What to visit in Istanbul in the winter, especially if the weather is quite cold. Although it rarely snows, it doesn’t last long. It remains only on the roofs of mosques and buildings. The easiest and safest way to get to this metropolis is by plane. The roads are also very good, most of them are highways. But back to the city itself. We will not go into details about when it was created and what its history was. We will focus specifically on only the biggest historical landmarks that you can visit for a weekend.
- Excursion to the Princes Islands
- Watergarden Mall Istanbul
- Taksim Square
- Dolmabahçe Palace
- Palace Sailing on the Bosphorus
- Sapphire skyscraper
- The Egyptian market
- Hagia Sophia
- Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Excursion to the Princes Islands, an archipelago of nine islands in an hour and a half by boat across the Marmara Sea. You can walk to four inhabited islands by bike for a few hours and drink coffee on the beach. Enjoy the view of the Bosphorus. There are additional walks, but they are if you have more time.
Watergarden Mall Istanbul, in our opinion, nothing special as an attraction, because most shops are empty and the fountains are not working. If by chance there are tourists, they release them in an abbreviated version, which you will not like in the winter. Summer may be beautiful, but that’s another topic.
Dolmabahçe Palace is one of the most beautiful in all of Turkey. Built according to the original projects of the Armenian family Balyan. It was the residence of six sultans, and later of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk himself. He dies here, and even the clock in the room stops just then. The interior and exterior are a mixture of baroque, rococo and neoclassical styles. You can also notice typical elements in the decoration of Muslims. There are several types of entrance tickets (main part, the sultan’s harem or the whole palace). The guide is paid extra.
Which sights we visited in Istanbul in the winter
The Sapphire Skyscraper, the tallest building in Istanbul in the winter. It is 261 meters high with exquisite design and shape. There is a 4D cinema that will show you a virtual helicopter tour. You sit in one seat and watch many special effects and sightseeing of the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Church, Hippodrome and more. A unique experience.
The Hagia Sophia Mosque is huge and well decorated, although some of the frescoes are in poor condition. There is a lot of moisture in the dome. As you have to enter the mosque barefoot, you will notice that the floor is damp and the mosque itself is not heated in winter. We noticed the same thing in the Blue Mosque, which is currently under renovation on January 23, 2022.
The Egyptian market, I highly recommend it to all tourists and lovers of sweets. There is a great variety of Turkish delight, halva and spices. Vendors everywhere offer to try their products. They make good tea for free again. There are also many roasted and raw nuts. Prices are low and you can buy many different types of hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts. If you want to buy baklava, we recommend Koska confectionery factory. The best time to visit Istanbul is April and May, when the tulip festival is. We will write about them in the next travelogue. In winter you do not have many options for touring, because the weather is cold and humid.