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Istanbul-Ramadan 2020

Just realized that Ramadan begins April 24th 2020. What kind of impact could this have on a tour to Istanbul at that time?
Thanks

Posted by
1285 posts

Probably not too much. Most Turks will not eat during the day, but you will be able to get food during the day no problem. That said its almost like a party after sun down, it's pretty cool to see.

Posted by
872 posts

I was in Turkey for two weeks during Ramadan three years ago. There were plenty of restaurants and cafes open during the day, especially in historic and tourist areas. All museums, mosques, markets, and other historic sites were open. Out of respect for those keeping the daily fast from food and drink, those of us on our small group tour did refrain from drinking from our water bottles in public areas. Once the sun goes down, It is quite a party atmosphere, wherever you are. It's especially wonderful being in downtown Istanbul, near the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, after sundown. Lots of families bring blankets and picnics and gather on the grassy park area between the two. There is a large festive lighted market set up (after dark) in the area, with lots of food, crafts, and much more.... Kids are running around blowing bubbles and playing with lighted toys. It's a really wonderful, happy scene! And if you are at a restaurant, often there is an amazing "Iftar" buffet meal served, with dozens and dozens of delicious dishes. (Iftar is the break-the-fast meal served at sundown.)

Posted by
14 posts

Goodness-I never thought about it that way.Thank you so much!!

Posted by
920 posts

Not all Muslims abide the fast either. Nor do they all stop and pray when the call goes out. It’s all very interesting.

Posted by
484 posts

We were in Istanbul this year during and after Ramadan. The earlier responses are correct. You will not have much impact on your travels, but there will be somethings you may observe. First, during the day many men will not be as polite. They have given up smoking, any drinking and eating until sunset. We actually saw an episode of "hangry" in the grand bazaar. Next, you will want to eat dinner before sunset, as restaurants are fully booked after sunset. Not a problem if you are on a tour and out early. We saw only some shops and restaurants closed, but there are so many others that it is not a problem. Shops do close near Sunset, as they definitely want to eat right away.
You'll see many Muslims from other countries, not only Turks.
The days that end the Ramadan are crazy. It is a long holiday (like Christmas to New Years) where families travel and take holiday. Roads and hotels are packed. Don't fly just after Ramadan.
It was fascinating!

Posted by
1285 posts

The point about traveling is an important one. Before and after the holiday, it is insane - a ton of people are moving around internally and externally. Buses, hotels and planes are full. There are huge queues (3+mile, 4-5 hours) at the border crossings on the route to Central Europe (croatia, serbia, bulgaria, greece etc) as guest arbiters drive to Turkey to visit family, or leave after the holidays.

Posted by
1285 posts

Hardly the worst typo on this forum. Should have just said guest workers.

Posted by
4073 posts

SMW - Your response exactly why we travel.. to understand other cultures and customs.

Arbiter (German) = Worker (English)

Posted by
1285 posts

gastarbeiter = guest worker

arbeit = work

arbiter = judge or referee

Sadly I took nearly 8 years of German going back to middle school, with almost no retention. One of my biggest educational regrets is not having studied Spanish.