A beautiful amalgam of East and West, Turkey has something to offer to every traveler. Be it its intricate history or lip-smacking culinary, this land of the dramatic landscape offers two of the world's seven wonders and some of the world's most beautiful architecture. Read on to know more about your trip to Turkey and how to best plan the timing of your trip!
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Spring and Fall are the best seasons to visit Turkey, as the country has very hot summers and cold winters. It is safe to say that April, May, and September to mid-November are the best time to visit Turkey if you're fond of slightly sunny but pleasant temperatures.
These months are pleasantly warm with temperatures ranging from 20° C to 30° C. During these times, it's unlikely to be very crowded and you can find many discounted travel packages.
For many people, May is a beautiful time to visit Turkey; the temperature is perfect for exploring Ephesus, Termessos, and Aphrodisias which requires a lot of movement without any shade. Parks and gardens across Istanbul are covered with blooming flowers, with no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables to try.
Probably one of the rarest and most splendid sights on the planet, the Pamukkale Thermal Pools are among the most popular things to do in Turkey. Often called the Cotton Castle, these white calcareous landscapes are formed by natural thermal springs saturated with limestones, resulting in this unique phenomenon of calcium deposition. It takes a lot of shapes, usually cataracts, potholes, and stalactites.
These pools are full of abundant minerals and have therapeutic water which helps with many eye problems, skin ailments, and rheumatism. Glancing over this white expanse with turquoise-colored springs formed in different layers from above, the sight can never be described with words.
The best time to visit this natural wonder is from April to June (Spring) and September-October (Fall). With minimal rain and bright sun, you can visit any time after sunrise and until 9 PM. It is best to arrive as early as 6:30 AM to avoid the crowds or stay until the closing time.
Turkey is littered with chic boutiques and bazaars, full of handmade items and antiquities. Especially in the case of Istanbul, it is a popular shopping destination with open-air markets and Spice Bazaar.
Functioning since 1461, the famous Grand Bazaar is spread over 60 streets and has over 5,000 shops and has stood the test of times through centuries of the Ottoman Empire.
The huge market area is full of antiques, spices, colorful ceramics, carpets, and handmade items. However, these may be expensive during peak season. Those who are looking forward to shopping should try to visit Turkey during the autumn when the crowds are limited and the vendors are open to bargaining.
Even better will be shopping early in the morning or during the closing time. There are also regular sales in summers and winters that you can make the most of. Here are some popular souvenirs to shop for:
Getting lost in this market is common, but that is also part of the experience. The shopkeepers speak a range of languages and don't hesitate to bargain!
One of the key highlights of any Turkey visit, make sure you don't miss the enchanting Bosphorus cruise. For this, May is one of the best times when the water is sufficiently warm for the dolphins to come out.
You can easily catch a glimpse or more of dolphins during this time. By mid-September, the crowd begins to dwindle while it's not too chilly for tourists to go on a cruise. However, visiting during winters may bring many cancellations if there are severe changes in the weather.
If you plan to travel during December, make sure to take a morning slot for the Bosphorus cruise so that the weather gets a little warm till the noob. Sunny days are ideal for pictures so make sure you are dressed warmly; however, you can aim for the most romantic sunset photography around 4:30 PM while it's still not cold.
While Turkey is already considered a budget-friendly destination, it is still possible to cut down costs to make your trip more affordable. Especially if you are a student on a tight budget, make sure you have good student travel insurance so that you don’t end up spending more money in case of any emergency while traveling in Turkey.
Visiting in the off-season will definitely help you save some money. You can save anywhere between 20-80% on your accommodation and travel expenses if booking during the off-season. This season is usually between March and May.
If winter is not a deterrent, then any time between December to February is the cheapest month to visit Turkey. However, Istanbul's snowy and often rainy conditions, which means a lot of clothes and layers of winter clothes.
While this may be subjective to many travelers, the summer months (June to September) are extremely hot and maybe the worst time for tourists to visit Turkey.
Temperatures often touch the mid-thirties near the southern coast, perfect for seaside parties but really uncomfortable for the history lovers who plan to visit Turkey's many ancient monuments and historical sites.
On the other hand, November onwards may get too cold for some with the temperature dropping below 0 degrees in some areas like Cappadocia. However, this could also be the best time for many people who don't mind the cold and are fond of snowy landscapes!