Istanbul in August

(25 Posts)
LondonSuperTrooper Tue 05-Jan-16 00:13:53

Has anyone been to Istanbul in August? Will it be unbearably hot?

AgentProvocateur Tue 05-Jan-16 00:43:45

Yes, and yes. But despite the heat, it was fabulous.

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 05-Jan-16 06:27:57

Thanks for your reply. Were the local beaches any good? I'm seriously thinking of going there but I'll have a 9 yo and a 1 yo and hence the hesitation.

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Jan-16 06:33:17

"Local beaches"? Where do you intend to stay?

Bunbaker Tue 05-Jan-16 06:35:38

Istanbul is not a beach destination. It is a busy and crowded city - not somewhere I would want to take a one year old to in August.

exLtEveDallas Tue 05-Jan-16 06:42:14

I hated Istanbul in August - and I love super hot sunny holidays. The heat felt oppressive because it's really humid and the pollution seemed much worse than when I went earlier in the year.

Dollius01 Tue 05-Jan-16 06:43:10

Istanbul is vey hot and sticky in August. There are beaches on the Black Sea coast but they are very windy and swimming is dangerous because of the strong rip tide.

The Princes Islands, easy ferry ride, are lovely but not much in the way of beaches and extremely crowded in summer as everyone tries to flee the heat of the city.

I would visit Istanbul in the autumn or Spring if I were you and, yes, not really a beach destination. Extraordinary city though.

happystory Tue 05-Jan-16 07:25:09

I speak from experience, it will be unbearably hot. I wouldn't take a one year old sorry.

Fugghetaboutit Tue 05-Jan-16 07:34:33

The smog would also be bad from cars.

I would avoid in August and July. Spring time is lovely as is September

AgentProvocateur Tue 05-Jan-16 07:43:21

I didn't go to any beaches. I would class it as an adult place - walked for miles and miles, visiting mosques, markets etc. Not sure I'd take a 1 year old or a 9 year old. What about Rome? City with access to the coast. That would maybe be better.

DragAct Tue 05-Jan-16 09:06:51

I would also avoid it in high summer because of the air pollution and humidity, though it's a lovely city to visit - not a beach destination, though. Are you confusing it with another part of Turkey? Istanbul is fabulous for art, culture, historic palaces, mosques/churches, museums, eating out etc etc. it might be rather overwhelming for a baby, and when I was last there, lots of the pavements were disastrous, meaning pushing a pushchair wouldn't be much fun.

DesertOrDessert Tue 05-Jan-16 09:21:24

Don't think I'd do Rome in August either, Agent both Istanbul and Rome are amazing places, but not in the height of summer, and probably not with a 1 yr old!

Turkish beaches, down on the South coast are lovely, if hot. There is still lots of culture and souks if your selective in where you fly to.

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 05-Jan-16 19:57:35

Thanks for your replies. Yes I meant Istanbul. My understanding is that there are beaches 15-20km from the city.
Dessert, I'd like a bit of culture & will not tolerate a beach holiday for 10 days. Where would you recommend?

Bunbaker Tue 05-Jan-16 20:07:56

"and when I was last there, lots of the pavements were disastrous"

Yes, they were when we went. I wouldn't want to walk around with a pushchair.

If you want beach and culture what about Northern Spain or the seaside resorts near Lisbon?

Stillunexpected Tue 05-Jan-16 20:49:33

Why Turkey? There are many closer places which would offer a mix of culture and beach at that time of year without the excessive heat, smog and crowds of Istanbul. What about Barcelona? Or Lisbon? Although everywhere is going to be hot in August. If you really want to go to Turkey, what about going somewhere like Cesme? Admittedly, it's been years since I was there but you could fly to Izmir and do trips to Ephesus and Pammukale, for instance. It'll all take quite a lot of organising beforehand though and with your children the age they are I'd personally pick somewhere a bit easier and closer to home.

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Jan-16 21:04:28

OP - I have lived in Istanbul for many years and never been to a beach anywhere near the city, nor have I known anyone who has. Istanbul is HUGE so "15-20 kms from the city" means nothing. If you are 15 km from a beach in Istanbul, you will be so far from the city centres (modern OR historical) that it will take you many hours to get anywhere you could possibly want to go.

I wouldn't recommend going to Istanbul in August, anyway, even if you didn't intend for it to be a beach holiday. Except if you will be staying in a good hotel with a great pool, for example, in which case you can chill by the pool with the kids when the sun is high then sightsee in the afternoon, leave them with a babysitter in the evening and go out with your DH to the fantastic open-air restaurants & clubs on the Bosphorus Sea. That would be fun.

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Jan-16 21:10:53

"what about going somewhere like Cesme? Admittedly, it's been years since I was there but you could fly to Izmir and do trips to Ephesus and Pammukale, for instance"

Aside from the complete insanity of visiting Ephesus in August when it will be baking under the sun, it is a 2-hour drive from Çesme. Pamukkale is 4 hours away by car and will take you an eternity by bus. I wouldn't recommend either.

LondonSuperTrooper Wed 06-Jan-16 14:42:52

Thanks so your reply and info. Ok, so Istanbul is non-goer for August. Need to think of something else now hmm

chemenger Wed 06-Jan-16 14:50:12

A complete contrast, but Stockholm is lovely in August, does have easy access to beaches and has enough city type attractions to keep you all amused. Great public transport; you could stay out on an island and commute in by ferry very easily. The downside is that it is expensive, relative to Turkey.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Thu 07-Jan-16 17:20:32

Istanbul is a beautiful city but it will be very hot in August, Spring is a much better time to go.

Why not go to the South of Turkey, there is still plenty of culture and it will still be hot but it will be breezy and the sea air will make it nicer.

P1nkP0ppy Thu 07-Jan-16 17:29:36

I wouldn't go to the coast either in August! Temperatures frequently exceed 40° and the breezes are like a blast furnace, definitely not refreshing and for children it's a nightmare trying to keep them cool (far too hot to be out in the sun).

Dollius01 Fri 08-Jan-16 08:50:44

Hello Cote, I live in Istanbul too and lots of people go to the beaches on the Black Sea in the summer. Bit windy for my liking, but wrong to say nobody goes. Some lovely places on the Asian side. However a good hour away if like most tourists you stay on European side.

I would also recommend çesme. Alaçatı is lovely. Fly to Izmir and its 30 mins from there.

CoteDAzur Fri 08-Jan-16 10:21:11

Hi - I didn't and couldn't say "nobody goes" as it's been over a decade since I lived in Istanbul. I can only say that I have never been to a beach while living in Istanbul and don't know anyone who went to beaches on the Black Sea coast. I've been to the islands and that was fun, although I can't say I saw great beaches there, either. At least back in those days, it was a bit boat-centred around the islands.

I guess it depends on where you live in Istanbul, as well: It would have probably taken me less time and effort to fly South to a proper beach destination than drive for hours to what passes for a beach on the Black Sea coast. And that is what I often did. I have friends who just booked flights for every weekend of summer, leaving Istanbul on Friday night and coming back on Sunday night.

Re Çesme/Alaçati - It is a place I know well, but would not recommend OP because she wants to be able to visit historical sites during her holiday and there just isn't anything of that sort around there. Ephesus, Pergamon, etc are extremely hot under the summer sun and even getting there will be a problem with two kids in tow - yes, she can rent a car but driving in Turkey can be very scary even when you know the way, and if there is anything worse than a day out with kids that involves taking multiple busses over many hours in a foreign country where you don't speak the language, frankly I don't want to know about it smile

How is life in Istanbul these days? Traffic was already unbearable in my day when population was 12 million. I hear it's now 14 million. I hope you are enjoying it.

Bunbaker Fri 08-Jan-16 14:05:29

The traffic was unbearable when I went to Istanbul in 1979!

We stayed in the Bebek area and found it quicker to get a ferry in than getting a bus.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 08-Jan-16 18:12:10

We go to the south coast most years in August and yes, it is hot but my children cope fine PinkPoppy.

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