Istanbul gets so cold in the winter but that doesn't mean it's not the perfect time to visit this beautiful city. Here's 6 reasons why you should visit Istanbul in the winter months. The rush isn't as big in the winter months, so it's a great time to have places like the Basilica Cistern all to yourself. Being there alone really captures the eerie, magical nature of the place more than if you're bumping into tour groups all the time. It can be quite cold in Istanbul in the winter, and on those cold rainy days there is absolutely nothing in the world that warms you up quite like a hamam day. Get that massage, that steam bath, lie on the hot stone – it's the most relaxing way to spend a day and a couple hours in a historic hamam warms not just your body, but your soul as well. Possibly the greatest thing about Istanbul in the winter is just how beautiful it is.