Every April since
2006, the city government in Istanbul has
planted millions of tulips in Istanbul's
parks, avenues, traffic roundabouts
and...really anywhere there is open
In 2016, the total was 30 million!
The result is a glorious spring
flower festival with brilliant
splashes of color everywhere
The tulips begin to bloom around the
end of March or beginning
depending on the weather. They bloom
for several weeks and may delight the
eye and the spirit for nearly a month.
not be as rain-free as May or June,
but it usually has moderate
temperatures. It's a great time to
The tulip is one
of Istanbul's traditional symbols.
Brought to the city from Iran centuries
ago, it was favored and cultivated
here until tulip-love became
a mania. In the so-called Tulip
Period of Ottoman history,
a rare tulip variety could be sold
for a breathtaking sum.
Tulips made their
way from Istanbul to Europe—specifically
Holland—where a similar tulip
mania soon consumed the imaginations—and
bank accounts—of Dutch tulip-lovers.
The Istanbul Tulip Festival is not just about tulips, however. Other flowers—pansies, bluebottles, etc.—are planted in contrast and for variety in shape and color. The displays are breathtaking.
Come to Istanbul in April and enjoy
the Tulip Festival,
not to mention the thousand other things
that make this city, for me, the most
fascinating on earth. More...