WEATHER, WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO DO IN MARCH IN ISTANBUL?
Is the weather in March a good time to visit Istanbul? What to do in Istanbul in March?
March promises to be a busy month, with the start of Ramadan, municipal elections, exhibitions, concerts and football matches. Istanbul is gearing up for an exciting March.
Here is our selection of Istanbul events to organize and enjoy your trip fully.
Weather in Istanbul
March is indeed a fantastic time to visit Istanbul. The weather becomes milder, with rising temperatures and longer days, creating a pleasant atmosphere for exploration. The reduced crowds compared to the high season provide an excellent opportunity to experience the city more peacefully. Additionally, the availability of cheaper flights and accommodation adds to the advantages of visiting during this period.
In early March, Istanbul is adorned with the vibrant color of purple.
International Women’s Day on March 8th provides an occasion to reflect on the role of women in Turkish society. A night march is scheduled to take place on the main shopping street, Istiklal. If your accommodation is nearby, please be aware that the roads leading to Taksim Square and Istiklal Street will be closed. While tourist access will remain unrestricted, there will be police presence and security barriers. Opting for an evening out in another district should not disrupt your travel plans. Over the past two years, the march has occurred on Cihangir Street. The day is marked with enthusiasm, passion, and hope, with events held throughout the week, reaching a culmination on the evening of March 8th. Thousands of women gather in Beyoğlu for the feminist night march, raising their voices to demand more rights and protest against violence and feminicide.
Ramadan in Istanbul:
Discover Istanbul during Ramadan, a Time of Spirituality and Traditions
During Ramadan, Istanbul offers a unique opportunity to experience the city in a different light, characterized by spirituality and traditions. In the evenings, the streets come alive with special markets featuring traditional culinary delights. Locals gather to share festive meals after sunset, creating a magical atmosphere. To immerse yourself in this exceptional experience, consider visiting districts such as Sultanahmet or Fatih, where twinkling lights and a warm ambiance add to the enchantment.
Between the end of Ramadan, from April 9 to 12, it’s important to note that some museums will be closed on the first and second days of the festival. If you plan to visit in April, taking this into account is advisable. However, visits during Ramadan are generally not affected, except for certain special activities.
Beyond Sultanahmet, modern life continues with vibrant activity in bars, restaurants, and shops. If you choose to visit Istanbul during Ramadan, you’ll have the opportunity to discover traditional events, particularly in the historic peninsula and in Feshane. Bakeries will start preparing pitas for Ramadan, while patisseries will be serving the Güllaç dessert.
The municipal elections
The excitement of the local elections will envelop the city in March.
Throughout the month, the intense competition will be evident in the streets and on billboards as Istanbul gears up for local elections. On March 31, the residents of Istanbul will participate in the polls to elect the metropolitan mayor and 39 mayors. Over the past four years, the Metropolitan Municipality has been led by a candidate from an opposition party. Turkey has a notable tradition of high voter turnout, with a rate of 84.6% recorded in the last elections held four years ago. The arrangements for the local elections on March 31, 2024, have been officially announced.
In adherence to these decisions, there will be a prohibition on the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages from 6:00 am to 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 31, which is the polling day.
Opening of the hammam Çinili – The latest gem on the historic peninsula
The Çinili Hammam, originally constructed by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan in Zeyrek five centuries ago under the patronage of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, has undergone recent restoration and was opened to art enthusiasts in September. Following its reopening, the hammam has not only hosted various exhibitions and concerts but is also set to resume its traditional bath services soon. Additionally, the museum building adjacent to the baths will continue to serve as a venue for artistic events, adding to the cultural richness of the historic peninsula in Istanbul.
Our selection of concerts
March 21: Bipo feat. Joyce DiDonato, Zorlu Psm
The BIPO (Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra), now under the direction of Carlo Tenan, continues its musical commitment to Istanbul. Under the previous direction of Sascha Goetzel, the BIPO left a significant mark on Istanbul’s cultural scene, taking part in prestigious events such as the Salzburg Festival and winning awards. Renowned diva Joyce DiDonato will join the orchestra to perform notable works by Hector Berlioz and Richard Strauss, exploring the relationship between music and text. DiDonato, hailed as “the face of change in the art world”, continues to captivate audiences with a diverse repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the 19th century.
Mabel Matiz, a popular figure who has captivated Turkey’s Generation Z with her contemporary music and music videos, will be taking to the stage at Zorlu PSM, one of Istanbul’s biggest stages. Known for creating one of the most listened-to songs of recent times, ‘Antidepressant’, Mabel Matiz is known for her frankness about her sexual orientation and her determination in the face of controversy surrounding some of her videos, earning her a solid fan base.
Istanbul offers an interesting choice of local jazz, in addition to venues such as Nardiss and Bova in Beyoğlu, Touché, located in the Zorlu shopping center’s performance hall, offers the chance to catch a concert almost every night. For an enriching musical experience, we suggest you regularly check their programs for exceptional performances.
Our selection of exhibitions
The lack of a public space for international contemporary art exhibitions in Istanbul has been one of the most talked-about issues in recent years. In response to this shortcoming, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality restored the 200-year-old historic building in Eyüp, called “Feshane-i Amire”, and reopened it in June 2023 under the name “Artİstanbul Feshane”. It is Istanbul’s largest cultural and artistic space in the public realm, housing the collection “The Dynamic Eye: Beyond Op and Kinetic Art” from the Tate, one of the world’s most renowned contemporary art museums.
The collection, curated by Valentina Ravaglia, Curator of Exhibitions and International Art at the Tate Modern Museum, includes a multidisciplinary selection of works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Victor Vasarely, Lygia Clark, Liliane Lijn, Julio Le Parc, Jesus Rafael Soto, Kenneth Noland and Helio Oiticica, among others.
The exhibition “Suppose you are not” at Arter, curated by Selen Ansen, explores the connections between objects through the dreams and achievements of a collector. On show until 29 December 2024, it features works by 400 artists, spread over the 4th and 3rd floors of Arter. The selection, drawn from a personal collection, challenges the logic of classification, creating a temporal and formal universe between reality and fiction. Inspired by the verses of the poet Ömer Khayyam, the exhibition, based on the Ömer Koç collection, explores spaces of ascent, dream and escape, opening up new perspectives on the meaning of objects. It brings together books, armchairs, paintings, sculptures and photographs, exploring human pleasures, desires, enthusiasms and dreams. “Suppose you don’t exist” is a fascinating approach to preserving the transferable states of the human being, from the most sublime to the most everyday, exploring gestures, movements and traces left behind before death, eliciting new associations through spatial proximity.
Here’s a summary of the ongoing cinema events in Istanbul:
- A comprehensive retrospective of the cinema of Chantal Akerman, the most extensive ever organized in Turkey.
- Parallel program featuring “Marcello a 100 ans!” – a selection of films featuring Marcello Mastroianni.
- Highlight: Chantal Akerman’s retrospective includes her masterpiece, “Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels,” made at the age of 25. This film took first place in Sight and Sound magazine’s 2022 poll of the 100 best films of all time, marking Chantal Akerman as the first woman director to top the list.
For cinema enthusiasts, this retrospective provides a unique opportunity to delve into the work of Chantal Akerman and experience the cinematic legacy of this influential director.
Football: Super League
The Super League is witnessing intense competition between Galatasaray, last year’s champion, and Fenerbahçe, who are aiming to end a 10-year wait. Notable world-class players are part of both teams, including Icardi, Mertens, Hakim Ziyech, Dzeko, Tadic, and Bonucci.
- Top Teams:
- Beşiktaş JK
- Other Istanbul Teams in the Super League:
- Fatih Karagümrük
- March 3: Beşiktaş JK vs. Galatasaray at Vodafone Park
- March 10: Fenerbahçe vs. Pendik at Ülker stadium
- March 17: Beşiktaş vs. Antalya at Vodafone Park
- March 17: Kasımpaşa vs. Galatasaray at Kasımpaşa Stadium
- Check the provided site for watching matches in Istanbul.
- If interested in attending a match, there’s an option to click here for more details.
Football enthusiasts can enjoy the excitement of these matches and witness the competition unfold in the Super League.
We hope this article will make you want to discover Istanbul, do not hesitate to contact us or leave a comment if you need help to go to an event or if you have heard of an event that we did not mention.