. Summer is also a good time to relax by the sea at a coastal resort along the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. Just be sure to book your accommodation and flight tickets well in advance.
Autumn in Turkey – September to October
Autumn is a pleasant time to visit as the summer heat begins to fade away and the autumn weather sets in. While the days are slightly shorter, you can still expect plenty of blue skies and warm days if you’re visiting Turkey in September.
For the most part, however, rainfall during autumn is limited. As such, this is the perfect time to wander outdoors or visit a museum. There are also popular spots for discovering Turkey’s cultural heritage along the Silk Route.
Autumn is also great for hikes. There are multiple trails located along the Lycian Way. From these trails, marvel at the beautiful scenery that surrounds the Turquoise Coast.
During these months, you are more likely to find good accommodations inland in cities like Istanbul and Cappadocia. Hotels located along the Mediterranean coast often close near the end of October.
Winter in Turkey – November to March
Winter is the low season in Turkey as the weather takes a significant turn. From November to March, expect chilly temperatures and a high chance of rain. Some areas, including Cappadocia, experience snow, especially in January and February.
In addition to the chilly weather, many hotels along Turkey’s coast close. While a beach vacation is no longer an option, the winter months are great for anyone seeking a ski trip. Popular areas for skiing in Turkey include Erzurum and Kartepe.
Even if you’re not one for skiing, there is plenty of fun to be had in Turkey during winter. If you’re visiting Istanbul, this is the one time of the year that you can expect significantly lower prices.
The crowds are also much smaller, so you can explore the city at your own pace. Just be sure to dress appropriately as temperatures can dip to 5ºC (41ºF) or lower.
When is the Best Time to Visit Turkey?
Turkey’s weather is a meeting point for a number of distinct climates and weather patterns. Different areas experience different temperatures throughout the year. Below are recommendations on when to visit some of Turkey’s most popular regions.
Best Time to Visit Istanbul, Turkey
The best time to visit Turkey’s Istanbul is in spring, between March and May, as well as in autumn, between September and October. Summers in Istanbul can be unbearably hot, while winters tend to be very cold. Istanbul offers plenty to see and do, so visiting while the weather is moderate is ideal.
Best time to Go to Turkey’s Anatolia
For a quieter trip, explore Anatolia in Turkey’s eastern region. This part of the country experiences pleasant weather nearly year-round. The only exceptions are May, October, and November. During the rest of the months, particularly June to September, you will be met with sunny days, perfect for discovering this unexplored region.
Best Time to Visit Cappadocia, Turkey
This part of Turkey is most famous for its thrilling hot air balloon rides. Each day, as many as 150 hot air balloons take to the sky. The best time to go to Cappadocia to experience this once-in-a-lifetime activity is between April and October. During these months, the winds are low, and the temperatures are pleasant.
When to Visit Turkey’s West Coast
The best time to visit Turkey’s west coast, which sits along the Aegean Sea, is between March and October. During this time, areas like Bodrum, Ephesus, Izmir, and Pergamon experience pleasant weather. This is ideal for enjoying Turkey’s pristine shores, as well as the many cultural festivals.
Summary on Best Time to Travel to Turkey
For Turkey traveling, the spring and autumn months are ideal, especially if you’re hoping for pleasant weather and smaller crowds. Summers are great too, however, temperatures may be too high to explore inland. Instead, these months are best enjoyed along the beach.
Turkey in November and December is not the best time to visit if you’re seeking pleasant weather. However, this is perfect for a ski trip. Now that you have a better idea of the best months to visit Turkey, you can begin planning your Turkish vacation.