A Rainy Day In Istanbul? All The Do’s and Don’ts That Day!

You might think that rain has ruined a day of your Istanbul trip but worry not because there are so many things you can still do. As long as it’s not raining heavily, you can still continue exploring Istanbul easily. So, let’s see what are the dos and don’ts you should know during a rainy day in Istanbul. Prepare your raincoat and boots, because we are about a get a little bit!

Table of Contents

What to Do On a Rainy Day in Istanbul?

There are lots of activities you can do during a rainy day in Istanbul. If it’s not heavy rain, you don’t really need to cancel your plans. Considering that you have packed some warm clothes just in case of bad weather for your Istanbul trip, let’s see what are your options for such days:

  • Turkish Hammam & Spa Day
  • Visit Istanbul Attractions
  • See Some Art
  • Shop For Souvenirs
  • Grab a Turkish Tea or Coffee
  • Try New Turkish Foods
  • Do Fun Indoor Activities
  • See a New Movie
  • Ride a Ferry
  • Go For a Walk

Turkish Hammam & Spa Day

Nothing beats the self-care day when it comes to rainy days. Turkish baths are one of the best cultural indoor activities you can ever experience in Istanbul. However, we recommend you go to private Turkish baths for better outcomes. Because public hammams may not be comfortable for sharing the area with strangers. So, here are the best Turkish bath spots you can go to in Istanbul:

Çatma Mescit Hammam

Çatma Mescit Hammam provides a true VIP Turkish bath experience for its customers. It is totally private and works with appointments. Along with the Turkish hammam experience, you can have massages, spa classics, far-east massages, therapeutic massages, and face and body treatments.

Novatas Turkish Bath & Spa

Novatas Crystal Spa & Hammam is another great private Turkish hammam that works with appointments. They offer massages, spa classics, far-east massages, therapeutic massages, and face and body treatments.

Visit Istanbul Attractions

Most Istanbul attractions are indoors which means rain shouldn’t stop you from exploring the heritage of the city. Although most of the attractions are on the European side of Istanbul, some of them can be far away from your locations. Thinking of the weather, it’s better for you to visit the attractions which are near your accommodation.

For example, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Basilica Cistern are so close to each other and they can still cover your day. If it’s not raining heavily and you have seen these main four attractions, you can still visit other Istanbul attractions.

See Some Art

There’s nothing better than feeding your soul with art when it’s raining outside. Whether a physical or digital exhibition, art lovers shouldn’t miss this opportunity on such a day. There are lots of art museums and exhibitions both on the European and Asia sides of Istanbul you can visit.

If you are close to the Beyoglu district, Pera Museum and Madame Tussauds are some of the best options to spend your time efficiently. You can also go to Arter which is close to both museums.

Shop For Souvenirs

Shopping is a great way to spend your time during your Istanbul trip if it’s raining. You can get gifts for your loved ones or for yourself. Especially in the streets of Istanbul, you will see shops showing their goods to attract you. Although they might be retrieved because of the rain, you can still see them inside. Here, are all the best places to shop in Istanbul:

Malls of Istanbul

Istanbul is full of malls and they can be found everywhere. They have all kinds of shops that sell traditional to modern clothing, furniture, and souvenirs. However, the most popular malls in Istanbul such as Zorlu Center, Istinye Park, and Cevahir are mainly focused on luxury shopping for foreigners. Still, you’ll be able to find the things you are looking for.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar is an amazing covered shopping spot for both tourists and locals to have shelter and shopping time at the same time. There, you can discover traditional Istanbul souvenirs along with sweets, keychains, lamps, and so much more. If you are to go around Topkapi Palace or Hagia Sophia, don’t end the day after sightseeing and explore the Grand Bazaar in the Beyazit neighborhood.

Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar is right behind the Eminonu port which is also close to Marmaray Sirkeci station. You can find a variety of herbs, teas, spices, chocolates, Turkish delights, and other kinds of items. 

Grab a Turkish Tea or Coffee

Watching raindrops fall from above while enjoying Turkish coffee or Turkish tea in a cafe is one of the most calming things you can do in Istanbul. While listening to the rain, the warm tea cup will soothe your soul and you’ll feel the peace in flowing into your soul. For such an experience, here are some spot recommendations


Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, Mandabatmaz is famed for its unspillable Turkish coffee. Raindrops on the windows create the perfect backdrop as you savor the rich, aromatic brew. Take a moment to enjoy the cozy ambiance and let the rain add a touch of magic to your coffee experience.

The House Cafe

The House Cafe offers a refuge from the rain with its warm and inviting atmosphere. Gaze out at the rain-drenched cityscape while sipping on a cup of Turkish tea or coffee. Whether you’re solo or with company, this café provides a delightful escape from the weather outside.

Asmali Kahve (Firuz Ağa Tea Garden)

Find solace from the rain at Asmali Kahve, a charming tea garden with a historical touch. Surrounded by greenery, this spot is ideal for enjoying Turkish tea amidst the soothing sound of raindrops. Let the natural beauty of the garden blend with the rhythm of the rain.

Try New Turkish Foods

If you don’t feel like sightseeing while it’s raining, you can still go to several food spots to try new Turkish dishes. From Iskender kebap to baklava, there are so many traditional Turkish foods that are waiting for you to bite. You can check Turkish restaurants near you to find a decent place and have an amazing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We also recommend you to eat at a spot which has a view of Bosphorus.

Do Fun Indoor Activities

Doing entertaining indoor activities is best when it’s raining heavily. Rain shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to having fun. There are lots of activities you can do to make great memories in Istanbul. 


Grab your favorite book and go to a nearby cafe. The relaxing background music of the cafe that combines with rain and the smell of Turkish tea or coffee will be enough to set up the mood to relieve your stress.

Tabletop Games

If you go to Istanbul with a group of people, that rainy day is the best opportunity for you to get to know them more. There are some cafes that provide tabletop games for their customers and most of the time they are Okey or backgammon. However, you can also find a spot that has games like Monopoly or Jenga.


Either by yourself or with a group of people, singing with all of your lungs is fun at karaoke. There are lots of karaoke spots in Istanbul and you will definitely find one near the place you’re staying.

Workshop Events

You can sign up for a workshop event if the weather forecast says that a rainy day is expected. Even if rain is not expected, you can still find a workshop to pass the time that day either way.


Most of the bowling places can be found in the malls of Istanbul. Although some malls don’t have one, you can check the nearby malls around you and see if their gaming grounds include a bowling spot or not. You can also find individual bowling spots in Istanbul.

See a New Movie

Seeing that it’s a rainy day in Istanbul opens a new door to doing other activities such as going to the cinema instead of sightseeing. During your trip, the movie you had been waiting for might have been released and it’s in the cinemas. 

Ride a Ferry

Riding a ferry is one of the unique Istanbul experiences during rain for foreigners especially if it’s their first time. Although it can be cold, you can try sitting on the upper floor of the ferry and feel the rain. 

Go For a Walk

When it comes to rainy days, especially Istiklal Avenue turns into a dream that can be experienced physically. The combination of view, people, lights, umbrellas, nostalgic tram, and rain will create such an environment. Put your earphones or headphones on and listen to cozy music while walking down the streets. You can easily find your inner piece and get rid of the overwhelming stress of the city itself.

What To Avoid During Rainy Days In Istanbul?

Especially during rainy days, there are several actions and things you should be aware of during your Istanbul trip which are:

  • Going to Princes’ Islands
  • Using Low-Quality Umbrellas
  • Be Careful of the Puddles
  • Be Mindful of the Sidewalk
  • Walking by the Seaside
  • Avoid Using Land Transportation

Going to Princes’ Islands

Princes’ Islands are almost all about sun, beach, walking, hiking, and cycling. When it rains, there’s almost nothing to do there particularly. Going to one of these islands in such weather can be a waste of time and energy.

Using Low-Quality Umbrellas

Istanbul is a windy city in general. Especially when it rains, the speed of wind also increases naturally. So, if you are to go out with a low-quality umbrella, the likelihood of it snapping is high.

Be Careful of the Puddles

Not every road in Istanbul is as flat as wood. Rain can create puddles in close to the sidewalks and fast-going cars can splash water on you. Don’t forget to observe your surroundings so that you don’t get more wet.

Be Mindful of the Sidewalk

Same as the roads, some sidewalks of Istanbul can be tricky to walk and hard to see the obstacles in the rain. There can be missing paving stones or holes in the sidewalk. Sometimes you may even encounter a tree growing right in the middle of the pavement and the soil can mud your shoes if you step on it. So, know where you are stepping and be safe!

Walking by the Seaside

The coast of Bosphorus is stunning for everyone but not every time. During cold weather or rainy days, the wind can be freezing and waves can be wild, splashing all over you. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t walk by the Bosphorus of course. Dress warmly and fill tea or coffee in your thermos, you can keep warm and enjoy the view this way.

Using Land Transportation

The unspoken rule of Istanbul is to use land transportation when it rains. Every local knows about this, so should you! Because rain lowers sight distance, drivers usually lower their speed and drive more carefully. This makes congestion longer on land transportation except for tram lines.

So, when it rains it’s better to use underground transportation and the Metrobus, otherwise, it will feel like forever to reach the place you want to go.