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Travel during Ramadan/Ramazan

Hi Everyone,
We are considering taking a May-June RSE tour to Turkey. In researching the trip, I realized all/part of our trip will coincide with Ramadan. My understanding is that in order to be culturally sensitive, one should avoid eating in public, dining outdoors, and that offerings of alcohol (always less available in a predominantly Muslim country) may be far less available during this time. Have I been lead astray by these reports? While it may enrich the trip to be there for the celebration at the end of Ramadan, it may for other reasons be less desirable. Thoughts??

Posted by
5184 posts

I would keep in mind that Ramadan traditions are for practicing Muslims. As a tourist (and presumably non-Muslim), you are not expected to adhere to the same constraints. I don't think you'll have any issues with faux pas on an RS tour because the guide will clue you in on everything. I went on a Village Turkey tour several years ago with RS and there was very little alcohol in general on that tour (compared with other tours), so I wouldn't have even noticed if Ramadan was underway or not. I remember being in Bosnia during Ramadan and it was a very neat experience to see others' behavior but, again, as a tourist I did not notice how it affected me personally because everything felt "normal". If you want further reassurance, call up the RS folks and ask them what differences you can expect on this tour compared to other times of the year.

Posted by
417 posts

I have not been to Turkey, but here in the states, my Muslin friends do not expect us to adhere to their traditions. That being said, I don't bring out a great big steak in front of them either. Our neighborhood has quite a few Turkish residents. We did make the mistake of arriving at one of the Turkish restaurants right as the sun was setting. There was a bit of a congestion getting seated and a bit longer wait for food. We did drink a very good bottle of Turkish wine.

Posted by
217 posts

We have been there during Ramazan, both in Istanbul and in more remote and conservative areas, you shouldn't expect have any problems.

After sunset I recommend you get outside and celebrate with the locals. You will see many families in various parks eating and playing and lots of local entertainment.