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Make the Most out of Your Istanbul Shoot
The Best Time of Year to Visit Istanbul, Turkey
If you’re interested in visiting Istanbul when the weather is mild, but extremely pleasant and the crowds are relatively thin, then the best time to visit Istanbul is during the Spring and late Autumn months. However, if you can stand the heat, the summer is bustling with things to do all day and all night long, and if you live in a cold-weather climate, then visiting Istanbul in the winter months will be more than a pleasant escape for you.
Every season in Istanbul has its surprises and delights, so no matter which season you book your trip to Istanbul, better be the first to hire a professional photographer who knows their way around the camera and the city all at once! Here’s what to expect during each lovely season in Istanbul, Turkey.
Visiting Istanbul in Autumn
As we mentioned earlier, many people prefer to visit Istanbul in the Autumn, since it still feels like summer, minus the overwhelming tourist crowd. The later you go in the season, the more the crowds will dwindle, and fortunately, the crowds seem to take the high heat with them.
If you arrive in late September and you don’t want to spend all of your time on the beaches outside of Istanbul, then visit the Topkapı or Dolmabahçe Palaces to get a taste of the Ottoman Empire’s glory days, which are by no means modest, and explore the Aya Sofya both inside and out. If you’re making it an Ottoman day, then you’ll also have to open up your schedule to one of the most eloquent achievements of Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque. This may be the moment to hire a personal photographer who can capture your portrait in the gardens between the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque, all angles are certainly promising!
Autumn may arguably be the time of year with the most magnificent sunsets over Istanbul. You can dine on rooftops and enjoy the most delicious seafood you may have ever tried, especially because fall is known as fish season in Istanbul. Expect the finer restaurants to serve fresh fish from the Black Sea or the Marmara Sea. Your engagement photographer will be sure to catch all the vibrant colors and best moments during your celebratory trip to Istanbul.
On a rainy day, you can visit The Basilica Cistern, which was where the Byzantine Empire preserved their water supply for years. And finally, a must-see is the Belgrad Forest during the Autumn months when the leaves are changing to rich and vibrant colors. Spend the day hiking and trailing the forest while you escape the chaos of the busy city and prepare for a rewarding photoshoot.
Visiting Istanbul in Winter
While it’s certainly not summer temperatures, it is still relatively warm compared to many of its neighboring European cities. However, with the cold temperatures give you the perfect excuse to spend full days exploring the rich Turkish baths known as, hammams. And since it’s not swelteringly hot, you can also spend longer hours indulging in the flavorful Turkish cuisine. You’ll have to try some street food while your there and treat yourself to a Turkish breakfast.
On the plus side, there is so much to see, and so much of it is accessible by foot, that you can excuse your irregular eating habits by how much walking you’ll be doing. And, if it gets too cold, then warm up with a traditional Turkish coffee that will certainly rocket you through the ancient sites that never seem to end.
Winter is also the best season to visit the Grand Bazaar, but maybe you’ll want to save this for the last days of your trip since you’ll be buying a lot of Turkish souvenirs and gifts.
There are also plenty of mosques, palaces, and museums to visit during your stay. You’ll have to go to the Carpet Museum, Istanbul Modern, and the Rüstem Pasa Mosque, just to name a few places. Don’t forget to ask your private photographer to send you some of your best photos to upload to your Instagram account! Especially with the sunset over the Aya Sofya, or while exploring the gardens of the Dolmabahçe Palace.
Visiting Istanbul in Spring
In spring you can join the locals as they welcome in the warm weather by spending hours outside cafes and trendy bars. In April you can explore the International Tulip Festival and hire an affordable photographer to photograph your trip around Istanbul before the summer heat strikes the land. For cooler evenings you can book a ticket to the Istanbul Film Festival, but during the day time hours, if you’re there at the right time, you can catch the Holifest, exciting Indian spring music and dance festival, and the Spring Market in the Beyoğlu.
Since you’re in Istanbul in spring, you have no excuse not to visit the Yedikule Fortress where you can marvel over the incredible view across the Sea of Marmara while standing above a 5th-century site. If you’re traveling with your family, then hire a family photographer and spend the day wandering around Pedestrianized Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street) where you can stop for delicious food as you watch the old-fashioned tramway ring by. On a separate day, plan a day trip to Üsküdar, where you can visit Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and the Yeni Valide Mosque after taking an enjoyable ferry ride.
Visiting Istanbul in Summer
With the summer heat comes the summer fun. You can rent a boat, go sailing, swim in the small coves, relax on the sandy beaches by the Black Sea, or escape to the archipelago of the Prince Islands, but don’t expect any sand on the beaches of Marmara. This is an especially good idea if you’re visiting Istanbul in the high heat months of July and August. Considering these months are the high peak months, you should also plan on hiring your personal Istanbul photographer well in advance, so you can have them for the long daylight hours while you’re looking your summer best! You can also catch the International Jazz Festival, where you can catch jazz parties around the city, and if you’re really lucky a live jazz show on a boat, wow.
If a proposal is on the agenda, rent a private yacht and explore the Bosphorus as you cruise by the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, and Rumeli Fortress. Make sure to book the yacht with a place for your photographer to capture the sunset behind the most spectacular moment of your lives. The deep colors of Istanbul will certainly inspire romantic feelings and breathtaking backgrounds. If you want to spend an afternoon and sunset as if you’re in the sea, but actually in a swimming pool drinking fancy cocktails, go to the infinity pool at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski for one of the most relaxing days of your trip. Check out the prices for the best photographers in Istanbul HERE!