January is one of the coldest months of the year in Turkey. However, that makes it a good time to visit if you are not a fan of the blistering heat of the Summer months. January is also the best time to avoid the crowds at major tourist attractions. If your home is freezing cold at this time of the year, a vacation to Turkey may NOT be a fantastic idea, since snow days are also possible for January weather in Turkey. If you’ve been dreaming about a cold Turkey vacation, January might just be the perfect time of the year for your great escape!
Weather Temperature in Turkey in January
During the day, temperatures can range from 6°C to 10°C or more depending on where you go. Antalya tends to be a little bit warmer than Istanbul by a few degrees. There’s a reasonable amount of rain at the start of the year, so make sure you pack for wet weather so you can make the most of your holiday. Snowfall is also common in January and February.
Temperatures along the Mediterranean coast have an average temperature of 16ºC in January, so taking a dip might be very hard. There are five hours of sunshine each day, with sunset at 4:45 pm at the start of the month.
What to wear in Turkey in January
If you’re planning to visit Turkey in January then you’ll want to be prepared. In winter months, the temperature in Turkey can really plummet. Depending on where you plan to spend your time, you’ll want to be prepared for whatever happens.
DRESS IN LAYERS: It is important to dress in layers and pack clothes for all seasons year-round if you’re going to be exploring the great outdoors. Here is a list of some basics to bring that will help you stay comfortable in January weather:
- Water-resistant coat: Turkey has considerable rainfall in January. Depending on where your travels will take you, pack one light-weight raincoat
- Jeans, and snow pants: Pick up your favorite pair of jeans and a few warm pants as well
- 2-3 Sweaters: Sweaters are the best way to stay warm and the easiest to style. I’m always traveling with a bunch of nude shaded sweaters. Fitted sweaters are not really my fav but they can be really helpful in the cold and windy days in Turkey
- Thermal underwear: Thermal clothes are good for layering
- Down Jacket: Easy to pack, handy when needed. Make sure to bring one with you. If not, don’t worry clothes are very cheap in Turkey, just head to the nearest traditional market or shopping mall and pick one.
- A Warm Scarf: Your Winter accessory, ladies! Make sure your scarf is matching most of your clothes. You will be wearing it every day.
- A Warm Hat and Gloves: On one of these snowy days you will wish you brought a pair of gloves or a hat to cover your frozen ears 😛 That’s why make sure to pack them for your trip to Turkey
- A dress or a Skirt: I won’t personally recommend you wear a dress or a skirt in January in Turkey as it can be very windy and cold but sometimes it’s good for some great pictures for Instagram
COMFY FOOTWEAR: Choose comfort over fashion. 1-2 Pairs of Shoes, Boots and Sneakers and several pairs of woolen Socks
NIGHT OUT IN THE CITY: After a long day of outdoor discoveries, you will probably want to dress up for a live concert or dinner at the newest critically acclaimed restaurant at night. Bear in mind that jeans are nearly always recommended in January weather in Turkey.
Where to go in Turkey in January
Turkey is an awesome year-round destination depending on your wishes. Although the tourist high season is from mid-June through mid-September, there are some significant advantages to planning a trip to Turkey in January. The cooler temperatures make it more comfortable for those who wish to explore the indoor attractions comfortably.
Visit Antalya in January
Located on the sparkling Turquoise Coast in the south of Turkey, Antalya has a Mediterranean climate bringing mild, damp Winters to the region. Antalya is a place for swimming and enjoying the sand and sun on long Summer days. It is strange to associate it with cold Winter days, but it’s not that cold really, at least for my Husband. If you love to relax on the beach, avoid this time of year and visit Antalya when the weather warms up in the Spring and Summer. Antalya is also a center of culture and archaeology, with its unique nature. So, there are plenty of things you can do during a vacation in Antalya in January.
On average, Antalya has a daytime temperature of 10°C in January, with highs of 15°C in the afternoon. At night the temperature dip to around 5°C, so make sure you bring lots of layers to wrap up warm in the evenings.
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Visit Cappadocia in January
Are you hesitating to visit Cappadocia in Winter? I would say you shouldn’t. I personally call Cappadocia the magical city of Turkey. It is the second most Instagramable city after Istanbul, of course. Hot air balloons take flight year-round, and if you thought seeing this otherworldly landscape was already magical, imagine it covered in a crystal white blanket of snow. It’s simply breathtaking. This beautiful region of Turkey is wonderful to visit any time of year, and in Winter, you’ll enjoy reduced prices, fewer crowds, and some even more magical landscapes.
Cappadocia weather in January is extremely cold with temperatures of 0° and 6° degrees. So you should totally have your gloves and warm clothes at the top of tour bag.
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Visit Istanbul in January
Even in Winter, Istanbul is a fantastic place to be! There is a long list of things to do in Winter in Istanbul, many exciting things that will keep you warm or indoors, a few hidden gems, seasonal activities, and exploring Istanbul’s amazing food scene.
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Celebrations in Turkey in January
New Year’s Day: Turkey offers everything that you might have in mind in order to make your New Year the most memorable one! One of the most special ways is to spend your New Year’s dinner in Turkey is on a cruise under the stunning fireworks. You can also spend a few days and nights on this cruise and enjoy all the islands nearby.
Orthodox Christmas: Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 6th (Armenian Orthodox) or 7th (Greek Orthodox) by many Turkish Armenians and Greeks around the country. During the celebration, Turkey’s Orthodox churches are filled with worshippers and the Armenian and Greek Orthodox Patriarchs make the rounds to bless their flocks with passages from the Bible, songs, and candles.
Fun things to do in Turkey in January
Although it is the coldest month of the year, January is a great time to explore Turkey. Both outdoor and indoor lovers will find January to be a great time to experience the beautiful landscapes of Turkey. From the gorgeous Bosphorus in Istanbul to the breathtaking, snowy Cappadocia, to the ancient archaeological sights in Antalya, Turkey is definitely a country filled with rich diversity.
#1 Stay at your 5-star dream hotel: January is also a time of year when tourist traffic is lower. This means that things are a bit less crowded, and many travel-related expenses are reduced. You’ll find it easier to book that 5-star hotel you have been dreaming about, and you might pay a lot less to visit Turkey in January than in June or September.
#2 Cultural stops at Museums and Bazaars in Istanbul: If you are the museum-lover type, several museums will be waiting for you in Turkey and January is the best time to do it. Explore art and history while eating up the local culture, there are museums, galleries, bazaars, and marketplaces to enjoy. Local artists love to share their work with you, giving you great opportunities to purchase unique souvenirs and gifts.
#3 A cool day in Kaleici in Antalya: Walking around Kaleici you are going to see places built during the Roman and Ottoman Empires. Everybody will enjoy the day or evening there. It doesn’t matter if you are there for a romantic walk, alone, or with a big family. Curvy paved streets will take you to ancient Turkey, where you can buy souvenirs such as Turkish delight, coffee, jewelry, or spices. You can also try famous Turkish ice cream. It has a special thick, dough-like, texture. A server spins it, throws it in the air, and does magic tricks before giving it to you.
#4 Sample the local cuisine: When the evening is cold, head inside to one of the many restaurants and enjoy some local cuisine. Or head back to your hotel and take advantage of some of the amenities they offer their guests. Just make sure you get a good night’s sleep so you have plenty of energy for new adventures when morning comes.
#5 Go on an organized tour: If you take one of the many tours available, you may find yourself one of only a few people on your tour, which often leads to a more interesting and informative experience.
#6 Indulge yourself with a Turkish Hammam (Bath): Turkish hammam is my favorite way of spoiling myself in Winter. After a long day of scrolling the indoor and outdoor attractions head to a Turkish bath for an intense and relaxing few hours experience in a steamed room smelling of flower and herbal oils.