In general, the weather in Turkey in October is warm and pleasant but with a chance of rain. Average temperatures range from around 64° F (18° C) in inland Cappadocia to 68° F (20° C) in Istanbul and Ankara to 77° F (25° C) in coastal southern Antalya. October, which is the start of autumn, isn't as wet as the months but there's still more rain about than during the dry summer.
Crowds & Costs
Overall, October is the shoulder season in Turkey, although Istanbul and Cappadocia tend to be busy in this month. The conditions are ideal for walking around outdoors and seeing the cultural and natural sites in these places. Accommodation books up in advance and costs are higher, but if you book ahead of time you can still enjoy a trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia on a modest budget, if you need.
In contrast, the coastal regions that are so busy during the summer largely empty in October, as European vacationers head back to work and school. As the weather is still warm, this is a good time of year to look for a slightly discounted beach vacation if that's what you're after.
Where to Go
Istanbul and Cappadocia are busy in October for good reasons: both places offer incredible cultural and natural attractions that are best seen on foot, and walking around in pleasant autumn temperatures is ideal. Similarly, the ancient Roman city of Ephesus and the nearby towns of Selcuk and Sirince are enjoyable when the weather isn't too hot, as well as the dazzling white terraces at Pamukkale. If you're traveling later in the month, the hot springs at Pamukkale feel great when the weather's cool.
What to Do
As well as general sightseeing, October is a good month for hiking. The Lycian Way is a great multi-day trek along an ancient coastal trade route, and suitable for families. The otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia offer many hiking options. For another hiking adventure that's equal parts ancient culture and challenging mountain climb, hike up 7,001 foot (2,134 meter)-high Mt. Nemrut in southeastern Turkey, which has 2000-year-old royal tombs at the summit.
Events in October
Turkish Republic Day, October 29th. Commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, this day is a national public holiday. Patriotic military displays, concerts, and fireworks shows are held in many places, with those in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir especially impressive. The largest fireworks display in the country is held in Istanbul, over the Bosphoros.
International Bodrum Sailing Cup, over a week in late October. This regatta celebrates the traditional yachts produced in the Bodrum area, and is accompanied by other cultural and culinary events.
Antalya Golden Orange International Film Festival, held in October and November. This long-running film festival showcases documentaries and narrative films.
Traveling to Turkey in October? Check out these great itineraries
Turkey Family Adventure: Cappadocia & Lycian Way Hiking - 9 Days. This adventurous 9-day itinerary highlights some of Turkey's most stunning natural scenery, combining Cappadocia with the active Lycian Way hike.
Cappadocia & Southeastern Turkey - 8 Days. History enthusiasts will love the chance to check out the mosaics of Gaziantep, explore the sunken city of Halfeti by boat, see the archaeological wonders of Sanlıurfa, visit UNESCO-listed Mt. Nemrut, and cross the rugged landscapes of Anatolia to reach Cappadocia.