Ramadan is a special month for Muslims. During this time, life in Istanbul changes significantly.

Fasting and iftar

During the day, Muslims fast, and in the evening, they gather for iftar, which is usually a family dinner. If you would like to experience the local culture, you can participate in the street iftars, which are sometimes sponsored by municipality districts. Don’t be shy to join in! You can also visit the mosque for iftar. However, in some conservative areas of Istanbul, such as Fatih, Üsküdar, and Eyüp Sultan, fasting is strictly observed. You may notice that some cafes are closed during the day.

Fasting and iftar in Uskudar

Modern areas of Istanbul

In modern areas like Nişantaşı, Kadıköy, and Beşiktaş, life almost does not change during Ramadan. Tourists can participate comfortably, and museums will not change their working hours.

Nighttime activities

The metro in Istanbul during Ramadan will run until 2:00 am so that everyone can get home for iftar and cultural events. Life shifts slightly to nighttime. The Istanbul Municipality will organize 26 concerts during the month of Ramadan.

Iftar menu

Iftar is the meal that Muslims eat after sunset during Ramadan. This meal is significant because it marks the end of the day-long fast. Traditionally, dates and water are the first things that are consumed to break the fast. After that, a variety of dishes are served that vary depending on the region and culture.


Some popular Iftar dishes include samosas, kebabs, biryani, lentil soup, and hummus. These dishes are often accompanied by bread, rice, or noodles. Sweets such as baklava, kunafa, and qatayef are also commonly served.

Iftar is not only about the food; it is also a time for family and friends to come together and share a meal. It is a time to give thanks for the blessings of the day and to reflect on one’s spirituality. Overall, Iftar is a special and meaningful tradition in Muslim culture.

Drummers and good deeds

Рано утром на городских улицах появляются барабанщики, будящие людей к завтраку до восхода солнца и молитвы. Это очень аутентичный опыт. Мусульмане считают, что во время Рамадана следует совершать добрые дела, которые засчитываются дважды. Поэтому многие становятся очень щедрыми и отзывчивыми.

Dates of Ramadan and Uraza Bayram

Ramadan will last from begins at sunset on March 23 and ends on April 21. After that, the Uraza Bayram (Ramazan Bayramı) begins – three days of holidays. During this time, public transport becomes free, state institutions do not work, and there are many people on the streets and cultural events. Uraza Bayram is a family holiday, and Istanbulites usually go to their families, so traffic on the roads during these days will be high. Keep that in mind.

Uraza Bayram

Special products for iftar

By the way, special products for iftar and even food baskets will appear in stores.


If you are planning to visit Istanbul during Ramadan, make sure to check out the Istanbul website, where you will find specific points, addresses, and times of events. Enjoy the unique experience!

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