Spring in Istanbul

What to do in spring in Istanbul ?

Here are the activities we recommend for this spring in Istanbul, on the program: beautiful walks, sports, boating, music, and above all, good times to share:


Walk and discover the history, 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 15 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.

We have written daily visits ideas and we organize small group walks for you to get out of classic trails and discover Istanbul’s every angle.


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 1st to April 30th is held the magnificent Tulip festival.

For the record, although it is often thought that the tulip comes from Holland, it was imported by the Turks in Europe during the Ottoman Empire and is also the symbol of the sultans. You can find many tulip representations in works of art of the Ottoman period, and it is today the symbol of Istanbul’s Municipality.

In order to honor this sacred flower the municipality has organised the festival for the last 13 years in a row, during which the town, especially the parks are adorned with tulips. In 2014 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 Yildiz Park with 800,000 tulips, located between the districts of Besiktas and Ortakoy. You can also see tulips all around the city, especially on the main avenue on the seafront between Ataturk 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. Its 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 Hissari.

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 Sariyer(12 km). These neighborhoods contrast with the central districts, they are certainly the most charming, and are among the most enjoyable in Istanbul.


Take 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 “Yalis” 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.

To get there you have two choices: get there with the public ferry: a day to the Prince islands, or sailing with style: a day sailing to the Prince’s Islands.

Don’t miss the end of the football season in Istanbul!

In this end of the season, two great teams of Istanbul (Fenerbahce and Besiktas) are side by side on the podium and the suspense is total. The new stadium of the Beşiktaş Eagles is in construction, the Vodafone Arena, it is almost finished and scheduled to open in the coming weeks. A match day in the district of Beşiktaş may be an unforgettable experience. We will know more in the next few weeks, for more information on how to attend a football match : contact us.


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 now in Istanbul.

Chill out Festival : May 28-29.

This will be the 10th anniversary of the festival, the festivities begin on May 28 at noon. Located in the biggest and still intact forest of Istanbul, this festival is a true music celebration. You will find on the 3 scenes of the festival artists with different musical sensibilities, including jazz, soul or funk. For more information: www.chilloutfest.com

June 4 : Babylon Sounds Garden

Istanbul’s famous concert hall, Babylon, celebrates the start of summer its beach in Kilyos, in the North of Istanbul.On the program during the day there will be events and activities along the Black Sea, and concerts in the nearby forest at night. The name of the foreign and local djs has not been announced yet, but this event is already expected in Istanbul, especially among electronic music fans.

This festival is very popular in Istanbul, there were more than 15,000 participants last year. More information on the official website: soundgarden.babylon.com.tr

From April 25 to May 1st 2016 : Istanbul’s Open

This is the second ATP Mater tournament in Istanbul, the tournament is highly anticipated, it is played between April 25 and May 1st. We recommend that you book your tickets if you want to attend.

You can buy your tickets on biletix.com


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 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, contact us!

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