Istanbul Festival of Tulips

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality organizes the spectacular Istanbul Festival of Tulips,  also referred to as Istanbul Lale Festivali in Turkish, which is a celebration of the natural beauty and cultural legacy of Istanbul. Since its beginning, the festival has grown to be a well-liked annual event in the city, bringing together residents and visitors to marvel at the magnificent tulip displays that adorn Istanbul’s parks and public areas.

The Istanbul Tulip Festival celebrated its historic tenth edition in 2015, further cemented its standing as one of the city’s most beloved occasions. Throughout Istanbul, millions of tulips bloom every year, turning the cityscape into a vivid tapestry of hues and scents.

The Istanbul Festival of Tulips offers a wide range of events and activities that highlight the city’s rich cultural heritage in addition to the breathtaking sight of tulips blooming. A magnificent tulip carpet that pays homage to the centuries-old Turkish carpet weaving tradition is one of the festival’s highlights. Thousands of tulips are painstakingly arranged to create intricate patterns and designs.

The festival includes a range of painting exhibitions in addition to the tulip carpet, where local artists display their skills and interpretations of the popular flower. As they take in the vivid colors and deft brushwork of the exhibited works, visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in the world of art and creativity.

Family get-togethers for picnics, live music, and cultural events fill Istanbul’s parks and public areas with the sights and sounds of celebration throughout the festival. On this happy occasion, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from modern art installations to traditional folk dances.

The Istanbul Tulip Festival serves as a reminder of the beauty of nature and the enduring spirit of creativity and innovation that defines Istanbul’s cultural landscape. With its dazzling displays of tulips and vibrant cultural events, the festival continues to enchant and inspire visitors from around the world, leaving a lasting impression of the city’s rich heritage and natural splendor.

Istanbul Festival of Tulips

When is the 2024 Istanbul Festival of Tulips?

April 1st through April 30th is when the festival is expected to take place. As we previously stated, this isn’t a “official” event; rather, it’s a prediction of when to see tulips bloom in Istanbul, much like the annual cherry blossom forecast in Japan. Although April is when tulips usually bloom, this can vary based on the environment, precipitation, and other factors. Tulips can occasionally be seen as late as May or as early as the end of March!

Crucial! It should be noted that the Istanbul Tulip Festival in 2024 falls during Ramadan if you are considering visiting Istanbul in that year. In Turkey, March 11–April 9 is Ramadan, and April 10–April 12 is Eid al-Fitr. Because of the crowds during Eid al-Fitr, we advise visiting Istanbul after April 12. Additionally, by mid-April, the majority of the flowers will already be in bloom.

When do tulips bloom in Istanbul? As previously mentioned, tulips usually begin to bloom in Istanbul in April, though sometimes they begin earlier and end later.

If you’re concerned about whether the tulips will bloom in time for your trip, we suggest searching for #Emirgan or #Gulhane in the hashtags on Instagram or TikTok and selecting “Recent Photos.” In this manner, you can see the state of the tulips and whether or not they have flowered.

The Istanbul tulip festival is free because the tulips are located in the city’s public parks and gardens.

What kind of weather is it?

To put it briefly, April weather in Istanbul is incredibly erratic. In certain years it was very drizzly, and in other years we had very light rain and clear skies. But most days are usually bright with a light breeze. Additionally, we’ve noticed that the majority of the rain falls around the start of April; as they say, April showers bring May flowers!

In April, Istanbul experiences 8 to 14 C (47 to 55 F) on average.

What to wear?

Considering the current state of the weather and temperature, we advise packing layers for your exploration of Istanbul. It is always preferable to be overprepared rather than underprepared because the weather can change drastically during the day! Similarly, always have a foldable umbrella with you.

How to stay out of crowds On a weekday morning, the tulip season in Istanbul is at its most beautiful. There are fewer people and crowds because most people are at work. Weekends are the best times to avoid tulip locations, as most people will be at popular spots like Emirgan or Gulhane Park.

Finally, kindly refrain from picking the flowers or trampling on the tulips. Even walking on tiptoes near them will cause damage to the delicate flowers.

Istanbul Festival of Tulips

The Tulip and Istanbul Tulip Festival’s History

Although the majority of people associate tulips with the Netherlands, these vibrant flowers are actually indigenous to Turkey! In fact, they were the ones who started a trend that would spread throughout the continent when they arrived in Europe from the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century.

Still, let’s go back a bit.

The history of the tulip in Turkey begins during the Ottoman Empire, when the flowers were originally brought to the country from the Middle East and Central Asia. In the Ottoman court, tulips soon came to be associated with wealth and status. Under Sultan Ahmed III, they were most popular during the period known as the Tulip Era (1718–1730). The tulip was a well-known symbol in literature, art, and even clothing during this era of peace, prosperity, and flourishing arts and culture. The elite of Istanbul would congregate for opulent “tulip parties” in the palace gardens, where they would appreciate the beauty of these flowers while enjoying music and poetry beneath the moonlight.

Growing tulips has evolved into an art form over time, as gardeners compete to produce the most exquisite and unique varieties. Tulips were brought to Europe from Istanbul in the 16th century, and a “tulip craze” occurred, especially in the Netherlands, which is still associated with these flowers today.

Over the following centuries, the tulip’s importance in Istanbul waned, but in recent times it has returned as a representation of the city’s historical and cultural identity. With the aim of revitalizing urban areas with this beautiful flower and reviving the historical importance of the tulip, the city of Istanbul organized the official Tulip Festival in 2006. We believe you did a great job!

Which parks are most suitable for the 2024 Tulip Festival?


With its stunning long-range views of the Bosphorus, this expansive park serves as the focal point of the Istanbul Tulip Festival. Traditional craft demonstrations, including paper marbling, calligraphy, glass blowing, and painting, are held in the park’s köşk mansions. Pop-up stages are used for outdoor musical performances.

How would one travel there from Galata? Take a ferry, please. Regular services usually run from Kabataş to Emirgan.


This is the plaza next to the Blue Mosque, which was formerly Constantinople’s Hippodrome. In previous years it’s been planted up in a huge carpet design and has been the world-record-breaking largest ever ‘tulip carpet’, proving extremely popular.

How to get there from Galata? Walk down to Galata bridge, take the T1 tram only 4 stops to Sultanahmet and you’re there.

Istanbul Festival of Tulips


This is the most relaxing park on the historical peninsula. It runs around the lower old walls of Topkapı Palace in Sultanahmet. Happily there are lots of benches under mature and ancient trees from which to quietly enjoy the floral displays.

How to get there from Galata? Walk down to Galata bridge and take the T1 tram only 3 stops to Gülhane station. The tram stop exit is just in front of Gülhane Park’s entrance.


Yıldız Park, enhanced by its exquisite old pavilions and gardens that extend to the Bosphorus, provides an exquisite setting for remarkable tulip displays throughout the festival. Popular with families.

How would one travel there from Galata? Traverse the Galata Bridge on foot to Eminönü, where you can catch a ferry to Beşiktaş. The remaining ten minutes of walking will take you to Yıldız Park.


Çamlıca Grove offers views of the Old City from the Asian side and is relatively off the beaten path and less frequented by tourists. The thousands of tulips along the way and the view at the top make the climb enjoyable if you don’t mind a little elevation gain.

How to get there from Galata? Take the metro to Taksim then funicular to Kabataş. A ferry from there runs to Uskudar, from where a No.11 bus can be taken to the Çamlıca stop. Then you can walk for 15 minutes or take a taxi.

What more is there about tulips in Istanbul?

The tulip motif was used in Ottoman culture for hundreds of years, so you can have some fun spotting it as you explore. Versions can be seen on tiles in the city’s mosques and palaces, as well as in textile and ceramic patterns on exhibit in museums. If you are traveling with kids, Topkapı Palace is an especially wonderful place to see tulips in Ottoman art.

Contemporary culture also makes frequent use of tulips, from grafitti and street furniture designed by councils to corporate logos. If you share any intriguing ones on social media, please tag us!

Are there Festival of Tulips in other countries?

The Netherlands are more famous than Istanbul these days for tulips and we’ve recently heard that Seattle in the US also has a great tulip festival. Are there others? Do tell us if you know.

When visiting Istanbul for the Festival of Tulips, where can I stay?

We assumed you wouldn’t inquire! The European side of Istanbul’s Galata neighborhood provides a convenient, entertaining, and charming starting point for visiting all of the parks mentioned. This unique map shows the locations of all the places we’ve mentioned:

Any of our Otels, which are mostly located in Galata, would be an excellent starting point for your travels. The boutique shops and cafes in the streets around have plenty of tempting discoveries for tulip-hunters too.

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As Gazali Tourism, we aim to be the first stop for people who like to vacation and travel with the package tours we have prepared for you, VIP car rental and transfer to all parts of Turkey and hotel reservations. For more information, you can contact us and enjoy your holiday in Turkey.

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