January in Turkey

Last Updated on December 14, 2023

January (Ocak) is the second month of winter in Turkey. The weather is ideal for those wishing a winter holiday. Most tourist spots are covered in snow, offering visitors a crisp breath of air from city life. It is the perfect time for snowboarding and enjoying hot chocolate at a ski resort in Turkey.

Where to Travel in January?

Ski resorts and snowboard centers are among the popular choices for holidayers in Turkey. The most popular spots to enjoy snowy scenery are in Central Anatolia and Eastern Turkey: Bursa (Uludağ Ski Center), Kayseri (Erciyes Ski Center), Antalya (Saklıkent Ski Center), Cappadocia, and Ankara, covered in white snow!

Another popular choice, Istanbul, is rainy and chilling on many days, perhaps with some light snow and intermittent sunny days. The Mediterranean coast beach resorts are in hibernation, rainy, and chilly on many days.

Popular Activities in January

January is the perfect time for getting time off to enjoy the crisp mountain air and stunning scenic views of snowy hills. Popular activities during January include:

Taking tours of historical sites such as Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofia), Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Ephesus (Efes), and Bergama/ Pergamum.

Common Events, Festivals, and Holidays in January

Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 6th (Armenian Orthodox) or 7th (Greek Orthodox). Istanbul's Orthodox churches are filled with worshippers, and the Armenian and Greek Orthodox Patriarchs make the rounds to bless their congregation. Learn more about Christmas in Turkey.

If you are traveling to Turkey on December 31 to celebrate New Year's Day, you can anticipate seeing a variety of fireworks displays, public celebrations, and private celebrations in bars and clubs. 

Percentage of Tourists in Turkey in January

January can be a high season for ski centers and winter spots for local and international tourists. However, resorts are still vacant compared to the high season in summer.  

What Do You Need to Know Before Traveling to Turkey in January

January can get really cold, averaging minus degrees in Anatolian regions and one-digit degrees in coastal regions such as Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean regions. So, remember to pack well and plan your trip beforehand. 

Travel to Turkey in January

January is the perfect time for relaxing at a ski resort in Turkey. Many world-famous ski resorts in Turkey offer scenic snow-white hills and world-class service. Also, remember to take advantage of the low season in Turkey to visit famous sites such as Topkapı Palace, Cappadocia, and Ephesus (Efes) without the crowds.

Turkey offers a variety of activities and places to visit in January. So, make travel plans to spend the winter in Turkey. 

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

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