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How is the Weather in Istanbul During January?

Updated: May 3, 2024

January in Istanbul tends to be cloudy and cold with rainy periods and even some snow is possible.


Daytime high temperatures during January tend to average around 7-9 C (45-48 F) with a few of the warmer afternoons reaching up near 14 C (57 F).

The record high temperature in Istanbul during January is 18.8 C (65.8 F).

Late night and early morning lows tend to be around 2-4 C (35-39 F), with a few of the colder mornings dipping down near -1 C (30 C).

The lowest temperature recorded in Istanbul during January was -8 C (17.6 F).

Sky and Rain

You can expect about 13-14 sunny, or at least, partly sunny days this month with 17-18 mostly cloudy days.

Some rain falls on 8-9 days with 1 day recording some snow or mixed rain and snow.

Measurable snow, however, only falls on 1 or 2 days during each winter (mainly in January and February) and melts quickly.


Wind speeds during this month will be mostly gentle to moderate at 12-28 kph (8-18 mph) but can occasionally be fresh at 29-38 kph (19-24 mph). 

Ocean Temperatures

The beaches near Istanbul lie mostly along the shores of the Sea of Marmara and along the Bosphorus Strait.

The sea temperatures during January are cold, falling from about 10 C (50 F) early in the month down to about 8 C (about 46 F) by the end of the month.

What to Wear in Istanbul During January?

During January you should pack clothes for cold weather.

Best to bring along a coat, jacket, a few sweaters, jeans, a winter hat, scarf and gloves plus jeans and leggings and some warm socks.

Don’t forget to pack some comfortable walking shoes as well.

Things to Do in Istanbul in January

Although it is the middle of winter, there will still be plenty of free Istanbul walking tours being offered throughout the city.

Some holiday markets and ice skating rinks might still be up for the first week or so of January, but these events and activities will be closing up for the season in most places.

Since there will undoubtedly be a lot of rain, you might want to consider visiting a popular museum or other indoors attractions. Here are a few you might enjoy:

For more ideas, please read our post providing a full list of 35 fun and interesting things to do in Istanbul.

Fred Pickhardt   
Ocean Weather Services

About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: May 3rd, 2024
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