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How is the Weather in Istanbul During May?

Updated: April 2, 2024

May in Istanbul features cool to comfortable nights and early mornings, with comfortable to warm afternoons and drier weather than April.


Daytime high temperatures will tend to average around 18-19 C (64-66F) early in May, warming to 22-24 C (72-75 F) by the end of the month.

A few of the warmer afternoons, especially near the end of the month, can reach up to 28 C (82). In recent decades, the highest temperature recorded in Istanbul during May is 31 C (87.8F).

Late night and early morning low temperatures tend to average around 10-11 C (50-52 F) early in the month, warming to 14-16 C (57-61 F) towards the end of the month.

A few of the colder mornings can see lows near 8 C (46 F). The record low temperature in recent decades in Istanbul during May is 3 C 937.4 F).

Sky and Rain

During May, cloudiness generally decreases through the month with about 10-11 days being mostly, or at least, partly sunny. Some rainfall is expected on 7-10 days.


Wind speeds during this month will be mostly gentle at 12-19 kph (8-12 mph) but occasionally will be moderate at 20-28 kph (13-18 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 May warm from about 13 C (55 F) early in the month to about 17 C (63 F) by the end of the month which is too cold for most people.

What to Wear in Istanbul During May?

Spring in Istanbul gradually gets warmer but still can have cool nights and mornings. It is best to bring a mix of lighter-weight tops and pants as well as a few long-sleeve shirts and pants.

A sweater or windbreaker will be needed for the cooler nights and mornings. For women, a head covering is required (for entering mosques).

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

Things to do in Istanbul in May

With the weather starting to get nice, this is the perfect time of year to join us on a free Istanbul walking tour.

You may also want to attend the 52nd Istanbul Music Festival running from May 12th - June 12th. There will be several free events, as well as some paid musical performances.

This is also an excellent time to take a boat tour on the Bosphorus. If you manage to visit during an unseasonably warm time of the month, this is a perfect way to beat the heat!

For even more ideas, make sure to read our full post on 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: April 2nd, 2024
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