Life in Istanbul

Istanbul, sitting in two continents: Europe and Asia, is the historic crossroads between East and West, a city of minarets, palaces and the sea, a world city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Istanbul is a vibrant, modern city where rich past coexists alongside a youthful energy and melt in a unique pot. Climbing the hills around the Golden Horn and overlooking the Bosporus, the city is filled with the wonders of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, from the Topkapi Palace where the sultans led a truly decadent lifestyle, to Hagia Sophie – part cathedral, part mosque and totally breathtaking. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul still remains the country's cultural and business center. Today the kind of indulgent lifestyle fills the entire city. Istanbul has some of the coolest bars and clubs as well as a treasure trove of shopping and delicious cuisine.

Climate & Temperatures

Summer, from mid-July to mid-September, is hot and often humid. Average daily highs are around 28°C, with especially in August peaks over 30°C.

Fall or autumn lasts until the end of October, sometimes even mid-November. Temperatures are most of the time back to normal levels (23°C). However, one day can be hot and dry, while the next can be much cooler (15°C) with short but intense rain showers.

Winters are cold, with average day temperatures between 4°C and 12°C. Snow showers are rare, but it rains frequently

Useful Apps

We recommend you to download some applications onto your phones to make the life easier for you in İstanbul.

Getting around: Trafi, Mobiett, Yandex and İBB Ceptrafik, Bitaksi, Martı

Order-in: Yemeksepeti, Trendyol, Getir

Public, National and Religious Holidays in Turkey

January 1st New Year’s Day (Yılbaşı) – National Holiday – First day of the New Year.

April 23rd National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Eğemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) – National Holiday – Commemoration of the first opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (1920). Dedicated to the children.

May 1st Labor and Solidarity Day (Emek ve Dayanışma Günü) – National Holiday.

May 12th Sugar Feast’s Eve (Ramazan Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day.

Sugar Feast / Eid al-fitr (Ramazan Bayramı) Religious Holidays – Three and a half day festival to celebrate the end of fasting (Ramadan) where plenty of sweets are eaten. Being based on the lunar calendar, the dates of Eid al-fitr change each year.

May 19th Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı) – National Holiday – The arrival of Atatürk in Samsun in 1919, the beginning of the War of Independence. Dedicated to the youth.

July 15 Democrasy Day – National Holiday – Celebrating foiled coup attempt.

Feast of the Sacrifice/ Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayramı) Religious Holidays – Four and a half day festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor.

August 30th Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) – National Holiday – Victory over the allied forces during the final battle in Dumlupınar in 1922, ending the War of Independence. Dedicated to the armed forces.

October 6th Liberation of Istanbul (İstanbul’un Kurtuluşu) – Regional Holiday – Anniversary of the liberation of Istanbul by Turkish armed forces during the War of Independence.

October 28th Republic Day’s Eve (Cumhuriyet Bayramı Arifesi) – National Holiday – ½ day.

October 28th & 29th Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

International Research University With Applied Studies