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Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

London
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Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Is end of November and beginning of December a reasonable time to visit Istanbul?

Are tourist sites still open and weather OK?

Istanbul
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1. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

brookhouse01, Weather may be chilly and rainy like London, but otherwise all tourist sights are open. No problems.

enigma...

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Tourist sites are still open. I actually thinks it's a better time to visit due to being less tourists, touts and you can fit more in to your day.

London
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3. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Thanks.

What are the best areas to stay - walking to tourist sites, and safety?

Mount Dora, Florida
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4. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Hi Brookhouse, I have spent November and part of December in Istanbul for the last six years. I love the city when most of the tourists have gone home. Hotels have switched to off-season rates. The streets are not crowded with cruise ship passengers and throngs of tour buses. There are no lines to the major attractions. In exchange for this you have to prepare for less than perfect weather.

Pack clothing that you can layer depending upon the temperature. Weather is not a huge factor because almost everything you do in Istanbul is an inside activity, so you are only exposed to the elements as you move from one location to the next.

For the major tourist sites, most people stay in one of the tiny boutiques in Sultanahmet, which will put you in walking distance of the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya and Topkapi as well as the Hippodrom and the cisterns. I also like the adjoining neighborhood of Sirkeci.

Tourist who are more interested in a social experience often prefer to stay in the Taksim area, where there are many bars and restaurants and the parties go on until 3am.

Regardless of which of these three neighborhoods you decided to select, you will be safe in any of them. Just use common street skills. Do not flash around large amounts of money. Do not wander down dark and empty streets. Do not go anywhere with anyone you do not know.

London
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5. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Thanks that's really helpful.

I can get three full days plus a full afternoon and evening in Istanbul, so any tips on what to see and do will be great. Even maybe a trip out of the city?

I will be a solo traveller and happy to cram in as much as possible - I don't need to spend time eating or socialising. More interested in history and culture - not shopping.

Are there any walking tours (free or otherwise)? And small group activities rather than big bus tours?

Any hotels/B&Bs you particularly recommend?

Edited: 31 October 2013, 20:03
Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Day 1 - early start Sultanahmet, Ibrahim pasa museum, Ayasofya, Topkapi palace, Archeology museum, Basilica cistern

Day 2 - Eminonu, Eyup mosque, Piere Loti cafe, Miniaturk, Galata tower, Rumeli fortress,

Day 3 - ferry to Kadikoy and surrounds. Sakirin & Mihrimah mosque, Uskudar, Anadolu fortress and surrounds, short or long bosphorus cruise

Day 4 - Taksim, Pera

Can substitue one of the full days with a day trip to the Princess Islands. Ferry leaves from Kabatas pier.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Here's a current thread that you can pick other places to go in Istanbul depending on your interests

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k6…

Appleton, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

FYI, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (The Ibrahim Pasa Museum) is closed until December 31 for routine maintenance according to the MUZE website.

I can endorse ResmeN's suggestion of a visit to the Sakirin Mosque if you are on the Asian side of Istanbul. It is a beautiful modern mosque, a interesting contrast to other mosques you might see.

Hamburg, Germany
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9. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

Days are short at this time of the year. It will be already dark around 16:30. Going for day trips might not be the best idea especially if you are staying for less than 4-5 days. You can still go to northern Istanbul for example in Sariyer or Tarabya, famous for their fish restaurants and green sceneries and walk along the Bosporus. That would take you about half an hour if there is no traffic.

Weather might be cold or warm. Expect rainy and windy days with temperature of as low as 7C or warm partly cloudy with a high of 17C. It is really unpredictable there, for the winds in Istanbul are to blamed for: depending whether it will be Poyraz (north wind from Siberia) or Lodos (coming from the Mediterranean), temperatures will fluctuate accordingly even on the same day. November sees 11 rainy days, so its kind of wet.

I love Istanbul at any time of the year. Enjoy!

Edited: 05 November 2013, 21:46
London
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10. Re: Istanbul end of November/beginning of December?

OK, thanks.

I am definitely travelling to Istanbul now at the last weekend of November. I arrive at lunchtime so am looking for something to do afternoon and evening on that first day, then I have three full days, then I leave lunchtime the following day.