Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

October is a lovely month for the ones who like to enjoy and explore the city in a cool weather, but still shining. October is also a shoulder season, which is perfect for travelers wishing to explore Istanbul without so much crowds and queues. Average temperature is 19°C and precipitation 87 mm.


The weather is more rainy compared to September. We recommend you to bring a medium coat and portable umbrella. Also take sweater for some warmer days. The days are shorter now, the sun set around 18:30. (Average Max Temp.: 19°C – Average Max Temp.: 13°C)

5 Days Weather Forecast

ISTANBUL Weather

Public holidays, Festivals & Events

  • Republic Day (National Holiday) (29th of October)
  • Akbank Jazz Festival (October, in several venues)
  • International Istanbul Biennial (October-November, several avant-garde exhibits in such historical sites like Basilica Cistern, Hagia Irene)

Top 10 Things to Do in Istanbul in October 2019

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 October.

1. Visit Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museum

Istanbul in October 2019 (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 October 2019 (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. Explore the city on the Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

BigBus Istanbul 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. It drives through the popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of Istanbul and offers informative pre-recorded commentary that is available in 8 languages. The open topped double decker tourist bus really looks cool. Continue reading…


Take Big Bus Istanbul via Get Your Guide Book Big Bus Istanbul via Viator

3. Take Your Seat at Akbank Jazz Festival

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

29th, Date: 17-27 October 2019

Akbank’s (a prestigious bank in Turkey) Jazz Festival is a 10 days long music festival, organized by Akbank Sanat Art Venue. You can see some famous and fine jazz artists from all over the world in the city, at the several great venues with low prices. Other highlights include panels, workshops, movies, etc. The Festival takes place in such attractive venues including Akbank Sanat, Hagia Iirene Museum, Babylon, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, and Zorlu Center PSM. More information on www.akbanksanat.com/en

4. Enjoy International Puppet Festival

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

21st, Date: 24 October – 04 November 2019

Istanbul’s International Puppet Festival is a 11 days fantastic festival for art and puppet lovers, that is held every year, at the various venues located in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, plus Naval Museum in Besiktas. You can enjoy the puppetry brought from all over the world, variety of events including puppet shows, film shows, video shows, conversations, puppet making workshops, etc. More information on www.istanbulkuklafestivali.com/en/

5. Explore the city’s popular sights on bike

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

September is a great month to be 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. Continue reading…

6. Visit Basilica Cistern

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan), serving a museum now, is one of the most impressive and mystical buildings in Istanbul, as well as one of the most visited sights in Istanbul. The cistern is a very quiet and peaceful place conveyed by the columns through impressive arches. The columns, including the legendary Medusa Heads, were compiled from the ancient structures and sculpted of several kinds of marbles. A unique place in Istanbul.  Continue reading…

7. Visit Galata Tower and admire stunning views of the city

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Galata Tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking the beautiful Istanbul and has a luxurious restaurant at the top. Traveler may enjoy the excellent panoramic views of Istanbul, Golden Horn and Bosphorus. Continue reading…

8. Mystical night out at the Whirling Dervishes Show

Istanbul in October 2019 (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

9. Visit Istanbul Aquarium

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Istanbul Aquarium, located in Florya district of Bakirkoy, is one of the best theme parks in Istanbul. With its 6,000 square meters area, a special-themed and 1,2 km long travel route originating in the Black Sea towards the Pacific, the fish species, rain-forest, a gift shop with an area of 470 square meters, 1 restaurant having the Panama Canal view on one side and the sea view on the other, it is also one of the best aquariums and theme parks in Europe. Continue reading…

Book Istanbul Aquarium Tour via Get Your Guide Istanbul Aquarium Admission Ticket via Viator

10. Visit Galata Tower and admire stunning views of the city

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)

Galata Tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking the beautiful Istanbul and has a luxurious restaurant at the top. Traveler may enjoy the excellent panoramic views of Istanbul, Golden Horn and Bosphorus. Continue reading…

Insider Tips for First Time Visitors

For time visitors to Istanbul should check and well plan the area to stay, best time to visit the city, best places to see and top attractions, how to save money, where to go for eating and shopping, airport transfer and public transportation, etc. to make the most of their Istanbul visit easy, budget, convenient, and safe.

We recommend you to read our articles in the First Time Visitors section of our website before you plan your visit.

We also put together the top travel eases below that you can benefit from your trip. Check them out!

Where to Stay?

First time visitors should stay in the city center, better to be near city’s top attractions and within easy reach to public transport. Sultanahmet, Galata-Karakoy or Taksim would be your best choice. Continue reading...

Tourist Discount Cards

Istanbul has two major tourist discount cards. You'll have access to variety of major Istanbul attractions and services with a fixed price and save a lot.

This is by far the most practical and cheapest way to explore Istanbul, as well as get airport transfer, public transportation card, unlimited internet, etc.

You can read more with our tips and comparisons on our Istanbul Welcome Card and Istanbul Tourist Pass pages.

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

This is a travel discount card that is delivered to your hotel for FREE upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival. You can also receive it from its stand in both two Istanbul Airports.

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)There are three types of Istanbul Welcome Card and all are valid for 7 days.
  • Classic €19.
  • Premium €49.
  • Deluxe €79.
Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe comes with Pass for 12 Museums, 3 Tours by Historian Guide, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart (Public Transport), Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map.

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

Buy Your Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Tip: This discount card also gets you 20% for all the other attractions and services on their shop like guided museum tours, dinner cruise, theme parks, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc., and is a jewel to tourists with a lot to see.

Istanbul Tourist Pass

This is a digital travel discount pass that is delivered to your phone upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival.

Istanbul in October 2019 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)It includes 30+ attractions and services including skip the line access and guided museum tours, dinner cruise, hop-on & hop-off Bus, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc.

There are four types of Istanbul Tourist Pass:
  • 2 day Pass €95 adult - €45 child.
  • 3 day Pass €115 adult - €45 child.
  • 5 day Pass €135 adult - €45 child.
  • 7 day Pass €145 adult - €45 child.

Buy Your Istanbul Tourist Pass

Alternative Buying Channels
If you are a Get Your Guide (GYG) or Viator fan for worldwide tour buying, than you can buy these Istanbul discount cards from their links below.

Airport Transfers

Istanbul has two international airports. You'll find all the transportation opportunities such as Airport Shuttle, Metro, Train, Taxi, Private Shuttle, etc. from the airports to the city center and vice versa from our pages below. If you are a group or a family with kids or having lots of luggage with you, than we highly recommend you to take private shuttle transfers for your hotel as they offer a fixed rate, comfortable and safe transfer that include meet-and-greet airport pickups and luggage assistance to your hotel from the airports or vice versa.

This is a good option as while the Airport Shuttles or Public Buses will bring you only to the city center and you’ll need to take a taxi to reach your hotel which will seem to be harder for you, private shuttles will drive you just to the entrance of your hotel.

As for private shuttle transfers, we can recommend Kiwi Taxi as we recently tested them and had a great trip to our hotel. We didn't see any bad comments on internet. They have large selection of comfortable taxis, minivans, luxurious cars and 6-19+ passenger minibuses.

You can check and book your transfer from the below widget.