A metropolitan city such as Istanbul has a lot to offer year-round. February is the coldest month of the year with the temperature around 8℃ together with possible rain and snow showers. Maybe somewhere else in Europe that wouldn’t be so exciting, but in Istanbul, it means that you can get incredibly rare pictures in snow and enjoy less crowded events and places. This will give you an opportunity to see Istanbul through the eyes of a local. Get your raincoat ready and check out what you can do in Istanbul in February!
Istanbul Modern Art Exhibitions
Istanbul Modern is the first modern and contemporary art museum in Istanbul. This February they are hosting two exhibitions. “Yıldız Moran: A Mountain Tale” exhibition is open until May 12th. Yıldız Moran was the first ever academically trained Turkish female photographer whose work was very influential in 20th century Turkey. The second exhibition you can visit is “In Pursuit of the Present”.
Classical Music Events
February is a great month to enjoy classical music. Take the opportunity to listen to Sarah Cheng, one of the most influential violinists of all times, on February 9th at Zorlu PSM, Turkcell Stage. Ashely Wass, the English pianist, will also accompany her on stage.
Alternatively, on February 9th, you can also enjoy the concert of the Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra at Aynalı Geçit concert hall.
On February 15th award-winning pianist Andrew Tyson will have a concert at The Seed auditorium located within the Sakıp Sabancı Museum.
Holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day are not traditionally part of Turkish heritage since the majority of the population is Muslim, but in the past two decades, they have become more popular. In Istanbul, you can find many rooftop bars and restaurants along the Bosphorus, perfect venues for Valentine’s Day celebrations with your loved one.
Jazz Music Concerts
If you love jazz, February is undoubtedly in a sign of music. Güliz Ayla is performing at Hayal Kahvesi Emaar on February 15th, while the Karem Görsev Trio will have a concert on February 16th at KKM Gönül Ülkü.
On February 27th you can enjoy the world-renowned artist Arturo Sandoval at İş Sanat. And those are just some of the names you can find in jazz bars and concert halls during February.
Motobike Istanbul is growing each year, and this year it’s expected to host 260 stands and more than 100 000 visitors from all around the world. Enjoy spectacular shows of the famous names in motorcycle and bicycle world. You can also participate in the Motobike Academy seminars and presentations. The event is on from February 21st to 24th at the Istanbul Expo Center.
Eurasia Boat Show
Join over 50 000 visitors of Eurasia Boat Show to see the boat game show and check out vehicles and equipment. Many exhibitors will be showing the latest trends and developments in the industry. If you are into boats and sailing or water sports such as diving, this is the best time of the year to check out new equipment or try something new. Hosted by CNR Expo the event will take place at the at the Istanbul Expo Center from February 23rd to March 3rd.
The Russian Avant-garde
Until the April 1st Sabancı University, Sakıp Sabancı Museum is hosting the most comprehensive exhibition in Turkey this winter, featuring Russian Avant-garde which shaped the art world in the 20th century. The George Costakis Collection at Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art in Greece forms the basis of the exhibition, as one of the world’s most important Russian avant-garde collections.
Turkish Bath Experience
If you want to warm up on a cold winter day, visiting one of the world-famous Turkish baths is an excellent choice. We have an excellent article on what you can expect from visiting a hamam. Convinced? Check out one of my favorite Turkish baths.
Eat Roasted Chestnuts
Istanbul has some iconic street food you need to try. Food carts are available around the city, especially in busy tourist locations. There is not one kind of food that you shouldn’t try, but in winter specifically, a must eat are freshly roasted chestnuts. You can smell them all around the city and enjoy them while you walk; they will warm your hands up and fill up your belly!
Most of the countries have specific dates and months when sales are happening, but in Istanbul, it’s not the rule. Shops have sales throughout the year at different times, although in winter, from the end of December until April, you can find some big discounts in almost all the stores. Discounts are from 30% to 70%, and they are going up until even the last piece is sold.
Warm & Cozy Istanbul’s Cafés
All around Istanbul you can find these small and cozy coffee shops where you can warm up on a cold winter day and have some tasty, warm drinks and food. If you haven’t tried salep and boza yet, this is your chance.