Istanbul in October – weather, where to go and what to see

October in Istanbul is a month of hiking, the first autumn coolness, cruises on the Bosphorus, strong Turkish coffee and yellow-purple colors. It marks the end of the so-called velvet season, beach holidays and is characterized by tranquility and a decrease in tourist flow.

The weather in Istanbul in October is still warm and most comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. At this time, we advise you to go for a day to the mountain thermal resort of Yalova. Also in autumn, hammams are again popular. In order not to lose time, you can book a session in the famous historical bathhouse in the city center online.

The decision to go to Istanbul in October will be very successful. And most importantly, before flying to the Turkey, do not forget to buy insurance that covers covid. And also fill out an online questionnaire that will generate a personal hes-code.

It is better to order a taxi from the airport to Istanbul online, where the prices for the distance are fixed and there are no surcharges for bridges and tunnels. And if you dare to catch yellow cars on the street, be sure to demand to turn on the meter.

By the way, October is called ekim in Turkish. You can learn a few words in Turkish, listen to local jokes, see dervish shows, secret places or the oldest coffee houses in the city that visitors do not know about, on interesting excursions from local residents:

Weather in Istanbul in October

The air temperature day/night: 20°C/13°C
Average rainy days: 4
Sea water temperature: +19°C
Rainfall: 50-60 mm
Maximum wind speed: 11-20 m/s, with gusts up to 35 m/s

What’s the weather like in Istanbul in October? The average monthly air temperature in October days is 20°C during the day and 14°C at night. The water temperature in the sea is 18-19 degrees.

At the beginning of the month, it is still very warm during the day, up to 24°C. And by the end it gets colder and the thermometers do not rise above 15-17. On average, it rains 4 days a month – mostly in the second half of October.

In the entire history of meteorological observations, on record hot days, the maximum temperature in October in Istanbul reached 33 degrees. The minimum was recorded at night temperature +3°C.

Solo trip to Istanbul in October

The cheapest flights to Istanbul from London, Berlin and other cities are on kiwi.com.

It is better to choose housing in Istanbul in the European city center: tourists prefer the Sultanahmet or Sirkeci quarters in the Fatih, Karakoy, Taksim and Galata districts in Beyoglu.

Top 22 destinations to see in Istanbul

Among the Asian areas, Uskudar or Kadikoy are popular, but they are not recommended for beginners who are traveling to Istanbul for the first time.

It is better to rent a car in Istanbul at the airport. It is worth picking up and paying online in advance when there is a large selection. Or you can pre-book a transfer that will take you from the airport to the hotel.

Holidays in Istanbul in October

The main public holiday of autumn is Republic Day – October 29th. Its date is fixed and celebrated annually. On this day, the entire Istiklal Avenue is buried in red flags and balloons, and celebrations are expected in Taksim and other central squares.

What to do in October in Istanbul?

In October, in Istanbul, be sure to admire the exhibition of yachts, drop by the Bosphorus Film Festival, listen to the jazz of street musicians.

Bosphorus Film Festival
Bosphorus Film Festival

Sit in Gülhane Central Park on Sultanahmet, and then relax in the historic Hürrem Sultan Hammam with a traditional Turkish foam massage.

Check out meat restaurants for kebabs in the many fragrant neighborhoods near Istiklal.

In the evening, go to a view bar in the Taksim or Galata area. Both the pretentious Panorama 350 on Istiklal and simpler bars on the numerous roofs along the perimeter of the central pedestrian street of Istanbul will do. Often the entrance to the view bars on the rooftops is inconspicuous and looks like a normal entrance to a residential building; you have to take the elevators. Go to the sounds of the music you like, you will not lose.

Istanbul in October is just made for walking in the parks. The leaves on the trees turn bright yellow-red colors, it’s not so hot anymore, but still not cold. October is the best time for walks in the city!

For experienced travelers and lovers of observation platforms and everything unusual, we recommend climbing the Teleferik cable car to Pierre Loti hill on the banks of the Golden Horn. It offers a stunning panorama of the strait.

Also on the hill is an old Ottoman cemetery and several unpretentious cafeterias. The cable car can be reached from the center by bus or taxi.

Where else to go in Istanbul in October

Photo exhibition 212 Photography. Famous artists from all over the world and Turkey take part in it. The event took place in different locations beginning of October. Interesting events are held within the framework of the exhibition. For example, master classes with trips to different parts of Istanbul. Departing from the Tekfur Palace-Museum, visitors go to the Anemas dungeons, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Church of Ayia Dimitri, the Greek Church of Balata.

Bosphorus Film Festival – International Bosphorus Film Festival. The date of the Istanbul International Film Festival falls on the end of October. It is also a national competition for feature films, short films and documentaries. Screenings are held in the central cinemas of Kadikoy, Beyoglu and Atlas. Official website: bogazicifilmfestivali.com.

Park of miniatures Miniaturk. Get to know all of Turkey in miniature – check out the main sights of the whole country in the open-air park on the banks of the Golden Horn in the central Fatih district. Miniaturk contains accurate models of the wonders of Turkey and Istanbul, from fantastic rock monasteries to the baths of Pamukkale. Of course, the famous mosques, palaces and other architectural beauties are also represented here.

Istanbul Biennale. Have time to look at the exhibition of contemporary art, held in Istanbul every two years. It is included in the TOP-10 of the most authoritative biennials in the world. In 2021, it was canceled due to covid and postponed to September-November 2022. Biennale official website: bienal.iksv.org. Entrance to many events is free.

And for visiting museums, the Hagia Sophia mosque and palaces, be sure to buy a Museum Pass Istanbul museum card. It allows you to save on entrance tickets and allows you to enter the sights of Istanbul without queues.

Is it possible to swim in the sea in Istanbul in October?

At the beginning of the month in the Sea of ​​Marmara, tourists can still catch the velvet season and water in which you can plunge without health consequences. The water temperature is 19-20 degrees. You can swim, but it will be cold.

But the Black Sea on the northern outskirts of the city in the middle of autumn is too cold.

At the end of October, swimming in both seas is no longer safe, especially since the swimming season is officially closed. The Black and Marmara seas at this time are absolutely unsuitable for a beach holiday.

But how pleasant it is to walk on the charming embankments or, wrapped in a blanket, drink coffee, watching restless impudent seagulls and ferries.

Useful links for Istanbul travel