February is mid-winter in Turkey. Tourist crowds are low and many resorts are closed, but if you're seeking culture, history, and big-city attractions, it can be a good time to visit. Temperatures are not generally as cold as you might be used to in North America or Northern Europe, and there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy to stay warm. Here's how to make the most of a trip to Turkey in February.


Big cities like Istanbul and Izmir, which are in northern and western Turkey, tend to have fairly mild winters. Snow is possible (especially in Istanbul) but most coastal areas are mild and wet. For example, the average February temperature in Istanbul is 48°F (9°C), with 2.7 inches (70 mm) of rain; in coastal Antalya, the average temperature is 57°F (14°C), with 6.1 inches (156 mm) of rain.

In contrast, inland cities such as Ankara and Cappadocia are colder and drier. Ankara's average February temperature is 44°F (7°C) with 1.4 inches (36 mm) of rain, and Cappadocia's 42°F (6°C) with 1.3 inches (34 mm) of rain.

Crowds & Costs

Like the rest of winter in Turkey, February is part of the low season. You may continue to see a trickle of tourists in the big city of Istanbul, or in very popular destinations like Cappadocia, but in general, you won't be battling the crowds to get that perfect photo. Accommodation costs tend to be lower, but be aware that some resort towns (particularly on the west and southwest coasts) shut up shop for winter.

Where to Go

Turkey is rich in ancient and contemporary culture, and much of this is concentrated in cities that can be visited year-round. There are many museums, art galleries, mosques, palaces, and incredible cafes and restaurants in places like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir that you can enjoy in February. When the weather's dry, these places also offer outdoor parks and ancient sites for a winter stroll.

Popular natural and historic sites like Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia are extremely busy in the peak season but much less so in February. If you're not a fan of walking around outdoors in the heat, winter may actually be the perfect time to visit these places. The hot springs at Pamukkale are especially appealing in the cold.

If you're into skiing, there are decent options in the northern Köroğlu Mountains.

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What to Do

Combine indoor and outdoor attractions on your February itinerary for the most enjoyable time. Spend the cool days wandering between museums and cultural attractions and sample delicious food after dark. Istanbul in particular has a great nightlife scene.

Events in February

Camel Wrestling Festival, three months from early January to the end of March. Held in Selcuk near the ancient site of Ephesus, camels wrestle for the ultimate honor of being crowned winner (or, the ultimate honor of its owners!)

Traveling to Turkey in February? Check out these great itineraries

Cappadocia & Southeastern Turkey - 8 Days. Ancient culture and spectacular scenery are the highlights of this 8-day journey through southeastern and central Turkey.

Wonders of Turkey: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus - 9 Days. Experience some of Turkey's greatest natural and cultural attractions in Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus.

More Helpful Information

Turkey in January
Turkey in March
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