Istanbul in the Spring is a destination like no other! A visit to this captivating city provides a plethora of experiences that no other season can offer. From its iconic attractions to its bustling nightlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy. From the awe-inspiring beauty of the Bosphorus to the cultural festivities that take place throughout the season, there is no shortage of activities to partake in while visiting Istanbul during the springtime. Whether you’re looking to take in the stunning views of the city or experience some of its unique customs, it’s easy to find something to do in the city that will make for a truly memorable experience!
Springtime in Istanbul is an unforgettable experience with activities that will please everyone! Enjoy the gorgeous scenery while you take a stroll, exercise, or go boating. Music will fill the air and create a perfect backdrop to share some quality moments with your loved ones. So, don’t miss out on all the fun and plan your visit to Istanbul this spring!
WALK AND DISCOVER THE DIVERSITY AND THE MULTICULTURALISM OF THE CITY
If you are looking for the perfect time to explore Istanbul on foot, the mild spring is your ideal moment. The great megalopolis of 16 million people spans two continents and offers a unique array of cultural experiences. During your journey, you will be in awe of the cultural melting pot and the juxtaposition between East and West. Our team of experts have put together daily visits and small group walks to ensure you get the most out of your adventures in Istanbul.
GET SOME FRESH AIR
In the flowery city parks:
After a few days of visits, why not take some time to rest and relax in nature at one of Istanbul’s many city parks? The city is especially renowned for its beautiful tulips during the month of April, from the 9th to the 30th, when the annual Tulip Festival is held. Although it is commonly thought that the tulip originated in Holland, it was actually imported by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire. In fact, tulips have become a symbol of the Ottoman period, featuring prominently in many works of art, and have become the symbol of Istanbul’s Municipality.
For more than 15 years, the municipality of the city has organized the festival to honor the sacred tulip flower. In 2016, 20 million bulbs of 211 different varieties were planted and maintained by hand. The main parks that are adorned with these tulips include Emirgan Park with over 2 million tulips to the north of the Bosphorus and Yıldiz Park with 800,000 tulips between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy districts. The main avenue of the city is also filled with these flowers, especially along the coast from the former Atatürk Airport to the old city.
In 2012, the government also took the decision to plant over 100,000 Judas trees during the spring season in Istanbul. These trees, also known as Erguvan in Persian, were very popular in the Ottoman Empire, especially among the Sultans who loved to wear clothes of this rare and difficult to reproduce purple hue. These trees are mainly found along the banks of the Bosphorus including the Rumeli and Anadolu Hissarı fortresses.
Go for a run on the Bosphorus:
Frequently, people ask us: “Where can I go for a jog in Istanbul?” At first glance, the city’s hilly terrain may not appear to be the most conducive for running. However, with the right motivation, you can head to the banks of the Bosphorus and join the Istanbulites who are increasingly taking up this activity. The most popular routes for running are between Kuruçeşme and Rumelihisarı (4.4 km), or for the more adventurous, from Emirgan to Sarıyer (12 km). These neighborhoods offer a refreshing contrast to the central districts and are definitely the most picturesque and among the most enjoyable in the city.
HAVE A CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS
The Bosphorus is the strait that divides not only the city, but also Europe and Asia. It is the most verdant part of Istanbul and a cruise along the Bosphorus is a must-do activity when you visit the city. From the water, you can admire the grandeur of the city, with its Ottoman palaces and the skyscrapers of Northern Istanbul. You can also observe the traditional “yali” homes that line the banks of the Bosphorus.
For all the information on taking a cruise along the Bosphorus, check out our section on Cruise on the Bosphorus.
DISCOVER THE PRINCES’ ISLANDS
Traveling to the Princes’ Islands archipelago is an ideal time of year – a serene oasis just an hour away from Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, where cars and other motorized vehicles are not allowed. During the week in this season, the islands are not yet overcrowded with tourists, making it the perfect time to explore.
Getting there can be done in two ways: take the public ferry service, or sail in style with a private boat. Enjoy a day trip to the Prince’s Islands, and experience the tranquility and beauty of this unique location.
DON’T MISS THE END OF FOOTBALL SEASON IN ISTANBUL
When you land in Istanbul, you will quickly recognize the integral role that football plays in Turkish culture. From President Erdoğan to the cab driver, and even women, everyone is deeply engaged in the sport and has a favorite team. The atmosphere, the intensity, and the enthusiasm during big games is unparalleled in Europe, and even across the world. The show in the stands is just as captivating as the match on the field. Fans chanting, flags waving and intricate tifo choreographies combine to create a spectacle that you won’t soon forget! If you’re interested in attending a football game, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
ENJOY MUSIC FESTIVALS AND SPRING EVENTS
If you are planning to visit Istanbul during the spring season, you won’t be disappointed! There are plenty of outdoor festivals and events to enjoy. Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time, as these events are very popular and tend to fill up quickly. To get a better idea of what’s in store, take a look at our overview of upcoming spring festivals. For further information, don’t forget to check out our monthly column on concerts and exhibitions in Istanbul!
TAKE A HELICOPTER TOUR
Exploring Istanbul from the skies is a great way to take in the city’s vastness and enjoy an unforgettable experience. Though it may be a little pricey, the Istanbul Helicopter Tour company offers three different packages – short, medium and long – that are worth every penny! Soar above the city and witness the beauty of Istanbul from a unique perspective that you won’t find anywhere else.
ENJOY FULLY THE CITY
Istanbul is a vibrant city, full of life and energy. Its Turkish cuisine is renowned for its delicious and varied flavors, so it’s no surprise that people love to come together to celebrate in the city. If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy a meal or have a night out, we have you covered! Check out our Cuisine and Going Out sections for restaurant recommendations and fun activities.
We hope your stay in Istanbul is a pleasant one! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.