To explore Istanbul in March marks the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, an ideal time of year. This perfect month sees warm temperatures, and good value hotel and flight tickets. Additionally, fewer crowds at main attractions, enhance your visit. While night times are still cold, sunshine signals rising temperatures as the month of March progresses. However, check weather forecasts to know what to pack since the weather can be unpredictable with rain and might even snow on an ad-hoc year.
For first time visitors, head to Sultanahmet square. Home to famous landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, they can all be seen within a day; however, go slower and see them over two days. After doing this, we listed more of our favourites activities to do in March. Most involve getting into the great outdoors away from museums, simply because the city starts to awake from its dormant winter state to celebrate upcoming months.
About Istanbul in March
1: Famous Buildings in Istanbul
Istanbul's buildings stand out for architectural excellence, whether historical or modern. From churches to Ottoman palaces to giant skyscrapers that capture global attention. Touring these buildings gives a great insight into Istanbul, both past and present. This article suggests top buildings to see and why they rank as prominent hotspots. They include Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Chora church, Istanbul Sapphire, the Blue Mosque, Galata tower, and Maiden's Tower. Read more about them here.
2: Visit Colourful Places in Istanbul
Since March heralds Spring, vibrant colours of Mother Nature are everywhere, but humans also put their colourful touches on Istanbul. After all, no one wants to live in a drab urban landscape of dull colours. So, we listed places to go, with vibrant colours that make these landmarks stand out. From famous urban steps to street art, add some vibrancy into your tours around Istanbul. 5 Colourful Places in Istanbul.
3: The Best Fountains of Istanbul
Many people, when visiting Istanbul, walk straight past old fountains and think nothing of it. Yet, these landmarks tell a colourful tale from Ottoman days, when they supplied locals with much-needed water, especially on hot days. At one time, there were nearly 1000 fountains where locals also washed before entering the mosque. Unfortunately, many fell into disrepair, but local councils saved others by updating and reinforcing their structure. As a result, they are free to see and gain insight into Istanbul's history, so spot these seven favourite fountains while walking around Istanbul.
4: Upmarket Districts During March
The beauty of Istanbul city is diverse, from hip and trendy areas to historical quarters with tales to tell. However, Istanbul also does luxury with style, and specific neighbourhoods emphasise luxury living in Istanbul. From trendy street-side cafes to international, luxury brand name shops to art galleries with priceless pieces on display. These districts attract their fair share of international buyers who want to own real estate in a leading and forward-thinking city. From Bagdat avenue to Besiktas, these five exclusive residential neighbourhoods perfectly portray luxury living in Turkey.
5: Explore the Best of Asian Istanbul
Many first-time visitors to Istanbul explore the European side, which is fantastic, but more districts await them. Repeat visitors, and those buying property in Istanbul, also get to know the Asian side, which presents a different face to this vast global metropolis. Reached by ferry cruise from the European side, or via the famous Bosphorus Bridge, spend a day exploring favourite Asian neighbourhoods. While there, also seek out the Kuzguncuk old quarter, which brims with old, nostalgic Ottoman houses. More about Asian Istanbul.
6: Green Parks of Istanbul
So as winter weather edges away, Istanbul's parks fill with tourists eager to seek out the best green spaces where Mother Nature rises from her dormant sleep. Leaves appear on trees, and flowers bloom, making this month the best time to enjoy a park picnic. It might surprise many people that Istanbul has many parks, yet traditionally, the city kept them from Ottoman times, when sultans needed somewhere to hunt and ride. From Emirgan to Yildiz to Gulhane, here are suggestions of which parks in Istanbul to seek out. If your trip extends into April, also enjoy the annual tulip festival.
7: A Turkish Bosphorus Trip
An essential part of getting to know Istanbul is the Bosphorus. For centuries, empires battled to gain control of this strategic 19-mile stretch of water connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara. The best neighbourhoods along the Bosphorus give a great insight into Istanbul past and present. From old, wooden mosques to the traditional, millionaire Yali mansions, the cheapest way to see the landmark buildings is via ferry. If you have more time, walk around prominent neighbourhoods. We love exploring and finding the hidden delights of the Bosphorus, so we collected our tips and advice on what to see here.
8: Family-Friendly Istanbul
Parents need to keep kids occupied and entertained during this season. After all, the famous saying goes, if the kids are happy, the parents are delighted. You might think, given Istanbul's vast urban landscape that is all about fast-paced adult activities, that are either not suitable for kids or would bore them. However, Istanbul does an excellent job of keeping kids entertained through these 18 kid friendly activities to do all year round.
9: Time to Visit Istiklal Avenue
Many tourists explore the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, which is great because it portrays, Istanbul's bygone eras as the leading seat for both the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. However, to see the new part of Istanbul and why it ranks as Turkey's top shopping and nightlife district, cross over the Golden Horn to Istiklal Avenue, a long street in the Beyoglu district connecting the Taksim and Galata neighbourhoods. Along the trip, discover some hidden gems like Flower Passage and French Street.
10: The Season for Food Experiences
Of course, Istanbul is about more than famous buildings and tourist attractions. March is the best time to visit Turkey's culinary delights. Istanbul's colourful history and strategic position in the world ensures the city is just one big melting pot for global foods. So whether it is five-star gourmet restaurants to street food sold by vendors, put aside your culinary preferences and discover new tastes alongside the traditional flavours of Turkey. Try our favourite foods and restaurants for yourself during this season in Istanbul.
11: Popular Instagram Spots in Istanbul
The days of collecting travel photo albums are over. These days, social media sites remind us of our best vacations, where we went and what we saw. Mobile phones also do a marvellous job of capturing the best travel pictures for memories. Certain spots in Istanbul stand out as Instagram friendly for great photos to impress your family and friends back home. So, we list them in this article, talk about why they are photogenic hotspots and tips for taking seasonal Instagram pictures in Turkey.
12: Shopping Malls in Istanbul
Renowned throughout Turkey as shoppers' havens, boutique, and brand name shops, promote their latest ranges and flout some excellent bargains and discounted sales in these large shopping malls. Some are centrally located, and others are on the outskirts. Some are fashion centres while others feature speciality shops for more distinguished niches. Our suggested places include the Mall of Istanbul, Forum Istanbul, Legoland discovery centre, Sea Life Aquarium, Joy Park, Akmerkez Shopping Mall, Istinye Park, and Istanbul Cevahir, with 300 stores 2500 parking spaces. More about shopping malls.
13: Souvenirs to Take Home
Souvenirs are reminders of the best times on our travels. They remind us of the people we meet, the places we go, and ultimately, our enjoyment. Nobody visits Istanbul and hates it. Despite the fast-paced daily life, the city has a nostalgic charm that captures everyone's heart. So, to take a piece home, we've listed our favourite souvenirs from carpets to Turkish delight to jewellery and ceramics. We also talk about the best places to buy souvenirs when visiting Istanbul in March.
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