Visiting Istanbul in June will be one of your best travel experiences. This vast city, spread across Turkey’s Asian and European continents, was a pivotal point on the map throughout history. Decisions made here by the Byzantine and Ottoman empires shaped the course of history and led the city to the great metropolis that it is today. Given its importance, many people assume Istanbul to be the Capital of Turkey. It is not. Ankara is.
Yet Istanbul far outshines Ankara for tourism, education, health, business, leisure, arts, and culture. Visitors can never expect too much from the city because it delivers and offers much more at the same time. There are two airports in Istanbul. To visit the Asian side, book a flight to Sabiha Gokcen. Book a flight to the new Istanbul airport to visit the European side. But other than that, let’s look at what to know to plan the perfect trip in June to Istanbul.
Visiting Istanbul in June
1: Weather and Climate During June
June is a great month to visit Istanbul. Temperatures are not cold, but neither are they too hot to get active in the daytime. Average daytime temperatures are about 30 degrees, so pack those shorts and t-shirts. Night times are also cool enough to enjoy al fresco style dining. Perhaps try Bosphorus shore front restaurants to enjoy the city skyline at night.
2: Major Events in June
The hot event on everybody’s lips during June is the Istanbul Music Festival. Hosted by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, this prestigious classical music event is Turkey’s biggest and best. Having run annually for over 40 years, many artists have highlighted their skills and dedication to music. Featuring renowned orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, solo artists, and dance groups, book your ticket well in advance.
3: Shopping in Istanbul
As to expect from major cities, there are loads of places to spend your cash. For Istanbul’s equivalent of Rodeo drive, head to Bagdat avenue on the Asian side. This long street is Turkey’s most expensive shopping district, so do not expect to come home with any change. Streetside cafes and high-end bistros surround the high-end brand name shops, and while sitting there, the odd Lamborghini will probably drive by since Bagdat avenue also runs through the luxury Nisantasi district.
Otherwise, in the new part of Istanbul, Istiklal Avenue is Turkey’s longest street. Here you will find brand name shops and individual vendors. Break up the shopping by exploring the various landmarks of interest, including Flower Passage and the Saint Anthony of Padua church. Shopping malls also make good business, but we love old markets and bazaars where you can bargain like locals. Do put the Grand bazaar on your list of places to buy souvenirs.
- All about shopping in Turkish bazaars.
- The ten best markets in Istanbul.
- Guide to Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul
- The five best shopping malls in Istanbul
4: Food and Drink
Now is your chance to let your palette run wild by tasting your way around Istanbul. Restaurants on every corner serve every type of international cuisine, from sushi to Indian to Chinese and British. First, take this time to sample Turkish food in traditional restaurants known as lokantas. Tip 10% of the bill in restaurants depending on the service. Also try delicious street food. Street food sold during June includes corn on the cob, midye, jacket potatoes, and the honoured doner kebab. Finally, try Ayran, a traditional Turkish drink made from water, yoghurt, and salt.
5: Culture, History and Traditions
Istanbul is the perfect place for an introduction to Turkish culture, history, and traditions. Alongside tasting Turkish cuisine, there are many other things to do and places to go to get an insight into the Turkish daily life of locals. The perfect start is a Turkish bath, that as well as prepping the skin up for a golden tan, will relieve stress and anxiety so you can relax and enjoy your June holiday in Istanbul. Then, head to Pera museum on Istiklal avenue for art galleries, where the Tortoise trainer, Turkey’s most expensive painting ever sold, hangs. Next, the Jewish Museum in the Galata district talks about the history of Jews in Istanbul and how they contributed to society. While the military museum gives an insight into Ottomans and how they fought wars. Also, tour the Fener and Balat districts to see the old-fashioned houses.
- How to get cultured in Istanbul
- Top museums of Istanbul
- Everything to know about buying Turkish carpets
- Istanbul Street Art – Graffiti or Talent?
- Colourful Places in Istanbul
- Turkish hamam Delights
6: Experiencing Istanbul on a Budget
When it comes to city breaks in Istanbul, they can be expensive or as cheap as you like. Istanbul has this marvellous knack of accommodating everyone from five-star hotels to budget B&Bs. There are plenty of free things to do in Istanbul. The city’s ancient mosques are an excellent place to start because they are free to enter and give great insight into how Turks practise Islam. Also, tour city parks, and visit the Spice Bazaar and grand bazaar since they are free to enter. Find out which parks to visit and more about visiting Istanbul on a budget.
7: Sultanahmet District
The Sultanahmet district is the touristic hub of Istanbul. This is from where the Byzantine and Ottoman empires ruled their lands. Decisions that shaped events over the globe were made here. It is possible to see all the significant landmarks within one day, or to take sightseeing at slower, take two days. Places to visit include the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, once the world’s largest domed building. Around the corner, the Topkapi Palace was the Ottoman’s first ruling centre and includes exciting displays like the kitchens, circumcision rooms and relics room that contain the prophet Muhammad’s sword and staff. Also, see the Archaeology Museum, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome, and Turkish Islamic Art Museum.
- About the Topkapi palace in Istanbul
- About the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
- Guide to the Basilica Cistern of Istanbul
- What to do in the Fatih district
Other Articles About Istanbul
So, we hope we have given loads of inspiration for your visit to Istanbul in June. As you can see, from the parks to famous buildings, to things to do and places to go, Istanbul never fails to surprise. For more inspiration, check out the following.
- Exploring Beyoglu, the new part of Istanbul
- Upmarket districts of Istanbul to visit
- Places to see on the Asian side of Istanbul
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