By. Justin Mays
Autumn in Istanbul
Often, I get asked about the weather throughout the year in Turkey and people are sometimes surprised to hear that in many parts of the country there are four distinct seasons. As summer winds downs, the changes have already been obvious in Istanbul with lovely sunny days and cooler evenings. Rooftop and terrace restaurants are moving tables indoors, the trees are turning colors, pumpkins and pomegranates are gracing produce stalls again, and life returns to normal as people move from their summer homes back to property in Istanbul. From late September to November, autumn in Istanbul enchants and life returns to normal after the summer holidays. What does this look like for people living here
Annual Fashion and Art events
With the crowds returning to the city, people are eager to socialize, and Istanbul provides many opportunities by welcoming art and fashion enthusiasts from around the world. These have become must-attend events for many excited to return to city life. Local fashion houses host shows and events for Fashion Week Istanbul to showcase their creators and designs. Turkey is home to many young and innovative designers that take advantage of its strong textile and production industry, and it doesn’t fail to impress. IKSV hosts the Istanbul Biennial or the Design Biennial every other year, a massive undertaking, opening exhibitions in different sites around the city in September through November. Istanbul Contemporary is an annual art fair that showcases the city’s excellent galleries with many international galleries and collectors joining the fair too. Akbank Jazz festival is now in its 31st year with many top musicians on the agenda. Istanbul is a cultural hub on par with other famous cities which is making an impact far beyond Turkey in European, Asian and American markets. Autumn is a time to roam the rich exhibitions available to the public.
Run a Marathon
Ever dreamed of running across two continents? Held in late October or early November Offering a full marathon, 15 K or a 5 km fun walk, the marathon is an exciting time to push your physical limits. Bonus: the Istanbul Marathon is the only time of year that you can walk across the Bosphorus Bridge and the time to capture some birds eye view photos!
Wander Istanbul’s natural spots
Bordered by the Marmara and Black Sea, mountains and forests allow for weekend wanders to enjoy the cooler weather and change of seasons. Belgrad Forest and the Ataturk Kent Ormani (Forest) are located towards the north of the city and excellent spots to wander trails. There are expat jogging groups that frequent these spots and bike paths begging to be used. Polenezkoy is another beautiful, forested spot where you can enjoy a weekend visit. Even further afield you can drive to Safranbolu to spend a weekend in an Ottoman house and see the leaves change to yellow in the woods around it.
Support your favorite local soccer team
Fall is the start of the Super Lig, now in its 63rd season. Locals flock to the home section their favorite classic teams like Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray or support up-and-coming clubs like Kasimpasa.
Have a fish dinner
Autumn is the fish season in Istanbul, and you will know you’re truly a resident when you have refrained from eating fish all summer to get fish at its peak time. Coming from both seas, there is a rich selection of fish from sea bream to bonito to swordfish and more. Gather a group of friends and enjoy some local spirits with your meze and fish.
Participate in the grape harvest at a vineyard
The wine industry is having a moment in Turkey, after being on decline the Thrace area around Istanbul is home to many vineyards. September is harvest time and you can hire a driver and enjoy vineyard tours with wine tastings, informative sessions about the harvest and a good local meal.
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