Istanbul In May

Boat crossing the Galata Bridge

May is one of the great times to visit Istanbul. It is time you can observe how spring appears in Istanbul. It brings new colors to the views of Istanbul. Joyful voices of people fill each corner of Istanbul and fresh fruits appear in bazaars. Spring brings some freshness and vitality to the streets of Istanbul.

Here some ways to enjoy what spring brings in Istanbul in May!

Discovering the colors of Istanbul


In May, you can witness one of the miracles of Istanbul, as you take a Bosphorus tour. “Erguvan” or Judas tree, blossom its fantastic pink flowers in spring months and make you feel like being in dreams. They decorate both sides of Istanbul and celebrate the coming of spring. It is one of the colors of Istanbul in the spring. Besides, there is a special festival welcoming spring; Istanbul Tulip Festival. You can see colorful tulips around the city, yet Emirgan Park is the main location of this festival. Even this park is beautiful with its view of Bosphorus, colorful tulips turn it to a fairyland. There are also some shows and workshops during the festival, so maybe you can join them and celebrate the coming of spring with others. Sultanahmet Square is another location you can see colorful tulips and enjoy the festival. Between Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, those colorful tulips decorate their friendship in every spring.

Watching the sunset in Üsküdar


Üsküdar is the best place to watch the sunset in Istanbul in May. It is on the Asian side of Istanbul and has a great view of Istanbul. You can easily see Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque and Süleymaniye Mosque in order on the horizon. Besides, the Maiden Tower is so close and complete this great view of Istanbul. Maybe you should first visit Maiden Tower before watching sunset since it is one of the symbols of Istanbul. Along the seaside of Üsküdar, there are plenty of places to sit on cushions and enjoy the view. Besides, there are some lovely buffets sell some beverages and aperitifs. Turkish tea is the best companion as you watch the sunset in Istanbul. You may also try salted sunflowers since it is one of the best partners of a glass of tea for Turkish people. After watching the lovely colors of Istanbul sky on sunset, you can finish your day with dinner in local restaurants such as Kanaat Restaurant.

Having a picnic in Princes’ Islands



Princes’ Islands is a great place to have a picnic in May. Especially Büyükada promises fantastic experiences. All you need for a simple picnic is available in there. You can find a seaside or forested place to sit. You can buy some cookies or cakes from charming patisseries along the seaside. You can fill your thermos jug with coffee or Turkish tea, so be sure that you have your thermos jug in your bag.  As you find your perfect place for your picnic and have delicious food, it is time to enjoy refreshing breezes. You will hear cheerful voices of birds and smell lovely odors of red pine trees and wildflowers. Probably, it will be better to discover the streets of Büyükada after your picnic. Be patient and ambitious to reach the top of Büyükada for visiting the church of Aya Yorgi. It will worth all your effort to see its peaceful atmosphere and appealing view.

Visiting Dolmabahçe Palace and Yıldız Park


There are lots of parks to visit during May in Istanbul, yet Yıldız Park is in nearby central places of Istanbul. It is in Beşiktaş district and close to Dolmabahçe Palace. Maybe you can first visit Dolmabahçe Palace since it is one of the palaces built in the last periods of the Ottoman Empire and with the influence of Western architecture. It has a gorgeous garden with beautiful plants, trees, and flowers. Besides, it is in just by the Bosphorus. Since it is the place that Atatürk -founder of the Turkish Republic- lived his last days, you can see some personal items of him in there. When you finish your tour in Dolmabahçe Palace, you can rest for a while in its café and drink some Turkish tea or coffee. By the following seaside, you can reach Yıldız Park. It has a great view of Bosphorus and hidden surprises inside. You can come across some lovely birds or ducks nearby small pools in the park. You can enjoy having dinner or some aperitifs in its café when you feel exhausted after wandering around the park.


There are many ways to celebrate spring in Istanbul in May. You can discover the colors of Istanbul during May by taking a tour on Bosphorus or attending Tulip festival. Alternatively, you can watch the show of colors in Istanbul sky while sitting in the seaside of Üsküdar. Besides, you can arrange a picnic in Prince Islands or discover the beauty of Yıldız Park near Dolmabahçe Palace. Whenever you come, you are welcome! To learn more about Istanbul, you can visit

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