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Turkey Tour during Ramadan

I am considering the Best of Turkey tour in March 2023. Ramadan starts on March 22, overlapping with both tours offered in March. Has anyone done the tour during Ramadan? Did it affect the tour in any way?

Thanks!

Posted by
4411 posts

I read this comment from a person who was on the Best of Turkey tour this year during Ramadan:

"We were in Turkey during Ramadan so if we ate before sunset the restaurants were pretty empty."

Posted by
15542 posts

Things go on as normal during the day. I didn't take the tour during Ramadan, but I live in a country where it is widely observed. In some places there is more of a festive atmosphere after sunset when the daily fasting ends.

Posted by
179 posts

I was in Turkey during Ramadan a couple of months ago (April 2022). Lots of people were eating and drinking (non alcohol) during the day. This was in Istanbul and in Fethiye on the Mediterranean.

Posted by
2454 posts

Renee, I was on the excellent RS Best of Turkey tour during Ramadan in 2018. In general, we did not feel any impacts of Ramadan on our visit. The exceptions I remember were:
1. In the large open area near the Blue Mosque, there were many families and groups of people gathered in the early evening, with picnic baskets or other containers of food, waiting for the evening prayer call in order to break the fast, with gusto.
2. On a day before the tour, a Friday, I took a ferry to the religiously conservative Eyup neighborhood. The important Eyup Sultan mosque was very filled with people in prayer for the Ramadan Friday services, both inside the mosque and on the grounds outside. Still, I was welcome to enter the mosque, visit all the areas, even photograph. The area was very busy.
3. Our tour group had an early evening arrival in Ankara, so we just checked in and dropped our bags in our hotel rooms, then walked a couple of blocks to a neighborhood family restaurant. We arrived and were seated about 7:40 pm or so, and noticed that all the local patrons were waiting for the prayer call, around 8 pm, to begin eating, so we waited too, which the locals noticed and seemed to appreciate.

Posted by
113 posts

Been in Istanbul twice during Ramadan. Grand Bazaar closed!

Posted by
24 posts

I was on the Best of Turkey tour during Ramadan several years ago right before the pandemic. No impact on tour. Was a special experience to be there during Ramadan, in fact. The Grand Bazaar and everything else was open. Restaurants were welcoming to us.

Posted by
86 posts

The quote from CW Social was mine. I was on the BOT tour this year during Ramadan. I would say there were some minor impacts due to Ramadan, but nothing that would make me not recommend this trip due to Ramadan. There where larger crowds with tighter security in the Blue Mosque area as sunset approached. Most restaurants where less crowded until after sunset, but were all open. Our tour guide did comment on an influx of visitors from other Islamic countries, mostly due to the fact we there at the end when Eid was about to be celebrated. We were at the end of the tour at Kusadasi when my wife wanted to get her hair done. Our guide took her along with another tour member to find a salon. The third shop was the charm, due to the fact many women were getting their hair done for the Eid celebration. To be honest we had more of impact from Easter in Portugal than we did from Ramadan in Turkey. See my post link below.

I hope this helps.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/what-i-learned-this-spring-on-2-rs-tours

Posted by
446 posts

Thank you to all who have replied. This has been very helpful!