Last Updated on: 26th February 2024, 03:12 pm

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Dolmabahce Palace - one of the things to see in Istanbul

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour​

  • ⦿ Flexible daily itineraries: Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome Square, German Fountain, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar. Day 2 – Bosphorus Cruise by Public Ferry, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside), Spice Market. Day 3 – Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill by Cable Car, Rahmi Koc Museum (or alternative sites)
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Istanbul in April is a wonderful, colorful experience. Blossoming trees, flowers everywhere, and the mild, sunny weather make Istanbul a wonderful destination for the month of April.

This article lists a few of the reasons for visiting Istanbul in April, together with a list of the best things to do in this impressive Turkish city during spring.

Before we begin, check out my Istanbul 3-day itinerary to see what you can do in such a short time.

Tulips Festival in Istanbul

The International Tulips Festival in Istanbul is one of the main reasons why April is the best month to visit this city

Why April is a Great Time to Visit Istanbul

April is one of the best times to visit Istanbul for several reasons:

Mild Weather

The weather is mild and pleasant – daytime temperatures average around 60°F (15°C) and it’s before the summer heat sets in.

You can comfortably enjoy sightseeing outdoors.

Evenings are a bit chill, though. Wear layers to feel comfortable throughout the entire time.

Flowers Everywhere

Spring flowers like tulips and lilacs bloom across the city, adding pops of color.

Parks and gardens like Gulhane Park and Yildiz Park are especially beautiful. Also, historical palaces such as Topkapi and Dolmabahce showcase spring blossoms all around their walls.

Between April 1st and April 30th Istanbul celebrates The International Tulip Festival. The city is dressed up in hundreds of thousands of tulips in all shapes, sizes and colors.

I was fortunate to visit Istanbul in April, during the Tulip Festival. It was a delight, you can take my word for it!

Fewer Tourists

Far fewer tourists visit in April compared to the packed summer months.

Attractions, museums and public spaces are less crowded, hotel rates are lower, and you’ll have a more relaxed experience.

Lower Prices

Prices are still low compared to the high season. Flights, hotels, tours and attractions can all be booked for less than you’d pay in summer.

Potential Downsides of an April Visit

While April is ideal in many ways, keep these potential downsides in mind:

– Istanbul can still get rain showers in April. Come prepared with an umbrella and rain jacket.

You don’t know what to do in Istanbul on a rainy day? Go visit The Basilica Cistern! It is one of the most amazing pieces of history ever.

– Some attractions may have shorter opening hours compared to summer. Check schedules in advance.

– The water can still be too cold for swimming in the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea. However, who goes to Istanbul to swim? This has never crossed my mind.

– There’s a chance of catching the tail end of winter weather with cooler temperatures or wind. Pack layers.

Top Activities and Attractions in April

Here are some of the best things to do in Istanbul in April.

blue mosque sultanahmet camii istanbul

The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) should be part of your April visit to Istanbul

Visit Sultanahmet Square

Sultanahmet Square is the place to start your first Istanbul visit from.

Or your second one.

Here you can find Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, The Basilica Cistern, The Obelisk of Theodosius, The Column of Constatine, The Serpentine Column, and The German Fountain.

Sultanhament Square is a great place to relax and enjoy some people watching time while sipping a cup of coffee or tea.

Red tram Istanbul

Stroll Along Istiklal Street

Istiklal street starts in the neighborhood of Galata, at Tunel Square and it ends by Taksim Square. It is a pedestrian-only street. The red trams are the only vehicles allowed on Istiklal street.

The beautiful Otoman style buildings along both sides of this iconic street make it extremely photogenic.

Search for Cicek Pasaji, a covered passage featuring Art Nouveau architectural elements.

Read my article about things to see on Istiklal Street.

Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight

Genuine Turkish coffee comes with two pieces of Turkish Delight – Only in Istanbul

Enjoy the Parks on the European Side of Istanbul

Emirgan Park is an absolute must during the International Tulips Festival. You’ll love the sight of all of these lovely tulips.

Right near Topkapi Palace, you’ll find Gulhane Park.

Last but not least, Yildiz Park is well-worth a visit during April.

Hone Your Haggling Skills in the Grand Bazaar

The vaulted ceilings through this massive covered market are an amazing work of art.

I love haggling, particularly in Turkey, where merchants can’t wait to do it.

The Grand Bazaar is only one of the covered markets in Istanbul, and probably the most expensive one. I know it is a tourist trap, but I still like it.

Climb Some Hills for Panoramic Views of Istanbul

Pierre Loti Hill and Camlica Hill offer two excellent panoramic views of the city, and particularly of the Golden Horn.

 

– Row a boat on the Bosphorus Strait and take in the beautiful waterway.

– Stroll down historic Istiklal Street for dining, shopping and people watching.

– Visit the Istanbul Archaeology Museums to see ancient Greek, Roman and Ottoman artifacts.

istanbul cat april

Lazy cat enjoying a sunny April afternoon in Istanbul

So in summary, April provides ideal sightseeing conditions and lower prices, making it a great time to soak up the magic of Istanbul! The potential for rain or cooler weather is a small trade-off for missing the crowds.

 

Violeta Matei