Is December a good time to visit Turkey?

For sightseeing, relaxing in hamams, and drinking lots of pomegranate juice-yes, December is a good time to visit Turkey (and there is a good proof!)


If you enjoy chilly and possibly rainy weather, then yes, sure. Also I should note that the weather in different parts of Turkey varies, but I think I can generalize it to be chilly/cold, not a swimsuit weather. 

Plusses of December in Turkey:
  • Chilly or cold, probably rainy or snowy even
  • You can go to the ski resorts
  • Not a lot of tourism
  • Lower prices in touristic areas

Minuses of December in Turkey:
  • Chilly or cold, probably rainy or snowy even
  • A lot of holiday destinations have some sights, hotels or restaurants closed down for the winter
  • No sunbathing nor swimming
  • The streets and atmosphere in general are less lively and inspiring than in the summer (my personal opinion)

    I myself never recommend friends to visit Turkey in the winter, some might prefer spring & fall to summer, as the summer is quite hot - but I don't think I know anyone who would prefer winter.

It depends on where you travel to. If you go to the southern coasts of Turkey, it's not that cold, but the sea is not suitable for swimming. The other parts of Turkey is really cold. However, there are numerous of places that you can visit in winter, such as Uludağ, Palandöken and Kartalkaya ski centers.

If you only travel to Istanbul, its average weather is 8-10 °C, and it rains almost once every two days. Istanbul has a special kind of beauty in winters, especially when it snows (it happens rarely).
I visited Istanbul in January, in the middle of winter. Under the grey skies and barren trees, the mosques and churches and historical relics felt even more beautiful and moody. There were also less of a 'party' atmosphere and crowd, and less people hassling you in the streets to try and get you to buy things or come to their restaurant / hammam, and so on. Peaceful. Historic. Moody. But also bitterly cold.
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