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What to wear in Turkey in every season

What to wear in Turkey in every season

Are you wondering what to wear in Turkey? This guide tells you what you should pack for Turkey whatever season you are visiting and for whatever activities you are doing from visiting cities like Istanbul, UNESCO world heritage sites like Cappadocia or beach resorts like Antalya.

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Turkey Dress Code Rules

Woman outside Hagia Sophia - Hagia Sophia Dress Code
Hagia Sophia Dress Code

Before we can get into specific outfit recommendations for Turkey, it is first worth taking a moment to discuss ITurkey’s Dress code requirements.

Many people forget that Turkey is a Muslim Country and therefore more conservative and modest attire is more respectful of local culture. We recommend sticking to clothes that aren’t too skimpy i.e. cover your shoulders and knees no matter where you are traveling in Turkey.

This is good advice if you plan to visit the Middle East generally and is very important if you are visiting religious sites in Turkey such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. However personally I would always stick to keeping shoulders and knees covered when traveling in Turkey outside of the beach resorts as even though you will see more relaxed outfits in Istanbul the skimpier the outfit you wear, the more unwanted attention you are likely to attract.

So now you know about the Turkey Dress Code rules, we will turn our attention on what to wear to season by season.

What to wear to Turkey in Summer (June, July and August)

Woman in white dress looking at Ephesus ruins in Turkey
What to wear in Turkey in Summer

Turkey in Summer is classified as June, July and August and is famed for its hot weather. Summers in Turkey tend to be hot and dry but it really depends on the region you are traveling to as to how hot it gets.

For instance, the high temperatures in Istanbul in Summer tend to hover around 27-29°C (80-84°F) with Cappadocia being slightly lower. While the coastal regions such as Antalya and Bodrum tend to be warmest.

Therefore no matter where you travel in Turkey it is really important to pack for the heat.

As such we would recommend putting the below on your Turkey summer packing list:

Maxi Dresses and Maxi Skirts

Because of the combination of hot weather and conservative dress code maxi dresses and maxi skirts are the perfect addition to your Turkey in Summer packing list. We recommend selecting items made of natural fabrics as opposed to man-made fabrics. These are more breathable and will reduce sweat when outside.

We also recommend selecting items that are more loose and flowing as opposed to tight fitting as these are better for heat and dress code adherence.

And for this reason, I would always select a dress with a cap sleeve or longer i.e. no spaghetti straps. I would also watch out for any revealing slits or backless dresses which might not be modest enough for local sensibilities or may attract unwanted attention.

Loose Trousers

These are great for religious places with strict dress codes in Turkey. I personally like to wear linen in hot countries.

T Shirts and Blouses

These are perfect for out exploring Turkey and can be paired with skirts or trousers. However, be sure to pack a top that has shoulder coverage and something with long sleeves for religious attractions.


Although it is hot in Turkey in Summer we still recommend packing some light top layers like waterfall cardigans.

Note: if you are traveling to Cappadocia and plan to take a hot air balloon ride you will want some thicker layers even in Summer.


I never travel anywhere in the Middle East without a pashmina. These are perfect for chilly mornings and evenings, for places with fierce air conditioning such as restaurants and malls, and are great for making outfits more modest especially when visiting religious sites.


Hats are the perfect instagram accessory so if you plan on taking some insta snaps this is a good addition to your packing list.


It is bright during the summer months in Turkey so don’t leave the sunglasses at home.

What to wear to Turkey in Winter (December, January and February)

Woman stood in Istabul in front of Hagia Sophia in Winter
What to wear in Turkey in Winter

Winter in Turkey is classified as December, January and February. And Winter in Turkey can be one of the most picturesque and quietest times to visit this amazing place. However, you will need to pack for cold weather.

Now depending on where you are going will depend how cold it gets and the weather condition you will experience. In Istanbul for instance the average temperatures during this period are 4C/40F to 10C/50F with January and February being the coldest months and January being the wettest.

However in Cappadocia the temperatures are even lower and you are likely to experience snowy and icy conditions.

Therefore depending on the activities you are doing and however no matter the region you are traveling to you should pack:


These are essential as the wind can be cold especially if you plan to get out onto the water. In my opinion it is better to have too many layers and be able to remove some than find yourself shivering. I really like to have merino wall sweatrs with me as they are thin but insulating and fleeces which dry quickly on wet days.

Hat, Scarf and Gloves

As I mentioned above it does get cold in Turkey in Winter therefore you will be wanting all the normal regular Winter accessories with you.

Jeans / Trousers

Jeans are a great choice for Winter in Turkey are thicker than other trousers. But you will also want some trousers that are more comfortable for walking in, especially for walking in the rain in.

If you are heading to the mountains or colder parts of Turkey you may want to add fleece lined jeans to the list.


A coat is absolutely a necessity during Winter in Turkey. We recommend something warm like a down parka. However we also recommend picking a coat that has some water resistance or waterproof coating to cope with the rainy days.

Hiking Socks

For me there is nothing worse than cold feet so you will want hiking socks with you for out of trails and in the outdoors.

Shoes with Good Sole

We talk about shoes more in the best shoes for Turkey later, however it is worth pointing out here that is is essential to have shoes with a good sole for Winter.

What to wear to Turkey in Spring and Fall (March, April and May and September, October and November)

Couple on wall in Cappadoccia
What to wear in Turkey (Dress code and packing list)

Turkey in the shoulder seasons is one of the best times to visit for both crowds and weather. Depending on the month you are travelling in will depend on whether your list should lean more towards the summer or the winter packing list.

Generally speaking however, for March and November I would consider packing more layers as they are closer to Winter. And for April, May, September and October I would add more summer wear but still have layers with me.

I recommend adding the below to the Shoulder season packing lists

Hoodie / Sweater / Jumper / Poncho

You will definitely want top layers with you during this period. For May and September you can probably get away with a lighter weight hoodie. However for the Winter adjacent months you will want thicker and more layers with you.

For November you may also want a heavy weight coat.


Great no matter the month you visit Turkey.


Again this is perfect as an additional layer for cooler periods and is great for making outfits more modest.

Best Shoes for Turkey

Couple sat on rooftop looking at balloons in Cappadocia
Turkey dress code

My number one shoe for Istanbul for Summer and the shoulder seasons, in particular, is a sneaker. Sneakers cope well with the cobblestone streets in the more historic parts of the city and are comfortable for long days of walking.

However for summer you may want some sandals on your packing list too!

In the Winter some thick heel boots are also a great pick. Just be sure to leave suede shoes at home as it does get rainy in the winer.

You could also take flip flips with you in Summer for using round resort pools but these are not really suitable elsewhere in the capital.

What to Pack for Turkey no matter the season

On top of clothes you may also want to consider packing the following for a break in Turkey:

  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera / Aftersun
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Power Pack / Battery recharger
  • Crossbody bag 
  • camera – it is a beautiful place you will want to take lots of photographs.