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Daylight hours during winter in turkey, will attractions be open?

edited November 2010 in - Turkey
We are planning for a holiday to Turkey in winter, i.e. 21 dec to 1 jan, how cold is the weather and also could anyone let me know how long/short will the daylight be? i heard it's only for 3-4 hours? and is it true most places of interest will be closed? appreciate your feedback soon please... is it a good time or not to visit turkey during winter? need your honest feedback please as this will help us decide on our holiday, turkey is a beautiful country and we want to make sure we visit it at the right time and make it's worth our trip there... thank you...


  • edited 4:16AM
    Daylight in Turkey is approximately from 7AM until 17:30 in December/January period. Istanbul is very live all year round. If you are thinking about going to the coastal area, then I can say that it would be pretty quiet. Depending on where you go the weather may be pleasant most of the time with some propable rain in Western and Southern Turkey. It would be really cold and real winter conditions in Eastern and Central Turkey. If you want to be away from crowds and do not plan to swim but rather explore historical sites etc. in the coastal area, then winter time may even be pleasant to travel.
  • edited 4:16AM
    thank u esra... wat about places of interest, will it all be open, wat time will the shopping places close?
  • edited 4:16AM
    Most points of interests are open all year round (the times may vary though), their closing times may be earlier for both shops and points of interests (around 5ish). Private beach clubs and water fun attractions would be closed in winter though...
  • edited 4:16AM
    Where are you thinking of visiting - the weather can vary enormously throughout the country. However where ever you visit night times will be or appear to be blooming freezing!!
  • edited 4:16AM
    we r planning to visit istanbul, pammakule, cappadocia, ankara, ephesus... and a few more places, are these places okay to visit in winter? v really need to decide to go or not? your honest input will be really helpful :)... thank u esra
  • edited 4:16AM
    From experience Ephesus is far better to visit "out of season". More comfortable to walk around out of the heat and far less people about. Do try and visit the museum in Selcuk to see the artefacts recovered from the site as well :o)
  • edited 4:16AM
    I have lived in both Istanbul and Kas, Turkey for several years and am a former US citizen married to a Turkish woman.

    You want to visit all these places in one go? " istanbul, pammakule, cappadocia, ankara, ephesus"?? Plan a minimum of two weeks to make such a trip, or just visit one region. All inland areas are going to be cold and occasionally snow can make traveling difficult or even hazardous.

    Istanbul is always interesting and the long lines to get into ancient sites will be shorter during rainy or cold days. It can snow there also on occasion. Perhaps start in Istanbul and then take a flight to Bodrum or Dalaman and explore the Mediterranean Coast. Turkish Airlines have pretty cheap prices on their English language web site. Prices almost everywhere are at their lowest at this time and you can almost always negotiate for a lower than asking price for accommodations which should always include breakfast for no extra charge. It does no harm to ask for a discount.

    There are many hotels and restaurants open year round on the Mediterranean Coast. If you book accommodations inquire if they have both heated rooms and hot water for bathing. You can practically stumble upon ancient sites in certain areas especially the Lycian Coast area from Fethiye all along the coast to Antalya.

    Most of the rain in this arid region comes in December and January. Dec 2009 had 8 rainy days in Kas and 9 in January with an average daytime temperature of 20. A long rain jacket and hood with some water resistant hiking/walking boots are desirable. Sunny days might be in the mid 20's (C) but a rainy day can be miserable and drop below 10, nights can be chilly depending upon where you are. Snow is not heard of in the coastal areas but the mountains are only an hour or two away and may be snow capped in Jan/Feb.

    In any case plan carefully and have a great trip.
  • edited 4:16AM
    As hobbittr suggests fly between places - Turkish Airlines are very good but also check out Pegasus ( as they also have some good domestic deals.
    I was based in Konya last winter and it was bloming freezing!!! So Ankara will be very similar.
    As well as checking for heating/hot water in your accommodation also enquire how this water is heated - a lot of places rely on solar power - excellent for most of the year but in January...... sun can be a bit hit and miss!! Make sure there is electric back up or a boiler.
    Antalya weather is some of the better winter weather but there was unusual rainfall early this year.
    Just goes to show that where ever the weather can be unpredictable :o)
  • edited 4:16AM
    Thank u very much for the update hobbittr, this definitely is useful for our planning :) and clarecg thank u too for the info... very truly everyone who have commented to my query, thank u again :)
  • edited 4:16AM
    I am planning to go to Istanbul come 2nd week of January, can I expect to see some snow? I want to see snow in Turkey but don't know where exactly to go? Any suggestions please? Thanks in advance.
  • edited December 2010
    Istanbul is great, the weather is not so bad as Europe, The best area for stay Sultanahmet area, all attractions are in that area, such us, Blue mosque, Palaces, Covered bazzar, Grand bazzar.
  • edited 4:16AM
    Snow is like most weather can't always be guaranteed!! I can see snow at the moment on the mountans from my balcony in Antalya!! 2 days ago it was wonderful sitting overlooking the marina in 20deg C heat but seeing the snow capped mountains not so far away. To guarantee snow I think you need to head to any area of mountains as snow in Istanbul will be the luck of the draw.
  • edited 4:16AM
  • edited 4:16AM
    Hi Patzu
    I can't personally recommend a tour agent, sorry but a lot of the tour you could plan a lot yourself.

    It may be worth you starting a new thread on the forum for your enquiry as this post is a little lost in this thread.

    Give people more details such as what you want to visit, your likes, are you flying in and out of Istanbul? Do you intend to travel around Turkey by air or bus?

    One place I would recommend is Ephesus - stay in Selcuk to fully appreciate all this amazing ancient site has to offer. As you are coming still a little out of season for some seaside place such as the Bodrum area you may be better visiting Antalya. This is a vibrant city with a holiday feel!!!

    Good luck :o)
  • edited 4:16AM
    Istanbul airport shuttle provides a simple but efficient airport shuttle service operating 7 days a week between istanbul airport. They use experienced English speaking drivers who are specialized in the door-to-door transport of passengers and who know their way around our fleet of mini-vans and cars offer a comfortable, reliable and economical transport into or out of pstis. No need to queue for taxis with their uncertain rates, or drag your bags around searching for public transport.
  • edited 4:16AM
    Hi, I intend to go Turkey for holiday in end Dec, intend to go istanbul, selcuk, pammakule, cappadocia, daylan rock tombs. My main concern is whether it always rain in these places, roughly how many rainy days in dec? It rains almost everyday or ...
    I am a solo female traveller, is it generally safe to move around these places by myself?
    I intend to rent a car from Izmir airport & drive to selcuk-pammakule-daylan, is the traffic & road condition good enough to drive by myself in these places?
  • edited 4:16AM
    Last week i visited Istanbul that i want to say taht is a splendit city. We arranged a half day morning Bosphorus with Dolmabahce Palace tour from this site and they did a good job. We were picked up from our hotel in the morning at they arrived at the exact hour they give me. I loved that because i don’t like to wait. It was a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus and the view and all the beauties are worth to see It is the only place where to see the Asia and the Europe in the same time J you must do this cruise on the sun set. After this lovely cruise we wisited The Dolmabahce Palace... wow... it is an amasing palace with such luxary inside. The Ottoman Sultans had spent a lot of money to built it All the trip was very lovely. Thank you for this unforgetable short tour...
  • edited 4:16AM
    hi i am from ireland and planning on going to turkey in mid march, around 14th for a week, probably to lara beach, can someone advise what the weather will be like at this time? i really want it to be nice or hot or as best as possible, thinking maybe i should book another country if its not usually good in turkey at this time? please let me know asap as i am going to book somewhere today or tomorrow,

    Thanks Niamh
  • edited 4:16AM
    Hi Niamh

    March weather is still fairly unpredictable here in Antalya. You would expect temperatures around 17 or 18 deg C but possibly cloudy and always the chance of a rainy day.

    To be honest anywhere short haul from the UK at this time of year will be unsettled.

    That being said though we walked along the beach last week well wrapped in fleeces, hats, scarves etc and noticed several people in swimming costumes sunbathing and swimming in the sea!! I guess it depends where you've come from - we thought maybe they had taken a holiday from Siberia!!
  • edited January 2015
    So can anyone share your impressions regarding Turkey? What about Istanbul and it's famous attractions? One of Guests wrote about Dolmabahce Palace - Is it worth efforts to visit this building?
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