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Istanbul can be considered as a festivals city with its culture and art events. There are endless festivals, fairs, events and organizations in every season of the year. The festivals, which increase with the arrival of spring and spread to almost every park in the summer, take place with the participation of thousands of people. In this article, we will have a look at some of Istanbul festivals that are organized regularly every year.

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Istanbul International Puppet Festival: The International Puppet Festival, organized every year in May, has hosted more than 300 puppet show groups since 1998. As part of the festival, local and international puppet shows and paper puppet workshops are organized. For the past 20 years, 2,500 puppeteers have been gathering at the Puppet Festival in Istanbul.

Istanbul International Dance Festival: The International Dance Festival is organized every year in April and lasts for several days in different venues. You can enjoy very colorful dance performances by dancers from Europe, Asia and Latin America during the dance festival. The World Dance Championship and the sportive dance performances must also be seen.

Istanbul Film Festival: The Istanbul Film Festival is organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). You can watch the films within the scope of the festival in various movie theaters on both sides of Istanbul. Tickets for the festival, which has become a tradition, are bought online well in advance and sell out very rapidly. The film festival, which has categories such as Turkish Classics Revisited, Challenging the Years, Young Masters, Best of the Fests, Adaptations, Cinema and Arts, and Documentary Time lasts for 2 weeks.

Istanbul Sahaf (Bibliopole) Festival: Istanbul booksellers get together and organize the Sahaf Festival every year in various districts. Used books, magazines, records, postcards are sold during the festival. The Istanbul Sahaf Festival is organized in districts such as Beyoğlu, Kadıköy and Üsküdar in September and October.

Istanbul Shopping Fest: Within the scope of the Istanbul Shopping Fest, which outshines the Shopping Fests in Dubai and Singapore, there are no boundaries to shopping in shopping malls and the Grand Bazaar. Supported by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the Governorship of Istanbul, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB), the festival takes place every year in June.

Istanbul Design Biennial: The Biennial, held annually in October with a different theme each year, attracts art enthusiasts from Istanbul.

Istanbul Jazz Festival: Hot summer days are enjoyable on lush green lawns accompanied by the rhythms of jazz, funk and soul at the Istanbul Jazz Festival. The Jazz Festival, organized by İKSV and held in different venues each year, has been enhancing the atmosphere of Istanbul’s parks, gardens, and performance spaces since 1994.

Chill-Out Festival: Another picnic-like festival where you can relax and lay on the grass. This 2-day festival organized in May, where punk, indie, lounge music meets nature since 2006, should not be missed.

International Istanbul Opera Festival: The festival, which takes place in June, has been organized since 2010. The Opera Festival takes place in the historical venues of Istanbul.

Istanbul Music Festival: Tickets for the festival, organized by İKSV in May, are available for purchase online weeks before the event. Every year, concerts performed by renowned musicians in extraordinary venues attract music lovers from all around the world.


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