Even when the temperature gets too high during summertimes, there is always a way to stay cool in Istanbul. Here are some things to do for escaping the heat while enjoying the city at the same time.

Take a ferry ride

Take a ferry ride across the Bosphorusthe benches along the sides of the ship are always the breeziest spots with the best view! Here you can cool down and let your mind wander while the ferry glides past magnificent palaces and little fishing boats.

Say yes to ice cream

Eat plenty of ice cream, what else? The creamy-cool foodstuff is known to boost production of thrombotonina stress-reducing, happiness-inducing hormone closely related to serotonin. We tested it recently, and it really works!

Istanbul’s best ice cream slingers
Istanbul’s Italian grocery paradise serves up creamy gelato goodness made from fresh cow’s milk.
Zorlu Center shopping mall, Zincirlikuyu; T: (0212) 336 66 00
Ask anyone in Moda for their summer favorite, and they will probably direct you to Ali Usta’s ice cream shop. Get your scoop to eat right away, or buy your favorite flavor by the kilo to take home.
Moda Caddesi No.264/A, Kadıköy; T: (0216) 414 18 80
Sells Italian ice cream in the form of gelato and sorbet. Try their whiskey-chocolate flavor!
Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi No.109; Arnavutköy; T: (0212) 265 26 29
Their frozen yoghurt is the healthy alternative to ice cream, and oh so refreshing! Customize it with toppings from fresh fruit, to crunchy-sweet chocolate and nuts.
Kanyon shopping mall, Büyükdere Caddesi No.185, Levent T: (0212) 353 04 45

Go underground

To cool down, the best thing is to avoid direct sunlight. If crouching along the sides of large buildings is not your thing, why not go underground? The Basilica Cistern or Yerebatan Sarayı (Sunken Palace) is great for a walk in the dark. Also, more exciting sights below street level awaiting you to discover in Subterranean sights of Istanbul. Yerebatan Caddesi No.13, Sultanahmet; T: (0212) 522 12 59

Enjoy the greenery

If you like your cool with a side of green, Atatürk Arboretum is the place to go. Situated within the vast Belgrade Forest north of Istanbul, this place is a living tree museum cultivated by the Forestry Faculty of Istanbul University. Three lakes and a wide range of native and non-native trees make a stroll around this peaceful spot simultaneously refreshing and educational. Belgrad Ormanı, Bahçeköy

Visit a museum

The antique marble statues at Istanbul Archaeological Museum couldn’t care less about the raging summer heat. Do as they do and spend an inspiring afternoon among fascinating artefacts from excavations in and around Istanbul. Alemdar Caddesi, Osman Hamdi Bey Yokuşu Sokak, Sultanahmet; T: (0212) 520 77 40

Jump into a pool

A dip in one of the city’s swanky hotel pools is definitely more upscale than a cold shower at home, and its side effects may include anything from a deep tan to a boost in your social life.

Head to Şile

If all of the above fails, it’s time to escape to Şile. This little seaside town on the Black Sea coast an hour northeast of Istanbul boasts several picturesque rocky bays and sand beaches. The sea may be a bit rough sometimes, but a fairly reliable breeze provides cooling effects onshore.

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