Istanbul Tulip Festival (Istanbul Lale Festivali)


Istanbul Tulip festival,

Have you ever heard the lyrics “Lale devri çocuklarıyız biiiz, zamanımız geçti..” (We are the children of the tulip era, our time has passed.). The tulip, which has been the subject of songs and love, has a very special place in Istanbul.

“Lale devri çocuklarıyız biz, zamanımız geçmiş.

Aşk şarabından kim bilir en son, hangi şanslı içmiş.

Lale devri çocuklarıyız biz, zamanımız geçmiş.

Aşk şarabından kim bilir en son, hangi şanslı içmiş.

Ben derim utanma iftihar et, sevmeyenler utansın.

Aşksızlığa mahkûm edildiyse, bu dünya yansın.

Ben derim utanma iftihar et, sevmeyenler utansın…”

Welcome to the Istanbul Tulip Festival

, an annual celebration of the arrival of spring in the city.

Every year, millions of tulips of all colors and varieties bloom across Istanbul, transforming the city’s parks,. gardens, and public spaces into a sea of tulips.

The festival takes place in April and May, and it’s a wonderful time to explore the city’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

field of tulips

Have you ever seen a field of tulips in full bloom.?

Imagine standing amidst a sea of red, pink, yellow, and purple flowers., their petals glowing in the sunshine and their sweet fragrance filling the air.

Now, picture this breathtaking sight against the backdrop of Istanbul’s historic landmarks and lush greenery.

Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s not a dream but a reality during the Istanbul Tulip Festival. a celebration of springtime that draws visitors from all over the world.

Let’s take a closer look at this colorful event and learn more about its history, significance, and attractions.

50 essential nouns in turkish

50 essential Turkish nouns for Beginners

Download PDF Now

Istanbul Lale Festivali

The Istanbul Lale Festivali is an annual event held in Istanbul, Türkiye, usually in the month of April. to celebrate the arrival of spring and the blooming of tulips throughout the city.

The festival is organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and is one of the largest tulip festivals in the world, with varieties planted throughout the city’s parks, gardens, and public spaces.

The festival typically features various activities and events. such as concerts, exhibitions, workshops, and guided tours of the tulip gardens.

One of the most popular events during the festival is the International Istanbul Tulip Festival Photography Contest, where photographers from around the world can submit their best tulip photos for a chance to win prizes.


istanbul festivals

Why is Lale important for Istanbul?

Tulips have a long and significant history in Istanbul and Turkey, and they have become an important symbol of the city and Turkish culture as a whole.

During the Ottoman Empire, the sultans and their families were known for their love of tulips, and the flower became a symbol of wealth, power, and prestige.

Tulips were cultivated in large gardens and used for decorative purposes in palaces, mosques, and other important buildings throughout Istanbul.

In addition to its cultural and historical significance, the tulip is also important for Istanbul’s economy.

The city exports tulips to countries around the world, and the flower is a major source of income for local farmers and florists.

Overall, the tulip has become an important symbol of Istanbul’s beauty, history, and culture.

Do you want to hear an interesting story about Lale? Keep reading..

Lale devri or Tulip era Turkish drama

Tulip Era

One of the most interesting stories about tulips from the Ottoman Empire is the so-called “Tulip Era” or “Lale Devri” in Turkish, which occurred during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III in the early 18th century.

During this time, the cultivation and appreciation of tulips reached its peak in the Ottoman Empire.

The sultan and his court were known for their love of tulips and would often hold elaborate tulip festivals and competitions,. where the most beautiful and rare varieties of tulips were showcased.

As per historical accounts, the tulip has its origins in Kazakhstan.

When the Ottoman Empire took over a part of Kazakhstan in the 16th century., they discovered the tulip growing in the mountainous regions and were amazed by its beauty. They brought some of these tulips back to Turkey and planted them in the gardens of influential people, including the Sultan.

Istanbul, then known as Constantinople, was a city renowned for its gardens and the people would come from far and wide to witness the stunning array of flowers.

The blooming of the tulips was considered a special occasion, and the Sultan would hold a grand party to celebrate this beautiful spectacle.

Today, the black tulip remains a symbol of Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire’s love of tulips. While there are no true black tulips. there are several varieties of dark-colored tulips that are still highly prized by collectors and gardeners around the world.

Even more interesting, there is a Turkish TV Show named “Lale Devri” which is not related to history at all but I am pretty sure that you will enjoy the drama!

What kind of beauty would you be seeing during the festival?

Tulip festival in Türkiye

During the Istanbul Tulip Festival, visitors can see a wide variety of tulips of different colors, shapes, and sizes. 

  1. Triumph Tulips: Large and classic tulips with bold colors.
  2. Parrot Tulips: Extra layers of petals and fluffy covers.
  3. Fringed Tulips: Feathery edges on their petals.
  4. Rembrandt Tulips: *notice the Dutch here* includes a range of colors.

Do not forget to check those tulips when you are at the festival. These are just a few examples, you can see different varieties and colors.

How to go to the Istanbul Tulip festival location?

Emirgan Park is located in the Sariyer district on the European side of Istanbul, and there are several ways to reach it depending on where you are coming from.

You can use the metro from the Hacısoman *make sure that you read our blog about toplu taşıma* and then transfer to the bus line 25E.

Another option is that you can take the metro to the Gayrettepe and from there, you can take the bus called 42T or 42B.

Both options will take you to the Emirgan.

Attention!! You may already notice that traffic in Istanbul is very heavy, especially during the weekend and festival days. Do not go out before planning your toplu taşıma options and give extra time to yourself to reach Emirgan.

As  Turkishle family, we hope this tour into the İstanbul Lale Festivali has inspired you to go and live this colorful experience for yourself and loved ones!. Whether you are a fan of flowers, a nature enthusiast or someone who enjoys seeing different places with colors, İstanbul Lale Festivali welcomes you.

Have you been to the Istanbul Lale Festivali before? If not, are you planning to go this year? We would love to hear about our experiences or plans. Do not forget to share beautiful photographs from the festival and make your timeline more colorful than ever 🙂 Until then, happy traveling!