Istanbul in June

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In June, the weather in Istanbul is generally warm without being excessive, ideal for discovering the city and enjoying its many cultural activities. The air is warm enough to enjoy long days without the summer heatwave, making exploring the city’s countless historical and cultural treasures particularly enjoyable. Whether strolling along the Bosphorus or exploring the colorful bazaars, Istanbul in June offers a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.

It’s the perfect time to explore the historic districts on foot, take a boat trip, visit the Prince Islands, eat by the Bosphorus or even relax in the city’s many parks and gardens.

Here is the list of things to do in Istanbul in June to immerse yourself in the city’s enriching cultural exhibits, which offer a fascinating mix of art, history and modern technology

In June, Istanbul generally enjoys pleasant weather, with average temperatures ranging between 20°C and 30°C. Days are mostly sunny, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities, but remember to protect yourself from the sun during the hottest hours.

Whether for a stroll along the Bosphorus or an exploration of the colorful bazaars, Istanbul offers a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere in June, conducive to discovering its countless historical and cultural treasures.

Bayram: From June 16 to 20, Turkey celebrates Bayram, known worldwide as Eid al-Adha or the festival of sacrifice. This traditional festival commemorates the act of faith of Ibrahim (Abraham), who almost sacrificed his son according to a divine order before being stopped by the archangel Gabriel, who replaced the child with a sheep. This story inspires Muslims to practice the ritual sacrifice of an animal, the meat of which is shared among family, friends and the needy, as a sign of faith, sharing and generosity.

During this period, many Turks also take advantage of the public holidays, from June 15 to 19, to meet up with family or go on vacation, often to the beaches in the south of the country. Note that during the first days of the public holidays, June 15 and 16, many establishments will be closed and monument hours may change.

It is advisable not to plan sightseeing visits on these days.

Euro 2024 (June 14 to July 14): at the same time, from June 14 to July 14, Euro 2024 football will be held in Germany. Turkey, qualified for the tournament, promises to arouse particular enthusiasm among the supporters. The atmosphere at the matches is expected to be electrifying, and we are preparing a special article to guide you through the best places in Istanbul to experience this competition, whether supporting the Turkish team or your favorite team

The 52nd Istanbul Music Festival will take place between May 22 and June 12: The 52nd Istanbul Music Festival offers a rich program with 25 concerts organized in 17 different venues. Music lovers will be able to admire world-renowned soloists such as Maria João Pires, Khatia Buniatishvili, Francesco Piemontesi, Jean-Guihen Queyras, István Várdai, Gülsin Onay, Edgar Moreau, Kristóf Baráti and Roby Lakatos, as well as the festival orchestra from Budapest.

No less than 60 prestigious artists and ensembles will perform, including Strings Lucerne, the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra of Istanbul, the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mantua Chamber Orchestra, the Franz Chamber Orchestra Liszt, the Hungarian National Choir and the Borusan Quartet.

The festival will also present the world premieres of four works, including three commissioned specifically for the occasion, as well as the Turkish premieres of three other compositions.

The Chora church was restored and reopened for worship as a mosque. The Chora church, whose conversion into a mosque was decided four years ago, was opened to worship after the completion of the restoration work. Among the hundreds of Byzantine objects in Istanbul, Kariye occupies a special place. This historic building, unique in the world for the richness of its extremely elegant mosaics and frescoes, was restored by the General Directorate of Foundations and reopened for worship as a mosque.

The monastery, whose Greek name is Kora, is not known with certainty, but according to some sources it was built in the 6th century by Saint Theodore, the uncle of his wife Theodora, during the reign of Justinian. The name of the monastery comes from the Greek word “Chora-Kora”, which means rural area or outside the city because it is outside the city walls.

Kora translates into Turkish as Kariye. It was not until the 14th century that the monastery took its current form, after earthquakes and damage suffered during the Latin invasion of 1204 had been repaired. After the conquest of Istanbul by the Turks under the command of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453, it was used as a church for 58 years, then converted into a mosque in 1511 during the reign of Bayezid II. During the Republican period, it was transformed into a museum by a decision of the Council of Ministers taken on August 29, 1945; it was opened to visitors as a museum in 1947.

June 7th – Imany at the Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu: The famous French singer Imany will be present for a last Turkish date of her Voodoo-Cello tour. Eagerly awaited, his performance is part of the “Feelin’ Good” celebrations for the 80th anniversary of Yapı Kredi Bank, promising an evening of soulful music and captivating melodies.

June 8th – Andrea Bocelli at the Beşiktaş Park: Legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli celebrates his 30-year career with a special concert in Istanbul. Her powerful voice and emotional interpretations of opera classics will attract a large audience, a concert not to be missed!

June 8th – The Lion King at the Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu: A unique performance of its kind, where the famous animated film “The Lion King” is performed in live action, accompanied by the Istanbul Film Orchestra. This event promises a magical fusion of nostalgia and live music, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film.

June 21 – Buena Vista All Stars at the Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu: The long-awaited return of traditional Cuban music with the members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. After eight years without a concert, they reunite once again under the name Buena Vista All Stars for an evening of authentic and catchy Cuban rhythms.

JuneSertab Erener at the Maximum UNIQ Açıkhava: Turkish music star Sertab Erener, who won Eurovision in 2003, will seduce his audience with a mix of new songs and great classics, in an enchanting open-air setting.

June 1 & 2 – Imera & Niks Carnaval at the Life Park: This colorful and energetic event combines music, dance, and artistic performances inspired by the elements of nature, providing an immersive festival experience.

June 29 – Craft Brew Fest at the Swissôtel The Bosphorus: A craft beer festival where connoisseurs can taste unique beers while enjoying live musical performances in an elegant setting

June 28 & 29 – Live From Fest İstanbul at the Maximum Uniq Açık Hava: This dynamic festival closes the month with a series of performances from rising and established global electronic music DJs, including Belgian phenomenon Oscar And The Wolf, known for their unique blend of pop, R&B, EDM and alternative elements.

June 29 & 30 – Gezgin Salon Festival au Bonus Parkorman: A weekend filled with dance and performances from famous groups like Stavroz and La Femme, promising fun and escape.

June 11 & 12 – Carmina Burana at the AKM – Turk Telekom Opera Salonu: This epic work by Carl Orff, based on Latin poems that celebrate nature and love, will be magnified by a grandiose staging and an impressive choral performance.

June 18th – Richard III au Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Açık Hava Tiyatrosu: A bold, modern production of Shakespeare’s play, incorporating contemporary elements like drag queen shows and fashion shows, while exploring themes such as identity and isolation.

Istanbul Modern – “Zamansız Meraklar” (Timeless curiosities)

The “Zamansız Meraklar” exhibition at Istanbul Modern is a profound exploration of how current technologies are redefining art and artistic thinking. By presenting works that use digital techniques and innovative media, this exhibition captures the essence of artistic curiosity through the ages. Visitors can expect to see how traditional themes of nature, history and identity are revisited and transformed through the lens of modernity. The exhibition doesn’t just show works of art; it is also a reflection on the evolution of artistic creation, offering a window on the way in which contemporary artists integrate digital tools into their practice to push the boundaries of expression.

Bulgur Palas – “Magnum İstanbul’da” (Magnum in Istanbul)

The prestigious photographic agency Magnum Photos chose the recently restored Bulgur Palas to present its exhibition “Magnum İstanbul’da”. This event celebrates not only the agency’s rich history, but also its impact on global photojournalism. The exhibition brings together more than 200 photographs by 70 artists, including iconic figures like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, as well as contemporary talents like Emin Özmen. Visitors can experience a variety of perspectives capturing historical moments, everyday life scenes and powerful portraits that together tell a fascinating story of life and humanity. This is a unique opportunity to see how Magnum photographers have documented and interpreted the world over the decades.

Arter – “Farz Et Ki Sen Yoksun(Imagine you’re not there)

“Farz Et Ki Sen Yoksun” is a captivating exhibition located at Arter, which explores the interactions between private collections and public space. Curated by Selen Ansen, this exhibition offers an immersion in a universe where everyday objects are transformed into museum artifacts. The exhibition includes works by more than 400 artists and spans multiple floors, providing an experience that challenges traditional museum conventions. Visitors are invited to consider how the objects collected can transcend their everyday usefulness to acquire new meanings in an artistic setting. This reflection is enriched by installations that use familiar objects in unusual ways, encouraging viewers to reconsider their perception of the objects around them. The exhibition is a meditation on collecting as a creative act, asking questions about memory, identity and permanence.

Each of these exhibitions offers a unique and profound experience that reflects the cultural richness and artistic diversity of Istanbul. In June, the city comes alive not only with music and festivals, but also with exhibitions that engage, question and celebrate art in all its forms

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