45 Things to do this autumn in Istanbul 2024 to fall for

Find out the best things to do in Istanbul in autumn with our useful guide. As summer’s bright colors slowly fade, Istanbul’s beautiful autumn tapestry emerges, beckoning you to discover its charming streets, historic sites, and hidden gems. If you’re planning a visit Istanbul city during the fall season, you’re in for a treat. Here we’ll explore the top things to do this autumn in Istanbul truly unforgettable.

Table of Contents

Explore the Autumn Vibes of Istanbul

Explore Istanbul’s Historic Attractions

In the fall, the Historical Peninsula, which is Istanbul’s oldest populated area, comes to life. Start your day with a walk along the Golden Horn, and then see the whole Historical Peninsula. You can enjoy the charm of this historic area while you visit museums, historical sites, and local restaurants with unique tastes.

Sultanahmet

As the leaves change from green to brilliant shades of gold and crimson, embark on a journey through Istanbul’s historic heart – the Peninsula. Marvel at the Hagia Sophia, revel in the grandeur of the Topkapi Palace, and lose yourself in the intricate beauty of the Blue Mosque. The cool, crisp air of autumn adds a touch of magic to these iconic landmarks.

Families will have a blast exploring the city. These passes will allow sightseeing and savings at top attractions, making it a great choice for families.

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

City Walking Tour

Historical Pera Tour

Formerly known as Pera, today’s Beyoğlu has always been the heart of Istanbul. Its winding streets still hold countless stories and historical gems. On a pleasant autumn day, set out to explore Pera. Wander through the historic streets of Beyoğlu, the famous Istiklal Street, visit the many museums along the way, and discover the rich tapestry of this vibrant neighborhood.

Street Art Exploration in Karaköy

Karaköy, a trendy neighborhood, is a hub for street art enthusiasts. Stroll through its streets adorned with colorful graffiti and murals. Every corner holds a surprise, and you’ll find a fusion of contemporary art amidst Istanbul’s historic backdrop.

Walking around Fener-Balat

Discover the lesser-known but equally enchanting neighborhoods of Fener-Balat. Wander through their narrow, winding streets adorned with colorful houses and quaint cafes. These neighborhoods offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s artistic and multicultural heritage.

Walking from Ortaköy to Bebek

This is a wonderful coastal walk that offers magnificent views of the Bosphorus and some of Istanbul’s most attractive neighborhoods.

Having Breakfast by the Bosphorus

One of the most delightful things to do in Istanbul is to have breakfast by the Bosphorus. The city offers several lovely spots where you can enjoy a leisurely meal while gazing out at the beautiful strait.

Breakfast by the Rumeli Hisari Shore

A crisp Sunday morning, the scent of the sea, and you, sipping Turkish tea while gazing at the Bosphorus. Start your day early, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Rumeli Hisari shore, and then settle down at one of the delightful breakfast spots lining the coast. Enjoy a mouthwatering breakfast with a breathtaking view.

Tea and Simit in Çengelköy

Çengelköy, one of Istanbul’s most beautiful historical neighborhoods, is a delightful destination any time of year. To fully embrace autumn in Istanbul, visit Çengelköy’s seaside. Enjoy a traditional Turkish tea with crispy simit at the iconic Çınaraltı Çay Bahçesi, and then wander through the charming streets adorned with historic houses in nearby Kuzguncuk.


Ortaköy Waterfront Promenade and a Warm Cup of Tea

Conclude your autumn day with a leisurely stroll along the Ortakoy waterfront. The dazzling view of the Bosphorus Bridge at night is a sight to behold. Find a cozy cafe by the water, sip on a warm cup of Turkish tea, and watch as the city comes alive with lights, casting a mesmerizing spell over the waters.

Museum Visits

Istanbul is a treasure trove of history, having hosted various cultures over centuries. Take advantage of the quieter autumn days to visit the city’s numerous museums. Explore art, history, and culture while enjoying a culturally enriching weekend.

Istanbul Modern Art Museum and Coffee with a View

Art enthusiasts will find solace at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, where contemporary art takes center stage. After immersing yourself in the world of art, treat yourself to a cup of coffee while gazing at the sparkling sea. The museum’s location along the Bosphorus provides a serene backdrop for reflection and relaxation.

Rahmi Koç Museum and Miniaturk: A World of Mini Wonders

Located on the shores of the Golden Horn, the Rahmi Koç Museum is a delightful place to explore. This museum houses a fascinating collection of miniature vehicles, bicycles, machines, and more.

You’ll not only be entertained but also gain knowledge as you wander through this unique museum. Plus, it boasts a spacious and beautiful garden. Right nearby, along the Golden Horn, you’ll find Miniaturk, where miniature replicas of Turkey’s most iconic landmarks are on display.

Wander at Beautiful Parks

Autumn is the perfect time to explore Istanbul’s many beautiful parks and gardens. Visit the iconic Emirgan Park, where you can walk amongst the vibrant tulip fields or simply enjoy a leisurely picnic in the sun.

Visit Gulhane Park (Rose Garden) is one of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul for both tourists and locals, or visit Yildiz Grove, one of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul consists of many beautiful pools, waterfalls and ponds, as well as fascinating gardens and trees, or Fethi Pasha Groove, a great place to have a rest with your drink and watching the beautiful views of the city and the Bosphorus.

Gülhane Park: A Tranquil Retreat in Sultanahmet

As autumn blankets Sultanahmet Square, Gülhane Park transforms into a vibrant tapestry of colors. Beyond the historic charm of this part of the city, you’ll embark on a scenic journey that captures shades ranging from lush green to fiery reds and yellows.

Stroll through the park and embrace the breathtaking views. There is also a Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam in the park, a unique one in the world that worth a see.


Emirgan Grove Stroll

In the autumn, Istanbul’s mild, refreshing weather makes it perfect for exploring parks and groves. Wake up early on a Sunday morning and head to Emirgan Grove to immerse yourself in its lush greenery. After a delightful walk, indulge in a hearty breakfast and soak up the sea breeze at Emirgan coast.

Yıldız Park: A Serene Stroll in Ortaköy

For one of the most picturesque autumn walks, head to Yıldız Park in Ortaköy. Enjoy a leisurely walk amid the lush greenery, and consider having breakfast or sipping tea and coffee in one of the park’s charming pavilions.

If you continue your walk downhill from the park, you’ll reach Ortaköy. Explore artisan craft stalls and savor the refreshing Bosphorus breeze.

Sunset at Pierre Loti Hill

Pierre Loti Hill offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a cable car ride to the top and enjoy a cup of tea at the café named after the famous French novelist. As the sun sets over the Golden Horn, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of Istanbul.

Take a Unique Sightseeing Tour

Hop on the nostalgic tram along Istiklal Street for a different perspective of the city.

Or opt for a Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Tourist Bus Tour, a cheap way to discover and explore the popular zones of Istanbul which you just couldn’t walk to and see in one day.

The sightseeing bus runs every 30/60 minutes and lets you see the most popular popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of the city. And what is great that you can all do it in a couple of hours.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Hop On Hop Off Istanbul (best price, audio guide will lead you for all)
  2. 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary (top selling one)
  3. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Scenic Cruise (combo – good for both bus and cruise trip)
  4. Two Continents Evening Bus Tour with Commentary (evening bus tour is also fantastic)

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Hop-on Hop-off Bus?

For a twist, try a scenic Bosphorus Cruise, and learn about the city’s rich history and architecture while sailing between two continents.

Bosphorus Cruise

The Bosphorus strait, a lifeline of Istanbul, transforms into a masterpiece in the fall. Hop on a Bosphorus cruise and witness the city’s skyline adorned with hues of orange and red.

Bosphorus cruise

The cruises offer great views of Istanbul’s famous sites, and the cool breeze from the Bosphorus makes the experience even better. Take a tour on the Bosphorus during the day or at sunset during the spring in Istanbul.

Each offers a unique experience. From areas like Eminonu, Kabatas, Besiktas, or Ortakoy, you can take a tour boat and enjoy the sea breeze while taking in the fantastic views.

For a romantic and beautiful experience, choose a sunset cruise.

  1. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table (the best dinner cruise, over 12.000 reviews, check them and enjoy)
  2. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht 1 (the best sunset, on yacht, don't miss)
  3. Bosphorus on Yacht Cruise with Stopover on Asian Side (great with stopover at Kanlica, we highly recommend)
  4. Sunset or Daytime Yacht Tour w/AudioGuide & Snacks (superb yacht cruise)
  5. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht 2 (another great sunset, on yacht, don't miss)
  6. Bosphorus Luxury Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show (superb dinner cruise on a catamaran, don't miss!)
  7. All Inclusive Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Private Table (great dinner cruise, check it out)
  8. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht 3 (superb sunset, on yacht, don't miss)
  9. Maiden's Tower Ticket w/ Transfer & Audio Guide (cheapest price, the only Maiden's Tower fast track entry online ticket)

Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht

This is one of the best and the most attended Bosphorus cruises. 2,5 hours cruise on a 25 meters luxury yacht. It is made on a luxury yacht and has a badge of excellence with over 400 5/5 stars reviews on Viator, and 335 excellent reviews and stars on GetYourGuide.

  • Highlights: Complimentary drinks and canapés are provided while you sail, find out about the history of Istanbul’s landmarks from your on-board guide, a cruise for all seasons: set sail at any time of the year, weather permitting, set out from an easy-to-find waterfront meeting point near public transport
  • Includes: Professional tour guide, Light snacks, Cookies, Baklava, Fresh seasonal fruits platter, Homemade lemonade in the summer months, Fresh fruit juice in the winter months, Bottled water, Tea, Coffee, Small group cruise
  • Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Free cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance

Book Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht by Viator

Book Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht by GetYourGuide

Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

This is one of the best Bosphorus night cruises with dinner and entertainment. Take in sights of the Bosphorus on board a mega yacht. Enjoy the city view with a 3-course meal while you listen to live music and watch stage performances at private tables. You can easily see that this Mega Lufer Yacht sells the most and has over 10,000 five star reviews.

Hotel pickup and drop-off is from Sultanahmet, Taksim, Sirkeci, Sütlüce, Kağıthane, Kabataş, Eminönü, Şişli, Aksaray, Karaköy, Levent and Beyoğlu areas. Please wait in the hotel lobby 10 minutes before your scheduled pickup time.

Book Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

Discover the Asian Side: Üsküdar and Kadıköy

Cross the Bosphorus to explore Istanbul’s Asian side. In Üsküdar, visit the Maiden’s Tower and enjoy serene walks along the waterfront. Head to Kadıköy for a vibrant atmosphere filled with hip cafes, local markets, and a taste of contemporary Istanbul life.

Island Gateaway

The Princes’ Islands, which are stunning in every season, truly shine in the autumn. With fewer crowds and pleasant weather, it’s the perfect time to hop on a ferry and explore one of these enchanting islands. Rent a bicycle, explore the island at your own pace, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty.

Polonezköy Excursion

Venture to Polonezköy, where every shade of green comes to life during the autumn months. Enjoy a delightful breakfast or a barbecue at one of the charming spots in Polonezköy. Take a nature walk in the heart of the countryside and consider staying overnight in one of the cozy Polonezköy hotels for a unique experience.

Nature Walks

Istanbul’s forests are cool and vibrant in the autumn months. A leisurely nature walk is a perfect way to enjoy the autumn air and rejuvenate your mind. You can choose locations like Atatürk Arboretum or Belgrade Forest for such an adventure. With its variety of tree species and quaint ponds, Atatürk Arboretum is an ideal spot for walking!

Atatürk Arboretum: A Botanical Wonderland

Nestled along the Sarıyer Bahçeköy road lies the enchanting Atatürk Arboretum, a place where you can immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of flora. In my opinion, this is where you can capture the most stunning autumn landscape photographs. With its mesmerizing shades of red, yellow, and green, Atatürk Arboretum showcases the finest hues of autumn foliage.

Autumnal Hike at Belgrad Forest

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle with a trip to Belgrad Forest. A nature lover’s paradise, this serene forest is a haven of tranquility. Hike the trails, have a picnic by the serene lakes, and immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of nature.

Turkish Bath (Hamam) Experience

Indulge in a traditional Turkish bath, a time-honored ritual that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. There are many historical hammams in Istanbul where you can enjoy a relaxing steam bath and invigorating scrub by expert attendants.

Turkish Coffee and Fortune Telling

Experience the art of Turkish coffee. Sip this rich, flavorful brew in a traditional coffeehouse while chatting with locals. Then, have your fortune told by reading the coffee grounds left at the bottom of your cup, a fascinating glimpse into Turkish traditions.

Explore Outdoor Attractions

Miniaturk

Make your way to Miniaturk, an open-air miniature park. Get breathtaking views of Istanbul by climbing the historic Galata Tower or take a funicular ride up to Pierre Loti Hill for an unforgettable sunset.

Galata Tower

Taking the Cable Car to Pierre Loti Hill

Pierre Loti Hill offers a panoramic view of the Golden Horn. The cable car ride to the top is a fun experience, and once you’re there, you can enjoy a cup of tea at the famous Pierre Loti Café.

Watching Istanbul from Çamlıca Hill

Camlica Hill is the highest point in Istanbul, offering a breathtaking view of the city. It’s a fantastic spot to take in the city’s skyline and escape from the bustling city center.

Istanbul Autumn Festivals and Events

Top Venues

You can follow the calendar of exhibitions and events of our pick of top Istanbul venues from below.

Whirling Dervishes Show

Whirling Dervishes Show is one of the most visited Istanbul attractions with the tourists. It is because that this ceremony is a very unusual event for the tourists and when they hear about it, majority of them try to catch this one hour show and witness the miracle of the whirling dervishes.

There are two popular venues that you can watch this show. Book your tickets online in advance as they are selling out quickly.

Buy Whirling Dervishes Show Tickets at Hodjapasha Culture Center

Buy Whirling Dervishes Show Tickets at Orient Express Hall

Wanna learn more about Whirling Dervishes Show?

Unforgettable Music Experiences

Below festivals and events add an extra layer of excitement to your autumn adventure in Istanbul. Whether you’re indulging in art, music, literature, or the thrill of the marathon, Istanbul’s vibrant cultural scene ensures there’s always something captivating happening in the city during this enchanting season. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Istanbul’s autumn festivities.

Istanbul International Biennial (September – November)

For art enthusiasts, the Istanbul International Biennial is a must-visit event during the autumn season. Held every two years from September to November, this prestigious art exhibition showcases contemporary works by both Turkish and international artists.

Explore thought-provoking installations, paintings, and sculptures at various venues throughout the city, making it an ideal time to immerse yourself in Istanbul’s thriving art scene. More info on bienal.iksv.org/en

Enjoy Akbank Jazz Festival (October)

Jazz aficionados, get ready to groove to the rhythm of the Akbank Jazz Festival! Taking place annually in October, this festival transforms Istanbul into a hub of musical creativity.

Enjoy electrifying performances by world-class jazz musicians in venues across the city, from intimate jazz clubs to open-air stages. Let the soulful tunes and vibrant atmosphere infuse your autumn in Istanbul with a harmonious melody. More info on www.akbanksanat.com/en

Istanbul International Puppet Festival (October – November)

Prepare to be enchanted by the Istanbul International Puppet Festival, an annual event spanning October and November. This whimsical festival brings puppetry to life in the most imaginative ways.

Witness captivating puppet shows, from traditional marionettes to innovative modern creations. It’s a family-friendly event that will ignite your sense of wonder and make your autumn visit to Istanbul truly magical. More info on www.istanbulkuklafestivali.com/en/

Istanbul International Book Fair (November)

Bookworms and literary enthusiasts, mark your calendars for the Istanbul International Book Fair, held annually in November. This literary extravaganza gathers authors, publishers, and book lovers from around the world. Explore a treasure trove of books, attend book signings, and engage in stimulating discussions and literary events. Whether you’re a passionate reader or simply curious about the world of literature, this fair promises an enriching experience. More info on www.istanbulkitapfuari.com/en/

Istanbul Marathon

Experience the exhilaration of the Istanbul Marathon, a thrilling event that takes place in November. Join thousands of participants from around the globe as they run across the iconic Bosphorus Bridge, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-timer, the marathon offers various categories to suit different fitness levels. It’s an opportunity to be part of a monumental sporting event and witness the city’s energy and unity in motion. More info on www.maraton.istanbul

Venture into the Optical Illusion World at the Museum of Illusions

Interactive exhibits and optical illusions await at Museum of Illusions, perfect for a family outing.


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