What to do in spring in Istanbul?
Here are the activities we recommend to do in spring in Istanbul, on the program: beautiful walks, sports, boating, music, and above all, good times to share.
WALK AND DISCOVER THE DIVERSITY AND THE MULTICULTURALISM OF THE CITY
The mild spring of Istanbul is an ideal time to enjoy the city walking. Istanbul, this great megalopolis of over 16 million people located on two continents is a unique city in the world, the great diversity of its neighborhoods reminds you constantly that you are at the crossroads between East and West. During your walks, you will be fascinated by the local melting pot and the cohabitation of people with completely different lifestyles.
GET SOME FRESH AIR
In the flowery city parks:
We recommend you to get some fresh air in one of the many city parks to rest and relax in nature after a few days of visits. Spring is the season of tulips in Istanbul, every year from April 9th to April 30th is held the magnificent Tulip Festival.
To honor this sacred flower, the municipality has organized the festival for more than 15 years, during which the town, especially the parks are adorned with tulips. In 2016, 20 million bulbs of 211 different varieties were planted and maintained by hand.
The festival takes place in most of the city parks. Our favorites are the Emirgan Park with over 2 million tulips, located North of the Bosphorus, and the Yıldiz Park with 800,000 tulips, located between the districts of Beşiktaş and Ortaköy. You can also see tulips all around the city, especially on the main avenue on the seafront between the former Atatürk Airport and the old city.
Still in the botanical, you can spot many Judas trees during Spring in Istanbul. According to legend, after betraying Jesus, Judas hanged himself to this tree. The blood of Judas spreading on the tree’s white flowers would have given this purple hue so special, called Erguvan in Persian. Erguvan is also the name of this tree in Turkish. This color very rare and difficult to reproduce was very important in the Ottoman Empire and particularly for the Sultans who loved to drape in clothes of this precious color.
In 2012 the government decided to plant more than 100,000 of them in the city. You will find them mainly on the banks of the Bosphorus including the fortresses of Rumeli and Anadolu Hissarı.
Go for a run on the Bosphorus:
It’s a question we are often asked: “Where can you do a little jogging in Istanbul?” Indeed, the hilly aspect of the city does not make an ideal spot for running at first sight. However, with a little motivation, you can go on the banks of the Bosphorus and join the Istanbul residents who are increasingly engaging in this activity. The best places to run are between Kuruçeşme and Rumelihisarı (4.4 km), or for the most courageous from Emirgan to Sarıyer (12 km). These neighborhoods contrast with the central districts, they are certainly the most charming and are among the most enjoyable in Istanbul.
HAVE A CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS
The Bosphorus is the strait that separates the city in two, but also Europe and Asia, it’s the greenest part of the city. In the spring, a cruise on the Bosphorus is a must to do during your vacation in Istanbul. From the water you can realize the extent of the city, and admire the Ottoman palaces, the skyscrapers of Northen Istanbul and its villa, the “yali” bordering the Bosphorus.
You can find the various options available to you to discover the Strait by boat in our section : Cruise on the Bosphorus.
DISCOVER THE PRINCES’ ISLANDS
This time of year is very nice to get in the archipelago of the Princes’ Islands. They are a haven of peace just one hour away from Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara. Cars or other motorized vehicles are prohibited on all the archipelago, and on weekdays in this season, they are not yet overrun by tourists.
DON’T MISS THE END OF FOOTBALL SEASON IN ISTANBUL
Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will immediately realize that football has a more important place than religion in Turkish society. It brings together all classes of the population. From the President of the Republic of Turkey to the taxi driver, and even women, everyone has an opinion about football and a favorite team. The atmosphere, the madness during the big matches has no equal in Europe and even in the world. In the stadium, the show is at least as important in the stands as in the field. The songs of the supporters, the flags, the tifo choreographies offer a memorable show that you will not forget! For more information on how to attend a football game, contact us.
ENJOY MUSIC FESTIVALS AND SPRING EVENTS
During the spring many outdoor festivals are held in Istanbul. Remember to book your tickets in advance as these events are very popular and always full. Here is an overview of the upcoming spring festivals, for more details do not forget to check our monthly column: concerts & exhibitions in Istanbul.
TAKE A HELICOPTER TOUR
Fly and discover Istanbul from the air, this is probably the best way to appreciate the vastness of the city and also spend an unforgettable moment. It’s a bit expensive but if you can afford it we recommend the trip! The Istanbul Helicopter Tour company offers three types of packages; a short, a medium and a long tour. More details on their website: http://www.helicoptertouristanbul.com
ENJOY FULLY THE CITY
Turkish cuisine is delicious and varied and Istanbul is a city where people love to party, You can find our good Turkish restaurant addresses and nice places to go out in our sections cuisine and going out.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Istanbul! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.