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Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Maine
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Clothes to pack for Istanbul

In September, I'm going to begin a 21 day trip to the area with 7 days in Istanbul. (Sail from Istanbul to several Greek Isles for 7 days then to Athens for final 7) Don't want to overpack but also want to be prepared for weather and to observe cultural rules while I'm in Istanbul-I've been given good advice about clothing in Greece but what about Istanbul. How cool will it be mid-Sept. (Sept 19-27)Thanks!

Chicago
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1. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

It's like night and day visiting Greece and Turkey! You can be topless on a beach in Greece and no one notices. Then you're in Turkey wearing basic khaki shorts and a light t-shirt and get all kinds of grief.

Knee-length shorts and capris will be fine in Istanbul. Wearing tank tops and bare mid-drifts in Turkey is not appropriate (unless you're visiting beach areas). It'll be warm during the day and beautiful at night! Keep a scarf in your pocket or bag, as you'll need to cover your head when entering a mosque.

A light sweater or jacket for dinner at night, but it'll likely stay in your suitcase. But it's good to have just in case.

Have a good trip -

Globe

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Globe,

I will be traveling to Turkey in September too, but I do not want to stick out like most tourist do. Can you tell me if most men in Turkey wear shorts or is that frowned upon too?

Also, off topic. Will there be a big difference for non-Islamic people in the city? For example, will businesses be closed or will it be difficult to at a nicer restaurant at night?

Thanks,

JV

Chicago
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3. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Hi JV,

Older Turkish men wear slacks and a dress shirt, even in 90F degree heat. Men in their 20s and 30s dress more casually during the day. You won't find Turkish men in shorts, only the tourists. Don't worry about standing out, though ... none of us can help it. (LOL)

Not everyone in Istanbul fasts. You'll find Turks gracious and welcoming, and will have no problem eating in any restaurant. All the sights will be open/closed during Ramazan as they are throughout the year.

Two suggestions: Be sure to drink raki at least once while there and be sure to take a taxi somewhere/anywhere across town!

Have a great time -

Globe

florida
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4. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

I'm interested in this topic because I have the same questions. (We'll be in Istanbul October 3-7.) We do not mind if people know we're tourists. (Similarly, I always enjoy seeing "tourists" in my home town here in the U.S.) If it's hot, my husband will want to wear shorts. I'll wish I could wear sleeveless. For outside touring, is this quite inappropriate? (What's weather likely to be like?)

Thanks!

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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5. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

People of 30+ years old in non-beach cities don't wear shorts. They are neither common nor rare among younger people. Tank tops are only for beach towns, but open-belly blouses can be seen in big cities. Sleeveless blouses are also common. But women can't go into a mosque with shorts, open-belly, or sleeveless (I don't think you go to mass with those either).

I don't think late september - early october will require wearing shorts, etc. anyway. It will have cooled by then.

Disclaimer: I have never been to Istanbul in the summer, all of the clothing advice above are from what I observe in Ankara. Istanbul might or might not have the same level of conservatism. And these things change even from district to district in large cities.

London, United...
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6. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

I second nkt's advice. In Istanbul only in certain coastal upmarket neighbourhoods young people wear shorts, extreme minis and all mannger of tops and these are Bebek, Etiler, etc, otherwise they don't. Turkish men above the age of say 25 don't really like wearing shorts, some wear just below the knee shorts again in more coastal modern neignbourhoods, not in the old historic peninsula. Young people when clubbing in summer wear really skimpy clothes at night, this seems like the only fully accepted time and place.

I travel between Istanbul and London often and I always wear the same clothes in both cities, I only wear shorts in London to a park in weekends (not this year, not in this rainy weather!!!!!)

In Istanbul last week it was hot, I wore shorts and a t-shirt to a cafe in Bebek and everone around me seemed to be wearing similar.

So the conclusion to this long message is, unless it is beachwear, you can get away with a lot of clothes, you will get most stared at when you wear out of season clothes, such as shorts in october, then people will stare you thinking you are mad :-)

Kozano

Chicago
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7. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Also, visitors from other places may find temperatures warm and comfortable in the 70s or 80s and dress accordingly as they walk around during the day, whereas Turks find may these temps cold.

Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Thanks for all of the good advice!

Maine
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9. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

Thank you all for the great advice! I am really looking forward to the trip. artlover247

Columbus, Ohio
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10. Re: Clothes to pack for Istanbul

I am glad to read the advice on dress in Istanbul, but wonder if the shorts/pants we call capris are ok at the end of summer when it seems like it will still be plenty warm enough. I would never put short shorts on this body anyways. But long pants are so much harder to pack and wash out! So please let me know if this is seen around the city.