Istanbul in November: city of contrasts in the autumn haze

Contrasting and polyphonic Istanbul is nothing like the beach resorts of Turkey. Having been here, you can understand what a real Turkish flavor is, which at the same time closely coexists with modern European traditions.

This is a unique city that is unlike any other corner of the globe. Even an ordinary walk through the streets is more like a journey through the fairy-tale world — Istanbul is so unreal in its beauty.

Many doubt whether it is worth coming to a noisy and crowded city with children. Kidpassage assures that with the right planning and careful preparation, a family trip to Istanbul can be one of the best trips of a lifetime. If you're planning to explore this Turkish city in November, you'll definitely find KidPassage's helpful tips to come in handy.

Istanbul in November: a city of contrasts in an autumn haze

Holidays in Istanbul in November: pros and cons

Reviews about holidays in Istanbul in November are contradictory: someone calls this month ideal for relaxation, and someone was not impressed at all or completely disappointed by the November vacation. But let's start with the good and list the main prosof traveling to Istanbul in the last month of autumn:

  • Small number of tourists. November does not belong to the high season, so there are much fewer tourists in the city than in the summer months. But this does not mean that the streets are empty, because Istanbul is also an important business center, and not just a tourist center of the country.
  • Prices. Demand for tourism services during this period is significantly reduced. Holidays in November are cheaper than in the summer months.
  • Weather conditions. In early November, there are ideal days for excursions — the summer heat has already passed, and the rainy season has not yet begun.

Istanbul in November will definitely disappointthose who came here for a beach holiday and hot sunny days. At the end of autumn it is quite cool here, there can be no talk of a beach holiday at all, since the water temperature is about +14 °C.

Weather in Istanbul in November

Weather in Istanbul in November — December cloudy and rainy. In winter, it is rarely possible to catch fine days here. Discomfort is added by the constant wind blowing from the seas.

It is possible that people who come to the city in December will be forced to spend most of their vacation in hotels, cafes and other indoor locations where they will have to hide from the weather. End of autumn and winter — not the best time to visit Istanbul.

The weather in early November is ideal for sightseeing holidays. It is not hot outside, it rarely rains, so you can set aside a lot of time for sightseeing and street walks. The length of the day is 9.5-10.4 hours.

The night temperature in Istanbul in mid-November drops significantly, but there are still warm sunny hours during the day. During this period, it often rains, it is cloudy.

The weather in Istanbul at the end of November obliges you to always take an umbrella for a walk. Even if the sun shines outside in the morning, there is no guarantee that the sky will not burst into heavy rain by lunchtime.

Air and water temperatures

High temperatures are inherent in the subtropical climate, but Istanbul is not at all hot. Since the city is surrounded by seas from almost all sides, and the Bosphorus passes through its center, it is always fresh and windy here. Exhausting heat in Istanbul you will not find even in summer.

The off-season is the best time to visit this corner of Turkey, since it is in autumn and spring that the most comfortable weather for walking is set here.  

Air temperature in Istanbul in November

The average day and night temperatures are +16.1 °C and +13.7 °C respectively. Summer things will not be useful for tourists at the end of autumn. If during the day you can get by with a jacket with long sleeves, then in the evening walking light, without a windbreaker, will be uncomfortable.


There are about three rainy days in Istanbul for the whole month. On average, about 47.1 mm of precipitation falls. Local November cannot be called too rainy, but the probability of getting wet is quite high. An umbrella will definitely not be an extra thing in your luggage.

Sunny, cloudy, overcast days

Don't hope for a hot sunny November in Istanbul. Sunny days account for 40% of the time of the month, which is equivalent to 12 days. Cloudy and cloudy days divided the rest of November equally — 30% each.

Sightseeing tour in Istanbul

Istanbul in November: a city of contrasts in the autumn haze

Istanbul, combining the echoes of the Ancient East and the trends of the modern West, — it is a unique city where radically different at first glance cultures are harmoniously intertwined.

The UNESCO World Heritage List here includes not just individual attractions, but entire areas, which, as a rule, belong to the Old Town with its medieval architectural buildings.

  • Things to do with children in Istanbul

In early November, while the days are fine, it is worth paying attention to the attractions in the open air. So, you can go to the picturesque Gulhane Park, which offers impressive views of the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Bosphorus.

By the way, the park is part of the Topkapi Palace — attractions, which is also a must-see. Today, the Topkapi Palace Complex is considered one of the richest palaces in the world, with an impressive collection of valuables of the Turkish kings.

You should definitely take a walk along the main square of Sultanahmet, where several prominent Istanbul sights are concentrated at once (Theodosius Obelisk, Hippodrome, Snake Column and others).

The local oriental market can also be called one of the most colorful places in Istanbul. Mısır Çarşısı, or Spice Market, is located in the historical part of the city, with about 80 outlets operating on its territory. Despite the name, here you can buy not only spices, but also dried fruits, herbs, perfumes, various oils, souvenirs and much more.

At the end of November, tourists often have to hide from the rain. And this means that the time has come to move from the city parks, markets and streets of Istanbul to its museums, palaces and mosques. As for the latter, there are at least 3 thousand of them here. The most popular among tourists are the Blue Mosque, which is considered one of the main symbols of the city, the elegant Suleymaniye Mosque, where Sultan Suleiman and his wife Roksolana are buried in the courtyard, and the oldest mosque in Istanbul — Baezid.

A trip to Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to such an iconic place as the Basilica Cistern. The ancient underground reservoir in the Sultanahmet area, located at a depth of more than 10 m, is today the most frequently visited attraction in the city. The cistern was intended to store water supplies, but it looks more like an ancient temple than an ordinary reservoir. During the tour, do not forget to make a wish at the “Column of Tears” and the Wishing Pool.

There are many places in Istanbul that are great for family fun, here are just a few of them:

  • TurkuaZoo
  • Miniature Park
  • Vialand Amusement Park
  • Toy Museum
  • Dolphinarium

Tourists are advised to purchase a Museum Pass Istanbul card, which includes an accelerated (in some cases) and free) entrance to 15 local museums, discounts on excursions and lunches at local cafes.

Holidays, events, festivals

Foreign guests will definitely find the holidays in Istanbul in November, various events, concerts, festivals are regularly held here. So, you can get to the book fair, art exhibition, documentary film festival and other interesting events.

In November, an important date is also celebrated throughout Turkey — Ataturk Memorial Day(10th of November). At 9:05 (the exact time of the death of the first president of Turkey), a minute of silence is announced throughout the country. On this day, there are no entertainment and cultural events, even many catering establishments do not work on November 10.

Prices for holidays in November

Istanbul in November: a city of contrasts in the autumn haze

Prices in Istanbul in November cannot be called the lowest of the year. Despite the fact that tourist demand is slightly reduced, it does not fall to zero marks — foreigners come here all year round, regardless of weather conditions and calendar dates.

Price of tours

In October, November and December, the cost of tours to Istanbul remains almost unchanged. As the weather gets colder, prices drop, but not enough to make November the best time to visit Turkey.


The situation with the price of air tickets is exactly the same as with tours to Istanbul. That is, the price fluctuations from October to December are at least 5%.

  • The best family hotels in Istanbul


At the end of autumn, accommodation prices decrease, guests pay about 30% less than in the summer months.

Istanbul is considered one of the main tourist and business centers of the country, so there is no shortage of hotels here. Tourists should pay attention to hotels in the Sultanahmet area, since this is where most of the local attractions, souvenir shops and authentic Turkish markets are concentrated.

Meals and transfers

Istanbul in November: city of contrasts in autumn haze

There are restaurants in Istanbul offering Japanese, French, Italian cuisine and others. But, of course, at least once you should try traditional Turkish dishes, which are equally tasty and unusual both in fashionable restaurants and in street food kiosks.

  • What to try in Istanbul: tips from experienced tourists

The city has a well-developed public transport system, the most popular type of which is — city ​​buses. They can be reached almost anywhere in Istanbul.

The city has a unified system of payment for public transport. It is carried out using a contactless smart card — istanbulkart. It can be used to pay for travel by bus, tram, metrobus, metro, Marmaray, sea transport, cable car and funicular. One trip on the map costs 9.9 lira.

You can move around the city on dolmush — local minibuses. This mode of transport is less busy than buses, so the trip is not as stressful. The price depends on the distance of the route.

Trams run around Istanbul, which, perhaps, can be called the best tourist transport. The fact is that the tram route runs through all the main city attractions.

There is a metro in Istanbul, trains run on five lines. The local metro also has an interesting attraction — underground funicular with two trailers, opened in 1875. If anything, there is also a traditional elevated cable car in the city.

A one-time trip on the Istanbul metro in 2023 costs 15 liras, transfers to another line are paid. To travel, you must purchase a travel card or an electronic ticket in special devices at the stations.

Public transport operates only during daylight hours. If you need to get somewhere at night, you will have to call a taxi. On average, the cost of a trip is calculated as follows — 8 lira for landing and 7 lira for each kilometer of the way. At night, the price tag doubles. Almost every car is equipped with a counter.

A great way to get around Istanbul is by ferry or sea bus. Such a mini-journey can be regarded as an excursion, because beautiful views of the strait await passengers.

Pay attention to the so-called “guest card”; (Istanbul Welcome card). This is a local document that will help you save money on travel and visits to major attractions. Thus, the Classic Card will provide the owner with five trips by public transport and one across the strait, as well as discounts at some catering establishments. With a Premium class card, the number of available rides increases to ten, and some locations can be entered without a queue. The deluxe card provides the most benefits: skip-the-line entry to 10 museums, a Bosphorus cruise, three excursions with a historical guide (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern), 20 public transport rides, a guide and audio guides, and free delivery to the hotel.

How to dress in Istanbul

Tourists who have planned a trip for November should give preference to demi-season things when collecting luggage. During the day, the city is fresh, but at night it gets really cold. You definitely cannot do without warm clothes for walking and pajamas for sleeping.

However, the local weather is changeable, sometimes it can bring a pleasant surprise in the form of significant warming. Just in case, you can put a couple of T-shirts in your suitcase.

Separately, it is worth noting that it is better to take comfortable and practical shoes. The main type of holiday in November in Istanbul — sightseeing. As a rule, visitors to the city walk a lot. It is inconvenient to make such forced marches around the sights on stilettos, in sandals — Cold. The best option — flat shoes, sneakers or other sports shoes.

A swimsuit and other beach accessories should only be taken if you intend to visit a hammam or any spa center with heated pools. On local beaches in November, a swimsuit is certainly not useful — the beach season here ends in September.

Although Istanbul has long been a modern liberated city, most of the locals are still Muslims who do not welcome revealing clothes. Of course, no one will imprison women with a deep cleavage and a daring mini, but it’s still better to refrain from such outfits so as not to offend religious Turks and not arouse their indignation.

Tips for traveling with children

Istanbul in November: a city of contrasts in an autumn haze

In November, it is worth coming to Istanbul with older children who will appreciate the sightseeing vacation. The numerous historical sights of the city will not be of interest to kids, and outdoor walks and beaches are inaccessible due to the weather.

  • Family holidays in Istanbul: Kidpassage guide

Rest with a baby will not be very comfortable for several reasons. First of all, windy weather can interfere with long walks. The local infrastructure will also cause inconvenience. Forays into the city with a stroller — this is a real quest, especially if you have to use public transport, which is always crowded with passengers.

But teenagers will appreciate all the delights of this magical city, learn a lot of new useful information about the history and culture of Turkey, its customs and traditions . Older children will remember this exciting journey for a long time.

Upon arrival, share with your family and friends not only your impressions, but also pleasant presents from Turkey. Kidpassage's article “What to bring as a gift from Istanbul: 21 oriental gifts for every taste” will help you avoid the torment of choosing souvenirs.


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