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Turkey in May

May is already par of the high tourist season so expect high prices and crowds. You can head to the beaches and enjoy the sun or you can indulge in some sightseeing. And yes, the sights are also crowded.


Although still part of spring, May brings almost perfect weather in Turkey. The days are long and sunny and there’s almost no rainfall.

By mid-May the beach tourist season is in full swing on the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Coasts, so expect lovely weather and sunbathing temperatures.

Some sample temperatures

Ankara avg high 20C / avg low 6C
Antalya avg high 25C / avg low 14C
Bursa avg high 22C / avg low 11C
Denizli avg high 25C /avg low 12C
Istanbul avg high 20C / avg low 12C
Izmir avg high 25C / avg low 13C

>>read more about Weather in Turkey

Flights and accommodation

May is probably the most popular month for traveling to Turkey is you are an Independent traveler. So be prepared for crowds and high prices. Make sure to book both your flight and accommodation in advance.

Anticipate crowds if you are heading to the beach resorts, as well. By mid-May the tourist season is in full swing.

What to do

Hıdrellez Festival takes place in early May in Istanbul and celebrates the first day of the “early summer”. It takes place in the Ahırkapı Park where you can enjoy traditional foods and drinks, as well as live performances.

And if you are in Istanbul, don’t miss the sound and lights show that takes place at the Blue Mosque.

Atatürk Remembrance and Youth & Sports Day falls on May 19 and is a national holiday. It commemorates Atatürk’s birthday (1881) and the arrival in Samsun to begin the War of Independence.

Istanbul Conquest Day falls on May 29 and recalls the conquest of the city by the Ottomans from the Byzantines in 1453.

And while you are in Istanbul, make sure to enjoy some of the things to do in Istanbul such as shopping in the Bazaars, visiting the mosques and churches, taking a ferry across the Bosporus and enjoying the Turkish food and sweets.

You can choose Izmir for a longer stay and take the time to visit the near-by ancient city of Ephesus , the hot springs of Pamukkale and plenty other Roman ruins in the area.

Or you can explore the region of Cappadocia , with its famous cave dwellings and great wines. Kayseri is a good base in the area.

Head to the beaches located on the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Coasts. By now , the weather is lovely to allow for sunbathing and swimming. But do expect crowds.

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