Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

March is the coolest of the spring months in Istanbul, and with an average temperature of 11°C and precipitation 72 mm. It snows in the recent years, but it rarely gets below freezing in Istanbul. Although March is the start of the spring months, it passes cold and you should precaution before traveling to Istanbul in March. You can enjoy more sunny and clear days compared to winter months. We recommend you to take the most attractions at the indoor places like museums, shows, exhibitions, concerts, movies and more. We also recommend you to bring a medium coat and portable umbrella. Also take sweater for some warmer days. The days are started to get longer than the winter months, the sun set around 18:45. (Average Max Temp.: 11°C – Average Max Temp.: 4°C)


Istanbul 5 Days Weather Forecast

ISTANBUL Weather

Public holidays, Festivals & Events

  • Akbank Short Film Festival (film)

Top 10 Things to Do in Istanbul in March 2020

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 March.

Temporary Art Exhibitions

Check the calendar of exhibitions and events of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Karakoy, Pera Museum in Taksim and Sakip Sabanci Museum in Emirgan.

Top 10 Istanbul Attractions in March 2020

1. Visit Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museum

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Dating back to 325, Hagia Sophia is a former church and mosque and declared as one of the world’s greatest architectural works and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world. Hagia Sophia is also one of the most visited landmarks and museums in Istanbul and in the world.


Book Skip-the-line Hagia Sophia via Get Your Guide Book Hagia Sophia Skip-the-line Tickets via Viator

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Topkapi Palace Museum is one of world’s richest museums, is a magnificent oriental palace and one of the world’s greatest architectural works. It was the residence of the Ottoman sultans as well as the administrative and educational center of the Empire. It houses the finest samples of seal, book binding, jewelry and box craftsmanship as well as inscriptions.

Book Skip-the-line Topkapi Palace via Get Your Guide Book Topkapi Palace Skip-the-line Tickets via Viator

We highly recommend you to visit and see both museums at once. It would take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. And you should get Skip-the-line-tickets to save yourself from long queues.

2. Akbank Short Film Festival

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

16th, Date: 16-26 March 2020

Akbank’s Short Film Festival is a 10 days long film festival, organized by Akbank Sanat (Art). At this one of the leading arts and culture events in Istanbul in March. The aim of the festival is to encourage short film production, to deliver these short films to the audiences, to support new filmmakers and to champion short film internationally, by providing a debate platform and establishing a festival atmosphere for cinema-lovers for FREE. Other highlights include various workshops, interviews, master classes and experience-sharing platform between cinema professionals and visitors. The Festival takes place at the Akbank Sanat Art Venue, in the Beyoglu district. More information on www.akbanksanat.com/en


3. Mystical night out at the Whirling Dervishes Show

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Whirling Dervishes Show or Ceremony (“Sema” in Turkish) is one of the most visited attractions in Istanbul 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. The best performances take place at the Hodjapasha Culture Center in Sirkeci, Eminonu. Note that as this show is very popular among the majority of the tourists, you should buy your tickets at least 2 or 3 days before the show. Continue reading…

Book Whirling Dervishes via Get Your Guide Book Whirling Dervishes Ceremony via Viator

4. Visit Grand Bazaar

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) in Beyazit is a shopping adventure that you won’t want to miss. A series of covered streets feature over 4,000 merchants all selling their products and wares. You can find anything here from boots and slippers to gold and silver jewelry. Continue reading…

5. Visit Rahmi Koc Transport Museum

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

The Rahmi Koc Museum in Haskoy, Golden Horn, Istanbul is housed in a former anchor foundry that this science and technology museum is a trove of machines and other eccentric exhibits. Continue reading…

6. Enjoy the lively atmosphere at the Istiklal Street

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Located in the Taksim neighborhood, Istiklal Street (Istiklal Avenue) is probably the most famous street and entertainment area in Istanbul. It is a long colorful pedestrian street full of all kind of shops, restaurants, cafes, street shows and more. Continue reading…

7. Visit Sakip Sabanci Fine Arts Museum

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Located in Emirgan, on the Bosphorus European Side, the Sakip Sabanci Museum is a private fine arts museum in Istanbul that hosts great collections that include Ottoman Calligraphic Art, religious and state documents, paintings of the Ottoman era, archaeological and stone works, collection of furniture and decorative arts and more.. Continue reading…

8. Visit Pera Museum

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Located between Istiklal Street and Tepebasi in Taksim, Pera Museum is a great private museum that hosts permanent collections of Orientalist PaintingsAnatolian Weights and Measures, and Kutahya Tiles and Ceramics, as well as various other exhibitions, publications, audio-visual events, educational activities. Continue reading…

9. Visit Ortakoy and eat baked potatoes by the Bosphorus

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

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…

10. Historical Turkish Bath (Hammam) experience

Istanbul in March 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

This will is one of the one time experiences on your Istanbul visit. With a Turkish bath, also called Hammam, you can enjoy an authentic experience, relax your muscles, refresh your body. The traditional bath mostly include a 15-minute massage. It can a be unique experience for you in these cold days.

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Tours & Excursions

You may explore Istanbul via daily tours made by the local travel agents with professional guides. It is a very good option if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making all the arrangements including the tickets, waiting at the long queues and 2-ways transportation by your own. And we recommend the two world brands GetYourGuide or Viator, with insurance and easy cancellation process.

Istanbul’s Tourist Discount Passes & Cards

There are three types of Istanbul passes & cards that you may buy and have access to variety of Istanbul attractions including museums with fixed price and save a lot. We recommend those cards for the travelers that has a stay in Istanbul at least from 3 to 7 days. The most practical and cheapest way to explore Istanbul’s sights.

Istanbul Tourist Pass

Rather than paying for each item individually, this digital Istanbul Tourist Pass allows you to choose from 30+ Istanbul attractions so you can pack as much into your stay as possible for a single set price. It is the most popular and recommended discount tourist pass in Istanbul that you will get valuable discounts of up to 70%. You’ll also get 3-days of unlimited mobile internet access with your pass along with WhatsApp traveler support, and one way airport transfer. Highly recommended for travelers that will stay more than 3 days in Istanbul.

Istanbul Welcome Card

This is a travel discount card that offers combo attractions for less for individual, family or group during their Istanbul visit. And you will get valuable discounts of up to 50%. There are four types of Istanbul Welcome Card (Classic, Premium and Deluxe), and all are valid for 7 days. You’ll also get unlimited mobile internet access plus free public transportation rides.