Hi Frugalistas! I noticed it as soon as my bus left Istanbul airport – tulips. Lots of tulips. Every April Istanbul welcomes spring with a tulip festival. Tulips are a traditional flower in Turkey and, of course, feature heavily as a motif in Islamic art. The whole city goes mad with tulips in every colour and every design, making the Istanbul tulip festival a must visit.
The best places to enjoy the Istanbul tulip festival
Almost everywhere you will visit will have some tulips. I found pretty little displays in all sorts of places, including on my food walk around the Cihangir and Beyoglu neighbourhoods. The larger mosques with gardens, such as the Blue Mosque and the Suleyman Mosque, both have particularly pretty displays.
But the star of the Istanbul tulip festival is undoubtably the Gulhane Park, next to the Topkapi Palace. Every year the park puts on a spectacular display based around a theme. When I visited in 2014 the theme was “the sea”. A sea of grape hyacinths was so large it was almost an ocean. Stone sea creatures, and little arched bridges set the scene. There were also beds shaped to look just like flowers.
I often visit Europe in spring and love enjoying the spring flowers. The tulips in Istanbul are truly magnificent. If you are planning a visit to Istanbul, go in April and enjoy the Istanbul tulip festival.
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