Istanbul in November


A friend of mine posted a lot of photos of snow in Turkey in Facebook recently. Istanbul was covered in snow that I almost didn’t recognize it. I was just in Istanbul in November but except for the tall standing minarets of the Hagia Sofya, I couldn’t make out where the pics were taken by my friend. White winter can change the scene, definitely.

Turkey was glorious in November. Or at least when I was there towards the end of November.


People basked in the sun at the plaza. It was wee bit cool at about 14C but the sun was out.


Even the cats of Istanbul loved the weather, I think.  One of the interesting things I found in the streets of Istanbul are cats and dogs. There are plenty of them. And it seems Istanbul loves its street cats too. They are not regarded as pests  – rather feline neighbors – and plastic containers of food are often left for the animals by locals. Legal Nomads has a great post about the history of cats in Istanbul.

istanbul cat

At one part of the Topkapi Palace, the Bosphorus was quite a sight.



I love the colors of Istanbul’s sunny winter. You can see a lot of these food stalls in the streets selling freshly squeezed juices!


The guidebooks said that November weather in Istanbul is unpredictable. But on the day where we needed to be out and about to be the typical tourists, the weather Gods were on our side.

inside topkapi

I loved the distinct fall colors on the trees. It made me miss the four seasons – something we don’t experience here in Dubai.


The best time to visit Istanbul is September to November. That’s when the crowds diminish, the rates drop, and weather is spectacular. This three-month window is sandwiched by the too-hot summer and too-cold winter. Also one very important issue that might be looming in your minds regarding travel to Istanbul is safety. There had been civil unrest in the city some months back but when we were there in November, the whole atmosphere in Istanbul was very peaceful. I never felt unsafe or inconvenienced not even for a moment. But do check your local travel advisory bureaus before going, if that makes you feel more confident and safer to travel.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Turkish Airlines for a short trip to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines offers daily direct flight from Dubai to Istanbul (it’s only 5 hours!). All opinions are my own.


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