Finally the sunny days and spring in Istanbul, longer and warmer days. April is the liveliest month in Istanbul as the winter ended and people take them out for parks, gardens, excursion, festivals, events, and with an average temperature of 16°C and precipitation 46 mm. The temperature gradually rises through the month.
City Life & Weather
The city becomes lively on the shore, outdoor cafes and terrace bars, enjoying the weather, parades and festivals. Great for strolling and exploring in the city. We recommend you to take the most attractions in the weekdays as locals go out for sightseeing in the weekends. There will be lots of music concerts, festivals and art exhibitions in Istanbul in April, so you should keep your eye on them as well.
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.
The sun is mild, the weather has cooled down but still it is not time for summer dressings. You can enjoy sunny and clear days. But April also has rainfall mostly in the afternoons. We recommend you to bring shorts, dresses, t-shirts for warm afternoons, long pants for cooler nights and light coat in case of rainfalls.
The days are longer enough, the sun set around 19:20. (Average Max Temp.: 16°C – Average Max Temp.: 8°C)
Public holidays, Festivals & Events
- Istanbul Tulip Festival (April, in Emirgan Park)
- Istanbul International Film Festival (film, April)
- National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (National holiday) (23rd of April)
You can follow the calendar of exhibitions and events of our pick of top Istanbul venues from below.
- Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Beyoglu (art, exhibition, film)
- Pera Museum in Taksim (art, exhibition, film)
- Sakip Sabanci Museum in Emirgan (art, exhibition, film)
- Salon IKSV in Beyoglu (concert)
- Bomontiada in Sisli (concert, theater)
- Akbank Sanat in Taksim (art, exhibition, film, concert)
- Zorlu PSM in Besiktas (concert, musical)
Istanbul’s April Top 10 Attractions
Things to do in Istanbul are endless and it is not possible to mention all the best attractions in Istanbul. We just put together below the most fascinating ones that best suit for April. We also recommend you check out our Istanbul attractions opening hours & admissions, one day Istanbul itinerary or 3 day Istanbul itinerary to have a better idea before you plan your days in Istanbul.
1. Historic Day Out in Sultanahmet
For the ones who are a true enthusiast of history and want to see the city’s historic sites, we highly recommend you to visit and see Sultanahmet neighborhood. It is the best way to get the most out of the city’s sights, sounds, and scents.
No Regrets Booking Advice
Sultanahmet hosts about all of the most visited historical and tourist sites in Istanbul, such as the Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome), Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Archaeology Museums and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts are situated here and all can be explored by walking.
Explore the Grandeur of Hagia Sophia
As the former basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum, Hagia Sophia stands as an architectural marvel and symbol of Istanbul’s rich history. In September, explore this iconic structure, which has once again been converted into a mosque, and admire its intricate mosaics, grand domes, and awe-inspiring interior.
- Visit early in the morning to avoid long queues.
- Dress modestly and be respectful of the mosque’s customs.
Wander the Historic Sultanahmet Square
Sultanahmet Square is the heart of Istanbul’s historic district, home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Stroll through the square to witness the majesty of the Blue Mosque, the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia, and the captivating allure of the Hippodrome.
- Engage with friendly locals and enjoy authentic street food.
- Explore the historic district on foot to savor its unique atmosphere.
Uncover the Secrets of Topkapi Palace
Delve into the opulent history of the Ottoman Empire at Topkapi Palace. This sprawling palace complex offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of sultans and the treasures they amassed. In September, explore the palace’s exquisite courtyards, ornate rooms, and the legendary Harem.
- Allocate several hours for your visit to fully appreciate the palace.
- Don’t miss the breathtaking views from the palace terraces.
2. Enjoy the International Film Festival
Istanbul’s International Film Festival is 12 days long film festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV). You can discover and enjoy remarkable local and international films in competition, at the several culture centers and cinemas in the Beyoglu and Kadikoy districts. Other highlights include, various activities and workshops throughout the city. Tickets will be on sale late March, and will be available for online purchase as well through Biletix channels. More information on film.iksv.org/en
3. Embrace the Bosphorus Beauty: Take a Bosphorus Cruise
Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait is a mesmerizing natural wonder that weaves through the city, separating Europe and Asia. In September, take a leisurely Bosphorus cruise to soak in the stunning views of historic palaces, grand mansions, and the enchanting Maiden’s Tower. You’ll witness the city’s unique blend of modernity and tradition from a different perspective.
This is a popular, unique and fantastic forms of entertainment and sightseeing during your Istanbul stay. It is also one of the best ways to discover and enjoy the most beautiful sights and sounds of the city over the sea.
You’ll be able to explore the city at your own pace on board of the boat, and enjoy all the famous landmarks on the Boshphorus such as Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, Rumeli Fortress, Maiden’s Tower and the Bosphorus Bridge.
- Choose a sunset cruise for an extra touch of magic.
- Opt for a private yacht tour for a more intimate experience.
Most Attended & Recommended:
We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.
4. Tour city on Double Decker Tourist Bus
Istanbul Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is 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.
The city 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.
Most Attended & Recommended:
We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.
5. Enjoy the Tulip Festival (annual, last 3 weeks of April)
Tulips are very important for the Ottoman Empire and Turkish culture. And to celebrate both spring and this fact, this annual festival takes place at the city’s most famous parks, such as the Gulhane Park in Sirkeci, Sultanahmet Square in Sultanahmet, Yildiz Park in Besiktas, Emirgan Park in Emirgan in the European side, and Fethi Pasa Grove and Camlica Hill in Uskudar, Cubuklu Hidiv Grove in Cubuklu and Beykoz Park in Beykoz in the Asian side.
This is a free festival and visitors may enjoy billions of tulips in 120 different types that blossoms in April, as well as several culture and art activities that are organized in the Emirgan Park and Sultanahmet Square. There is also a tulip photo contest and the winners are awarded.
6. Explore the city’s popular sights on bike
Being outdoors and touring the popular tourist spots on bike is definitely a great attraction. Wind through the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sultanahmet. Explore the Golden Horn, the hub of culture and entertainment in the Beyoglu district. Navigate the maze of vendors selling Turkish rugs, spices and lamps in the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia.
7. Mystical night out with 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.
8. Visit Ortakoy and eat baked potatoes by the Bosphorus
Ortakoy is a popular, lively and attractive neighborhood of Besiktas, located just by the Bosphorus and under the Bosphorus Bridge. Strolling around the Ortakoy Sqaure, watching the crowd, having a rest and drinking tea or coffee at the various cafes and restaurants by the Bosphorus are top attractions here.
The lively nights at the weekends are also fantastic. Many locals prefer to buy baked potatoes and enjoy it by the beautiful views of the Bosphorus. Continue reading…
9. Enjoy the lively atmosphere at Istiklal Street
Istiklal Street is probably the most famous street and entertainment area of the city. It is a long colorful pedestrian street full of all kind of shops, restaurants, cafes and street shows. You can visit the fantastic Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the amazing St. Anthony of Padua Church and Pera Museum there.
In between strolling the Istiklal Street and enjoying the lively atmosphere, you can have a lunch/dinner/snack in one of the pretty restaurants along the way.
10. Enjoy Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment
This is one of the most popular night time entertainments in the city. Mostly preferred with the tourists who want to experience a unique attraction specific to Istanbul. Typical dinner cruises start from the Kabatas pier daily at about 20:00 pm and goes for about 3 hours.
While you cruise along Bosphorus and enjoy your meal, you’ll be entertained by traditional belly dancing, oriental show, a henna ceremony, a Romany dance, folk dancing, a live DJ, etc. You’ll be able to see city’s historical sites, including Ottoman palaces, and stunning bridges illuminated by night.