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

Last Updated on July 12, 2020

September is the start of Autumn in Istanbul, a superb month after a very hot summer season, and with an average temperature of 25°C and precipitation 64 mm. The early September can still be hot and muggy, but it starts to cool down after the first week and it becomes very ideal for strolling and exploring the city on foot.


City Life & Weather

The weather also becomes unpredictable that while one week is sunny, it can be rainy with thunderstorms.

The city is less crowded with locals due the school fervor of the parents. We recommend you to bring shorts, dresses, t-shirts for warm afternoons, long pants for cooler nights and light coat and portable umbrella in case of rainfalls.

The days are more shorter than in August, the sun set around 19:25. (Average Max Temp.: 24°C – Average Max Temp.: 17°C)

Public holidays, Festivals & Events

Top Venues

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

Istanbul’s September 2020 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 September.


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

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

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.

Sultanahmet hosts about all of the most visited historical and tourist sites in Istanbul, such as the Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome)Hagia SophiaTopkapi PalaceBlue MosqueBasilica CisternIstanbul Archaeology Museums and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts are situated here and all can be explored by walking. Continue reading…

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

Combo Tickets: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace + Basilica Cistern

This is a great combo ticket. Our favorite. You can visit the above top 3 most visited sights in Sultanahmet with this combo ticket, with skip the lines access. Great value for money. Book your tickets online in advance as they are selling out quickly.

Buy Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern Combo Ticket

Click the red button to buy Combo online tickets and skip the lines.
Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.



2. Tour city on Double Decker Tourist Bus

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

The Big Bus Istanbul hop on hop off tour provides service to 19 stops and at least 46 attractions (28 landmarks, 15 attractions and 3 shopping places) on two lines on just one ticket. 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 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.

Book Your Big Bus City Sightseeing Tour

There are many channels to buy Big Bus ticket online, including their own website. Get Your Guide sells the cheapest ticket on the market. Buying their ticket online will guarantee your seat and be cheaper. Just click the red button above to buy your Big Bus ticket online.

Wanna learn more about Big Bus Istanbul City Sightseeing Bus?


3. Enjoy Istanbul Coffee Festival

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

Istanbul’s Coffee Festival is about 4 days long kind of a carnival, bringing coffee from all over the world to the coffee-lovers’ taste. The festival is held in the KüçükÇiftlik Park venue, located in Macka, close to Taksim. You can have a fantastic day out and taste coffee from numerous stands, as well as participate to coffee workshops, seminars, playground events and competitions. More information on istanbulcoffeefestival.com.tr


4. Explore the city’s popular sights on bike

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

Wanna learn more about Istanbul on bike and best bike tours?


5. Take a Bosphorus Cruise / Boat Tour

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

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. Typical Bosphorus Cruise start from the Eminonu pier in every hour.

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.

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

Wanna learn more about Bosphorus Cruise?


6. A fantastic day out at the Princes’ Islands

Istanbul in September 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)Once was the pleasure island of Byzantine Princes, and with its stunning pinewood scenery, the Princes’ Islands are one of the best preserved natural areas and sights in Istanbul. It is one of the best attractions and weekend breaks in Istanbul both for locals and tourists.

You can take a 1 hour cruise to the islands, have a great day out by full tour of the island on the horse-drawn carriage, rest in a cafe by the sea, a lunch at a local fish restaurant. Or you can have a romantic overnight stay in one of the pretty hotels on the island.

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

Wanna learn more about Princes’ Islands?


7. Enjoy Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment

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

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.

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

Wanna learn more about Bosphorus Dinner Cruise?


8. Visit Galata Tower and admire the stunning views

Istanbul in September 2020 (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. You can enjoy the excellent panoramic views of Istanbul, Golden Horn and Bosphorus. Continue reading…


9. Visit Pierre Loti Hill and enjoy the impressive views of Golden Horn with Turkish Coffee

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

Pierre Loti Hill is a great leisure and tourist area in Eyup and one of the most popular sights and places to visit and see for both locals and tourists in the Golden Horn region of Istanbul. Pierre Loti Hill offers great views for the visitors. The hill is about 55 meters from sea level. Drinking your tea or Turkish coffee at the Pierre Loti Cafe and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Golden Horn is a great activity at the Pierre Loti Hill. Continue reading…


10. Catch summer sales at Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall and visit Sea Life Aquarium inside

Forum Istanbul is the largest Shopping and Residential Center in Europe. 495.000 m2, 286 domestic & international brands. Cinemaximum Movie Theaters, Funlab Entertainment World, Atlantis Bowling, Tiox Entertainment Center, Flyride Helicopter Simulation and Sand Castle apart from large-scale and tailor-made playgrounds. In addition, the famous Sea Life Istanbul Aquarium, which house the largest shark family in Europe, and the Legoland Discovery Center in Turkey also situated in Forum Istanbul.

Istanbul in September 2020 (Top 10 Things to Do & See, Weather, Festivals)Sea Life Istanbul Aquarium is the 5th largest aquarium in the world. Visitors may experience and enjoy the lovely sea creatures, the largest collection of sharks in Europe, the Digital Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital where you may see the injured turtles are getting healed, thematic zones, school trips, birthday parties and much more.

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

Wanna learn more about Aquarium Sea Life Istanbul?


Top Selling Istanbul Sightseeing Tours

For both first time visitors and the ones want to experience and enjoy the Istanbul's highlights, we highly recommend this unique and tailor made sightseeing tours, offered by several quality agents.

We only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Istanbul culinary and food tours.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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 have some essential information first, before arriving Istanbul. Make sure you read our pages below. * You can explore the majority of the sights and sounds of the city on foot. You will mostly need to take a tram as for transportation in between old and modern city.

* So get an IstanbulKart as you can have access all the public transportation network of Istanbul. One ride is only 3,5 TL (about €0,5), and you can obtain this card (with 6 TL initial fee) at the ticket machines at any tram station.

* There are also guided tours with professional local guides that you can save yourself from the beggars, and people coming beside and ask for helping with guidance around or for money.

* We recommend you buy your attraction tickets online. This is by far the easiest and great value for money.

* Below, you’ll find our pick of the best and great value for money discount cards, and attraction tickets. You can be sure that we only suggest the proven and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. Our website visitors will also get extra 5% discount in some of the tours and tickets.

Tourist Discount Cards & Tickets Advice

Istanbul has several 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. Below you can see our recommendations. There is also Museum Pass for museum lovers.

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

The is an innovative city pass. It includes fast track entry to 12 museums (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Basilica Cistern, etc), 3 tours with historian guide20 rides with public transportation (IstanbulKart), Bosphorus Cruise and digital guide book and city map. It also offers 20% discounts at the most important Istanbul attractions on their shop. With this card you’ll skip the long ticket lines and not have to pick anything up.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Valid for 7 days, free delivery to your hotel/airport pick-up and includes; Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace fast track entry tickets with 30 minutes guidance and Audio Guide App in 10 languages, Istanbulkart with 10 Rides, Bosphours Cruise (1,5 hours), Digital Guide Book and City Map.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


Combo Tickets for Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern

Valid for 3 days, digital pass, no need a printed ticket, guidance service with certified guides.

Buy Combo Tickets

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


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. 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.

Buy Your Istanbul Tourist Pass


Guided Istanbul Highlights Tours Advice

We recommend this kind of tours, especially for first time visitors. You are able to make the most of the city's sights and sounds with a private guide and save yourself from the hassle of making an ideal one day to 3 days plan. All will be made by professionals and you'll get skip the lines tickets, as well as pick-up and drop-off hotel transfer.

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

This is Get Your Guide's top selling and certified tour, which means it has gained one of the best traveler experiences.

You'll discover the magic of Istanbul on a private 1 or 2-day walking tour with skip the line tickets. Enjoy a river cruise and guided tour of the city highlights, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace, and Istiklal Street.

Duration: 7 hours - 2 days
Live tour guide: English, Spanish, German, Japanese
Pick-up from the front desk of your hotel in Istanbul

Book Highlights of Istanbul Guided Tour


Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

This is also Get Your Guide's top selling tour. Has great traveler ratings and comments.

You'll see the sights of Istanbul that most interest you on a customized tour with private guide. Marvel at some of the city's most significant sights including Topkapi Palace, Chora Church, Basilica Cistern, Fener-Balat neighboorhood, and many more.

Duration: 7 hours - 3 days
Live tour guide: Spanish, English, French, German, Italian
Pickup is available from centrally-located hotels in Istanbul, by your guide on foot.

Book Istanbul 1, 2 or 3-Day Guided Tour


Istanbul in One Day Highlights Tour

This is Get Your Guide's top selling tour. Has great traveler ratings and comments.You'll visit the iconic sites such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, The Hippodrome, and the Grand Bazaar, learn the highlights of Istanbul from a local guide and discover the historical peninsula and learn the whole story of Istanbul.

Book Your Istanbul in One Day Highlights Tour


Airport Transfers Advice

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. Istanbul's both airports are located about 45 km. from the city center. You can take a 1 hour taxi for about €30, 1,5 hours HAVAIST Airport Shuttle for 18 TL (about €2,7), 1 hour shared shuttle for about €15 or 1 hour private shuttle for about €40. There are No direct metro lines to the airports.

Private & Shared Shuttles

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 highly recommend Tranigo (a Turkish company operating since 1996, and partnered with renowned names like Hertz, Thrifty, Budget, and many reliable and efficient local suppliers) as we recently booked with them had a great trip to our hotel.

It offers low-priced, fixed rate private shuttles that include meet-and-greet airport pickups and luggage assistance. Their large selection of comfortable taxis, minivans, luxurious cars and 6-19+ passenger minibuses can match any need while ensuring quick and safe travels to and from New Istanbul Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW).

Below you can use the search box to find your prefect private or shared shuttle transfer service in between Istanbul airports and your hotel.



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