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Istanbul during Ramadan

Toronto, Canada
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Istanbul during Ramadan

This question has probably been asked before, I am planning to go to Istanbul for 3-4 days around July 18th, part of my Honeymoon Itinerary, before heading back home. I then realized that my trip to Istanbul will fall during Ramadan month. Are the restuarants/cafe/bars open during daytime? I will be assuming that businesses (Bazaar) and tours are available as usual?

What about nightlife, is there a bar/club that we can go to?

I am also studying my hotel options, is there any particular area's i should avoid where people might be more conservative during Ramadan?

Thank you

Istanbul, Turkey
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1. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

Everywhere is open as normal even bars etc.You will likely not even be aware it is Ramazan.The only thing is that restaurants and cafes will be very busy at sunset so plan to eat early or late to avoid the rush of hungry fasters :)

Also the Hippodrome area of Sultanahmet is worth an evening stroll as there are stalls and side shows set up for public entertainment for the whole of Ramazan.A lovely lovely atmosphere!

Kayakoy, Turkey
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2. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

İ was one or two times only in İstanbul during Ramadan (when it was in the winter months), everything was open as normal. Some restaurants had more waiters than customers during the day. That will not be the case in Sultanahmet. Business as usual!

Edited: 11 March 2013, 18:12
Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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3. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

HI hkhadori, I think that the city seems a bit more festive during Ramazan. Occasionally guide books warn that Turkish people are grumpy because they are hungry, but that has never been our experience. I have also been advised to avoid eating in public, but since we never eat while we are walking down the street that is nothing about which we worry.

I really like the area of the Hippodrome during this period. While tourists may dominate Sultanahmet the rest of the year, there are many Turkish people who celebrate the evenings in the Hippodrome. The only difference we noticed was that the setting sun came at the same time we normally eat our evening meal. Once we stood in line for a little restaurant that stretched all the way to the end of the block and around the corner. We quickly learned to adjust our meal times, but there were plenty of restaurants available earlier.

I have also been told that some of the nightclubs close during this period if they want to refurbish or do any extensive remodeling. Since we rarely participate in this type of nightlife, I cannot speak personally about this.

I would not worry about Ramazan impacting your vacation. There are many people who live in Istanbul who do not honor the requirements of Ramazan, and the city adapts for the many tourists who visit.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

Thank you all for your responses, in terms of accommodation, I was thinking in the area of the old city of SultanAhmed, sirkeci, where it is located very close to the Bazaar and Aya Sophia, would you recommend any other area? Since I will be there for 3xnights, what is a must see during my stay in Istanbul? are the daily organized tours recommended?

Thanks again

Mount Dora, Florida
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5. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

I prefer Sirkeci or Sultanahmet because you are near so many of the historical sights, and you are only a brief tram ride away from the bazaars, the ferry system and Istiklal Street. It is a good central location. I rather prefer Sirkeci because there are fewer tourists. I think the restaurants are generally better and significantly less expensive. Either area would be good.

6. Re: Istanbul during Ramadan

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