What Time Is It Istanbul? Complete Guide to Understanding Istanbul’s Time Zone

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Wondering “What time is it Istanbul?” Let’s get you all the information!

When I moved to Istanbul, Turkey, this was one of the hardest things to not only figure out for myself but also help my family get.

Thankfully the iPhone now has a “sleep” mode so my parents didn’t wake me up when they called me at 6 p.m. their time and 4 a.m. mine!

This can be a tricky thing to always remember though. I came up with an easy way I can now quickly figure it out…I’ll tell you but most people somehow are confused by it, though I don’t know why.

I take my time and add two hours, making it the opposite of the 12-hour period I am in and that’s what time it is in PST.

For example, if it is 8 p.m. here in Turkey, that means it is 10 a.m. PST. For them, they would subtract 2 hours. So 10 p.m. would mean that it is my 8 a.m.

Easy peasy.

In case that is confusing for you let me give you the actual time here in Istanbul now, share some facts about Turkey time, and give you a really handy app that I use when scheduling meetings with people back home.

Let’s dive in and learn all the things!

what time is it in Istanbul right now?

Time Zone information for Istanbul

Istanbul falls under Turkey’s standard time zone, which is Eastern European Time (EET).

EET is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3), also often referred to as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3).

Türkiye also does not change their clocks in the summer like many countries do.

Impact of not participating in the common time change

Daylight Saving Time (DST) typically involves advancing the clock one hour near the start of Spring and setting it back again in Autumn.

This adjustment aims to make better use of natural daylight during the evenings and also to conserve energy by reducing the need for artificial lighting at night

It has historically been practiced in Turkey, and thus, Istanbul, however, Turkey ceased the practice of DST in 2016.

The decision was made to aid in better coordination of business and public services across the country.

Since then, Turkey, along with Istanbul, has followed Eastern European Time (EET) year-round.

Yet, it is labeled as Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) in official communication to indicate that it is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3), rather than the typical 2 hours of EET.

This detail can sometimes lead to confusion among tourists and international businessmen, warranting the necessity to keep updated about the current local time in Istanbul.

The Intersection of Istanbul’s Time with Global Business Hours

As a city that bridges two continents and is considered a hub for global commerce, many multinational corporations often need to coordinate with Istanbul.

Having an understanding of the local time makes it easier to schedule meetings, send communications, and address customer service issues, among other things.

Therefore, keeping tabs on Istanbul’s time helps international businesses build effective strategies for various functions.

Whether you are planning a trip to Istanbul or conducting business with the city, grasping the nuances of its local time can make a significant difference to your overall experience and success.

Istanbul Sign - Driving in Turkey

Tracking world time with a time zone converter

In our digital age, keeping track of the local time in any city, including Istanbul, has become considerably simpler.

There are several tools at your disposal, from applications to websites, that provide real-time, accurate information on Istanbul’s time.

My absolute favorite is Time Buddy. They have both a website and an app.

What I love about it is I can log in and save a few locations for free. Then when I am trying to schedule something, it makes it so easy to see how the times line up.

But if there are multiple people participating, you can see all of the time zones at the same time.

screen shot of world time buddy

Tips for Adjusting to Turkey Time When Traveling

Here are few tips that always help me settle in, whether headed to Turkey or home from Turkey.

When traveling to Istanbul, adjusting your watches and devices to Istanbul’s time the moment you land can assist in jet lag recovery.

Most people have digital everything these days so it can fairly easy unless you don’t have access to WiFi.

It can also be beneficial to adapt to the new time zone a few days prior to your departure by adjusting your sleep and meal schedules.

This way, you can enjoy your stay in Istanbul largely free from the inconveniences of jet lag.

Something else that has really helped me that doesn’t have to do with time but jetlag is drinking a lot of water on my flights.

Obviously, this is not medical advice but planes dehydrate you and when you’re dehydrated you don’t feel the best.

When I drink water I feel a million times better even if it means I don’t sleep because I am peeing the whole trip.

So, arm yourself with these tools and tips, and you’ll have a much smoother transition.

About Istanbul

Istanbul, historically referred to as Byzantium and Constantinople, stands as Turkey’s largest city and the 14th largest city across the globe.

It’s likely that the correct information regarding its population of 15.6 million is probably closer to 18-19 million.

This remarkable metropolis is not only a megacity but also the epicenter of Turkey’s cultural and financial activities.

Encompassing 39 diverse districts within the Istanbul province, it is strategically positioned along the Bosphorus Strait, embracing the natural harbor called the Golden Horn in the northwestern part of the nation.

Remarkably, Istanbul stretches across both the European (Thrace) and Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, making it a truly unique metropolis, the only one in the world that spans two continents.

İstanbul Time zone FAQs

What is the Istanbul time zone?

Istanbul, like the rest of Turkey, follows Eastern European Time (EET), which is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+3), otherwise known as GMT+3. This is a constant throughout the year, as Turkey does not change their clocks.

Does Istanbul switch to Daylight Saving Time during summer?

No, unlike many countries, Turkey, and in turn Istanbul, does not observe DST. This means the country does not adjust its clock forward in the summer months, rendering time tracking relatively simpler.

Is Istanbul’s time zone different from that of other major Turkish cities?

No, all cities in Turkey, including Istanbul, adhere to the same time zone – Eastern European Time (UTC+3). Therefore, the time in Istanbul would be identical to the time in Ankara, Izmir, or any other city across Turkey.

How can I keep track of the current time in Istanbul?

You can easily keep track of the current time in Istanbul by using a variety of online platforms, mobile applications, or digital time conversion tools. My favorite is World Time Buddy.

How can understanding Istanbul’s time zone aid my travel planning?

Understanding Istanbul’s time zone can greatly enhance your travel experience. It can help you plan your itinerary, considering local opening hours for attractions, restaurants, public transportation, and more. It can also assist in overcoming jet lag by facilitating a smoother adjustment to the local time.

Eminonu in Istanbul, Turkey
Here you will see ferries come and go, seagulls caw and people walk to and fro.

Final thoughts on the time in Istanbul

If you have been asking the question: “What time is it in Istanbul?” hopefully now you know!

You hopefully also know that the current local time in Turkey can be found at the beginning of this post.

You will also note that, unlike many other countries, they don’t change their clocks in the summer. This consistency significantly simplifies time tracking.

There are numerous digital tools and platforms available for tracking time in Istanbul, which can help travelers adapt comfortably and businesses operate efficiently.

In addition to appreciating Istanbul’s splendid attractions, the keen awareness of its time will help you make the most of your time in this vibrant city, or in managing your dealings with it from anywhere in the world.

Read more:

Turkey Vacation Basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Skyscanner and WayAway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: I have used these transfers many times and they are always great. If you’d like more options, I also recommend GetTransfers.com as they allow you to compare companies.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

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