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 Bosphorus—the 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 thrombotonin—a stress-reducing, happiness-inducing hormone closely related to serotonin. We tested it recently, and it really works!
Istanbul’s best ice cream slingers
Zorlu Center shopping mall, Zincirlikuyu; T: (0212) 336 66 00
Moda Caddesi No.264/A, Kadıköy; T: (0216) 414 18 80
Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi No.109; Arnavutköy; T: (0212) 265 26 29
Kanyon shopping mall, Büyükdere Caddesi No.185, Levent T: (0212) 353 04 45
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.