Eid al-Fitr is one of the most important religious holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world because it marks the end of the month of Ramadan. The holiday is known as “Sukkur Bayram” in Turkish, and in Istanbul, Turkey’s vibrant cultural center spanning two continents, the holiday features a mix of traditional customs, colorful celebrations and a myriad of activities for locals and visitors alike.

In Turkey, Eid al-Fitr is a time of joy, reflection, and gratitude. Families gather to celebrate with elaborate meals, sweets, and the exchange of gifts. It is also customary to give “Eidi,” monetary gifts, especially to children. Additionally, charitable giving plays a significant role during Eid, with many Turks donating to the less fortunate as a way of fulfilling the religious obligation of Zakat al-Fitr.


If you are planning to spend Eid ul fitr or Eid ul adha 2024 in Istanbul, here are some things you should not miss:

Eid in Istanbul, Turkey: What to Do on Eid Holidays

Be Part of Morning Prayers and Sermons

Eid festivities commence with the special Eid prayer time in the morning, held at mosques across Istanbul. Joining the congregational prayers at iconic mosques like the Sultanahmet Mosque offers a profound spiritual experience. The atmosphere is imbued with reverence and unity as Muslims come together to offer gratitude and seek blessings.

Indulge in Turkish Cuisine

Experiencing Turkish food and desserts is a journey of sensory delight that immerses you in a world of rich flavors, tantalizing aromas, and vibrant colors. After prayers, indulge in a traditional Turkish breakfast to kickstart your Eid celebrations. The breakfast consists of various components such as bread, cheese, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jams, honey, pastries, tea, yogurt, and fresh herbs. It is typically enjoyed with family and friends and reflects the hospitality and culinary richness of Turkish culture.

Istanbul boasts numerous cafes and restaurants serving delectable Turkish delicacies from the savory delights of succulent kebabs, crispy lahmacun, and delicate börek to the decadent sweetness of baklava, künefe, and Gullac, a special dessert during Eid, with every bite is a celebration of Turkey’s culinary heritage. Whether you’re exploring bustling bazaars, cozy family-run eateries, or elegant restaurants, each dish tells a story of tradition, and hospitality. 

Explore Street Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant hustle and bustle of Istanbul’s world-famous bazaars. The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are must-visit destinations during Eid. Explore the maze-like alleys adorned with colorful textiles, ceramics, spices, and handicrafts. Don’t forget to haggle with the friendly merchants for souvenirs to commemorate your Eid experience.

Join Festive Celebrations

Istanbul during Eid al fitr hosts a myriad of festivals, concerts, and cultural events that cater to diverse interests and preferences. From traditional music performances and folk dances to art exhibitions and street festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These events serve as platforms for showcasing Turkey’s rich cultural heritage. 

Relax in Parks and Gardens

Spend some leisure time in Istanbul’s beautiful parks and gardens, such as Gulhane Park or Emirgan Park. These green spaces offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets and provide the perfect setting for a picnic or leisurely stroll.

Experience Turkish Baths 

Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath, or hamam, for a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. Indulge in a steam bath, followed by a vigorous scrub and massage, to rejuvenate your body and mind.

Indulge in Shopping Extravaganza

Treat yourself to a shopping spree in Istanbul, with markets, and malls brimming with shoppers seeking the perfect gifts and attire. From traditional clothing and accessories to modern fashion trends and electronics, Istanbul offers a diverse array of shopping options to suit every taste and budget. The festive ambiance and special discounts add to the allure of Eid shopping in the city.

Explore Historical Sites

Take advantage of Eid to explore Istanbul’s rich history and culture. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Yerebatan Palace and the Byzantine-era city walls. These architectural marvels are not only awe-inspiring but also provide insights into Istanbul’s illustrious past.

Take Bosphorus Cruises

For those looking to soak in the beauty of Istanbul during Eid, Bosphorus cruises and sightseeing tours offer a captivating experience. As the city comes alive with festivities, a leisurely cruise along the Bosphorus allows visitors to admire Istanbul’s iconic landmarks, including historic mosques, palaces, and architectural marvels, all aglow with the spirit of Eid.

Visit Museums and Galleries

Explore Istanbul’s vibrant arts and culture scene by visiting museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. Discover the works of Turkish artists and learn about the city’s cultural heritage at venues like the Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, and Istanbul Archaeology Museums.

Enjoy a stroll in the Golden Horn

Experiencing and discovering the Golden Horn offers a captivating glimpse into Istanbul’s past and present. This natural inlet, shaped like a horn, has been a focal point of life in Istanbul for centuries. As you wander along its picturesque shores, you’ll encounter historic landmarks like the Galata Tower and Süleymaniye Mosque, bustling markets and quaint waterfront cafes. Discovering the Golden Horn is an essential part of any visit to this enchanting city.

Attend Cultural Events

Check out cultural events and performances happening in Istanbul during Eid in April, such as:

The Istanbul International Film Festival

which is a prominent annual event showcasing a diverse array of films from around the world. Held on April 18th, it features a wide selection of feature films, documentaries, short films, and experimental works, offering a platform for cultural exchange and artistic expression. With screenings, special presentations, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and networking events, the festival attracts film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and cultural aficionados alike, making it a highlight of Turkey’s cultural calendar.

Istanbul’s Tulip Festival

The Istanbul Tulip Festival, held annually throughout April, celebrates the arrival of spring and the blooming of millions of tulips across Istanbul’s parks and gardens. Emirgan Park, Gulhane Park, and Yildiz Park are popular spots to admire the vibrant displays. Alongside tulip viewing, visitors can enjoy photography, picnicking, cultural performances, tulip-themed events, boat tours on the Bosphorus, and shopping for souvenirs and local delicacies. The festival honors the cultural and historical significance of tulips in Turkey, dating back to the Ottoman Empire, and offers a colorful and festive experience for locals and tourists alike

Visit Princess Islands

Visiting the Princess Islands in Istanbul during Eid offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets. The Islands are known for their picturesque landscapes, serene beaches, and horse-drawn carriages that replace motor vehicles, preserving an old-world ambiance. During Eid, visitors can explore the islands by renting bicycles or taking leisurely walks along the scenic paths, soaking in breathtaking views of the sea and lush greenery. Swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking are popular activities on the islands’ pristine beaches. Additionally, exploring historic landmarks and savoring Turkish cuisine at waterfront restaurants add to the enriching experience.

Experience Turkish Hospitality

Eid is synonymous with hospitality in Turkey. Embrace the warmth and generosity of the Turkish people by engaging in conversations with locals, sharing smiles, and exchanging greetings of “Eid Mubarak” or “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun.” If you’re planning to spend Eid Holidays in Istanbul 2024, you’ll find that the spirit of camaraderie and hospitality permeates every corner of Istanbul.