What to do, what to see in February in Istanbul?
Is the February weather a good time to visit Istanbul? What to do in Istanbul in February News, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events.
Check out our selection of events in Istanbul to help you organize and make the most of your trip.
During February, Istanbul enjoys a cool, sometimes cold, winter climate, with average temperatures ranging from 4 to 12 degrees Celsius. It is strongly recommended to bring warm layered clothing, including a jacket or coat, to cope with the weather.
Although precipitation is generally moderate, the possibility of sporadic snowfall, particularly at the start of the month (increasingly rare), should be taken into account. It is advisable to consult the weather forecast closer to the date of travel for up-to-date information.
Lucky for you, February is a month of low tourist season. You’ll be able to discover the major sites in peace and quiet, with the space to fully appreciate them, which is a real advantage, given how crowded it can be in high season. It’s also cheaper to fly and stay in hotels.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has recently added a modern touch to the city’s historic peninsula by renovating the “Sira Dükkanlar”, an emblematic structure designed by the architect Sinan.
These shops, now grouped together under the name of the IMM Istanbul Design Museum, have become a center of attraction incorporating social spaces, workshops and events bringing together artisans, designers and artists. As well as the must-see monuments such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, a visit to the Süleymaniye Mosque and its surroundings is highly recommended.
Also on the scene, in January the Istanbul Modern Museum was included in the list of ‘Great Works of 2024’ by Architectural Digest, one of the world’s leading architecture and design magazines, and has now been included in National Geographic’s ‘World’s Best’ list. It has been chosen as one of the “20 Best Cultural Places” and has been judged “well worth a visit”. We therefore recommend that you visit this museum, designed by Renzo Piano, and discover its permanent collections, which also include works by contemporary Turkish artists.
It is a significant addition to Istanbul’s cultural landscape. If you want a historical and visual perspective on Istanbul, we recommend visiting the Pera Museum and the Meşher Art Gallery, located close together in the Beyoğlu district.
Our selection of concerts
11 February Büyük Ev Ablukada Ses Tiyatrosu
The acoustic concerts by Büyük Ev Ablukada, one of the most popular local bands of recent years thanks to their electronic sounds, are continuing. They are planning a unique event: a sit-down concert with three members of the group. This will highlight old songs from their discography, in the nostalgic atmosphere of the Theatre, one of Beyoğlu’s oldest theatres. This historic space, where conversation and music merge, provides an intimate setting for this musical experience. Concerts by Büyük Ev Ablukada, who recently unveiled their latest album ‘Defansif Dizayn’, have regularly sold out, underlining the high demand for this unique sonic experience.
24 February Voyou, IKSV Salon
French poly-instrumentalist and composer Thibaud Vanhooland, better known as Voyou, will be the guest at IKSV Salon on 24 February. Renowned for his multi-talented talents, he released his debut album, ‘Les bruits de la ville’, in 2019, followed by ‘Des confettis en désordre’ in 2020, and ‘Chroniques terrestres’ in 2021. Vanhooland has also contributed to the composition and arrangement of music for artists such as Yelle, Vincent Delerm and Melissa Lavaux, as well as renowned groups such as British trip-hop duo Morcheeba and American garage band The Black Lips. Voyou will be making his debut on the Salon stage for his very first concert in Turkey, presenting his latest album ‘Les Royaumes Minuscules’ and the single ‘Le Bal’, recorded with Vanessa Paradis in early 2024. A promising event for music fans looking to discover the unique art of this artist of diverse influences.
Istanbul is home to a thriving selection of local jazz. Aside from venues such as Nardiss and Bova in Beyoğlu, Touché, located in the Zorlu shopping center auditorium, offers the chance to catch a concert almost every night. For a rewarding musical experience, we suggest you check their programs regularly for outstanding performances.
Our selection of exhibitions
Until 24 March: “A Conscious Look at the Panorama of Istanbul ✨👁✨ Pera Museum
“On the Spot: Panoramic Gaze on Istanbul, a History” explores representation across the Ottoman world and in Europe, featuring a variety of materials, including ephemera, archival documents, as well as paintings, prints and photographs. It examines the fluidity within this diversity and the dialogues between different media.
A unique digital experience inspired by a panoramic work from the exhibition “Intersecting Worlds: Ambassadors and Painters” offers an immersion in the “Panorama of Istanbul”, a painting by Antoine de Favray dating from 1770-1773. This video fuses art and mental experience in a powerful way.
The exhibition covers a period from the 15th century, when Istanbul was the Ottoman capital, to the first quarter of the 20th century. The exhibition is a rich visual record of the city, and features over 100 works, ranging from paintings showing wide-angle views of Istanbul to engravings, rare books to albums, panoramic photographs to objects from everyday life in Istanbul.
The producers of the works on display vary considerably. Different techniques are highlighted in the works produced by Westerners, from ship captains to travelers, from soldiers to ambassadors, from writers, painters and photographers to architects and town planners, sometimes for political or military purposes, sometimes for aesthetic reasons.
Until 19 May – Artistanbul Feshane collaborates with TATE on “The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Op and Kinetic Art
The lack of a public space for international contemporary art exhibitions in Istanbul has been one of the most talked-about issues in recent years. In response to this shortcoming, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality restored the 200-year-old historic building in Eyüp, called “Feshane-i Amire”, and reopened it in June 2023 under the name “Artİstanbul Feshane”. It is Istanbul’s largest cultural and artistic space in the public realm, housing the collection “The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Op and Kinetic Art” from the Tate, one of the world’s most renowned contemporary art museums.
The collection, curated by Valentina Ravaglia, Curator of Exhibitions and International Art at the Tate Modern Museum, includes a multidisciplinary selection of works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Victor Vasarely, Lygia Clark, Liliane Lijn, Julio Le Parc, Jesus Rafael Soto, Kenneth Noland and Helio Oiticica, among others.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Another place
Istanbul’s Gallery of Modern Photography opens with the photography exhibition ‘Another place’ by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of the most original directors in contemporary cinema. Burgan Bank is sponsoring the exhibition, which includes 22 large-scale portraits taken by the artist in different parts of the world, including India, Georgia, China, Morocco and Russia, as well as Turkey.
The Istanbul Modern Cinema
Foreigners at the Oscars
In the run-up to this year’s 96th Academy Awards, Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a selection of 10 films in the Best International Film category. This exciting category, within a hotly contested competition, is of particular interest to world cinema. The films in this category, representing different geographical and cultural areas, are Oscar-nominated films that stray from the Hollywood mainstream, despite having screened and won awards at numerous film festivals around the world. Highlights of the program include first-time Oscar nominee ‘The Monk and the Gun’, representing Bhutan, İlker Çatak’s ‘The Teachers’ Lounge’, representing Germany, and Anthony Chen’s Singaporean ‘The Breaking Ice’, which premiered at Cannes.
The Super League is in the midst of fierce competition between Galatasaray, last year’s champions, and Fenerbahçe, who are aiming to end a 10-year wait. The squads of both teams include world-class players such as Icardi, Mertens, Hakim Ziyech, Dzeko, Tadic and Bonucci.
Galatasaray, who finished 3rd in the Champions League group stage, continue their UEFA Cup campaign. Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, is making progress in the Confederation Cup by finishing top of their group, showing great ambitions for this year’s competition.
Beşiktaş JK and Trabzonspor are battling for 3rd place. In addition to the four champion teams, Istanbul is represented in the Super League by four other teams: Başakşehir, Fatih Karagümrük, Kasımpaşa, İstanbulspor and Pendikspor.
Here are the main matches of the month:
10 February: Galatasaray vs. Başakşehir at Nef Stad
11 February: Fenerbahçe vs. Alanyaspor at the Ülker Stadium
15 February: Galatasaray vs. Sparta Prague at the Nef Stad UEFA Europe
18 February: Beşiktaş vs. Konyaspor at Vodafone Park
Find all the matches in Istanbul here.
If you would like to attend a match with us, click here.
For other activities that we propose to you in February 2024, click here.