New Year in Istanbul 2024: What to Do and See

New Year in Istanbul

Istanbul surprises it’s guests throughout the year — it’s colourful and hot in summertime but thoughtful, windy, rainy or even snowy in winter!

If you are looking for a place to spend your New Year’s holiday and to visit interesting museums — Istanbul can be a good choice! Especially the fact that all the palaces, mosques, museums and historical places are opened most of the time after the New Year’s Eve. There is just one official holiday — the 1th of January, so jther days you can enjoy you trip with no restrictions.

Sometimes the weather make a surprise and you may see the snowfall in Istanbul — it’s really beautiful and amazing!

So let’s take a look at New Year’s activities of What to Do and See in Istanbul with

New Year’s Eve in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the world’s ultimate cities to ring in the New Year. The Turkish city is lively, energetic, and celebrates a big occasion like no other. New Year’s Eve is always a special occasion, so why not celebrate it in a unique way in the “City with Seven Hills”?

Istanbul is a city that never sleeps. It is an ideal location to party the night away on December 31. The following day, once you have slept off the party, you can continue to enjoy one of the most-visited cities in the world and continue an incredible sight-seeing journey. Take a look at Sultanahmet or Suleymaniye mosque, drink some strong and tasty Turkish Coffee near Bosphorus and try some Street Food during your walk on Istiklal street.

New Year in Istanbul

What to do in Istanbul for New Year’s Eve?

Regardless of your budget, Istanbul has something for everyone. If you want a massive party at a hotel, restaurant, or bar, then you can find it. However, it will be expensive, so be prepared to pay for your incredible night out. There are also more budget-friendly options for travellers looking for a good time on New Year’s Eve.

Travellers will likely descend on the great public places in Istanbul to celebrate. Along with restaurants and bars, there will be people congregating on streets and in squares. The majority of Istanbul locals will remain at home to celebrate with family for much of the night. Locals often wait until around 11:00 PM to go out. Even then, many will remain around their homes or streets to watch fireworks and speak to neighbours.

Travellers looking to spend the night in a hotel, restaurant, or bar should book a reservation in advance. It will be difficult to show up and get into a place on the day. So, prepare for your night out before embarking.

  • Take a walk at busy and beautiful Kadikoy area — a lot of shops and cafes already made a preparation and you can enjoy the ambience.
  • Buy some traditional turkish sweets at historical candy shop — Hacı Bekir (Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir), Hafiz Mustafa (in Taksim or Sultanahmet), Şekerci Cafer Erol (in Emaar shopping mall) or at Baylan in Kadikoy district.
  • Try traditional Turkish Breakfast with menemen and mıhlama in Taksim or Istiklal — Lades menemen (see location) or Van Kahvaltı Evi (see location) with traditional breakfast of Van city.
  • Take Bosphorus tour with nice evening entertaiment program and meal — see the traditional dance and try local food.

Top things to do on New Year’s Eve in Istanbul

New Year’s Eve is a time to rejoice, as the old year goes out and the new one comes in. Locals get together with family and friends, and travellers will also want to enjoy some time with those around them.

Istanbul’s streets are lit up on New Year’s Eve. For example — take a walk on the Istiklal street! Music plays, people cheer, and the streets are busy throughout the night. People often give gifts on New Year’s Eve and you will likely see locals exchanging presents. You may want to give a gift to a Turkish friend.

There will be fireworks displays in the city when the clock strikes midnight. A massive display will be organised by the city, but you may see some locals shooting off fireworks in their neighbourhoods or from their homes.

One of the most popular things to do is to venture down to the shores of the Bosphorus and find a place to sit and watch the fireworks over Istanbul. It is a romantic way to ring in the New Year and certainly budget-friendly.

New Year in Istanbul

You could celebrate New Year’s Eve in a unique way on a cruise sailing down the Bosphorus. The night sky will be illuminated by fireworks, as you enjoy your boat journey.

There is no shortage of clubs in Istanbul. You can dance the night away with friends or family in one of the city’s clubs. You may also find a concert, with musical acts entertaining the crowds.

You should plan your day well in advance to make sure you have a table for a posh restaurant or bar. It is first come, first served on a big night like New Year’s Eve.

Istanbul New Year’s Eve Weather

You may want to dress for the occasion because it is New Year’s Eve. Yet, keep in mind that Istanbul gets cold in late December and early January. The weather won’t be freezing, but it won’t be warm either.

Cool-weather engulfs the city in winter. In December, the average high in Istanbul is around 11°C, but the average highs dip below 10°C in January, which is the coldest month.

December can also be rainy in Istanbul, so be prepared for showers on New Year’s Eve. The days may not feature a lot of sun, as on average, Istanbul has three hours of daily sunlight in winter.

Istanbul New Year’s Eve fireworksNew Year in Istanbul

Istanbul has fantastic fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. The city’s display rivals other major cities in the world, which makes it one of the reasons tourists head to the Turkish city to ring in the New Year. The skies over Istanbul light up at midnight thanks to the incredible display of fireworks. The Bosphorus shimmers underneath the displays.
You can see the fireworks from all over the city. The waterfront and boat cruises are the ideal places to view the fireworks. You can also watch them from rooftops or perched on the hills around the city. When the fireworks go off, the city comes to a stop to watch them no matter where people are standing.

Boat cruises can be booked ahead of time, giving you the chance to party with other travellers and locals. Boats and yachts sail down the Bosphorus with the load booming fireworks going off overhead.

Regardless of what you choose to do on New Year’s Eve, you need to book it in advance. You could miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience for New Year’s Eve in Istanbul, if you don’t act quickly.

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