Guide to SKOPJE

Tulip Festival – The Spring Magic of Istanbul


Istanbul is a city of legend and history. Once you visit it, you will come back for more.

These words are so true because Istanbul is not only Kapali Carsi, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace or the Bosphorus, Istanbul has everything and it never fails to elicit a sigh. It has a soul that gives visitors a warm welcome. All you need to do is get there and then let the city guide you. It knows what to do, what to give you, what to show you because it has so much to offer.

If you want to visit Istanbul I highly recommend that you do it in April when the International Tulip Festival takes place. It is the right time to experience the magic of an Istanbul spring.


Tulips are almost always associated with the Netherlands, which is the world’s main commercial producer of tulips. However, their origin and name are associated with the Ottoman Empire, or rather with turbans (Turkish: tulbend – muslin, gauze). The Turkish word for gauze, which was used for winding turbans, seems to have been used for this flower as well, because a fully open tulip resembles a turban.

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The most widely accepted story is that of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, Ambassador of King Ferdinand I to the Ottoman Empire under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1554. In one of his letters he said that there is an abundance of flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils and the ones called tulips in Turkish. It’s no coincidence that this period, the most luxurious period in the Ottoman era, is called the Tulip Era (Lale Devri).

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International Istanbul Tulip Festival is held from 1st – 30th April. Should you travel to Istanbul at that time you are really lucky. During that period, all avenues, roundabouts, parks, gardens are coloured and decorated with these spring flowers. Take a walk round Emirgan Park, one of the largest public parks in Istanbul, situated on the Bosphorus in Sariyer district, past the second bridge on the Bosphorus. It has several tulip gardens and is open from 7am to 10:30pm. Also the park located in the Topkapi Palace is really worth seeing.

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There are no words that the best writer or poet can use to entice you to go. Actually, you shouldn’t wait and read someone else’s impressions, just visit Istanbul and write your own story. Until then, enjoy in our photo gallery.

Kristina Angeleska