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Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

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Miami, Florida
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Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

Hi,

I'll be visiting my friend in Istanbul in 2014 and I'm debating on whether to go the first week of April or the first week of May. Weather-wise which would be the best choice? What should I expect (i.e. windy, cloudy, humid)?

I'll be traveling from Miami, FL and I'm trying to find a "cheap" flight (don't even know what would be reasonable to expect as far as pricing goes), so if anyone here can give me advice in regards to when would be a good time to book it I would really appreciate it!

Thank you, in advance.

P.S This is my first time visiting Istanbul, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am :)

Istanbul
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1. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

Eliza, Both are good dates but I think you will get better fares in April. You can check: "www.skyscanner.com.tr". In April, you can get a direct flight by Turkish Airlines from NYC to Istanbul for 653 USD. If you can find cheap tickets to NYC from Miami then that will make a great flight. Otherwise there are flights for around 900 USD to Istanbul for Miami. All these flights are R/T.

Mid April there is Tulip Festival and all tulips start blooming towrds the middle of April. Istanbul landscape becomes very pretty. The weather is warmer in May and it will not be humid at all. So whichever date suits your budget, you can travel then.

good luck,

enigma...

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

Hi Eliza, We live just a few hundred miles north of you, and In my experience, pricing flights to Istanbul out of Florida yields a more expensive flight. We fly Delta because that is where our loyalty program is. I look at airports where Turkish Air is flying. Turkish Air currently has the least expensive fares between the US and Istanbul, and Delta generally price matches out of those cities.

This year we flew out of, and will return to JFK. The ticket from JFK to IST was $533, and we paid another $150 for a R/T ticket from Orlando to JFK, making the entire fare less than $700. Priced from Orlando to Istanbul I could find nothing below $1200. If you do this you will be taking a positioning flight to which ever city you select. You will, therefore fly on two different tickets. You need to give yourself plenty of time to change planes. We had 8 hours at JFK, which I allowed just in case there was a mechanical issue or weather or something that delayed the positioning flight. If your positioning flight were to be late causing you to miss your flight to Istanbul it could result in having to pay additional charges to take a later flight.

If you fly the same airline from Miami or an airline with an interline agreement with whichever airline you take to Istanbul, you can check your luggage through to your final destination. If you fly something like Spirit from Miami to your departure destination you will have to retrieve your luggage at the departure destination and check it back in again. Spirit has no interline agreement and cannot check luggage through with another airline. This is enough to encourage me to pay the few extra dollars and check luggage through to Istanbul using a carrier that is either the same or has an interline agreement.

Check flight prices out of Washington DC, JFK, Houston, and Chicago. Turkish Air also flies out of LAX, but it would be more expensive to get to LAX. Turkish Air offers direct flights, which I find much more desirable than having to change planes. When I booked our tickets on Delta I could not get a direct flight. We had to change planes, and airline carriers in either Paris or Amsterdam. It is not difficult, but just obnoxious, and adds several hours to your total travel time.

I would start to look for airfares right after Christmas, or possibly even before. International fares tend to start to move upward as spring approaches. April, however, should be less expensive than May.

Prices in Istanbul will be about the same during either month. You will pay high season rates for hotel rooms because once the tulips start so do the tourists.

Hamburg, Germany
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3. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

April is the season of tulips in Istanbul if that tells you something, but it is still too rainy and chilly in my opinion. April in Istanbul is a bit cooler than April in London as well. I consider May more of a typical spring month in Istanbul. However I would never say that the cold should be a problem because I enjoy Istanbul in all 4 seasons. Plus, all major sights in Istanbul are indoor, so NO big deal!!

First Week of April:

Average High 14C

Average Low 6C

April sees 12 rainy days on average

First week of May:

Average High 18C

Average Low 9C

May sees 8 rainy days on average

If it comes to me, I would come during the first week of May where it will be just warm enough to enjoy the city for a first time visit. April is really unpredictable and I still remember we got once 7C during 3 days in a row with rain few years ago... but last year we were lucky to have 20C.. I was in Sariyer, which is about 4 degrees cooler than Atatürk Airport (especially in summer).

You have to keep this excitement because Istanbul is great and definitely one of my top 3 cities so far. Don't worry for the weather. Even during snow, I enjoy it pretty too much two years ago.

As for the ticket, the previous posts gave you good answers (I do not live in the US, so they know more ;) )

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

What airlines fly out of Miami? If you have Turkish Airlines check there month to month calendar.

Miami, Florida
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5. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

Oh thank you so much to you all for replying and being so helpful! :) I've finally decided and it will for sure be the first week of May (specifically from the 3rd to the 12th). Now I'm just going to be watching closely the prices for the flights probably every couple of days (way to plan ahead! lol) until I find a good deal. I'm definitely not going to wait too long either, I know they can get pretty expensive. I would like to fly RT Miami-Istanbul and wouldn't mind 1 stop (I was initially considering 2 stops as well, but I think for a first timer like me, it would be a bit more troublesome that way)

Turkish Airlines does operate in Miami so I will be checking out their offers periodically.

I kind of like the process of planing a trip so I will definitely be asking more questions here as time goes by, and I thank your support in advance! I'm already counting the days :)

Istanbul
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6. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

The first week of May is a good choice. April is often still quite cold.

7. Re: Best/cheapest time to visit Istanbul?

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