There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Istanbul each year.
The main ones are listed below.
This festival celebrated on the twelfth day of Rabi'al-Awwal commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and is one of the most important days on the Islamic (or Hegira) calendar. Turkish Muslims use this opportunity to recall the values advocated by the Prophet. It is also a day when families gather to share a traditional meal in a festive atmosphere.May 1: Labour Day (national holiday) Ninth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)
Although Turkey has been a secular republic since 1923, Islamic traditions hold considerable sway in the country. The Islamic holy month of Ramazan (called Ramadan elsewhere in the world), during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, is an especially pious time. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset. For the entire month, Istanbul operates at a slower pace during the day and stirs into action at nightfall.First three days of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Ramazan Bayrami (Eid al-Fitr, national holiday)
Also known as Şeker Bayramı (Sweets Festival), this three-day festival marks the end of Ramazan and takes its alternate name from the children who go from door to door asking for sweet treats. Their elders spend the festival visiting family members and friends to share tea and pastries, and everyone enjoys festive meals.Starts on the tenth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Kurban Bayramı (Eid al-Kabir/Eid al-Adha, national holiday)
This four-day festival beginning on the tenth day of Dhu'l-Hijja honours Ibrahim's proof of his obedience to Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son Ismael, but just as Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice, Allah told him to offer a ram instead. Traditionally, to remember Ibrahim's offering, each family sacrifices a sheep in the morning and the remainder of the day is spent in prayer and celebration, feasting on the roast mutton and sharing the meat with others.September–October: Istanbul Biennial (local event)
Held since 1987 in odd-numbered years, this contemporary art exhibition has achieved international recognition as one of the most prestigious events of its kind, on a par with those organized in Venice, São Paulo and Sydney. Nearly 100 artists from more than 40 countries present works of art, objects or performances at over 30 venues. Alongside leading international figures, the Biennial features the work of emerging artists from Turkey and the Middle East more generally.Early October: Filmekimi (local event)
Lasting about a week in early October each year, this film festival features critically acclaimed films that have recently premiered at prestigious international film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Screenings take place at the Beyoğlu, Atlas, Ortaköy Feriye and Kadıköy Rexx cinemas.October 29: Republic Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the proclamation of the Turkish Republic on this day in 1923, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became Turkey's first president. Celebrations include a street parade by school children, official ceremonies and speeches, military parades, and fireworks.October/November: Istanbul Book Fair (local event)
This nine-day fair held at the Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center attracts over half a million visitors each year and brings together around 700 publishers and non-governmental organizations from Turkey and some 20 other countries to showcase their titles. The fair also includes a large number of interviews with writers and editors, panels, concerts, exhibitions and children's events.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||3/37||9/48||101/4.0||Not the best period to go|
|February||3/37||9/48||79/3.1||Not the best period to go|
|March||4/39||11/52||70/2.8||Not the best period to go|
|April||8/46||16/61||45/1.8||Not the best period to go|
|May||12/54||21/70||35/1.4||Not the best period to go|
|June||16/61||26/79||37/1.5||Good period to go|
|July||18/64||28/82||39/1.5||Good period to go|
|August||19/66||28/82||49/1.9||Good period to go|
|September||15/59||25/77||63/2.5||Good period to go|
|October||12/54||20/68||101/4.0||Not the best period to go|
|November||8/46||15/59||108/4.3||Not the best period to go|
|December||5/41||11/52||124/4.9||Not the best period to go|
Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) west of the city centre, along the Marmara coast.
Istanbul covers a very large area and is split in two by the Bosphorus. The city's historic centre is about 7 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide on average (4 miles by 2.5 miles). This means that it is impossible to avoid using public transport if you want to venture outside the city centre. But many districts are very easy to explore on foot.
Istanbul's buses are the most convenient way to discover the city. A token for a single ride costs TRY 4.00.
Useful tip: PTo save time and money if you will be using public transport frequently, you can purchase a rechargeable IstanbulKart fare card, sold at the airport's Metro station, which may be used to buy tickets for all modes of transport (Metro, trams, buses, ferries). When purchased via this card, each trip costs TR 2.15 instead of TRY 4.00. The card costs TRY 10.00 and comes with an initial travel value of TRY 4.00. It may be recharged with amounts up to TRY 50.00.
Istanbul's tram system is a very good transport option, especially the line crossing the entire historic centre, from the Theodosian Walls to Taksim Square. The neighbourhoods across the Golden Horn, including trendy Galata and Beyoğlu, where nightlife and contemporary culture are as important as historic sights, are also served by the tram. A single ticket costs TRY 4.00 (TRY 2.15 when purchased with an IstanbulKart).
Minibuses (dolmuş), which only run on the city's major thoroughfares, can be a convient and inexpensive option for crossing Istanbul. However, they are not the quickest mode of transport. Fares run from TRY 2 to TRY 5, depending on the destination.
Taxis are a fairly convenient mode of transport in Istanbul. Trips within the city centre cost between TRY 6 and TRY 8.
A large number of ferries (vapür) cross the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. On the European side, the main ferry piers are at Eminönü, Karaköy, Beşiktaş and Kabataş. Lines cross from these points to destinations on the Asian side, including Kadıköy and Uskudar. A single ticket costs TRY 4.00 (TRY 2.15 when purchased with an IstanbulKart).
Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Turist Danışma Ofisi
Istanbul has six official tourist information offices, all located on the European side, where you can obtain information and recommendations for visiting the city and its surrounding area.
The official website operated by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism provides a wealth of information on Istanbul.
Website : https://goturkey.com
The currency used in Turkey is the new turkish lira (TRY).
1 € = 4,69 TRY
1 TRY = 0,21 €
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the United Arab Emirates.
However, the following vaccines are recommended:
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
It is advisable to drink only bottled water sold in sealed, tamper-proof containers.
As a French citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa if you will be visiting Turkey for less than 90 days. However, your national identity card or passport must be valid for at least 150 days beyond your date of arrival in Turkey.
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Istanbul and Turkey, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations. Comprehensive information that may be helpful for international visitors is also provided on the Turkey page of the U.S. State Department’s travel Website: view information for travellers to Turkey
Here are a few basic Turkish phrases that will make your stay in Istanbul a little easier:
Hello / How do you do?: Merhaba
Good morning / Good afternoon: Günaydın
Good evening / Good night: Iyi akşamlar
Good-bye: Güle güle (said to the person leaving) / Allahaısmarladık (said to the person staying)
See you later: Görüşmek üzere
Thank you very much: Çok teşekkür ederim
No, thank you: Hayır, teşekkür ederim
What time is it: Saat kaç?
Excuse me: Pardon (to get past) / Afedersiniz (to get attention) / Özür dilerim (to say sorry).
Train station: Tren garı
Bus station: Otogar
I'm (…): (…)-im,- ım , -üm, -um
The verb “to be” takes the form of a suffix in Turkish and is subject to vowel harmony rules (examples: I'm French = Ben Fransızım / I'm a student = Öğrenciyim / I'm sorry = Üzgünüm / I'm happy = Mutluyum).
I'm looking for (…): (…) arıyorum.
How much is it: Kaça?
Do you have (…): (…) var mı?
Where can I find (…): Nerede (…) bulabilirim?
Where can I buy (…): Nereden (…) alabilirim?
I'd like (…): (…) isterim.
And what about tipping?
In Istanbul and throughout Turkey, tipping is not necessarily required, although always appreciated. Fancier restaurants generally add a 10 to 15 percent service charge to the bill and it is customary to tip the waiting staff a further 5 percent. Round taxi fares upwards and leave a few liras for hotel staff.