Istanbul in April

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Is the April weather pleasant for discovering Istanbul? What to do in Istanbul in April?

April is the month when Istanbul awakens to spring. The city emerges from its winter slumber, ready to welcome visitors with open arms and warm sunshine. It’s the perfect time to stroll through its charming alleyways, take a leisurely cruise on the Bosphorus, or explore the beauty of the Princes’ Islands.

And if that wasn’t enough, April marks the beginning of Istanbul’s festival season, featuring the Tulip Festival that fills the city with color, the International Film Festival for cinephiles, the Sonar Festival for electronic music fans, and for sports enthusiasts, the Turkish Supercup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe promising an exciting derby.

Learn more about our selection of Istanbul events to assist you in planning and enjoying your trip.

Weather in Istanbul

In April, Istanbul experiences a particularly mild and pleasant climate. Temperatures range between 10°C and 18°C, with a mix of sunny days and occasional rain showers. For maximum comfort, it’s advisable to dress in layers: light clothing during the day and a jacket for cooler evenings. In the event of rain, there’s no need to worry as umbrella vendors are readily available on street corners at the first sign of rain. In summary, April offers an ideal opportunity to explore Istanbul!


Throughout April, discover the Tulip Festival:

The tulip holds a special significance as the emblem of Istanbul. Contrary to popular belief that tulips originated in Holland, they were actually introduced to Europe by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire and became symbolic of the sultans. Numerous representations of tulips can be found in artworks from the Ottoman period. Today, the tulip serves as the symbol of Istanbul’s municipality. In honor of this revered flower, the municipality has been organizing a festival for the past 18 years, during which the city, particularly its parks, are adorned with tulips. The festival is celebrated in most of the city’s parks, including favorites like Emirgan Park, situated north of the Bosphorus, boasting over 2 million tulips, and Yildiz Park, located between Besiktas and Ortakoy, with 800,000 tulips. Tulips can also be spotted in Sultanahmet Square and Gülhane Park.

Ramadan concludes, and certain museums close between April 10 and 12:

On April 10, the day following the end of Ramadan, several museums will be closed for the first and second days of the holiday. We advise considering this when planning your visit in April. April 10 is notably the only “quiet” day; otherwise, it’s business as usual. Indeed, with Istanbul slightly less crowded, it enhances the enjoyment of exploration.

This day also marks the beginning of “Şeker Bayramı,” or the Sugar Festival, in Turkey. It’s a time when culinary traditions take precedence: baklava, güllaç, lokums, and other semolina-based sweets are shared. Homes are adorned with festive decorations, attire becomes more vibrant, and warm family gatherings abound to celebrate this joyful occasion together.

Opening of the Bulgur Palas

Make sure to visit the recently restored Bulgur Palas during your time in Istanbul. This iconic 20th-century monument, situated near Cerrahpaşa on the historic peninsula, has been transformed into a new cultural and artistic hub. Acquired and refurbished by the Istanbul municipality, the palace now boasts a wealth of amenities including a rich library, exhibition hall, and social spaces. Perched atop one of the city’s historic hills, the Bulgur Palas captivates with its remarkable architecture and offers a terrace with breathtaking views of Istanbul’s landmarks. A must-visit for art and history enthusiasts.

Festivals & Shows

April 1 to 30: Istanbul Tulip Festival

The tulip is the emblem of the city of Istanbul, for the record, although it is often thought that the tulip comes from Holland, it was exported by the Turks in Europe during the Ottoman Empire and constitutes elsewhere the symbol of the sultans. You will find many representations in the works of art of the Ottoman period. It is today the symbol of the municipality of Istanbul. To pay homage to this sacred flower, the municipality has been organizing this festival for 12 years now, during which the city, and more particularly the parks, is adorned with tulips. In 2014 20 million bulbs of 211 different varieties were planted and maintained by hand. The festival takes place in the majority of the parks of the city. Our favorites are Emirgan Park with more than 2 million tulips, located north of the Bosphorus, and Yildiz Park with 800,000 tulips located between Besiktas and Ortakoy.


April 5: Melike Şahin at Zorlu PSM

Catch Melike Şahin, the emerging star of Turkish pop music, as she takes the stage at the prestigious Zorlu PSM venue in Istanbul. Her music video, directed in 2021 by the renowned Tony Gatlif, famous for “Latcho Drom” and “Vengo,” left a lasting impression upon the release of her debut album “Merhem.” Renowned for her dynamic performances, Şahin mesmerizes audiences with a repertoire that expertly fuses traditional Turkish music with modern pop sounds.

April 26: Emir Taha at Babylon Bomonti

Emir Taha, a rising talent in the music scene, will be performing at Babylon Bomonti on April 26th. Known for skillfully blending Eastern and Western influences in his songs, Taha explores themes like immigration and cultural identity through a mix of R&B and electronica. Singing in both Turkish and English, his music serves as a bridge between tradition and modernity, providing listeners with a unique auditory experience.

April 26, 27, 28: SÓNAR ISTANBUL 2024 at Zorlu PSM

The renowned Sonar, Istanbul’s largest electronic music festival, is back for its 8th edition at Zorlu PSM. Promising spectacular light shows, this event is a highlight for electronic music enthusiasts.

Featuring a stellar lineup including Japanese producer Ryoji Ikeda, Adam Beyer – one of the pioneers of modern techno, Marcel Detmann – a famous DJ from the Berlin scene, and Nene H, an artist hailing from Istanbul, the festival attracts crowds eager to explore new sounds. Don’t miss out on this premier event for electronic music fans in the city!

Istanbul boasts a vibrant local jazz scene, with venues like Nardiss and Bova in Beyoğlu showcasing live performances regularly. Additionally, Touché, situated in the Zorlu shopping mall auditorium, provides an opportunity to enjoy jazz concerts nearly every night. To ensure you don’t miss out on exceptional performances, we recommend checking their schedules regularly for a truly rewarding musical experience.


Between April 17-28, the Istanbul Film Festival

Originating in 1982 as part of the International Istanbul Film Festival, it initially featured a limited selection of films focusing on arts and cinema. However, by April 1984, it became a separate event, expanding to include national and international competitions, earning widespread international recognition.

This year’s festival will showcase a diverse array of Turkish and world films, featuring notable directors such as Olivier Assayas, Wim Wenders. The festival breathes life into the Beyoğlu and Kadıköy districts, becoming the vibrant center of cinematic activity. Subtitled screenings attract both cinephiles and the curious, with the Atlas cinema, situated in the heart of Beyoğlu on the renowned Istiklal street, serving as a cherished venue. Known for its historic facade and elegant interior, the Atlas cinema provides cinephiles with a unique cinematic experience.

Given the high demand for tickets, it is advisable to book ahead to secure your spot at this enriching cultural event.


Until April 29, Artİstanbul Feshane in Eyüpsultan will host the exhibition titled “Ne Senden Rükû Ne Benden Kıyam,” which translates to “Neither prostration on your part, nor revolt on mine.” This exhibition showcases the works of the renowned calligrapher and bookbinder Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin Barın, who is considered a pillar of Turkish graphic art. Curated by art historian Ali Kayaalp, the exhibition features nearly 230 pieces by Barın, demonstrating an innovative fusion of classical methods and contemporary vision.

Additionally, until August 31, the Bulgur Palas will host the “Magnum in Istanbul” exhibition. This event commemorates the 77th anniversary of Magnum Photos, one of the world’s most respected photographic agencies. The exhibition will feature over 200 works by 70 artists, including a section dedicated to the award-winning Turkish photographer Emin Özmen, who joined Magnum Photos in 2017. Özmen’s 30 photographs, which have been honored with the Prix du Peuple du Calvados de Bayeux and two World Press Photo awards, will enrich this special exhibition.


Football :

In the Super League, there’s currently intense competition between Galatasaray, last year’s champions, and Fenerbahçe, who are aiming to end a 10-year wait for the title. Both teams boast world-class players such as Icardi, Mertens, Hakim Ziyech, Dzeko, Tadic, and Bonucci.

Meanwhile, Beşiktaş JK and Trabzonspor are locked in a battle for 3rd place. Alongside the four champion teams, Istanbul is represented in the Super League by four other teams: Başakşehir, Fatih Karagümrük, Kasımpaşa, İstanbulspor, and Pendikspor.

Turkish Super Cup final: April 7, Urfa

The Turkish Super Cup final, initially scheduled for December 29 in Saudi Arabia, was canceled at the last minute due to discrepancies linked to the Republic’s centenary celebrations and the clubs’ tributes to Atatürk.

Ultimately, the match was held in Urfa, a town in southeastern Anatolia, in solidarity with the victims of last year’s earthquake in the east of the country.

In Istanbul, supporters are organizing themselves: Galatasaray fans will gather in Nevizade, while Fenerbahçe fans will meet on the Asian side, notably in Güneşli Bahçe street in Kadıköy. For a more neutral atmosphere, Beşiktaş is the place to be.

Where to watch the match:

Sanat Cafe&Bar Nevizade Beyoğlu (with Galatasaray fans)

Beer Plus Beşiktaş (with Beşiktaş fans)

Rue de Güneşli Bahçe Kadıköy (with Fenerbahçe fans)

Super League
Here are the main matches of the month:

April 3, Fenerbahçe vs Adana Demirspor at Stad Fenerbahçe Atatürk

April 3, Galatasaray vs Hatayspor at Rams Park Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi

April 7, Beşiktaş vs Samsunspor at Stad Tüpraş

April 14, Galatasaray vs Pendikspor at Rams Park Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi

April 14, Beşiktaş vs Ankaragücü at Stad Tüpraş

April 28, Galatasaray vs Sivasspor at Rams Park Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi

April 21, Fenerbahçe vs Beşiktaş at Stad Fenerbahçe Atatürk

April 28, Beşiktaş vs Çaykur Rizespor at Stad Tüpraş

To buy your tickets go to Passolig. For more information, please contact us!

To explore more activities and events available in Istanbul in April 2024, click here!

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