Winter sets in Istanbul from mid December to mid March, and the temperature is generally below 10 degrees Celcius. Although there are sunny days most of the time the sky is gray. It snows for a week and leaves the city in a picturesque view. However this doesn’t mean that the life stops , just goes on in a little different way. Istanbul is a four-season city so you do not need to worry about attractions, sight seeing etc. Everything is up and runs in normal schedule during winter too..
December is one of the most pleasant months of the winter, as the whole city is dressed up with new year’s decorations .You can see people shopping for the new year and feel the festive atmosphere in the city.
If you travel to Istanbul in winter then you will face less crowd at the sights, have more time to enjoy museums. On the other hand there are also a few things that you can only do in winter. Here are a few examples of things you can do in winter in Istanbul.
Eat fish and drink Raki !. The fishing season resumes at the end of September, so there will be more variety and better quality of fish. Lüfer is the best fish seasonal fish and it is endemic to Bosphorus. You can find may fish restuarants in Kumkapı which is very close to Sultanahmet area.
Drink Salep and/or Boza ! Salep is a traditional Turkish hot drink, made of root orchid, hot milk and cinnamon sprinkle on the top. You can find in many coffee shops, street vendors as it is consumed a lot by Turkish people during winter time.. Boza, is a fermented non-alcoholic drink made from seasonal cereals like wheat, millet, chick-pea and sugar, yoghurt ferments, vanilla. Fermentation lasts five days, and after that it is consumed with cinnamon sprinkles on.. The most popular Boza Shop, is Vefa Bozacısı located in Vefa district. The shop is open for 130 years and it is the best Boza producer in Turkey. You can find their branches in Eminonu which is only ten minutes walking distance from Sultanahmet.
Have a Turkish Bath !. You can have a good hamam (Turkish Bath) experience at one of the historical baths in Sultanahmet area. You can relax on the belly stone, get a scrubbing and then a soap massage, come back to you hotel ans sleep like a baby..
Do snow skiing !
Istanbul has a very great location that makes it close to everything… The popular skii resorts Kartepe and Uludag are very close to Istanbul , so you can do a day trip those places and do some snow skiing, or snow board. You can enjoy the beauty of the snow and get bck to your hotel in Sultanahmet in the evening…