Does it Snow in Istanbul?

It snows in the wintertime in Istanbul sometimes. Some years can pass by without snowing, whereas some years it snows flaky. Typically, the first snow of the season falls in December in Istanbul. 

Weather is one of the most important features of your holiday. Knowing the climate of your destination is highly important. To have a greater understanding of the snowing patterns in Istanbul, keep reading the following article.

When does it snow in İstanbul?

As I mentioned earlier, the first snow typically falls to Istanbul in December. However, January is the month that it most snows. 

How often does it snow in Istanbul?

Snow in İstanbul does not long for too many days. The average of the snowfall days in Istanbul is 3,7 days. In February, the average snowfall day in Istanbul is 2 days. The average snowfall day in December is 0.9 days. Overall, the average snowfall days in Istanbul yearly is 7.1 snowfall days.

How much snow does it fall in İstanbul?

The average snowfall in Istanbul is 49mm (1.93”) annually. Depending on which part of Istanbul you are in, the snowfall rate could increase or decrease.

How does İstanbul look like when it snows?

Istanbul looks magical when it snows. It is charming even without snow, and imagine İstanbul view while it is covered with the snow. The historical landmarks, religious buildings, and Istanbul in general looks in a way that feels as if it is from a fairy tale. Consider yourself lucky if you ever find yourself in İstanbul when it snows. The following are some of the places where it looks charming when it snows in Istanbul:

How cold does it get in İstanbul in the winter months?

Istanbul could be quite cold in the wintertime, but not in a crazy way. Insomuch that, if you are coming from a very cold climate, it might not even feel like it’s cold. But if you are from a warmer climate, then get ready for some cold. You can find the monthly average temperature, minimum and maximum temperature of Istanbul in the winter months.

(on Celcius)Min. temperatureMax. temperatureAverage temperature
December614.68.1
January3.810.26
February4.18.26.5

What should you be careful about when it snows?

The first mistake that most people do in snowy weather is putting their hands in their pockets. Yes, it can be very cold but if your hands are placed on your pocket, it decreases the possibility of holding onto somewhere if you happen to fall. So, putting on a pair of gloves is the best option for you to keep your hands warm in the snowy weather.

An important thing to take into consideration in snowy weather is the shoes. If you wear sneakers in snowy weather, the chances of you falling in the middle of the road would increase. Keep in mind to bring a pair of snow boots with you if you are planning to visit İstanbul in the wintertime.

If you fall even though you were extra careful, do not panic. Just try to not carrying your whole weight to the point you have fallen on, and get some help. You can ask for help from the people around you, or you can call 112, which is the emergency number in Turkey.

Top things to do when it snows in Istanbul

Snow can be lots of fun if you know how to have fun in it. Even though it is enough to just have a cup of Turkish coffee and watch the wonderful view of Istanbul covered with snow, some prefer to have fun with the snow to its fullest. The following are some of the best activities that you can have fun with your family, significant other, friends, or even by yourself.

Snow Halvah

If you grow up in a climate where it snows, I am sure that you have eaten snow earlier. If you did not, trying it is highly recommended, just to quench the curiosity. But, be extra careful about where did you pick the snow from. Opening your mouth to the sky and wait for the snowflakes to fall is the best option since there will not be any contact with the floor.

A fun way to eat snow is the snow halvah. It is something popular to do when it snows in Turkey, and you should give it a try if you do not have a sensitive stomach. Again, the place where did you pick up the snow is very important since it can be dirty if you do not pick it up from a safe place.

Making snow halvah is very easy. The only two things you need are snow and syrup of your choice. Then, you need to put the snow in a bowl and mix it with syrup. Afiyet Olsun!

Turkish Style Ski

Skiing might not be for everyone, and it can be quite expensive as well. Luckily, you can always get creative and ski with 2 easy steps in Turkey. 1, find a not too steep ramp (but steep enough for you to be able to ski), and a plastic bag. Then, it is just left to let yourself go from the top of the ramp. This does not work if the snow is too much and flaky, you need relatively less snow on the floor to be able to do this.

Nourishing Street Animals

Istanbul is quite rich in terms of street animals, and especially cats. They can get quite cold and hungry in the snowy weather. Getting a wooden cat house, coloring it by yourself, and placing some comfy and warm blankets in them could be the best thing for the street animals. Do not forget to put a cup of food and a cup of water for them. 

Frequently asked questions about snow in Istanbul

Snowy weather could be an important determinator for deciding where to travel. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about snow in Istanbul.

Does it snow in Istanbul?

Yes, but it does not long too long and it does not snow every year.

Can snow block my plans in Istanbul?

It can, but it would not last for too long since the snow does not last too long in Istanbul.

Is it too cold in Istanbul in the wintertime?

Istanbul can be pretty cold, but the temperature rarely falls below 0.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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