If you don’t like the summer crowds or the summer heat, head to Istanbul during winter season and be prepared to be amazed by the festive spirit of this city. Even though it is a Muslim city, Christmas decorations can still be seen in streets and then New Year’s Eve is also just around the corner, and the city is well known for its grand celebration spirit. As winters here can be wet and cold, you must know what to wear in Istanbul in December so that weather doesn’t spoil your spirit.
Weather of Istanbul in December
December is a chilly and cold month as the average highs are only 9 degrees, which can drop down to 5 degrees Celsius during nights. It is not uncommon to be caught up in sudden showers here, so bringing waterproof jackets is essential. The sun stays out only for 5 hours daily on an average and the sea temperature also drops to 14 degrees. In case you have to miss the sea just because of the cold weather, you can always head to a local hamam.
What to Wear and How to Pack for Istanbul in December?
Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can dress up like an Eskimo or in other words – sloppily! You will find that people here are very stylish and to fit in among them, take a look at the suggestions:
Women – Turkish women dress up conservatively yet with style. December is the best time to flaunt your beautiful pashminas and shawls, so do pack them. You can go for jeans in dark colors and match them with full-sleeve tops or jackets or cardigans. For evening outs, you can go for tunics or dresses and layer up with coats and leggings. Basically, full-sleeve t-shirts/tops, jeans and jackets will be all you need in Istanbul during this time.
Men – The weather will be cold, so wearing cargo shorts is out of the question. You can go for full-sleeve shirts and trousers or jeans and t-shirts and layer them with a jacket or a blazer. On some extra cold days, an overcoat might also be required. Pack heavy jackets and blazers for other days. Rains are a common winter feature, so make sure you have a waterproof jacket.
Kids – You can pack warm clothes like woolen jackets or fleece for your kids. Full-sleeve shirts/tops can be worn underneath woolen sweaters or cardigans. Jeans or slacks should also be packed. Windbreaker jackets or waterproof gear will also be required.
Footwear – The cobbled streets of the city make it a difficult to walk around in heels. Shoes with rubber soles are the best and even better if they are stylish too! You can go for sneakers or trainers, and if you prefer open-toe shoes, opt for espadrilles or platforms. Men can also go for suede or oxford shoes.
Accessories – Pashminas and scarves are versatile pieces of clothing you will definitely need in the city during this weather. Also pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.