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End of February weather in Istanbul? Day trip from Istanbul?

New York City, New...
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End of February weather in Istanbul? Day trip from Istanbul?

Planing to see Istanbul the end of February for 1 wk and wondering what weather will be? It looks around 40F according to TA site but not sure. Also I heard that all museums and indoor places are opened. Only my regret going in Feb is not bosphorus cruising. Also any day trip from Istanbul?

Thank you.

Mount Dora, Florida
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1. Re: End of February weather in Istanbul? Day trip from Istanbul?

Hi bsnsunny, I think you will find the weather in Istanbul similar to what you experience in NYC....mostly cold, with a chance of snow, but also the possibility of a lovely sunny day with the promise of spring. The most enjoyable cruise I have ever had on the Bosphorus was during February. The day was bright and sunny making photo opportunities perfect. We had almost the entire section of the boat completely to ourselves so it seemed, in some ways, like a private cruise. There was lots of interesting traffic on the Bosphorus and lots of fishermen. There were plenty of things to see. So I certainly would not eliminate a cruise. Just keep your schedule open for a sunny day; although the Bosphorus is also lovely on a broody cloudy day as well.

Weather is rarely very important to me in Istanbul as most of the things we do are indoor activities. You are only exposed to the elements as you move from one place to the next. Bring warm clothing you can layer, so you are prepared for anything.

We travel to Istanbul in November and December. I also bring clothing I can layer as well as a heavy jacket. I am still wearing the three light weight blouses I brought for trips to the south of Turkey. I have not even unpacked the three sweaters I brought with me. I have worn my jacket three times for about 20 minutes each time. We have had beautiful weather, so you need to be prepared for anything.

Hamburg, Germany
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2. Re: End of February weather in Istanbul? Day trip from Istanbul?

I agree with Busy- Retired. The weather in Istanbul is as cold as NYC. However I would say that Istanbul has wetter winters than NYC. The former having on average 16 days with precipitation and NYC only 9 days.

What is interesting to mention here is that Istanbul is even gloomier and more overcast than Seattle in February. Istanbul has 87 hours of sunshine in February, Seattle 108 hours and NYC 163 hours! Therefore Istanbul gets almost half the sunshine NYC would get. The sky would be cloudy to overcast most of the time and expect heavy snow. I have been there three times in February so far and every time we were caught by a snowstorm. The last one was not predicted by the Turkish meteorological station which had aroused the angriness of the locals at that time. Guilty were the northeastern winds which come from Siberia and when they gain enough humidity over the Black Sea, they will cause snow on the shores of Istanbul. It is similar to the Lake- Effect snow in the great lakes in the US. Average temperature is around 40- 41F as you said. But on some years we got temperatures as high as 60F and on others as low as 22F. Weather here is really unpredictable so I am not surprised that Busy- Retired enjoyed some sunny days!

I wouldn't say that cold is a major problem in Istanbul. I do not mind such weather, plus most of the sights are indoor and close enough to each other.

This is NOT TRUE that you won't be able to do the Bosporus cruise. My first time cruising in Istanbul was on an 11 February. The day before it snowed like hell but we woke up on the 11 and it was clear sunny sky. When we took the cruise, we were blessed by an exceptional landscape and a memorable day: snow and sun merging on the green shores of the Bosporus. It was the most amazing experience we had. We also drank black tea on board while contemplating from the window (we couldn't sit outside because of the cold wind). I recommend that you choose a sunny rather than a cloudy day for the cruise.

An interesting day trip from Istanbul would be Edirne (2.5hrs) or Bursa (3hrs). They are the closest cities to Istanbul. Edirne could be reached by train as well. Both cities were important during Ottoman times so expect old markets, mosques and great food (just like Istanbul).

If you are not willing to spend too much time on the road, you can spend more time in Istanbul this time in the northern districts which are not typically touristy but you would get a feeling of the real Istanbul and how locals live (Bebek, Sariyer to name few of them...). They are close enough to the Black Sea and are famous for their fish restaurants and "village- like atmosphere".

3. Re: End of February weather in Istanbul? Day trip from Istanbul?

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