From the late 17th through the early 18th centuries, Ottoman society admired tulips, and Istanbul, then recognized as Constantinople, became renowned for them. ‘Tulip Fever’ was spreading steadily west, passing through the Netherlands. As a result, the 12 years leading up to the 1730s were dubbed “The Tulip Era,” or Lale Devri in Turkish. The Ottoman Empire began to orient itself towards Europe during this comparatively tranquil period; this is the background of Istanbul tulip festival.
Since 2006, Istanbul’s city government has been planting millions of tulips in the city’s parks, avenues, traffic roundabouts, and basically anyplace there is open land. Over a half-million flowers were planted as a giant “flower carpet” in Sultanahmet’s Hippodrome (At Meydan) in front of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque in recent years, bringing the total amount planted to 30 million.
Weather permitting, the tulips bloom at the end of March or the beginning of April. They bloom for several weeks and can last for almost a month delighting both the eye and the spirit. Istanbul tulip festival runs from April 1st to April 30th, but depending on the weather, the flowers could be out as early as late March and continue to be charming well into May. April may not be as rain-free as May or June, but the weather is usually mild. It’s a fantastic time to travel to Istanbul!
The tulip is a traditional symbol of Istanbul. It was brought to the city from Iran ages ago and was appreciated and cultivated here until tulip fever set in. A rare tulip species might be auctioned for a staggering sum during Ottoman history’s so-called Tulip Period.
Tulips found their route from Istanbul to Europe, notably to the Dutch Republic (Holland), where a parallel tulip fever quickly engulfed the imaginations, and bank accounts, of Dutch tulip enthusiasts. The Istanbul Tulip Festival, on the other hand, isn’t simply about tulips. Pansies, bluebottles, and other flowers are planted for contrast and variety of shape and colour. The visuals are incredible.
The Best Parks for the Istanbul Tulip Festival
To relish the eye-catching beauty of Istanbul tulip festival, here are the best parks you can head to where you, in addition to the grandeur of tulips, you will be enjoying yourself with other charming sights.
♦ Yildiz Park
Yildiz Park is one of the Istanbul’s largest public parks, sited in the Besiktas district. The park, which was once part of Yildiz Palace, stretches down the palace’s slopes, and a wall was built during Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s reign to allow residents to enjoy the palace.
Yildiz Park, one of the best parks in Istanbul Turkey, is home to some of the world’s most magnificent landscapes, including flowers, plants, and trees from all over the world. Yildiz Park is one of the best parks for hiking, with manmade lakes and tiny summer cottages. The park contains 120 different tree and plant species that date back to the Ottoman era. It includes lovely fountains and a little lake in which the fish play on the right side of the park.
♦ Gulhane Park
The modest but peaceful Gülhane Park is located immediately next to Topkap Palace. Particularly during the annual Istanbul Tulip Festival, the park is magnificently decked with colourful flora in the spring. Visitors can relax on chairs under the tall oak and walnut trees or walk along the different routes offered.
It was once a portion of Topkap Palace and was only accessible to the royals, but it was eventually made public. Today, Istabullites living in the Fatih area like the lovely park. It is Istanbul’s sole large park in the old district. After that, go out and explore the old buildings in the region.
Furthermore, historical sites such as the Column of the Goths, an antique marble column, may be seen in the region. Take a look at the Turkish literature museum and library, as well as the Museum of Islamic Science and Technology History.
♦ Çamlıca Park
This large hill near Üsküdar offers some of Istanbul’s best amazing views of the Golden Horn that add more charm in Istanbul tulip festival. Thousands of flowers bloom in its gardens, particularly tulips in the spring. It is also one of Istanbul’s highest spots, offering 360-degree views of the city.
After taking in the panoramic views, take a stroll through the colourful gardens. Take a break in the on-site historical recreational facility. It’s a townhouse in the Ottoman style with similar interiors. Meals include Sirloin steak filled with vegetables and roasted eggplants, for instance, and are run by Istanbul’s municipality. In addition, the combination of traditional Turkish music and your meal creates a memorable experience.
♦ Emirgan Park
It is a tourist and resident recreational area located in the Emirgan district of the municipality of Saryer. It is arguably one of Istanbul’s most stunning gardens. More than 120 types of unique trees and plants, including Turkish pine, may be found in the park.
It also features lavender and tulip festivals, and the park is surrounded by beautiful wildlife and offers breathtaking views of the Bosphorus. You must be shocked by the colourful crowd in Emirgân Korusu Park, as if flowers were being poured on a carpet’s tulip, a unique blossom that astonished Europeans for what the Ottomans had delivered to them.
As a result, it’s not shocking that historians have dubbed the Lale flower (the era of the Lale) after the golden period of the Ottoman Empire, when the sultans of the time prioritized the arts, culture, and literature and instructed the tulip to be planted everywhere until the entire country was crowned with it.