The List of Festivals in Istanbul
The List of Festivals in Istanbul 2020
Istanbul is lively and colorful all year long since it is home to cultural and art activities and numerous festivals. 2019 will be no different than the past years as this year also has a lot to offer in terms of festivals. Therefore, we’ve made a list of festivals in Istanbul to join in 2019. Don’t miss them!
Some of the prominent festivals in Istanbul are movie, book and music festivals. In addition to these major festivals, food and dance festivals are also highly popular. Below, you can find a festival or more festivals that you may enjoy this year.
The List of Festivals and Events in Istanbul
Here is a list of Istanbul festivals and events updated for 2020.
I could not find clear information about the dates of some festivals. So I added the dates of previous year in order to give you a general idea about it. Hence I marked them with ??? Have fun!
Istanbul Puppet Festival
Istanbul International Puppet Festival has been held every year since 1998 and it aims to make the puppet traditions more familiar and promote Turkish puppet tradition to the rest of the world.
So far, Istanbul has hosted more than 300 puppet groups and more than 2,500 puppeteers and every year the festival offers new shows to puppet lovers. By attending the festival, you will get the chance to watch puppet shows from Russia, France, China, Hong Kong and many other places around the world.
In addition to enjoying puppet shows, you can join puppet-making workshops and make your own puppet.
Dates: 24th October to 4th of November 2019
Istanbul Puppet Festival in October
Istanbul International Dance Festival
Istanbul International Dance Festival will be held in March this year. Dance lovers from both abroad and Turkey will have a chance to attend workshops that dance instructors from around the world will organize.
The last Turkey Dance Championship and Istanbul International Dance Festival “Salsa Dance event” was held in Silence Istanbul Hotel & Congress Center from March 28 to April 2, 2018.
Dates: 27 March to 1st of April 2019
Istanbul Dance Festival in April
Istanbul Film Festival
You can watch masterpieces, classic and recently aired movies at Istanbul Film Festival which is organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).
There are many sections of the festival that have become classics in years, such as Young Masters, Mined Zone, Antidepressant, and Midnight Madness. Moreover, some more amazing movies are displayed at the festival’s special section.
Dates: 5th April to 17th of April 2019
Istanbul Film Festival in April
Istanbul Bibliopole Festival
40 bibliopoles all around Istanbul gathers at Haydarpasa Railway Station at Kadikoy every year.
The first Istanbul Bibliopole Festival was held in 2017 where rare books, magazines, records, second-hand books, and old maps could be found.
Dates: 11th February to 22 February 2019
Istanbul Bibliopole Festival in March
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Istanbul Jazz Festival has been organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art for 23 years and it aims not only bringing music lovers and artists together but also it supports the works of Turkish artists.
The festival is not limited to jazz music. Other different genres where electro music and join come together or rock, pop, blues, reggae, funk and world music are also included in the festival.
Dates: 29th of June to 18th of July 2019
Istanbul Jazz Festival in June and July
Istanbul Theatre Festival
The 22nd Istanbul Theatre Festival will be held in November 2018 and it aims to underline the similarities between different cultures and the common points of art among countries.
Istanbul Theatre Festival creates various education programs and supports them at the same time and you can enjoy around 100 dance performances, other stage performances and theatre performances from artists both abroad and Turkey. The plays are performed at 14 stages, most of which are on Europe side.
Dates: 17 November to 4th of December 2018 ???
Istanbul Theatre Festival in November
Istanbul Coffee Festival
The 2nd Istanbul Coffee Festival was held at Haydarpasa Rail Station and the 3rd one was held in Kucukciftlik Park. In both years, the festival attracted huge interest from coffee lovers.
Numerous types of coffee from all around the world are presented with amazing performances of foreign and Turkish baristas during the festival. Moreover, you can learn tips to make good quality coffee at your home and taste the coffee of boutique coffee sellers. Best coffee shops in Istanbul article might attract your attention.
Dates: 20 September to 23 of September 2018 ???
Autumn Events in Istanbul
Filmekimi – Istanbul Movie Festival
Filmekimi is held by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art (IKSV) every October and premiere nights of countless movies are also included in the schedule of the festival. Filmekimi is not limited to the audience in Istanbul. The festival is held in Edirne, Ankara, Eskisehir, Izmir, Bodrum, and Diyarbakir after Istanbul.
As in any other festival, the tickets of the festival are sold before it starts and you can enjoy movies from Europe and Far East Cinema. Due to high interest from the audience, additional sessions are included during the festival where movie lovers can enjoy watching a lot of great movies.
Dates: (for Filmekimi) 5th of October to 14th of October 2018 ???
There is also another film festival which is called Istanbul International Film Festival. This one lasts from 5th of April to 16th of April 2019. This is also organized by IKSV same as the Filmekimi.
Istanbul Events in October
International Istanbul Tulip Festival
The flower that this festival is named after once gave its name to a period during the Ottoman Empire and it was held in 2006 for the first time. Over 120 different types of tulips that blossoms in April make Emirgan Park, Gulhane Park, Yildiz Park, Beykoz Park, Big-Little Camlica, Fethipasa Park, and Hidiv Cubuklu Park colorful and they create quite a spectacle.
During Istanbul Tulip Festival, various cultural and art activities are organized at Emirgan Park, Goztepe 60th Year Park, and Sultanahmet Square. Furthermore, the biggest tulip carpet is laid at Sultanahmet Square. This tradition started three years ago for the first time.
While marbling artists perform live shows, 50 photographers who take the best tulip photos are awarded as part of The Most Beautiful 50 Tulips Contest. You can also buy tulips at Istanbul Tulip Festival.
Dates: 1st of April to 30th of April 2019
Istanbul Festivals in April
Istanbul Shopping Festival
Istanbul Shopping Festival is organized and supported by Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Governorship of Istanbul, Turkish Exporters Assembly, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, and Istanbul Development Agency.
You can do shopping at Istanbul Shopping Festival with special discounts of famous brands.
Istanbul Shopping Festival is the third festival that attracts the most attention following shopping festivals in Dubai and Singapore. The festival is held at nine shopping malls and Grand Bazaar.
Dates: 30th of June to 16th of July 2017 ???
Istanbul Festivals in June
International Istanbul Book Fair
Istanbul Book Fair is co-organized by TUYAP (Tuyap Fair Convention and Exhibition Center) and Turkish Publishers Association and it is held every fall to meet book lovers. It began to be named “international” in 2005, but the festival was held in 2000 for the first time.
International Istanbul Book Fair is home to around 650 publishers from both abroad and Turkey and half a million book lovers visit the fair every year. In addition to buying books, visitors also have the chance to have an autograph of their favorite authors.
Dates: 2nd of November to 10th of November 2019
Istanbul Festivals in November
International Istanbul Gastronomy Festival
Istanbul Gastronomy Festival is held by Turkey Cooks and Chefs Federation and it is the biggest gastronomy contest and festival of Turkey.
The festival is co-organized with WACS (World Association of Chefs’ Societies) and gastronomy society is hosted in Istanbul on an international level.
Istanbul Gastronomy Festival brings new chefs in gastronomy as chefs from around the world and Turkey compete in over 70 categories.
Dates: 22nd of February to 25th of February 2019
Festivals in Istanbul in February
International CNR Book Fair
International CNR Book Fair will be held at Yesilkoy, Istanbul where 350 publishers from 20 countries will be present. The fair will be held in October 2019.
This year’s theme is “Read”. Therefore, the fair will emphasize the importance of reading and the power of books in our lives during the activities.
The fair will be held on a huge 25,000 sq. meters areas and more than 450,000 visitors, including teachers, students, librarians, translation offices, newspapers, authors, and editors, are expected to visit International CNR Book Fair this year.
Dates: 9th of March to 17th of March 2019